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History of the Skishortie

Stage 1 of the process produced two powder coated “Microskis” which were initiated with a welded toe piece and foreign made clamp at the heel in the winter of 2000. It was essentially an expanded version of the Michigan Laser Blade with a more ski-like front and rear curve. Although increased length of the ski by about 2 inches improved the ride of the ski, from time to time the ''heel piece'' would break due to the pressure of the heel clamp (as Matt found out)! Nevertheless, we had never seen a more effective way to traverse the icy Sterling lift line at Smugglers' Notch, so we knew we were on to something.

The stage 2 unit appeared in 2003 as the Whirlwind Rider and maintained a 55 cm. length. It used essentially the same stainless ski blade, but included a welded-on 12 inch platform to ride suspended on springs at the center, atop the original ski. The ski curve needed a slight increase at the front end as Jon discovered in a wipe out while approaching the lift line at the base of Madonna Mountain in Jeffersonville, VT. This error was quickly corrected and the suspended plate, which was predrilled and tapped, to accommodate most ''throwaway'' ski blade plastic bindings, was an improved alternative. It worked very well with the Elan binding and was said to be a ''Great ride'' according to members of the Jay Peak Ski School on a trial run early in 2004. Several additional bindings were obtained for demo use from Richard at the Jay Peak rental center and further demos in 2005 included a look by Donny at the FIRST TRAX ski shop In a Montgomery, whose slope test included an auto-spin turn before he had completed the first run!

The Stage 3 version appeared in 2006 with the realization that “throw away bindings'' may actually get thrown away thus could never be a reliable source for the Shorties! The ski was great but how does one get a handle on throw away bindings!? The Manntek plates at the toe and heel solved the problem. It provides a sub-platform assembly to fasten both the heel and the toe to the tapped screw anchors which attach to the screw extensions under the upper plate. Not only is there a secure lockdown, by 3 turns of a thumbscrew, the assembly allows accommodation of any size adult boot by simply placing the anchor screw over just one position!

The Mini-shorties are available for ages up to 10 and have been dutifully and thoroughly tested by Rees Baker, age 4, who in about 8 runs was able to conquer the mountain without a Scratch! (View Movie Clip)  Dialup users click here
Meanwhile Rees' Dad, Matt, was able to conquer the casual set with a snazzy skating form and create the Shorties Whirlwind ''SPIN'' as merely an after-thought! (View Movie)   Dialup users click here

Copyright ? 2006 National Quality. All rights reserved