Winter Sports Industry

Winter Sports: Snowboarding

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Zero Shock™ air Bag Systems can be used in two basic applications for winter sports:

• Crash barriers for ski fields and snow tubing hills
• Landing bags for aerial sports

1. Barriers for Ski Fields:

As witnessed by so many accidents when skiers/snowboarders lose control and hit objects (even during the Olympics when one would assume they do their very best to protect against bad publicity) there is a need for effective barriers. We have already made in-roads in this industry.

There is a part of ski fields where Zero Shock’s™ patented KK technology has particular application and that is in Snow Tubing. There is almost always a requirement to stop these tubes at the bottom of the hill and until now they have used foam rubber mats which are not very soft to hit at all and the industry experiences a significant amount of injuries. We have created a product called ShortStopZ which works far better than anything else on the market. Our client – Massanutten Resort (Shenandoah Valley) – has reported that the system behaved flawlessly without popping a stitch.

The two photos of the ShortStopZ below are of a demo model that we use at trade shows. The units can be ordered to any length or height and they are laced together to form any length.

(The photo below is with the top sheet on.)

Short_StopZ_1

(The photo below is with the top sheet off to show the operating system.)

Short_StopZ_2

2. Landing Bags for Aerial Sports:

• Leisure activities
• Professional activities

In both cases, the current technology uses a big soft air bag. It works reasonably well for the leisure activities market from relatively low heights but awkward falls from the kind of height that professional aerial skiers attain would result in injury because the surface of the bag reacts too slowly to the impact of the falling body. Zero Shock™ air bags indent much more rapidly to absorb the impact of a protruding limb hitting the air bag.

The problem with the current technology for both applications is the fact that this big soft bag has a ‘sweet spot.’ If you land close to the edge on these things you will bounce off to the side so the bag must be large in order to create this sweet spot in the center. The Zero Shock™ air bag is effective to the very edge of the bag so the size can be reduced to the actual landing area.


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