Hok by AltaiSkis, my out the door skis, I can ski even on only a few inches of snow

The Hok is my out the door ski. Even when there are only a few inches of snow I can still ski. The base and mohair are tough so rocks, roots, when the snow is shallow aren’t an issue.
The mohair gives excellent grip and tracking even on shallow snow or icy crust, but it also glides well. Unlike the LL Bean Boreal skis which need at least 7cm/6in of track depth and the Boreal is a fish scale no-wax so grip can be an issue.
The mohair also gives a bit of drag on the downhills so speed is much more controlled during bushwack/off-track descents.

For 0 C skiing one may need to use a  SwixNordic Zero spray – anti icing spray.
Nils Larsen, Francois Sylvain, helped designed the original TRAK Bushwacker skis so they have experience designing bushwacking, out the door, skis.

I have both the Hok 125 cm with Universal/Xtrace Binding, and 145 cm with a Solomon XADV, SNS BC, binding. I am getting a 2nd 145 cm and adding a 75mm binding.
The Xtrace Binding works with up to a boot length of US 12/13 or size 43 75mm duckbill. Changing the binding is easy since the Hok have inserts matching extended 75mm spacing. On altaiskis.com is a mounting plate for System bindings – NNN BC, SNS XADV. The Boreal’s Universal binding has a standard 75mm spacing.
With the Xtrace binding one needs a really stiff soled boot, torsional rigidity, to have good downhill control. With a 75mm duckbill binding and a good pair of boots one can Tele with the Hok. With a System binding, great extension for kick and glide but not much downhill control – toe box isn’t anchored, just a pivot rod in front of the toe.

This year I invested in a DR Trimmer Mower. So I was able to cut down the golden rod in our front field and not have to depend upon having enough snow depth to cover it. The DR Trimmer Mowers are also designed to use an optional beaver blade, a blade with chainsaw teeth. So I was able to cut a number of new paths and cut down invasive Honey Suckle and Russian Olive.

One thought on “Hok by AltaiSkis, my out the door skis, I can ski even on only a few inches of snow

  1. Frank, I just saw your comment, WP doesn’t put up a notice about pending comments.
    1. The Hok are short, fat boards with no sidewall curve. So they don’t go on edge even with 75mm duck bill bindings. At a local downhill resort my one pair of Hok 145, 75mm binding, was great on the ungroomed Green slope. Then I walked a bit up the Blue/Black slope and skated down the icy groomers.
    With the X-Trace, XADV – SNS BC, I am also forced to do a flat snowplow, depend upon the mohair to slow me. And a stem christie – snow plow then pushing the downhill ski forward to make a curve, the old Telemark style before skis had a shape, sidewall cut. This technique is also used in powder skiing where one is floating on the snow. Either you don’t want to catch an edge by going on edge or you want maximum ski surface on the snow.
    Even with the 75mm binding Hok I was skating down our front field hills on the mid March hard crust.

    2. I haven’t used the X-Trace binding that much. My experience with blisters is friction from the heel sliding against the boot. A Volie or similar strap is one way to lock the boot heel to the binding. Normally a strap is used as an emergency binding repair – tie the toe to the ski when the binding fails, it saves postholing out from deep in the woods.
    When I use the 75mm duck bill even with a soft boot I will notice toe pinching if I go for full extension kick and glide. Which is why I have a 2nd pair of Hok 145 with the Solomon XADV binding.

    3. I haven’t had an issue with side slip. I find that the mohair, Hok or Atomic Skintec, are great on hard surfaces. At Highland Forest I have skied the longest skate ski trail with no issues, except for using 75mm so some toe pinching. I would not want to do this with a fishscale base no wax ski – no lateral support so the skis would slide sideways.
    The main issue with Hok, any ski wider than the 68mm track width, on a set track is one ski edge drops into the track. So I just straddle the tracks, or ski just to one side on the flat pole area.

    I was searching around for reviews of the Hoks and I’m responding to yours because you’ve tried different binding/boot combinations. I just got a pair of Hoks with universal bindings and used them for the first time yesterday at a commercial x-c ski center in upstate New York. I tried it in deep untracked powder, snowshoe trails, and on the packed groomed trails. The first two were great, but on the packed trails I found myself slipping sideways constantly, particularly on downhills. On steeper downhills – ones that are easy and fun on normal x-c skis – it was all I could do to keep from doing a split – today my back and hips are quite sore. I was wearing my SNS ski boots, which is all I have that is warm enough for a 0 degree day. I also ended up with pretty serious blisters on each heel where the rear binding pinches. I can’t tell if this is a technique problem on my part or a boot/binding issue. Thoughts?

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