Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

ABH20 skis bring cross country skiing to the water

By

November 27, 2013

Cross country skiing in the summer

Cross country skiing in the summer

Image Gallery (4 images)

Decades ago, a few individuals looked at what skiers were doing on snow and thought, "Why can't I do that on a board?" Thus, the sport of snowboarding was born, and it eventually exploded in popularity. On the water, the opposite is happening. The sport of paddleboarding has been growing in popularity and some folks are thinking, "Why can't I do that on skis?" With the Slovenian-designed ABH20 skis, you can. Strap a pair on and you can walk on water.

A quick scan of YouTube reveals that ABH20 skis aren't the first attempt at cross country water skis. But that video shows a barely-balanced guy lurching forward with paddles without using his legs – not exactly Nordic skiing on water.

The ABH20 "cross-water walking skis" appear a bit more evolved, and the technique is more akin to actual cross country skiing, leg movement and all. They still look like thick, cumbersome boards from the sides, but they are tapered a bit at the top and carved out underneath with each ski having a foot cutout to keep the "skier" secured.

Founder Bostjan Antoncic promises that the skis are designed to remain stable on top of the water and won't flip over, but we're pretty sure uninitiated riders will spend some time flipping, slipping, splitting and dunking into the water below. Helping the user stay balanced is a pair of poles, which appear to be used as much for balance and form as forward momentum – which can only be described as slow at best.

ABH20's inventor hopes to start shipping in April

So, the burning question: Why would you abandon tried and true paddleboards to get behind a previously unknown entity hawking cross country water skis?

We're not sure you would, but the skis do offer some advantages. Unlike in paddleboarding, where your legs remain fairly stable, ABH20 skis fully engage your legs, getting more of your body involved. While not necessarily a perfect replication of cross country skiing, Antoncic says that the motion is similar, so it could seemingly serve as an off-season training method for Nordic skiers.

Another advantage is size. Solid-bodied paddleboards can measure well over 11 ft (3.35 m) in length, whereas ABH20 skis measure 6.5 ft (1.98 m). The design is still under development, but Antoncic mentions that the final design will allow the skis to break down into several segments, making them even easier to transport. Instead of needing a rack or trailer, you should be able to carry them inside a car trunk or cabin. At 23 lb (10.5 kg) a ski, they might prove a bit cumbersome to carry from car to water, but the same can be said of a paddleboard.

Antoncic is trying to raise US$80,000 to finish development and tooling via indiegogo. He hopes to get the first deliveries underway in April, 2014. Pledges of $650 purchase a pair of ABH20 skis and poles with free shipping. The regular retail price is listed at $795, shipping not included.

Things aren't looking promising so far, as the skis are off to a glacially slow start of $31 after a few days, but the campaign still has almost two months to go.

Antoncic's indiegogo video isn't the best we've seen, but it does show the skis in action. You can check it out below.

Source: Indiegogo

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
Tags
7 Comments

Probably the daftest thing I will see today.I am finding it hard to wish him luck.Give it up mate.

gobbo
28th November, 2013 @ 02:59 am PST

We had this back in 1975! Styrofoam 'skis' with plastic flaps underneath. Absolutely unusable!

drudey
28th November, 2013 @ 08:09 am PST

Be fun to rent for short distances off HI, Caribbean, Mexico, FL, Med Sea area, PR, USVI & Brazil.

Stephen N Russell
28th November, 2013 @ 08:18 am PST

With snow skis one has gravity. With water skis one has a boat for pulling you. What do you have when you tie a boat to each leg?

I know you don't have a place to sit down and have a beer!

donwine
28th November, 2013 @ 08:21 am PST

Nice to see The GIZ giving exposure to even those who dare to soar where no one should dare to soar. If Ben Johnson and Lance Armstrong had these there would have been no need to travel the Roid-ways of hell!

Rehab
28th November, 2013 @ 12:49 pm PST

These have been invented over and over for over 100 years, and they never catch on (except in news stories) because although the idea is appealing the performance is terrible.

Michaelc
28th November, 2013 @ 03:15 pm PST

Now that climate change has begun to effect snow levels, this will come in as a great alternative! Thank you Thank you! I look forward to skiing my way along the now plentiful creeks in our local mountains!

ADVENTUREMUFFIN
29th November, 2013 @ 07:54 am PST
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 29,485 articles