Snowshoeing holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first outlets I had after leaving home that I did all on my own. In the past, I had done plenty of skiing with my family , ski team or friends, but never on my own accord, and as my own leader. While in college in Washington, I ended up with a great class schedule that meant I had 4 (full) days a week to play. And so, I went to the mountains. I brought my snowshoes because they required no maintance and were easily available for others to rent and join me (without having and prior knowledge of the sport.) Groomed ski trails weren’t required and I could go for as long or as little as I wanted. My Tubbs helped me explore the slopes of Mount Baker and make a deeper connection with the mountains that has certainly stayed (and has grown) with me over the years. I have learned a lot since then: the importance of wearing an avalanche beacon in the backcountry (especially after I lost a former college-friend in an avalanche where I assumed was “safe”); what foods to pack and bring; and how important it is to have fun, but be cautious and aware. As you will see through this interview with a representative from Tubbs, snowshoeing really is for everyone. It is a sport that can be done on-trail or out in the backcountry. As we celebrate this week of “Winter in July”, I wanted to highlight this sport and get you thinking about exploring it when the snow flies. I am honored to have Tubbs on the blog. Please feel free to leave questions and comments in the comment section of this post. Sarah from Tubbs will be happy to answer them (and if she doesn’t know the answer, she will find it!) Oh, and we’re giving a couple pair of snowshoes away! Whoop! Make sure you read all the way to the end…..
– Snowshoes have come a LONG way in the past 100 years or more (because I know they go way back!) They certainly aren’t your 4-feet-long apparatus on your feet anymore! Can you explain to me what sort of different snowshoes Tubbs makes and their different functions (because there sure are a ton of options!)?
Snowshoes certainly have been around a long time, in fact Tubbs Snowshoes started in 1906, so we are over 100 years old! There have been many innovations in snowshoeing from wooden snowshoes with very simple bindings to the modern-day snowshoes that weigh practically nothing, have very secure bindings, and serious traction. There have been many products developed in-between, innovating every part of the snowshoe design to make the product easier and more comfortable to walk on snow, the goal being to enjoy winter.
Tubbs makes two different kinds of snowshoes now – Traditional Aluminum Snowshoes and FLEX snowshoes. The FLEX snowshoes are made from flexible molded composite plastic and were designed to excel in packed snow and firm conditions. These snowshoes are perfect for packed trails. Traditional Snowshoes are made from a rigid aluminum frame with tensioned decking and are great for a wide variety of snow conditions from fresh powder to packed snow. We also were the first to make women’s-specific snowshoes and kid-specific snowshoes.
– I would love to know a little bit more about the TUBBS company in general – how did it get started? Why are TUBBS the best snowshoes out there?
Tubbs was started in 1906 by Walter F. Tubbs, in Norway, Maine. At first the snowshoes were made from carefully selected white ash and were made to fulfill local orders. However, when World Ward I began, production increased to manufacture 50,000 pairs of snowshoes for the British Government and the company has been manufacturing snowshoes at an increasing rate ever since.
Tubbs Snowshoes are the best out there because they are so comfortable and easy to use. We have full-time snowshoe engineers (yes! They do exist!) that design and continually improve our snowshoes year after year. Just yesterday – a sunny day in July – we were out testing products on a turf field! Tubbs is known for our bindings that are easy to use and comfortable for a full-day adventure. We work on every aspect of the snowshoe to make them ergonomicical and yet simple. We want our snowshoes to be easy to get on and then so good at doing their job that you forget you are wearing them and focus on the scenery!
Tubbs is also a great company because of the resources we put back into the community – we sponsor the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series, have great programs to get kids snowshoeing, fund snowshoes.com with a trail database, the list goes on. We also have a demo fleet of over 400 snowshoes that we send to events for people to have free demo snowshoes to try out. Tubbs believes that anyone can snowshoe and provides multiple events to include everyone in winter’s wonderland.
– For someone just starting out, what would you answer if they asked what special skills do you need to snowshoe?
Snowshoeing is as easy as walking! We joke that if you can walk, you can snowshoe! It’s really more about making your outing safe and comfortable that takes some planning and thought. It’s important to always know where you are going as favorite hiking trails look different covered in white and it’s almost important to pack the ten essentials for hiking. It’s also important to dress in layers as you may get hot quickly as you get moving but it’s important to have extra clothing to put back on as it’s easy to cool down quickly in low temperatures.
– What would you suggest to a beginner just starting to get into snowshoeing about buying a pair? Are there any tips or tricks to getting the right fit?
Picking the right snowshoe all begins with thinking of where you will usually snowshoe. If you are going to be usually walking on packed trails in a groomed trail system, there’s no reason to get snowshoes with all the bells and whistles that you won’t use. Tubbs makes snowshoes in three categories: Backcountry, Day Hiking and Trail Walking. So consider where you’ll be going and then look for a good, gender-specific snowshoe. Tubbs Snowshoes were the first to manufacture women’s-specific snowshoes that are narrower, lighter in weight, and designed for women’s boots. When selecting the right size for you, make sure to include any weight you’ll be carrying with gear! There’s so many resources online, it’s great to watch product videos and informational how-to’s so you know what you are looking for when you go into a store.
– Is snowshoeing a sport you can compete in and get better at over time or is it just like walking?
Snowshoeing is really just like walking. We always say if you can walk, you can snowshoe! There are snowshoe races that you can train for and improve your time on race after race but typically you will be as good as you’ll ever be after your first day snowshoeing. That’s one of the great things about it, there’s no steep learning curve for beginners!
– How long could I expect a pair of snowshoes to last? Am I buying them for life?
Determining how long your snowshoes will last really depends on how often you snowshoe, how you care for your snowshoes and if you are using the snowshoes in the terrain they were designed. It’s important to buy good, quality product because you really do get what you pay for.
– We have a lot of readers who have small children. As far as kids using snowshoes – any age you recommend not starting before? Can kids be snowshoeing as soon as they can walk?
Kids can snowshoe as soon as they can walk! Our Snowflake snowshoes were designed for kids aged 3-6 so they can have fun on snowshoe outings with the family as well. Snowshoeing is a great, affordable way, to get your whole family outside during the winter without expensive lift tickets or long lines and we think the sooner you start the better!
For snowshoeing with kids, it’s really important to make the first few outings on snowshoes really easy and fun. Managing temperatures with little ones is sometimes the hardest part of the outing! Layers are really important to dress in so clothing can be removed as everyone warms up and then layered back on during breaks and at the end of the day. It’s also good to have snacks and lots of water ready so everyone stays happy throughout the excursion. It’s fun to find wildlife tracks and spot winter animals as well! We have some great resources on snowshoeing with kids on Snowshoes.com
– How important is using poles when snowshoeing? Are they recommended for kids’ use?
Poles are great for snowshoeing as they add stability on uneven terrain. They also help to give your upper body a share of the workout as well! It’s great for kids to use poles as well, just be careful as they can easily become pretty effective weapons! Remind little ones to keep the tips pointed into the ground and not at the younger brother or sister.
– Anything else you can tell me about Tubbs/Snowshoes?
Tubbs is a really great company and I feel lucky to work for them. I’m really proud of our products and the resources we devote to making our products the best snowshoes in the market. I think what really sets us apart is the dedication we have to include everyone in the beauty of winter by providing demo opportunities, product videos and tips and tricks online.
Tubbs also just launched an Ambassador Program, featuring 8 ambassadors, so “like” us on Facebook to follow their adventures. Two of the Ambassadors have families so you can see first hand how to make snowshoeing with kids fun!
We’d love for you all to join us at one of the 9 Tubbs Romp to Stomps in the US and Canada! Locations will be released in mid-August!
I’m Sarah Rose, Marketing Manager at Tubbs Snowshoes. I’ve been a snowshoer my whole life, my parents dislike gravity sports (skiing, snowboarding), so our winter vacations have always included a few days snowshoeing. I love how good food tastes on the trail and I swear hot chocolate tastes better as well! I’ve been lucky to work for Tubbs over the last year and look forward to growing the sport of snowshoeing and to meeting all of the Tubbs followers at our many events throughout the winter. In my job I get to wear a variety of hats – I’m responsible for all of our social media, hangtags, packaging, snowshoe design, advertising, literature, POP & Swag, product videos, and the list goes on! Every day is different and I love working in the outdoor industry!
Tubbs has very generously offered to giveaway TWO pair of snowshoes to a couple of lucky winners. The giveaways are for:
1. A pair of Men’s Frontier Snowshoes
2. A pair of Girls’ Storm Snowshoes
To enter to win, please use the rafflecopter widgets below. You may certainly enter for both giveaways, and you only need to comment once to enter (though feel free to comment more to add to the discussion if you would like.) PLEASE make sure you get confirmation that your comment has gone through and is either being moderated (if this is your first time commenting) or you can see it. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to email me ([email protected]). Your entry is only valid if you are both commenting AND saying you have done it on the Rafflecopter Widget (and you can get extra entries by following Tubbs and Tales of a Mountain Mama on Facebook.) Good luck!!!