American SkiBike Association
- Boardmember for the American SkiBike Association
- Co-founder/inventor 3ski Snow Bikes, New Zealand
Jason Buckley Bio
Hi my name is Jason Buckley ‘Kiwi’ & co-founder/inventor of ‘3ski Snow Bikes’ I live with my family in the small township of Lake Wanaka in the Southern Lakes region of New Zealand which is in my view about as close to paradise as you can get before you reach Antarctica. Professionally I have a background in equipment design, management and compliance for large multinational corporations. I hope to bring both a combination of sound business sense and common sense rational as well as an international perspective to the issues and challenges our sport faces in the modern snow sports world.
Being a skier for almost all of those 40 years and avidly passionate about the snow sports industry I believe we all have a responsibility to do our own little bit to attract new people to snow sports and also to retain people in snow sports for longer. It is true that not everyone can ski or snow board forever and I am living proof of that fact, for this reason I believe there is a place for a truly accessible, easy to learn, low fatigue and super fun alternate snow sport. Snow/Ski Biking in its many forms fulfills that niche as well as bringing a 21stCentry niche to snow sports.
I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively gaining a good understanding of various alternate snow sports products and best practice initiatives from around the world, using these learning’s I have developed industry products such as ‘Snow Bike Experience’ which is an all-inclusive platform for delivery of ski/snow bike type products for resorts. I am pleased to be part of the American Ski Bike Association as I firmly believe together we can grow our sport far greater than the total sum of our individual efforts.
3ski Snow Bikes Company History
3ski snow bikes came about after a spring day skiing in 2004 when co-founder Roeland Simons and myself observed a keen ski biker on a homemade conversion MTB struggling his way down the High Noon T-bar at Turoa ski field in the North Island of New Zealand. Both Roeland and myself being avid skiers and mountain bikers looked at each other and said why don’t snow bikes work better ?, they should do as both of the fundamental components (skis and MTB’s) have in their own evolutionary processes and become infinitely better. Surely there must be an issue to be solved here otherwise why would a combination of skis, snow and bikes not be popular?
The challenge of building a snow bike that worked better became the afterhours focus from that point, it was decided to start with a blank sheet of paper ignoring everything we knew about traditional ski bikes and set to designing something new from the snow up. This approach is really the reason we have a standing 3-ski platform which is totally different to almost anything else prior which are almost all a seated 2-ski version. There is good reason for this as we needed to provide a stable yet pivotal carving platform believing these to be the missing elements in traditional designs.
Thus commenced a six year plus development phase involving some fifty prototypes and the bringing on board of fabrication and MTB experts to help us engineer the ideas into workable solutions. Little did we know at the time that the final design would involve more than six primary aspects with each one taking over a year to develop. As an example the rear skis need to move in eight different directions whilst maintaining a certain amount of personality (individual movement) and all of this needs to be achieved irrespective of the pitch (or dive) of the frame. To complicate the issue further the normal 3-ski track needs to reduce to a 2-ski track for the optimum carved turn effect.
Getting 3ski to work well going downhill was just half the challenge; we also needed to develop a design which worked seamlessly with various common ski lifts and also with traditional users on these. This in itself was a two year project with the final solution being developed with input from resort operations experts. The net result being a snow bike design which compliments every activity at the modern ski resort, is user friendly as well as not being overwhelming in appearance or size.
The exciting thing for 3ski Snow Bikes is that not only did we manage to put a tick in all the boxes throughout the development process but we also in the most part exceeded stakeholder expectations along the way; true testament to Kiwi ingenuity, gut determination and belief that the easiest or most immediate solutions to the engineering problems were not always the best solutions.
3ski Snow Bikes are in reality only in the very beginning of where they may end up, while we have completed a huge job in getting 3ski this far we are really only in the penny farthing stages when compared to modern bicycles, what truly excites us is seeing what the future holds for 3ski and the snow bikes that are yet to arrive.
Jason Buckley, co-founder/inventor 3ski Snow Bikes, New Zealand.