posted by Aaron Lebowitz on January 20, 2023
As part of our mission to develop a quiver of snow surf boards that harness flow and promote grace and harmony, we collaborated with our community to create the Minni Fish. Designed by female riders, the goal for the snowboard was to develop a vessel for an efficient and enjoyable riding experience in powder and on groomers. Here is how the Minni Fish came to be.
From all around the crystal blue waters of Lake Tahoe, gathered a group of folks that may not have interacted since the snow melted in the spring or even recognized each other out the traditional winter bundling and goggles. In this way it did not matter if you had actually met each other before- an underlying bond had drawn you to this gathering: the common interest in snow surfing.
While this particular session was focused on shaping a board for gal riders, dudes and Groms mixed and mingled to share in the experience.
To kick things off @aaron_sababba presented a brief history of the snow surfing theory depicted by examples from the Elevated Snowboard quiver. While those concepts soaked in, the mingling presided over a healthy spread of snacks and non-alcoholic libations.
To account for the large turnout, groups were broken into two which were headed up by the gals who then quickly got to work expressing their ideas through sketches on masonite. With experience and knowledge flowing in from every direction, any possible question was readily answered by peers.
The team decided on a twin-fin sidecut with an even arcing radial turn tapered to initiate off the front foot. They agreed the fish tail should have a long edge with minimal surface area to act like a fork through soup and sieves snow to drop tail in pow and allow for rapid turns. Lastly, its side walls would have a special combination of polyurethane for a damp feel to accommodate edge control.
Once the final curves were etched, @kennygood got to work with the jigsaw to zip 'em free and sand them down. The shapes were passed around for “under the arm” tests then laid down on the floor and stood upon to gauge boot sizing and visualize the ride. Finally, color swatches were passed around and agreed upon a version of pinkish orange which was currently all around the mountains in the form of the blooming Indian Paintbrush flower.
As the group departed from the shop the air outside felt the first tinge of briskness... the sure sign that we are enroute back to winter.
The result of this community effort gave us the Minni Fish — a fishtail snowboard that is short and wide, with a nose that lifts and tail that dips for maximum buoyancy and front foot drive while gliding from edge to edge. The Minni Fish makes for quick turns to bob and weave between the trees and slash tight pockets. This board is also an excellent carver with taper and radial sidecut along with flax fiber reinforced torsional flex in the tail emulating the twin fin experience.
“Two parts lofty snow surfer, two parts corduroy-carving animal, all parts modern art, the Elevated Surf Craft Minni Fish is the perfect companion for riders who appreciate all the pieces of the whole, including the whole itself. It's as if I flipped on a surfer activation mode. Every carve became more fluid and easy, and groomers went from basic runs to an endless break of perfect waves to be caught.”
“It allows you to really trust your edge, lay into a deep carve, and play across all sorts of terrain.”
“The Minni Fish is unbelievably floaty. Riding the fish through deep pow feels like hovering above your own body. But its width does not come at the loss of playfulness. Little red is an absolute carving BEAST on groomers, locks in turns effortlessly, and is quick enough edge-to-edge to duck gracefully between the trees.”
This is my first directional, the shape gave me the confidence to lean in on turns.
You can really feel The fins doing work on your back foot and if you slash hard enough you can get up on one fin and really dig that edge in.
They are the funnest boards we own and are beyond ridiculous fun into pow. But that was to be expected. What wasn't was how much fun they would be on groomers. They are a blast to carve and love popping side hits. It’s not limited to perfect pow days.
Not only is this surf-infused snowboard an intersection of modern design, engineering, and aesthetics, it’s also a study in color and light.”