Cover prototype--an extra layer of protection
Team Gravirax almost came to blows over whether to make a cover for our Graviraxs. Our marketing and sales folks were hearing from a lot of customers that they were worried about skis getting dirty during travel, snatch and grab theft and skis flying out of tubes ---the last is an issue of perception only; skis have never actually flow out of tubes. Our product design team and one of the founders wanted to stay committed to our mission statement –easy, simple and fast ski loading. The design team might tell you over drinks that marketing won, but this marketing guy would suggest that our customers are the real winners.
Our customers will have an option of buying a Gravi cover for the 23-24 ski season. If you don’t need a cover; don’t buy one, but if you sometimes take long road trips, travel dirt roads or hit 12” potholes on a regular basis or are just a belt and suspenders type we have a cover for you. Check out the prototype:
Construction is similar to a heavy-duty dry bag, and the super heavy material performed great. It is so heavy that it doesn’t flap around in the wind (the burly cinch straps keep the fit snug). We put about 2,000 miles of use on the bag in a bit over a week and then hosed it down and it looked new.
How did we abuse the cover? ---let me count the ways:
- 1,500 miles of high-speed highway driving (typically 65-95 MPH)
- 100 miles of typical dirt roads
- 10 hours of driving in rain, snow (Vail pass) and sleet
- 5 miles of EXTREME road surface (and yes we mean Extreme in the off road rating sense), I wish we had pictures of the washed out 6 degree clay road with 2’ vertical drops that we chewed up in a Chevy Colorado ZR2 with both front and rear diff locked BUT if we had stopped I am pretty sure the truck would never have regained enough traction to exit the washed out road. Maybe this picture gives you a bit of an idea of the hangover of that ‘road’.
When we removed the cover, the skis were……. unchanged. We thought there might be some dust that would have worked its way in, but nope the skis looked good. The cover also showed zero signs of wear. Best of all we didn’t hear any annoying flapping sounds while flying down the highway.
Bottom line, the cover worked great. It protected the skis in all types of road conditions, held up to punishing speeds and weather and potholes. We never had to worry about skis flying out or getting damaged BUT BUT BUT what about Gravirax mission of fast and easy loading?
No two ways about it adding a cover will complicate loading. However, we plan to add a zipper on the front of the bag to allow for easier loading. It’s not a perfect solution; using the cover will slow load times. Current load times are 2-5 seconds depending on your height and skills, the bag could add 10-20 seconds to that. A family of 4 load time could go from half a minute to a minute---if that doesn’t work for you please do not buy a cover. If you drive short distances to the hill with no extreme dirt roads don’t buy the cover. If you do some ski road trips buy the cover and either hang it up in your garage or roll it up and stick it in a tube for trips when you don’t need it. And if you have a long dirty drive to your ski hill, for sure get a cover. You will still beat anyone to the lift line who is using a roof box or roof rack system.
PS we ran this blog through Chat GPT4 and found AI writing dull and missing a certain dirtbag flare. No AI for Gravi (yet).