Skis on the alpacka

I need some advice on transporting skis on the Alpacka. My planned trip has about 2 days of skiing, hopefully only one day of hiking and 2-3 days of floating. The first day floating will be on a fairly small volume of water, the last on a decent sized river. What is the best way to attach the skis? Across the bow seems rather wide but strapping them on the side concerns me because of the edges rubbing the tube. It seems that the best option is to find old wooden 10th mtn division skis, 5$ double leathers from the thrift store and burn them after the skiing section is over.
Any photos of what has worked would be appreciated. I am not to interested in purchasing any new gear (ski gear)so I am looking at using my old TUA Cimas 195’s.
Thanks , Eric

We just strapped them on across the bow. You just have to get them way forward so you don’t have to shorten your stroke too much. In rough water the skis can catch in the water, which isn’t ideal. Especially if they are weakly affixed and slide to one side, making you all lop-sided. And you’re a mile from shore and the current is pulling you into a rip… and you really have to pee. Actually all those things never lined up at once for us, but you can see the concern.

This photo (Early April 2008 in Kamishak Bay with Mt. St. Augustine in the background) sort of shows it… We used the bindings to help out with attachment.

If you do try going along the length of the boat, I wouldn’t worry about the boat. But you might damage your paddle if you have steel edges.

Are you thinking of running any large rapids with the skis?

The burning idea is elegant as well… though the glues in there might be a bit nasty.

Thanks Hig,
I plan on joining the Selway River about half way through the Wilderness section. I will hike the next 5 miles to avoid the main technical difficulties. I do have a fear of the skis catching on a wave and pulling me in a direction that I don’t want to go in the more technical sections. Glad to hear that your not to concerned about the tubes regarding the edges. This will be the first trip of the year so I will go play on the Snake to see if they will be an issue with the paddle. Thought about practicing with the skis last Fall but the season just fizzeled out with other activities.
If I have enough time I will try to make a pair of “burnable” skis for the trip like the lighting boards but I will tar the base rather then using the plastic junk.
Thanks again,



That sounds like a cool trip! Please post a report when you do it.

The skis are interesting too. Cheap, certainly, but quite heavy. Check Tom Turiano’s site if you haven’t already, for beta on ski-rafting.

I ended up sick the week of the 20th so I was unable to go.Shuttle and time off from work was all ready to go. Maybe next year. Weather may of been a little to nice as the Selway was really cranking towards the end of that week. Getting snow conditions, weather and waterlevels for this trip to line up leaves a pretty small window of oppertunity during the spring.