Crossblades Review: The Snowshoe for Skiing

Crossblades, made from the Swiss company, Inventra is meant to be the best of both worlds- easy ascents with downhill glides. I contacted the company directly at the end of December, and they arrived 1st of February. 5 weeks later, here’s my report and Crossblades review.

The Crossblades are meant to be a unique ski/snowshoe combo. Photo: Crossblades

The product has two very interesting features.

Firstly, the interchangeable climbing skin/downhill base allows for good uphill climbing and downhill “the thrill” of glide’n.

Secondly, the boat-shaped design of the snowshoe/ski has a flat bottom and flared sides. This is a great idea to increase the float and/or stability in soft snow. NOT ice or granular, sugar snow, but 2-4 inches of POW. For best results, sharpen those edges, lol.

Despite the fact that the Swiss have been involved with serious ski mountaineering for many years, they continually push the envelope on what is possible. Sometimes they even try to invent new trends that they think will be cool- for example, the backcountry snowblade.

Maybe in idea, it seems alright, somewhere of a hybrid between skiing and snowshoeing for someone that doesn’t want to do either. (But they seem highly impractical, as you are only able to ski down in minimal powder and on piste). Even though you have your choice of riding with a ski boot or a snowboard boot, either way, you really have 2 choices for this mode of transportation.

Crossblades and poles with bridge and skyline in the background

You can use the Crossblades anywhere, even in NYC. Photo: Randy Philpotts

But, the Crossblade is different. Here are the different modes of the Crossblades:

  • compatible with both a soft boot (snowboard/hiking) and hard boot (ski)
  • the twin-deck technology for pow-blading
  • perks of ripping blades in the backcountry
  • the weight savings “must be fantastic,” and the same with the base of the blade that can flip from skin mode to p-tex for skiing WITHOUT EVEN TAKING YOUR BLADES OFF! What a time saver. Holy moly.

To use the Crossblades, you don’t have to be a skier to walk and climb in them. When going downhill though, yes, you would want to have a little gliding experience on the bunny hills.

To learn more or to buy these, immediately go to the Crossblades website.

man on Crossblades with poles on snow near Atlantic Ocean

Using my Crossblades on the snow at Jones Beach in New York, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background. Photo: Randy Philpotts

Have you tried the Crossblades, and if so, what is your review? Please let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Randy Philpotts

Randy Philpotts

Randy Philpotts is an avid cross-country skier and active long-time member of the National Brotherhood of Skiers, whose mission is "To identify, develop, and support athletes of color who will WIN Olympic and international winter sports competitions representing the United States and increase participation in winter sports."

Randy began alpine skiing at the age of 3, served as a ski instructor, competed in cross-country skiing at the national and international level, and won multiple titles. He was the first youth NBS Alpine Champion in 1974 at Sun Valley, ID, and won the NBS First National XC Classic Race in 1988 in Steamboat, CO.

Randy is also a Rutgers University graduate in Visual Communications and a Marketing major, class of '83. He worked in New York Madison Ave. 1983-85 as Associate Art and in '85 moved to Englewood New Jersey as an Art Director in the Cr8Tv Dept. until 1989.

Presently, he is the August 2020 NBS: Nordic Ambassador and implemented the Nordic Walk program "Lead by example," which includes videos inspiring individuals to get up outside no matter their age or gender. Randy transitioned to hybrid Crossblades to maintain the same motion and is presently creating partnerships within the snowshoe community, including Snowshoe Mag.

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