By AMY JURRIES
An Austrian company called Snowbull has created a winter sports product that is a combination of a luge, a sled and skis. Mounted on top of a pair of Atomic downhill skis, the sled is touted to give “excellent controllability and power.” The company hopes it will someday become an alternative to skiing or snowboarding at resorts.
Invented by 21-year-old Norbert Barabas, the idea came one night while out sledding with friends. After two years of development and multiple prototypes, Snowbull emerged with a 13-pound sled-with-skis product that has steering and braking ability.
Lying on your back as you ride down the slope, you steer and brake using your entire body. Steering is done by edging over the skis and pressing the pedal at the front of the ski to initiate a turning position. The skis are controlled by a steering system made from lightweight automotive components. Braking is achieved by rocking back your shoulders and digging a reinforced steel stopper plate down into the snow.
The Snowbull winter sled is touted to enable a fast ride around corners with “accurate turns” because of the design’s low center of gravity and steering capability of the Atomic skis.
Snowbull sells two sled versions through eBay. The Basic model retails for €199 and the Pro model for €259. http://www.snowbull.at
—Amy Jurries is founder and editor of TheGearCaster.com, a blog dedicated to profiling emerging companies and technologies in the outdoor sports industry.