Crafted in Nelson, BC, the Fozz Slopedeck is a longboard-style snow surfer designed to carve up the backyard. Editor Vince Hempsall takes it for a shred.
Kaj Gyr has been a full-time inventor for almost three decades and has a number of patents to his name involving everything from plastic bag dryers to clip-less backcountry ski skins. Born in Michigan, he’s made his home in Nelson, British Columbia since 2003 and we’ve featured various inventions of his in both Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine as well as online, such as when we showcased the Slopedeck, a cross between a skateboard and a snowboard. This past winter Kaj gave me a demo of a long-board version of the Slopedeck called “The Fozz.” It’s named for another Nelsonite and former pro-snowboarder Mark Fawcett who helped test some of the early designs and who suggested its deck dimensions.
Snapshot: Fozz Slopedeck
- Pros: Super fun on most any slope and doesn’t require a heap of snow.
- Cons: The foam on the deck could be adhered better.
- Price: Cdn $199
- Who Should Buy: Anyone who wants to carve the backyard.
- Who Shouldn’t Buy: Snowbirds who hate winter.
- Helpful Hack: There’s a small hole in the tail for a leash or a rope so young kids can easily pull the Fozz back up the hill rather than carry it.
- Author’s overall rating: 9/10
My family and friends rode the Fozz most everywhere, from the toboggan hill to the ski hill and the backyard to the backroads. We tried it on 10cm of fresh in -7°C conditions as well as during warm, wet spells when the snow was skimpy.
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It can be tough keeping two children under three entertained during the long, dark winter. They’re too young to fully appreciate downhill or nordic skiing but they’re too old to sit around a playpen in the house all day. The Fozz longboard definitely helped fulfill some crucial TKUs (Time Kill Units). Its true beauty is the fact it can be used anywhere by anyone in most any winter conditions, except for ice. For example, I built a three-foot-tall snow ramp in my yard and my toddler slid down it a hundred times while sitting on the Fozz. I’d also have a go, channelling my former snowboarder self to try and stay upright. It was fun! And unlike our shite plastic sled, the Fozz didn’t break after a day’s use.
The other thing I liked about the Fozz was its dimensions. I was never anti-establishment enough to be a good skateboarder but I spent ten years snowboarding and so the longer deck of the Fozz felt more natural to me than the smaller, original Slopedeck model. When I eventually got my balance figured out, it carved really well. But it was just as enjoyable to sit on, kneel on, and, in the case of my toddler, lie on. My favourite turns happened on a hill at a friend’s farm in five centimetres of fresh snow but my kids and my friend’s kids loved riding it anywhere: even on a 20-foot swath in the front yard. Snow never clogged underneath, even in sticky conditions, and the polyethylene base showed little sign of wear, even after hours spent on a patchy slope with pockets of grass showing. My only concern about the Fozz is the foam pad on the deck: I can see where one corner is peeling away from the wood and wonder if a better adhesive is going to be used in the non-demo models.* Considering the Fozz has accounted for hours of TKUs with my kids, though, it’s a small price to pay.
* Spring 2021 Update: Kaj Gyr says the issue with the adhesiveness of the foam pad has been resolved thanks to a different finish being used on the deck.
Fozz Slopedeck – The Deets
- High-Density Polyethylene base: The CNC-machined Morphteck base is thin and lightweight but tough. It’s the same material that’s used for ski bases. The grooves are radiused, so when the Fozz is angled, the grooves carve the snow with very little lateral slippage.
- Cambered deck: made from Canadian Maple with two coats of waterproof Urethane sealant on the deck.
- Resilient Spacer: The closed-cell dual density polyethylene foam spacer keeps snow from gathering between the deck and base, while dampening shocks and enhancing edge control.
- More info: slopedeck.com