The T-bar is a remnant of the old days of skiing. Tricky to load, it often leads to spills and comedy when new riders try to master the deceptive device. Swedish company Boardie thinks it has a better answer.
T-bars kind of suck. For the uninitiated, they’re hanging bars in the shape of an inverted T. One skier stands on each side of it, and the T then drags them uphill while they slide on skis or a snowboard up the mountain.
Check out the video below to see the disaster that frequently ensues on T-bars. (Warning: There are a few F-bombs early on.)
T-bars also aren’t exactly comfortable. Usually, the thin bar puts a lot of pressure on riders. Riders of unequal heights have to take the pressure on their upper thighs or lower back.
Boardie probably won’t cure the T-bar entirely, but it may make it more comfortable.
Boardie: A Wider T-Bar Seat
Basically, Boardie is just a wider cross-bar for existing T-bar systems. It’s a simple idea that makes quite a bit of sense from a skier’s or rider’s perspective.
In theory, the wider bar should be more comfortable than a thin, narrow bar usually attached to T-bars.
The Boardie will still pose similar challenges when getting on the device. Riders will need to place their weight on the bar and time it accurately.
And it has some potential benefits beyond comfort.
Opportunity for Branding
One possible use for the added real-estate is branding on the bottom of the Boardie.
Most T-bars are simply — well — bars.
But with this system, the large, flat bottom could carry logos, brand names, or messages. With hundreds of people riding the lift every hour, that’s a lot of exposure. For small ski areas struggling to make ends meet, any bit of revenue is welcome.
The Boardie is now available and attaches to existing lift systems. It comes as a seat with an additional sign available:
Boardie 2-SL Seat
- Width: 100 mm
- Length: 910 mm
- Hole diameter: 30-36 mm
- Weight: 765 g
- Material: HDPE with UV-stabilizer
- Color: Sky-blue (standard)
Boardie 2-SL Sign
- Dimensions: 900 x 90 mm
- Weight: 50 g
- Digitally printed with custom graphics
So if you happen to own a ski resort (you lucky dog) and are considering a T-bar upgrade, check out the Boardie. It looks like a minor upgrade to a system that has provided countless spills and laughs over the decades.