Cross-Country Snowboarding! Pole for New Sport

Centuries ago, the first skiers slid and glided over flat land with the aid of a pole. Today, snowboarders at long last can join their two-plank cousins in traversing horizontal snowy stretches. The Kahuna Snow Stick, an adjustable aluminum pole, is modeled after a stand-up surf paddle. It has a toothy “paddle” blade made of polycarbonate for pushing and poling in the snow.

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XC snowboarding with a Kahuna “paddle” pole

Kahuna Creations is a company known for its longboards and accompanying paddle shafts, called Kahuna Big Sticks, which are made to be “paddled” for forward propulsion in lieu of a regular kicking motion on a skateboard. (Gear Junkie reviewed the longboard product when it came to market in 2008.) The poling technique, both on the skateboard and on snow, is said to mimic the motion used in the sport of stand-up paddling.

The company touts snowboarders with the pole will be able to go faster on flats and perform an “XC snowboarding” technique for long stretches of horizontal terrain. Going downhill, Kahuna Creations cites “deeper carves,” assistance with balance (for beginners), and getting “a whole new steez in terrain parks” with pole-equipped tricks.

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Deeper carves going down

I asked Kahuna Creations for some elaboration on the background of “XC snowboarding.” “We basically wanted to take the stoke of stand-up paddle boarding from the ocean to the snow,” said the company’s Cory McBride. “We already invented the Kahuna Big Stick a couple years ago to paddle on the street with longboards, and now we’re doing the same thing in the snow. It took about two years to get everything together, but now we have a solid setup that works crazy well.”

McBride said no one has ever produced anything like the Kahuna Snow Stick before. Kahuna Creations has several patents pending. The shaft of the Snow Stick is aluminum, and the handle has a soft rubber for grip. The stick is adjustable and extends from 4.5 to 6 feet in length. It compacts to 3 feet long for storage. The bottom of the stick, the Snow Grip head, is a polycarbonate piece that McBride says is certified to be strong to -50 degrees F.

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Balance aid for beginners

The Kahuna Snow Stick is available online this week for $119. The Snow Grip paddle head alone sells for $39 if you want to mount one on an existing shaft. Buy either and you’ll undoubtedly be the first rider this season, maybe ever, to show up with a pole.

What do you think, readers? Is XC snowboarding a gimmick or the real deal? Wouldn’t you love a pole if you flatted out in the backcountry? As McBride noted, the Snow Stick is a first of its kind. But does it have the potential to spark a new sport? Kahuna Creations thinks so, exclaiming it is “stoked to see this new sport come to life.”

—Stephen Regenold is editor of GearJunkie.com. Connect with Regenold at Facebook.com/TheGearJunkie or on Twitter via @TheGearJunkie.

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Hawaiian ice! Snow stick has roots in stand-up paddling

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Posted by Ian - 12/06/2011 06:01 PM

I laughed at the ones for longboard skating, but I knew people would by them. but this is just plain silly. Snowboarding with a a big stick is begging to get skewered.
XC snowboarding? Seriously? When I am in the BC, I am on my splitboard, and have hiking poles, you really think I would carry a stick?

Posted by Cory - 12/06/2011 06:04 PM

This is an awesome review! Thanks for putting it together!

Posted by Steve Krcmar - 12/06/2011 06:06 PM

Are they Joel and Tate approved? Those guys have been rocking XC snowboarding forevs….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w7sVSMbjyM

Posted by steve - 12/06/2011 06:18 PM

Thanks for the review. The Kahuna Snow Stick designed in such a way that there are no sharp edges hope everyone has some fun with it and it actuallyworks! Its all about trying something different and having some new stoke.

Posted by jpea - 12/06/2011 11:18 PM

Honestly, after being stuck on too many cat tracks to count in my lifetime, I would absolutely love one of these in retractable form to strap onto my pack.

Posted by Lorne Sutherland - 12/11/2011 10:52 AM

How does it work going uphill?

Posted by dylan - 12/12/2011 12:26 PM

Ian I agree about the BC, but obviously its not intended to replace your skins and split board for XC travel and access to the BC, but think of it as a stick to use to stay on that high traverse in the side country, and still get back to the lift without taking your feet out of your bindings.. I dont always ride my split, but have loved pushing this thing around instead of removing my foot in the deep.
Lorne: It doesn’t go uphill, you would need a split board with skins to prevent you from sliding backwards downhill. With a little effort you can paddle up slight inclines, like hills on flat cat tracks, but uphill travel would need some diff gear.

Posted by Gerry Lopez - 12/13/2011 10:12 PM

This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.

Posted by ski-pro - 12/29/2011 10:42 AM

Calling it cross country snowboarding is a bad joke and insult to one of the best all around sports in the world. Providing another weapon on the slopes for snowboarders is even dumber and I hope every Alpine area in the nation bans them before too many other boarders and skiers get their heads knocked by out of control boarders flailing with 5 foot sticks while out of balance. But as a play thing on an open private field of snow, it could be fun, and provide some much needed upper body exercise for a sport that otherwise is all from the core down.

Posted by matt - 01/05/2012 01:04 PM

Telemark skiers have been using something like this, it’s called a lurk. Of course with the invention of the double pole it is almost never used.

Posted by murbei - 03/13/2012 07:11 PM

this can be dangerous <a href=“http://sportthealty.blogspot.com/”> </a>

Posted by Land Paddling - 08/11/2012 10:24 AM

I’ve been using the Skatn Land Paddle and it’s awesome. Made out of bamboo super light and very strong. Give it a whirl.

Posted by TKiza - 08/27/2012 02:12 PM

Snowboarding is on a decline already. U ass clowns are gonna kill it. Long boarding already lamed out skateboarding, SUP did the same to surfing, and now u will officially put board sports in the same class as scooters and in-skates. I hope u go outa business for the purity of the board sports. In a few years well all be wearing spnadex and jumping on a 10 speed just to get away from “stick” sports. And I’m not talking about hockey.

Posted by Beezy - 08/27/2012 02:15 PM

I would like to punch everyone remotly involved with kahuna sports square in the face! This company deserves nothing but failure.

Posted by j-mad - 10/13/2012 10:44 PM

tres stoopid.

Posted by Skidz - 12/19/2012 08:25 AM

www.snowstik.com

I think this one is far better…..and they are out of stock!

Posted by Burton - 02/15/2013 07:12 PM

To all u haters out there f**k you I got the pole and is f**king awesome it makes BC a whole lot easyer

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