MADJACKS SLASHES COSTS TO MAKE THE MOUNTAIN FAMILY FRIENDLY

ABOUT SALLY

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For Sally Demarest, skiing is a family affair. Her husband Bill skied all his life, and Sally learned alongside their two children when they were very young. With Sally and the kids on the slopes, skiing means family time.

Sally loves skiing, but classifies herself as a beginner, since her family makes it to the hill only a handful of times a year. “My children and I learned to ski together, but we haven’t learned to snowboard. Skiing is a good option since the learning curve is less steep. Of course, the downside of skiing was the boots.”

Bill learned to ski when he was very young, competing in high school and eventually crossing over to snowboarding. In his 20’s he lived and worked in Vail, where he skied every day for six years.

The Demarests head to Colorado’s Wolf Creek Ski Area a few times a year, to race down the green slopes and take advantage of the hill’s affordable prices. Bill skis with the family, and then hits the back runs with his board.

Skiing with family is fun, but cold temperatures, uncomfortable gear, and high prices don’t make it easy. Skiing is an expensive sport for a family of four, and the cost of gear adds up quickly. Sally and Bill keep their family on the slopes a few times a year by buying used equipment, skiing at cheaper resorts, and choosing half rather than full days.

Wolf Creek’s high altitude means extremely cold temperatures, which is rough on the kids, and tight, uncomfortable ski boots make things worse. “Wolf Creek is at high altitude and very cold, so those aspects are challenging, especially for my kids who are raised in California at sea level. But dealing with gear and discomfort don’t follow far behind, and are with us at lower altitude places in California.” 

Cold temperatures, high costs, gear overload, and uncomfortable boots can keep families off the mountain, but Sally’s family is determined to stay on the slopes.

“My children and I learned to ski together, but we haven’t learned to snowboard. Skiing is a good option since the learning curve is less steep. Of course, the downside of skiing was the boots.”

THE CHALLENGE

Sally’s family loves to ski, but craves a simpler, and more affordable experience, free of discomfort, gear overload, and high costs.

Skiing for families is pricey, and—especially since growing feet require frequent size upgrades—Sally and Bill struggle with the cost of gear. Decent ski boots can cost between $500 and $1300, and add up quickly for a family of four. Crossover snowboarder Bill, requires additional snowboarding boots, and the odds are that the kids might join him on the back runs someday. Currently 17% of skiers also snowboard, and kids often go back and forth between the two sports, often depending on what their friends are doing.

Then there’s the equipment issue. Sally and her kids each travel with their own gear, and her husband brings his ski and snowboarding equipment. It’s already a lot, but if the kids take up snowboarding too? Severe gear overload!

Enduring pain is one thing, but watching your kids suffer is worse. “Skiing at high altitude can be a cold, uncomfortable experience, and the worst part of the experience is the ski boots. Not only are they uncomfortable, they create an extra burden as we trudge to get tickets, or return from the lunch area to ski.”

“Skiing at a high altitude can be a cold uncomfortable experience, and the worst part is the ski boots. Not only are they uncomfortable, they create an extra burden.”

THE MADJACKS SOLUTION:

MadJacks stomps out discomfort, reduces gear, and saves money with one simple solution: kick ski boots to the curb, and switch to affordable, comfortable snowboarding boots. The MadJacks’ unique design allows skiers of all ages to ski in snowboarding boots, so everyone in the family feels cozy and satisfied, whether on skis or a board.

The MadJacks unites the function and form of a ski boot with the comfort of a snowboarding boot, conforming to ASTM and ISO alpine ski boots standards (ISO 5355).  MadJacks is considered a standard alpine ski boot while accepting a standard snowboarding boot, and come in three sizes to accommodate skiers of all ages.

Customers tired of spending $500 plus per pair of ski boots now have a more affordable option with MadJacks. Snowboarding boots cost approximately 35% less than ski boots and, at only $249 a pop, MadJacks slashes the cost of skiing approximately $200. MadJacks always keeps growing feet in mind, the smallest size designed to fit ages three through ten, cutting costs and making the slopes accessible for large families.

MadJacks further reduces costs for crossover snowsports enthusiasts like Bill, who can now wear one boot for snowboarding and skiing. One pair of boots means less gear on the hill, more money to spend on hot chocolate, and less stress for everyone!

“A beginning snowboarding boot is cheaper than a decent ski boot, that makes a difference for the kids and me. Also, now that my husband uses MadJacks, he only needs one pair of boots.”

RESULTS

Sally credits MadJacks for providing an all-around improved experience for her family. “MadJacks have had a dramatic impact on our family. Since using MadJacks, we have an easier time walking through the ski area and our feet stay warmer. We’re all happier when our feet are happier!”

MadJacks have helped lower the cost of skiing as well. Now that Sally’s family buys snowboarding, rather than ski boots, they save around $200 per person—$800 for the entire family. “A beginning snowboarding boot is cheaper than a decent ski boot, so that makes a difference for the kids and me. Also, now that my husband uses MadJacks, he only needs one pair of boots.”

Sally’s husband loves carrying around less gear. “The biggest gear impact is on my husband. He skis when he is with us but also likes to let loose and snowboard on back runs. Now that he has MadJacks, he can wear the same comfortable boots all day.”

Sally and the kids’ skills on the slopes are progressing, and Bill is just as pleased with his performance. “My husband was a competitive racer, who skied almost every day when he lived in Vail for six years. As an advanced skier, he loves skiing on his MadJacks, and says he will never wear ski boots again.”

When the family use their MadJacks at Wolf Creek, other skiers, including lift operators, have asked about the bindings, and Sally is happy to chat about her family’s new discovery. “They always want some and ask where they can get them. They want them right away. I would recommend them to anyone!”

“MadJacks have had a dramatic impact on my family. Since using MadJacks we have an easier time walking through the ski area and our feet stay warmer. We’re all happier when our feet are happier!”

MADJACKS DELIVERS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

ABOUT ROD

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Rod Schmidt is an advanced skier who loves to snowboard. The Mountain Creek ski patrol officer started skiing in fifth grade and never looked back, skiing and racing on slopes across the country. He discovered snowboarding in his late twenties and was addicted. “Snowboarding seemed cool. I’d skied for so long and raced, but I got really into snowboarding after I tried it. I got my whole family into it.” Rod taught his son, professional Nitro Circus roller snowboarder Brandon Schmidt, to snowboard when he was only three years old.

The crossover skier/snowboarder enjoys switching back and forth between skiing and boarding on the slopes, depending on the weather, snow, and terrain. Skiing remained Rod’s first love, but he had difficulty returning to tight, ridged ski boots after experiencing the comfort of snowboarding boots. He was forced to stop skiing altogether after a foot injury damaged his instep, rendering it too painful for him to wear ski boots. He has missed skiing ever since.

Twenty years later, Rod uses his snowboard to patrol Mountain Creek, New Jersey, one of the busiest ski resorts in the country, but longed for a reunion with his poles. “I’ve always loved snowboarding, but it can be kind of a drag on flat spots, when you have to unbuckle and get yourself out to get from one place to another. With skis, you just pop them on and off. I just missed skiing.”

THE CHALLENGE

“Snowboarding seemed cool. I’d skied for so long and raced, but I got really into snowboarding after I tried it. I got my whole family into it.”

Rod digs snowboarding but was eager to find a path back to his crossover lifestyle. Pain forced the advanced skier to exclusively snowboard on and off the clock because he couldn’t stand the idea of wearing ski boots for 10 hours a day. But snowboarding alone isn’t enough for Rod, who craves the ski experience as well.

Rod is not alone. There are 1.7 million crossover skier/snowboarders in the world, as of the 2014-15 season, according to SnowSport Industries American (SIA). People once saw snowboarding as mutually exclusive, but things have changed. Now snowboarders take up skiing to experiment with new tricks and access backcountry, and skiers recognize snowboarding as a legitimate sport.

The problem? Gear overload. Switching from a board and snowboarding boots to skis and ski boots is always an option, but toting skis, a snowboard, snowboarding boots and skis? That’s too much for most people.

And then there’s the comfort issue. Skiers like Rod face a rude awakening after experiencing the comfort of snowboarding boots. Snowboarding was more comfortable, but less satisfying for the seasoned skier.

“I’ve always loved snowboarding, but it can be kind of a drag on flat spots, when you have to unbuckle and get yourself out to get from one place to another. With skis, you just pop them on and off. I just missed skiing.”

THE MADJACKS SOLUTION:

MadJacks gives crossover skiers what they’ve always craved—the best of both worlds. With MadJacks’ breaking edge design, snowboarding boots click easily onto skis, allowing for quick transitions on and off the mountain, so snow sport enthusiasts can switch from skis to snowboard and back. Great powder? Snap onto the snowboard. Great groomers? Click into your skis.

Crossover snowboarders can finally have it all with one, comfortable boot. MadJacks innovative system converts a regular snowboarding boot into a ski boot, conforming to ASTM and ISO alpine ski boots standards (ISO 5355). As such, MadJacks is considered a standard alpine ski boot while accepting standard snowboarding boots. Less equipment, less hassle, more choice!

It was a blast to be back on two sticks. Having an option to go back and forth depending on the conditions makes the recreational aspect more enjoyable.”

RESULTS

Rod now switches seamlessly between his snowboard and skis, depending on his mood, snow conditions, and job requirements for the day. “It was a blast to be back on two sticks. Having an option to go back and forth depending on the conditions makes the recreational aspect more enjoyable.”

Rod missed going back and forth between skis and snowboard and finally feels at home on the slopes as a crossover skier/snowboarder. “I’ve always liked being a snowboarder on the ski patrol, but now I can fit in while still being a little unique.”

The best part? For the first time in a long time, Rod can ski pain free! “I’m on the mountain between 10 and 15 hours a day, and I can’t wear ski boots for 15 minutes. I can wear MadJacks all day! I would definitely recommend them!

“I’m on the mountain between 10 and 15 hours a day, and I can’t wear ski boots for 15 minutes. I can wear MadJacks all day! I would definitely recommend them!”

MADJACKS TAKES COMFORT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

ABOUT BLAIR        

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Like many busy professionals, Blair Sachs Hanewell loves to ski to get away from it all. The Seattle resident, who skis regularly at Crystal Mountain and Alpental, says her favorite part of skiing is rising above the city’s constant clouds to be outdoors with her family. Blair began skiing in college, but when she and her husband moved to Seattle, it became a regular part of their life together. Now she loves working on her skills on the mountain with friends and family while her daughter zooms by.

THE CHALLENGE

While Blair has always loved flying down the slopes, she once dreaded the rest of the ski experience, like walking or waiting in line.  The pain in her ankles and shins was unbearable, and numbness in her toes irritating. “It was frustrating,” she said, “because I would be in this beautiful environment with my friends or family and want to enjoy myself, but be completely distracted by the discomfort of my ski boots.”  Blair’s pain also limited her time on the hill, forcing her to take frequent breaks, not ideal given the high cost of skiing.

Blair searched for a solution, trying different ski boots and socks, but she came up empty. She figured pain was the price of admission, would just have to deal with it.

“I would be in this beautiful environment with my friends or family and want to enjoy myself, but be completely distracted by the discomfort of my ski boots.”  

THE MADJACKS SOLUTION:

What Blair did not know is that her experience was far from unique. Typical ski boots are not made for typical skiers.  Run of the mill ski boots are designed for professionals or advanced skiers who require a rigid, tight boot for optimal performance. The majority of skiers, like Blair, love the ski experience, but don’t ski at an advanced level.

Unlike ski boots, snowboarding boots are designed with comfort in mind, giving wearers increased mobility while not boarding.  MadJacks’ innovative engineering transforms a regular snowboarding boot into a ski boot, providing skiers with comfort on and off the slopes. Simultaneously conforming to all ASTM and ISO alpine ski boots standards (ISO 5355), and snowboard strap binding requirements (ISO 14573), MadJacks is considered a standard alpine ski boot but accepts standard snowboarding boots. Skiers like Blair can finally experience the best of both worlds.

“MadJacks are like going from hiking the Pacific Coast Trail barefoot to having shoes. I never have to think about my feet anymore!”

RESULTS

Madjacks completely changed Blair’s skiing experience, “MadJacks are like going from hiking the Pacific Coast Trail barefoot to having shoes. I never have to think about my feet anymore!”

Blair knew snowboarding boots were comfortable, but never thought she could use them on skis. But when she tried MadJacks for the first time, she felt an immediate difference in her comfort level. For the first time, Blair was able to focus on what she set out to do--skiing--without the distraction of pain or the need to take constant breaks.

Since switching to MadJacks, Blair’s taken her ski game to a whole new level. Without the pain and discomfort, Blair feels more natural on the slopes and has the confidence to try more challenging runs, pushing herself to meet knew goals.

Would she go back to traditional ski boots? Never! “MadJacks are AWESOME! Honestly, they totally changed my attitude about skiing. I always just went along just waiting until my toes got uncomfortable, cold and numb and I was just plain tired. These bindings made a huge difference—plus, I just felt cool having something no one else had.”

“MadJacks are AWESOME! Honestly, they totally changed my attitude about skiing. I always just went along just waiting until my toes got uncomfortable, cold and numb and I was just plain tired. These bindings made a huge difference—plus, I just felt cool having something no one else had.”