More than 36 years ago TSL Snowshoes was founded deep in the heart of the Alps and created a brand that is now known for its high quality snowshoes. A popular European household name, TSL is breaking new ground in North America and is directing their products this way.
A quick history on what TSL is and what they stand for is in order: In the 1980s TSL took inspiration from the historic wooden snowshoe and created the first composite snowshoe of its kind. Over the next 15 years the company excelled in innovation and enthusiasm creating the unique hourglass shape and solid binding that still exists today. Widely popular in Europe during this time, TSL expanded their reach and introduced aluminum snowshoes to North America in 2000.
Fast forward to the current day, I had an opportunity to speak with president Ted McGuinness about the upcoming season here in North America. Key values such as constant innovation, promises of high-quality products, using as many recycled product as possible, minimizing transportation to lessen environmental damage and the promise to keep improving sets TSL apart from the competitors.
With more than 30 years of experience in the snowshoe making operations, Ted was quite excited to share what he believes is a “game changer” in the world of snowshoes. TSL has created a snowshoe so flexible and durable that not only does it adapt to the stride of the user but also the terrain in which it’s being used on. The Symbioz is a hyperflex composite snowshoe designed for comfort, ease of access and traction like no other.
Unlike other snowshoes that have little flex, the Symbioz offers a fully flexible deck allowing maximum contact with the terrain. The rows of sharp “teeth” underneath allow the user to dig in to any icy conditions and really maximize the potential of exploring different surfaces. The binding may be perhaps the most impressive feature on this snowshoe. It slides shorter or longer to fit your exact foot length, has a memory lock toe and the front and back holds are built on a ratchet system, which allows for complete lock in of your boot.
Along with an ankle wrap and designed to distribute your weight along the whole binding, you will find yourself spending hours in these without having to adjust them. A unique feature on this shoe is the heel lock that actually pulls down from the binding instead of pulling up from the deck. This small but important details makes it that much easier to use the heel lock while you are on the go–one downward push of your pole activates the heel lift. The lightness of the shoes, the incredible grip and the fact that it feels more like a natural extension of your foot rather than a separate shoe is what makes this product so unique.
Making waves all over the world, the Symbioz was introduced last season as a teaser and is now currently available to purchase. TSL has come a long way from the very first composite snowshoe design and with research, innovation and enthusiasm has presented us with a snowshoe that we cannot wait to share with you.
Along with Symbioz snowshoe designed for the average snowshoer TSL is in the works of producing a brand new racing Symbioz shoe. Ultra light with an adjustable binding and the same flexibility the Symbioz offers, this new design looks to be a great choice for the top snowshoe racers.
To find out more about TSL and to purchase your own pair of Symbioz snowshoes, visit their website.