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The design, from the side
The design, from the side
The design, from the back
The design, from the back

Internal News - 18 August 2006

Snowboard design wins student engineering prize

A student’s design to help snowboarders use ski lifts has won him first prize in an engineering design competition.

Chris Holden, a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Bath, beat students from 25 universities to win the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Principles of Engineering Design prize.

At present snowboarders who use drag lifts at ski resorts find that the fact that they have only one board rather than two skis to support themselves means that hitching a ride to the top is an uncomfortable business.

Mr Holden’s design enables snowboarders to easily use the lifts by way of a simple piece of moulded plastic with an aluminium bar running through it which attaches to their hip and from there to the drag lift.

The extra support from this compensates for the lack of two skis to support their weight during the ascent. The device means that ski lifts will not need to be changed.

Mr Holden tested his new device on friends and colleagues before drawing up his final design.

David Foxley, of The Royal Academy of Engineering and organiser of the competition, said: “Chris’s design is a remarkable achievement that has recognized a real need and has developed not only the concept of a drag lift that works for both skiers and snowboarders, but has also produced a working prototype that is ready for commercial development.”