A Snowboard With a Handbrake Lets Amateurs Safely Learn To Carve

Strapping your feet to a board and then sliding down a snow-covered hill requires skills that most humans aren't born with. So to make it just a little easier for novices to learn how to snowboard, Australia's Streetboardz has created a board with a built-in handbrake that lets riders easily stop before things get out of control.


Dubbed the Boarder Kontrol system, the brake is activated by the rider tugging on a leash which causes a thin metal blade to dig into the snow. The harder the rider yanks, the deeper the brake digs into the powder, and the quicker they'll stop. But with a gentle tug it can also be used to keep the rider's speed in check, and because the brake's metal blade is rounded, it can even be used while turning.

Because the Boarder Kontrol system is really only useful until a rider learns how to control their speed by carving, Streetboardz doesn't intend to sell the board to the general public. Instead, they're working to market it to resorts and hills that rent equipment to those hoping to learn to snowboard without ending up in the hospital with a broken limb. [Streetboardz via Gizmag]

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Reading the comments here shows me why so many people do not make good instructors. This gets a new student over the fear of careening down the hill because they cannot control their speed yet. Most people spend a lot of time just sliding down the hill because they never want to point the board down hill out of fear that they can't stop. Remove that fear and suddenly they are learning to handle the edge of the board much quicker than just plowing down the hill. This would help a lot of people.