Hello everyone, SVV here, reporting from Heavenly Ski Resort. We’ve been having a lot of fun using our outdoor cameras and trouncing about the slopes these days. The mountains are buried in snow and the skies have been crisp and beautiful.
A friend of mine recently loaned me a new invention of his—adapted from his grandfather’s original invention, the “Ski-Klipper“—that deploys your very own personal parachute. Skateboarding in San Francisco and along the California coastline can be a risky thing with all the steep hills so he modified the original design to create the Sporting Sail. The idea is to control your descent and speed with properties similar to a flying squirrel. Easily adapted to snowboarding or skiing, the Sporting Sail is a fun device that straps to your thighs and makes you look like a professional, er, squirrel.
We set out to test the device on the slopes of the Sierra Nevadas, on the California side of Heavenly.
Mid-week skiing is amazing. These ski runs are normally filled with little ant specks of people criss-crossing and generally scampering about the place. Not that I mind dodging moving obstacles but I’d rather pretend we’re alone in this world and own the slopes.
Which on a Tuesday we most definitely did. I must say that I really enjoyed playing with this outdoor adventure toy. You won’t see many people using something this innovative, and the drag attained by the light weight rip-stop fabric is a crazy unique feeling. And for $80, it’s probably one of the cheapest thrills around.
After I got a couple runs in, it was the lady’s turn.
Due to the nature of the way a boarder turns vs. how a skier tackles the mountain straight-on, it was a whole other ball game parachuting on skis.
Kristin’s take on the experience: “It was definitely a different experience—I felt like Batman!—but at times the parachute slowed me down too much, or worse, pulled my skis apart when I hit a patch of wind and left me feeling a bit out of control. But! We definitely drew a lot of attention to ourselves, and a big group of 10 year olds in ski school thought I was the coolest thing since Harry Potter. They asked, ‘can we watch?!’ and I said only if they didn’t laugh if I happened to crash. (I didn’t, thank God.)
And when I saw them at the lift later on, they sped passing me saying, ‘that was AWESOME.’ The parachute was a definite crowd pleaser, that’s for sure! And anything to make me a hit with the pre-teens is something I’ll get behind. They’re a hard bunch to impress, after all. (Though I’m still convinced several people on the mountain thought we were celebrating our sport team’s victory. My chute does look a bit like the flag of Denmark, don’t you think?)”
Kristin looked like a marionette ski-bunny about to be sacrificed on the altar of a snow God. However, her downhill skills are quite evident in the following video.