Vancouver doesn’t get a lot of snow, so it’s understandable that people there might be a little out of practice when it comes to shoveling it.
After the recent snowfall in Vancouver, an employee at North Vancouver’s Deep Cove Outdoors shoveled the company’s parking lot using a one wheeled, hands-free, and self balancing skateboard/snowboard called the Onewheel.
The unusual bit of upkeep was caught on film on the store’s Facebook page.
For $2,295 you can also shovel your driveway without having to get your shoes wet, but it probably won’t be much help when there’s more than a couple of inches on the ground, sadly.
Snowfall in Vancouver is a very rare occasion, and less than five centimetres most areas received managed to bring the city to a crawl. Universities closed, black ice made driving a havoc, and buses were a half-hour to an hour late everywhere. ICBC says it received 4,366 calls on Monday for its “Dial a Claim” service, 13 per cent higher than last December’s numbers.
So what about that unusual device? The Onewheel was invented by Kyle Doerksen an entrepreneur with an impressive background. Doerkson wanted to be able to feel like he was snowboarding while he was unable to get up the hill. Onewheel has three different modes, classic which is recommended for beginners and limits you to speeds no higher than 15 km/h, “Extreme” mode which has no speed limiting feature and is recommended for more advanced users, and “Elevated” mode, which helps keep the nose of the Onewheel elevated, best for traveling on inclines.
“Inspired by the feeling of snowboarding on powder, this 2 horsepower beast turns pavement into your playground. Onewheel’s dynamic stabilization creates lean-to-go control and allows you to carve silky smooth heel and toe turns on and off road,” reads the product description on the website onewheel.com.
While Vancouver snowfall is rare it almost always seems to inflict damage. Yesterday, large mounds of ice were falling from the Alex Fraser and Port Mann bridges, damaging some vehicles. The snow was falling with enough force to shatter windshields. Precautions were taken in previous years to prevent this issue from happening again, but when crews went up to investigate they couldn’t find any places where snow could have accumulated.
Some might be surprised at the array of snow equipment Vancouver actually has, considering the rarity of the white stuff in the city.
“Building on weekend salting work, 18 salters are currently on major routes, with up to 15 more added to the crew as snow continues. #bcstorm” Said the @CityofVancouver twitter account yesterday. Attached to the tweet was a picture saying that Vancouver’s snow removal team has 44 trucks, 1500 tonnes of salt stockpiled, 2 brine trucks, and even special equipment which can be used to salt bikeways.
Readers of Deep Cove Outdoors’ Facebook page seem to be getting a chuckle from the employee’s creative snow removal methods.
“Is that an all season tire or snow tire….awesome,” said one. “Hilarious! I was wondering what that was, now I wanna try it,” said another. The store, meanwhile, may know more about viral marketing that it lets on. You can buy the Onewheel inside.