SKEATS™ Field Report (Alpine Logic Gaku Kawata)

Gaku Kawata theory

Representative of Alpine Logic
Vector Glide support members
Anglo & Company Ambassador
Mountain and Road Ambassador etc.

- profile -
Born in Otofuke, Hokkaido in 1979, spent his youth working as a DJ in Brooklyn, New York, and currently lives in Obihiro, Hokkaido. The name given to him by his grandfather naturally leads him to the mountains. The main field of activity is the mountains and rivers throughout the Hidaka Mountain Range and Daisetsuzan Mountain Range in Hokkaido. I am familiar with MTB (recently I mainly use eBike because it is tiring), packrafting, survival camping, etc. I'm a professional angler and am good at rivers, but I'm pretty bad at skiing. One day, he suddenly started Alpine Logic, saying, "They don't sell what I want."

- SKEATS™ Introduction -
My first encounter with SKEATS™ was when it became a hot topic in a closed Facebook group called ``Yami Ski Club,'' where geeky skiing information is exchanged. Since the yen is cheap and the shipping costs are high, I decided to make a joint purchase, and when I ordered a certain amount, Leonardo from Mountain Cleats Inc. immediately replied to me and asked me, ``Why are you buying so many items?'' ``I'm going to buy a lot, so please lower the price.'' ``Okay, brother, how about the regular wholesale price?'' ``If you want, you can act as a distributor in Japan, brother.'' The conversation progressed at a rapid pace, and Alpine Logic was born. It also happened.

- SKEATS™ Field Report -
I had doubts about the practicality of existing ski crampons (crampons or Kuto) (or rather, I had them but didn't use them because they couldn't be used for steep climbs), so I set my sights on SKEATS™. The moment I put it on, I fell in love with its simple, epoch-making, and reasonable structure, reminiscent of Columbus's egg. Please see the comparison with conventional ski crampons below.

SKEATS™ traditional ski crampons
Detachment Easy to wrap with a strap A little difficult to attach to the binding
storage small large and bulky
Hike up Claws are always exposed, very effective If you use a heel support, it won't sting, and you won't be able to use it when it's important.
Diversion to other boards Possible if the board width is wider than the cleat width Possible if the board width is narrower than the width of the crampons, but it cannot be installed if the binding is different.
Attachment to thick board Possible as long as you can wrap the strap around it Depending on the binding, up to 125-130mm
material Stainless steel, not easy to deform Aluminum or titanium, may deform

Recently, there are also types of crampons that have rotating discs attached to the board and are permanently fixed to the board, but when I tried them, I found that the claws were too long and got caught, making it difficult to walk. There were also concerns that additional holes would be required in the board when installing the disc, and that it would be difficult to reliably remove snow and ice in harsh environments.

SKEATS™ is honestly impeccable. If I had to force it, I would say that if you don't tighten the strap tightly, it might come off. It depends on the condition of the snow surface, but I don't feel caught when walking.

This photo was taken near the Daisetsuzan Federation - Kamuimintara, commonly known as ``Obachi'', and the slope of this slope is exactly 30 degrees. As shown in the photo, the friction between the SKEATS™ Claws and the seal allows you to maintain your position on one leg even on a 30° slope. This is possible because SKEATS™ Claws , unlike traditional ski crampons, have claws that traverse the board.

In particular, it is recommended for splitboards, which have straight outer edges when hiking up and are much harder to climb than skis, and for women, whose plantar flexion strength (stepping force) is said to be half that of men. In short, a must-have item for all backcountry skiers/splitboarders.

By wearing SKEATS™, you can climb steep slopes that were previously impossible to climb without wearing boot crampons while seat-traversing the board (sea traverse, carrying the board by attaching it to a backpack). You can even climb up to the core part. Working in bad weather or low temperatures is difficult and takes a considerable amount of time.

In my case, I wear it from the beginning of the hike, and I use it to reduce the number of steps and distance, change the hike up line from a direct climb, and minimize the number of jigs required to shorten the time it takes to hike up. As soon as you start walking, you can immediately feel the difference in the sense of stability and security. It's amazing how much of a difference it is to be able to take the next step with a more stable system without fear of slipping. It is also effective when traversing steeply frozen slopes. With the holding power of the edges alone, you can move steadily forward step by step, instead of walking fearfully as the board feels like it's about to slide and fall head over heels in the midst of a blast.

Please try SKEATS™, which has arrived in Japan from this season of 2022-2023. (It ended up sounding like a politician's greeting...)

Up until now, I've been nervous about climbing steeply, saying things like, ``The hike up is so slow,'' or ``Holy crap! That foreigner party is climbing way too fast!'' or ``Perhaps it's because of my age, but I've lost my stamina...'' If you, including me, are reading this article, you can make your hikes a little more fun and safe this winter with SKEATS™. There is no doubt that it will be!

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