Despite appearances snowboarding has always had more in common with skiing than with surfing and skateboarding, its original inspirations. Snowboarders wear stiff boots fastened to the board with bindings, and they maintain control by turning on metal edges—making the snowboard little more than a giant ski.
Now, from Harbor Island Manufacturing of Olympia, Wash., comes SnoDad, one giant leap backward in snowboard evolution. SnoDad looks and functions more like a surfboard than a snowboard, and it doesn't require much in the way of gear besides rugged shoes and snow pants. Made from laminated maple, SnoDad is 57 inches long and weighs about 7� pounds. It is steered much like a surfboard, with three 1�-inch replaceable fins. The fins and the board's lack of edges mean that SnoDad isn't intended for use on the packed powder of a ski slope but instead is ideal for the virgin snow of, say, your local golf course. A concave shape and urethane treads provide the board's only foothold and make it look not unlike an oversized, pimply banana.
With no bindings, you won't be blasting 30-foot airs on SnoDad anytime soon, but you won't be blowing a zillion dollars on special boots, either. The board will set you back $295. To find out more, visit Harbor Island at www.snodad.com or call 360-867-9829.