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(The Gear Loop) - Heading to the mountains is an exciting time if you’re a fairly accomplished skier or snowboarder, but it can be a coccyx-destroying nightmare for the uninitiated.

A group of North American winter sports enthusiasts quickly recognised this fact and teamed up to design an easier method to slide down a mountain side. 

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Step forward the SNO-GO, a contraption that aims to make that winter trips to the pistes and powder more enjoyable for those who have no desire to learn to ski or board. In essence, the SNO-GO combines the mechanics of cycling with patented technology that allows it to glide down regular runs and even handle a bit of powdery back country.

The tech in question has been dubbed the S.L.A.T. system, which has been engineered to allow the rear skis to articulate like a perfect parallel skier. You merely lean left for left turns or right for right turns while navigating a run. Although early adopters already claim they can handle far more than a genteel Blue Run.

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With high performance in mind, SNO-GO launched their fourth generation this winter, which incorporates an exclusive carbon blend, reducing around 3.5kg from the overall package.

It might look slightly strange, but the alternative winter sport has already caught on at some of the biggest ski resorts in the US, with the likes of the Vail and Boyne Resorts championing the bikes, despite the innovations only being in existence for five years.

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"But how do you get up ski lifts?" we hear you collectively cry. Well, SNO-GO bikes are equipped with a patented Chairlift Hook that allows for swift and easy boarding. When you need to load your bike just lift the patented Chairlift Hook onto any ski lift chair and simply nudge the bike off when dismounting… and away you go.

Stopping is another major milestone for anyone who has attempted to learn to ski or board, but here, it’s supposedly as simple as leaning on the handlebars while simultaneously pushing down on your outside foot. By linking the movements of the upper body directly to the skis below, the SNO-GO can supposedly be mastered in less than an hour. 

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The simple but revised range of bikes for 2022 is currently available for pre-order, with the current focus being the North American market. The bike and a set of standard skis costs $2,299, while powder-specific skis cost an additional $449.99. Check out the website for more. 

Writing by Leon Poultney. Originally published on 29 November 2021.