Altai Hok Skis


Getting people out in nature in every season and showing them how to have fun doing it

So, what are ski shoes?

Altai Skis

They’re also called “Hoks”, “ski-shoes”,  "fat skis", and "sliding snowshoes". They’re short and fat, so they’re easy to learn on and easy to turn and great for just going through the woods, whether you’re on a trail or not.  They have universal bindings or you can order with 3 pin bindings. Here's a great video showing how to adjust the universal bindings for just about any kind of boots.

Bindings DEMO


They have built-in skins on about 50% of the bottoms, so you can climb right uphill. Forget the stress of slipping backward on the upslope or having to use a herringbone climbing pattern, which always makes me feel like a duck.  

You can check out the Altai Skis at our Outdoor Tracks STORE.


So what are  SkiShoes?

FREE Demos.

Contact by email. I meet folks by appointment in Sandy (near Mt. Hood) for free demos as soon as snow flies - usually around the end of November. With Altai Skis, all we need is a few inches. I have two extra pair of 125 cm skis with universal bindings for demo trials!

Don't need ski boots

I wear the same comfortable, waterproof boots for hiking or for skiing, which has saved me the expense of needing any special kind of ski boot. If the snow is deep, I also wear gaitors. Using the same boots, I have the flexibility of packing the skis up a trail until getting into snow, where I can then slap the skis on. This is especially useful in spring and fall.


You already know how great it is to get outside on a beautiful snowy trail, with a camera and a lunch. You already know about layering and carrying water and a pack to put your extra layers in when you get warm going uphill. You already know about the freedom of getting off trail.

If you've never skied before, you can add a whole new dimension to your winter outings. Ski-shoeing has all the advantages of snowshoeing, but with a kick when you hit a downhill grade.

Learn How

Watch a series of videos of Al demonstrating how to climb, glide, and turn on Altai skishoes  HERE

Gliding is a lot more fun than slogging!

Altai Skis are especially good in deep powder. They seem to "float" higher than snowshoes.

Sure, at first you'll fall a few times, until you get the hang of it.

Why don't you give it a try? Order your skis NOW


The Altai Ski Company     courtesy Altai Skis

Altai Skis was conceived by Nils Larsen and Francois Sylvain in 2009.

They both had extensive experience in the ski industry and had worked together designing nordic and backcountry skis for over ten years. They felt there was a great potential for skis designed for what they like to call ‘pocket backcountry’, the skiing many skiers have ready access to close to where they live. In both Quebec (Francois’ home) and NE Washington (Nils’ home), skiing out the back door or close to it offers them excellent and easy access to the winter world. They set to work on new designs, with the goal of creating easy to use and accessible gear to match the often overlooked skiing possibilities hiding in plain view.


The Altai Project

Nils has been working on a documentary project on indigenous skiers in the remote Altai Mountains of Northern Asia since 2005. The ski traditions in the area date back thousands of years, possibly to the origins of skiing. The skiers in the Altai still use one ski design for all their skiing, whether it’s a short trip to feed their livestock, over the hill to visit a neighbor, or a two-week hunting expedition deep into the rugged mountains. All skiing in the Altai is ‘backcountry’.

This was the inspiration for Altai Skis, it defines the spirit of our company and it will drive our designs into the future.

Skiers of the Altai       

The Altai Mountains are dead center in the Eurasian Continent. The earliest written records of skiing (in Chinese histories) refer to skiers hunting in the Altai. Skiing’s place of origin is still a mystery but the Altai/ Lake Baikal region is considered one of the likely places where skis were first used.

To this day many of the indigenous population still use skis for transport, hunting, and fun. These skiers are the inspiration for Altai Skis.


Hok ski shoe testimonials

The Altai Skis are perfect for skiing portions of the Pacific Crest Trail and other hiking type trails where it is much more difficult to ski with traditional cross country skis. The Altai Skis are much more maneuverable and are perfect for skiing narrow snow covered hiking trails in winter.


Debbie - Estacada, OR                                        Go to STORE now

Wow!!  I felt like a 16 year old with a new car!!  Thank you for the Hok ski –  what an incredible difference from snow shoeing into my favorite back country destinations.  I live in big snow country in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan (We have already logged over 80 inches of snow this season).  I am not a fan of snow machines or groomed trails.  My favorite spots had been only accessible by snowshoes until I tried your ski.  I love these boards.  Being able to maintain the inertia and momentum while taking on big deep snow is incredible advantage over the plant and stop cadence of a snowshoe.  I used the universal binding with a pair of Steger Mukaluks and it was like going across the snow in moccasins.  No groomers needed just add snow.  I am rarely this excited about a product but like I said before I feel like a 16 year old kid with the new found freedom of a car.  Thank you for an excellent product!!!!

Scott – Ironwood, MI

I just got my 145 cm Hoks.  I live in Washington D.C. which isn’t exactly a mecca of great ski terrain or snow. We got a nice storm last week though and I spent an afternoon cruising around on them in Rock Creek Park.  It was the most fun I have had on skis in a very long time.  Thanks for making such a great ski!  I can’t wait to take them into the backcountry.


Josh – MD

I was one of three skiers on hoks, with tiaks, at the top of a ridge in the backcountry.  While the rest of the group fussed with their skins, we planned a group run down the steep slope.  No plan, actually, just one two three go!  Whooping and hollering, making tight turns with our Tiaks, we raced down the mountain, narrowly avoiding collisions.  Much cheering and laughter at the bottom, and the decision to try it again!


Patty – Curlew WA

Just got the 125cm Hoks and 3-pin bindings today from a local ski place. They are AWESOME!!! I am so happy! 20 degrees, brilliant sun and a foot of fairly fresh powder doesn’t hurt. They are fantastic and so much fun for tromping through the woods. I will definitely try a single pole for more downhill but right now my xc ski poles are doing the trick. So comfy too with the 3-pin binding. I have ankle issues but this is just bombproof and awesome. Thanks!

Lauren –  Greensboro Bend, VT

I just wanted to write to you to tell you how much I am impressed with and enjoying my new altai hok 145 skis.  You have developed an incredible product with few if any competitors.  Truly your skis fill a void in backcountry skiing and winter expedition hiking. I believe you have created a unique and versatile product with quality craftsmanship and performance.  I will certainly be promoting your product with online reviews and youtube videos.  More people need to be exposed to what your skis have to offer in backcountry winter travel.

You have a fabulous product and I am a very satisfied customer. I cannot speak well enough about the product, and I thoroughly enjoy introducing new people to your skis.  Many people stop me to talk and ask questions about the skis, to which I am always passionate and enthusiastic to explain my experiences.   I  plan to purchase a set of Kom’s this winter and continue to support and explore your developments.

Ryan Miles – Goulais River, ON

Click to visit our STORE to get your own Altai Skis!

Sandy, Oregon

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