It's easy to be excited to bring in a new brand around here. We pride ourselves in having the right stuff - high quality gear that you might not find in every store you walk into. Which makes it easy to bring in our newest brand and category - Altai Skis. I've known about these for years. But it was only recently that it dawned on me, "huh, you know I think we could actually carry these". So here we are, excited for our newest brand.
We will be carrying the Altai Skis Hoks (pronounced al-tye and hawk). These are considered to be "skishoes". Not quite a snowshoe, not quite a ski. So how does that work? They are edged skis with a skin on the base. The binding accepts any foot with any footwear, and is hinged so your heel is free to move like a cross country ski or telemark ski. With the combined skin and free heel, you slide yourself forward effortlessly across - or through - the snow. They did great heading uphill in both deep and packed snow. It was fun to slide on the flats. But outstanding when it comes to downhill. The width and the skin offer a fun and mellow downhill experience. No need to be a skier to enjoy this part, anyone can do it.
There are two sizes of skis, the 145, and the 125. It's not necessarily big versus small, but more of what your purpose is. The 145's will have a bit more ski DNA in them and offer a bit more speed and glide on the downhills. The 125's are much more snowshoe adjacent.
There's another part of this - the Tiak (pronounced tye-ak). This is a long poplar wood pole that you would use in place of two poles. Helps to stabilize and to propel you forward, but offers you something to lean back on and use as a support or as a brake when it comes to going downhill.