As a fanatic snowboarder myself I love to go down the hill and feel free. The only irritation I have during snowboarding is when a flat piece of the slope is popping up, and I have to find a way to keep my speed.
When I was not yet very experienced, I always tried to gain speed before the flat part, resulting in an enormous speed that I could not always handle, especially when someone cut me off. This mostly resulted in a painful fall for me and walking the rest of the flat part.
Now that I am more experienced, I usually borrow a ski pole from my father when needed. He and other skiers also offer me one when they see the slope is getting flat. Even though this is very kind, I am no fan of this improvised ‘solution’. The pole is usually way too long or I cannot find the right time to use it. And how about keeping your balance?
Having this problem for many years, I started thinking about a better way to solve this issue.
Unlike skiers, snowboarders have no auxiliary to help them gain speed when needed. For the snowboarder, this results in having to get pulled by a skier or walking to move forward.
The result: a slower ride and less fun on the slopes. Side effects that come with this problem are other people maneuvering around the walkers and ‘traffic’ on the slopes.
The design process
Knowing more snowboarders have this issue, I decided to ask for their opinions and feedback on this matter.
Looking at other poles in different usage fields, I started ideating on possible solutions. For this, I gained inspiration from existing products like ski poles, canes, rowing utilities, etc. Using the morphological chart, I focussed on one part/function at the time, which I later combined.
This project is done individually between school obligations and is therefore not finished yet. Stay tuned for further development!