Keystone offers night Airboard riding | SummitDaily.com
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Keystone offers night Airboard riding

Ryan Slabaugh
Special to the Daily/Jonathan HeyerA rider tries out an Airboard in heavy California powder last winter. Keystone will be the first resort in North America to offer the Airboard.
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KEYSTONE – It’s tubular, literally.

This winter, the Airboard, the all-new snow bodyboard, will be offered as a part of Keystone’s night-activities program. It requires no poles or bindings, but a helmet is recommended.

Ann-Elise Emerson, owner of Emo-Gear, is launching the 2-year-old Swiss product in North America this year. She took Mike Lee, spokesperson for Keystone, on a ride last weekend.

“It flies,” Lee said. “The faster it goes, the better it handles.”

Emerson began last spring and is working to incorporate the product into more resorts.

“It’s popular in Switzerland,” Emerson said.

In addition, her team has plans in place to visit more resorts in Colorado, California, Utah, Washington, New England and Canada in the next month.

The airboard is the first all-mountain bodyboard for the snow. Riding the Airboard lying down, boarders carve turns by shifting their weight and applying arm pressure to the ridged edges on the underside. Riders at Keystone will wear head lamps and blinking ankle bracelets.

The product weighs six pounds and can be deflated and packed into a backpack for backcountry. Emerson started by hiking around Lake Tahoe in California, inflating the bodyboard with a hand pump and riding terrain varying from black diamonds to green catwalks.

“If you understand edge control as a concept, then you’ll get the hang of this really fast,” Emerson said.

The Airboard packs down to 12 inches by 16 inches by 3 inches. The Kids Classic weighs less than three pounds with the hand pump.

The Airboard will be available this winter online, at retail stores and for rental use at several Vail resorts.

For more information, visit http://www.airboard.com or call (510) 225-7000.

Ryan Slabaugh can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at rslabaugh@summitdaily.com.


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