Ideas that never quite took off

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There have been innovations throughout the history of skiing and boarding. Some have worked and stuck. Some have not quite caught the imagination of punters, and have drifted into oblivion. Usually for good reason. And some ideas from 1939

  • Rear Entry Boots. A single buckle at the back, and a hinge below the ankle that made it easy to slip your foot in. They were incredibly comfortable, but the problem was that, no matter what straps, ratchets and other internal things they tried, these boots never fitted well enough to give adequate firmness for reasonable control. At best, they only worked for beginners and intermediates.
  • Lever ski bindings. The NAVA boot binding system had a soft boot and a lever from the binding that cradled the calf at the back. I saw some once. Only once. A picture is figure 6 on this page
  • Vibration absorption systems. Because every time you went skiing your teeth fell out from the vibration. Plates (Rossignol), red bubbles (Dynastar), flashing piezoelectric lights (K2), powerbars (Salomon) and a million others.
  • Monoskis. A wide ski with a pair of ski bindings mounted parallel to the ski. They were briefly fashionable in the 1970's, but never really caught on. However monoskis probably provided the inspiration for snowboards, so in a way they changed snow sports forever.