I knew it was only a matter of time before someone had the guts to try something like this.Â Introducing…Propulski!Â (English only readers, click here for Google translated web page.) Coming out of France, Propulski is a removable spring that is used with tech AT bindings (seems like they might work with some telemark set-ups as well?) located under the center of your boot that literally…propels you forward.
The Propelski is a pretty simple idea and the springs are placed on a post that the user mounts under the center of there boot. The mechanics are obvious. Step down and load up the spring…stride forward and let the spring’s return energy push you. Obviously, one could see the Propulski having some troubles in deeper snow, and it might not be the beneficial if you’re packing bigger AT setups. The Propulski weights only 100 grams (per pair), costs $118USD (90 Euro…plus shipping) and the company claims multiple benefits.
– Conserves energy and reduces fatigue on the uphill, giving you more strength for the descent.
– Improves forward movement and allows one to go uphill faster.
– Aids in softening impact for comfort and aged knees, as well as other joints.
– Reduces friction between foot and boot since there is less effort when striding.
– Increased efficiency and forward travel outweigh the 100g of extra weight.
There is a short video on the Propulski website that shows how the springs are used and a user review claims that although the springs weigh 100g, he thinks the benefit equates to 300g, with every step. He also states that once you try it…you won’t back to skiing without it.
Purists (like Randosteve?) will no-doubt chuckle and turn up their noses to the Propulski, but I almost wonder if this contraption is only a half-step towards something even more revolutionary when it comes to AT bindings and backcountry skiing propulsion.Â It seems to me that someone, with a brain much bigger than mine, might be able to turn this concept into something a bit more elegant.Â I doubt I see myself using the Propulski for most of my skiing, but I might see myself using it for long missions into the Winds or on other long slogs on flatterish terrain.