DENVER (CBS4) — Alex Swaynie has always wanted more options when it comes to snowboarding technology in the backcountry. After three years of development, the Denver native, 29, has a created product he believes will be a gamechanger. Ross Snow Tech, the company Swaynie founded, has a brand new line of specialty snowboard bindings that convert into snowshoes.
Swyanie debuted the binding at the 2019 Outdoor Retailer Show and took home Gearjunkie’s “Best in Show” award.
“To finally put it out into the market, to let our peers look at it and handle it and play with it and to really get their thoughts on it, it was just phenomenal,” said Swaynie.
The product is patent pending but Swaynie has been working with a team of engineers from Denver-based Link Product Development. He plans to have the binding ready for sale in the fall of 2019.
The binding works like a normal in-bounds binding and unfolds into a snowshoe in about 30 seconds. It can be done without taking your boot out of the binding and comes with an optional crampon attachment for steep hikes.
“Which will make it really beneficial in emergency situations, avalanche situations for first responders, anything like that,” Swaynie said.
At $600, it’s a cheaper option than a splitboard, which can run backcountry riders upwards of $1,000.
“For the guys, the ‘side country riders’ as I like to call ‘em, that take the lift up to the top and hike off to their favorite lines or whatever, not having to carry extra equipment and have everything self-contained is gonna be a huge advantage for those people.”
With the reaction Swaynie received at the Outdoor Retailer Show, he’s hoping investors will jump on board. He plans to launch a Kickstarter this month.
“We’re still ya know, pre-revenue, pre-production and everything but it’s been a huge sigh of relief- that I think we’re gonna get a pretty decent acceptance in the industry.”