Innovation is great. Innovation to solve a problem that doesn’t exist dressed up in a camouflage of rhetoric and technowaffle? Not so much so. Nowadays any idiot with an idea can put it on Kickstarter and flood feeds with the ‘new essential snowboarding gondolier pole that will revolutionise flat spots!’ (it won’t).
It’s worth remembering, though, that for every pair of bindings with actual springs under the baseplates – for dampening, yo – there has been an equal number of developments that might have seemed like a novelty exercise in wheel-reinvention at the time, but that actually made a beneficial impact on snowboarding.
So here are a selection of snowboard products that, when they first appeared, might have been viewed as gimmicks, but that in fact actually worked!