I had a pair of 125 cm long Altai Hok “gliding snow shoes” or “fast shoes” for test the last winter and I really liked them (see my Initial Impressions). Though there were few things I would’ve liked to change. I would have preferred:
– the longer model (wasn’t available for test at the time) for more floatation,
– maybe removable skins or some other way to make them a bit faster
– and a bit more camber for better skiing.
I was told some secret information about new models being developed in Finland but I never got any specific details…
Lurkin’ down a forested hill with the Hoks. It’s fun!
But now it’s all public information!
According to my sources the new models are designed and made in Finland by OAC! The new models are:
– “Kar” 147 cm, 125-110-122, 2700g (i.e. 2cm longer and 50g lighter than the original Hok 145)
– “XCD Tao” 160cm, 85-72-80, 1850g (i.e. very different design, maybe better suited for relaxed telemarking on forested hills?)
On paper the Kar looks almost identical to the original Hok 145 model so what’s the point? This: both models have more camber than the original Hoks and have more narrow skins which should make them better suited for cross-country skiing travel. And the Tao seems quite different from the original Hoks, more like a short Karhu Guide XCD. To me it looks more like a cross-country downhill type of ski just like the name implies.
Click to see the official info (in Finnish).
I have to say that I’m quite excited! The 147 cm long Kar sounds like a perfect tool for traveling the forested and bushy areas of Finland. It should provide more flotation, be faster and about just as agile as the 125 cm model I was testing. I was planning to get a set of “alpine touring” type gear (Dynafit stuff) for the winter but as that gear is expensive as hell and people only have two kidneys, I might seriously consider buying the new Kars, 75mm bindings and some low-cut plastic tele boots…
Hok 125s at camp after a day of skiing through bush.
Notice also the new X-Trace baseplates that I was testing. They are now in production!