Combine cycling with skiing and what do you get? Sno-Go, the ultimate, all-mountain “snow bike” that’s perfect for groomed trails, snow parks or powder.
Sno-Go, the product, is manufactured and sold by Sno-Go the company, a startup co-founded in Sandy, Utah, by entrepreneurs Chase Wagstaff and Obed Marrder. Friends since the seventh grade, the duo launched Sno-Go in 2015 after several other solo and combined business endeavors. With Sno-Go they combined their passions for mountain biking with the concept that they could reimagine what is possible in the snow.
Due to its operator-friendly design, including three skis and handlebars, riding a Sno-Go snow bike is as easy as riding a bicycle, but just as exhilarating as skiing or snowboarding. Riders stand on the back two skis as they would a pair of snow skis, but rather than hold ski poles they grasp the handlebars connected to the front ski. As the riders shift their weight from side to side the Sno-Go articulates so the riders can easily navigate hills and the changing landscape.
Prototyping their design took place over a five-year period as Wagstaff and Marrder bootstrapped their business while working other jobs. While other ski bikes featured two skis, the duo opted for three skis to add stability and control and patented a state-of-the-art Rockshox fork. Further, they aligned the skis such that the treads left behind by the snow bike were identical to a standard pair of skis. After raising more than $155,000 via crowdfunding and $680,000 from investors, the company scouted out a manufacturing partner in Utah with factories in China to produce the units and ramped up production. Wagstaff and Marrder have since sold their snow bikes in more than 20 countries.
For Wagstaff and Marrder, seeing their vision come to life is a dream come true, but their greatest joy has come from seeing customers gain the ability to ski for the first time. “We get a ton of customers from the adaptive community,” says Wagstaff. “Many of our customers are veterans or other individuals with limitations that prevent them from using traditional skis or snowboards, but they can operate a Sno-Go.”
The duo never dreamed their snow bikes could impact the lives of so many people from across the globe.
Sno-Go recently received two grants from World Trade Center Utah to further its international goals. The company used funds from the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant to help it locate “an amazing distributor” in Europe, which has become the company’s hottest selling market. The STEP Grant is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration and administered by WTC Utah.
The company also received a Utah Export Acceleration Grant which is administered by WTC Utah and made possible through a generous contribution by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Wagstaff says that the Utah Export Acceleration Grant “helped us become more knowledgeable about the markets we are currently selling in. We learned what it takes to export products into new countries as well as certain laws in these markets that were super important for us to know.”
For more information about Sno-Go visit www.sno-go.us or call 435-709-5763.