WINTER 2000/01


Photo: Lake Simcoe, ON, CA
Left: Russ Dewar Right: Joe Albert

Photo: Lake Scugog, ON, CA
Top: Russ Dewar

Winter Living

t's a snowboard... it's a wIndsurfer...
it's a snowfer?

Charles Chepregi learned to windsurf in 1985, and he was hooked from the getgo. As the sweet but brief Ontario summer came to a close that first year, he knew he would have to do something to make the season last longer. So he invented the snowfer, effectively turning windsurfing into a year-round affair.

Chepregi built and sailed his prototype that first winter, subsequently improving and patenting the Snowfer. He has travelled widely with his invention over the last 15 years, turning Snowfering into a worldwide sport. The Snowfer is a vacuum-moulded, polyfoam or balsa board with a waxed base. The most popular model is more than two metres long by 45 centimetres wide, and weighs about 7 kilograms or 15 to 16 pounds. The board surface of the board ensures it travels atop deep snow, rather than sinking.

Snowfering is easy, Chepregi maintains - if you can windsurf, you can Snowfer. Though similar in feel to Windsurfing, Snowfering is easier because you can't tip over on snow and ice the way you can on water. Any conventional Windsurfing rig can be hooked up to a Snowfer board, though a Snowfer sail need not be as large as the sail of a Windsurfer travelling in the same wind conditions.

Snowfers can be used almost anywhere winter happens, provided you have an open area covered with snow. Its inventor suggests frozen lakes, golf courses, rolling farmlands, fields and even mountains. The surface conditions don't matter much; you can skim over ice, hard-packed or deep snow.

So don't mope around waiting for the lake to thaw. As Chepregi writes on his website, "Snowfering gives us a positive approach to winter, making it not just bearable, but a welcome season." For more information, call toll-free: 1-877-745-9511 or visit:

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