Can’t quite get the hang of snowboarding but still want to carve fresh powder? Do you have an injury or a disability holding you back? Then Swaky may be for you — this new winter gear attaches to any standard snowboard, letting you ride it downhill like a snow bike.
Swaky brings the fun of snowboarding to all ages and abilities. The product is essentially a seat that attaches to any 4 x 4 snowboard. Swaky includes a main frame, floating system, suspension, handlebars, and a leash cord. It is easy to assemble and disassemble — requiring only a hex wrench, your hands, and fifteen minutes.
The product’s performance depends on the type of board attached to it. For groomer or park runs, a freestyle board is recommended. For off-piste adventures, you can use a powder board, but be aware your feet will always be facing forward and close to the ground. Alpine racing boards can be used for races, allowing you to really pick up some speed.
“You’re sitting low to the ground, so it has a great sense of speed,” pro snowboarder Kazuki Uchikoshi says, describing the Swaky ride. “It’s really fun to control things by subtly shifting your weight in the seat.”
Toshiyuki Sueki created the prototype for Swaky to meet his own personal need. He was a professional snowboarder based out of Japan until an injury in 2009 caused permanent immobilization of his ankle joints, forcing him to retire from the traditional form of the sport. He invented Swaky as a way to return to shredding the slopes, working through a variety of bicycle seats, handlebars, and suspensions until he found the perfect ride.
Swaky is ideal for snowboarders who want to try something new, non-snowboarders who can’t quite get the hang of the sport, people with disabilities, children, and the elderly. Sueki’s team hopes that one day Swaky will become an internationally recognized sport.
“With snowboarding you need a lot just to get started,” states former pro snowboarder Moto Kubo, “but you don’t need anything special to try Swaky. No special gear or boots. You just hop on and go. It’s really easy to master, too.”
You can purchase your own Swaky for a pledge of about $450 on the company’s Kickstarter campaign page.