A Weighty Issue

One comment we sometimes hear about Trackers is that they're heavy. For the record, one of our skishoes weighs about four pounds, meaning a pair weighs eight pounds. Compared to snowshoes, this is heavy. But compared to skis, it's not. Snowshoes are typically made of a tubular aluminum frame with webbing strapped between it, so they're inherently light weight.

It seems that people see our skishoe as looking like a snowshoe, so they expect it to weigh the same. But while we call it a gliding snowshoe, the skishoe is actually a ski platform. When people snowshoe, you notice that they walk in them, picking their feet up in pronounced fashion to clear the snow. I've noticed that some people do this when trying a pair of skishoes. But as you get more experienced with Trackers, you'll keep them on the snow more and ski them with the kick-and-glide stroke used in cross-country skiing. When you do this, you'll notice they feel much lighter and the weight is not such a…

Preparing for your Skishoeing Adventure

Skishoeing is an exciting activity that many look forward to all year round. Enjoying the crisp outdoor air and taking in the beautiful snowy landscapes is the perfect way to spend a winter day. However, being ill-prepared can make this experience a little less enjoyable. We are providing a few things to remember before heading out in the snow! Staying Physically Equipped One way to make skishoeing more enjoyable is by increasing your overall fitness. While general physical ability is beneficial for all sports, snow sports can be a little more challenging due to the higher elevation and colder, thinner air. When conditioning yourself for this sport, make sure you are doing a lot of aerobic exercise to keep yourself from getting winded too quickly. Ensure that you have strengthened your arms, legs, and back to help with endurance, motion, and carrying a backpack. If you want to learn about the health benefits of skishoeing, check out our previous blog post. Choosing the Right Attire A…

Skishoes Coexist with Skis and Snowshoes

A few years ago, I was cross-country skiing at Green Lakes Park near Syracuse, New York when we came to a rest stop along the trail with a bench. A lady was sitting down taking a break, and we stopped for a minute to regroup and made conversation with her. She was on skis, alone, and remarked, “I’m waiting for my friend. He’s on snowshoes.”
This pointed out the difference between snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. It stands to reason that because skiing involves gliding and snowshoeing walking, you go faster on skis than you can on snowshoes. As a result, skiers and snowshoers just don’t mix.
Enter skishoes. Because they have a glide component, skishoes fall about half way between skis and snowshoes on the speed scale. This means they can legitimately hang with either group. I ski with the Kick’N Gliders, a cross-country ski club out of Harrisburg, PA, that runs frequent trips to New York, New England, and Canada. Occasionally, on a day-long jaunt through the forest, I’ll don the ski…

The Health Benefits of Skishoeing

The first frost has frozen and signs of winter are drawing near. For many of us, the winter months bring shorter days with less daylight for outdoor activities. Thanks to the myriad of winter weather sports, there are lots of options for fighting the winter blues, getting outside and breathing in that cool, refreshing air. Skishoeing, for example, is a fun outdoor adventure that comes with multiple health and fitness benefits. Take your skishoes out for a spin and build strength, agility, balance, and endurance. The winter season can often be a time when people pack on a few extra pounds, but skishoeing will help you stay in shape through the winter months! Why use skishoes? Skishoes are so unique because they combine aspects from both skis and showshoes, while still being very different. Skishoes have a shorter and wider footprint than traditional cross-country skis, which makes adventuring in the thick forest and tight terrains a breeze. One of the real advantages to skishoes is th…

A Whirlwind Season

At Trackers Skishoes, we try to get out on the snow as much as possible to demo skishoes and show people the beauty of skishoeing. Sometimes, it may be part of a large, formal event, while other times, we strike out on our own in unexplored areas and preach the skishoe gospel to anyone who asks about them. In doing this, we come across some interesting and fun locations, sometimes unexpectedly. Here are a few from last season (2017-18).

Tannersville, NY In the heart of New York’s Catskill Mountains, Tannersville lies in the shadow of Hunter Mountain, the well-known downhill ski resort. It comes after a drive from the east on Route 23A through spectacular, gorgeous terrain. A mere quarter mile west of town you find Mountain Trails Cross Country Ski Center with its dizzying array of trails. They encourage snowshoeing here, and you can go on the trails (staying out of the ski tracks, of course) or venture off trail through the woods. When the Panther Pass and Eagle Flight trails are open t…

Product Improvements for the Coming Season

We're entering our third season of selling skishoes. Along the way, our customers have suggested improvements they'd like to see in our products. In response, we've added a handful of them for this season, and a couple are in the pipeline.

For starters, a few people that purchased skishoes with snowshoe bindings, our most popular model, requested a binding that's easier and quicker to get in and out of. We came up with the ratchet binding made by GV Snowshoes. It has a toe box so you can locate your foot quickly and precisely, and the ratchet straps crank down quickly and tightly. Along with this, we added heel stabilization screws (4 on each side) to hold your heels in place on the ski in the presence of snow and ice. Actually, we made these changes last season.

We heard from several people that the bindings on our skishoes were mounted slightly too far forward. This was especially noticeable on downhills, as the front of the skishoe would sink in the snow. We moved t…

The Search for Powder

Absolute powder corrupts. That's how they explain the spike in absenteeism after a big snowstorm in Colorado, as folks head for the slopes. For Joel Gratz, though, it becomes just another work-related field trip, to check first hand on the accuracy of his forecast. His website, OpenSnow is totally focused on making accurate, pin-point predictions of "powder days" at Colorado ski areas. And his reputation is becoming legendary, as he brings Powder to the People (OK, no more puns). Joel and his ten colleagues at OpenSnow (not counting mascot Bruce the Snowman) bring intense scrutiny to weather data in order to quantify, as only weather- & data-nerds can, their forecasts. They report their conclusions with freshness, wit, honesty, sometimes exhilaration, sometimes humility, and have gained a popular following that numbers in the millions. Read below in a question-and-answer interview format how this enterprise has turned Joel's and his colleagues' pa…