Review: Loqski, Protecting your Skis and Poles from Theft

Ski locks have been around since well, since there have been people with sticky fingers and help themselves to the “No cost upgrade”. The earliest locks I remember were Barrecrafter; then, in the mid 80’s, the SkiTote flooded the industry. The SkiTote, a handy-dandy nifty-thrifty device, was very well the most popular ski gift given to any skier … usually from a non skier. From there we went to pocket-sized recoiling locks that were enough to keep wandering fingers away from your gear. But, there was one limitation: How do you secure your poles? Along came a better mousetrap, the Loqski.

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The Loqski is one of those designs so simple and well-designed that you would expect to see it on a show like Shark Tank. I first heard about Loqski here on SkTalk, where one of our members was singing its praises. I reached out to the company and talked for a good hour with James Pittard, Loqski’s owner, designer, shipping/receiving clerk and head of daycare. At SkiTalk, we do get quite a few requests for promotions of products and testimonials. At times, for products like Loqski, I will reach out to the company myself. Since I usually will not provide a testimonial until I actually spend some time with the product, James sent us some to play with and put through their paces. I will say that I was immediately impressed with not only the simplicity of the Loqski, but the quality.

James explained that the first incarnation of the Loqski was metal and weighed in at a healthy 268 grams. While this is just about the mass of a hamster, it would be noticeable when you carried it in your pocket, especially since most of us already carry cell phones and other items. Because they realized that this was a shortcoming of the product that might limit sales, James went back to the drawing board. In today’s age of incredible composites, they came across EMS Grivory, who specializes in thermoplastics like Grilamid, which we now find in many ski boots. By going with the Grivory compound they were able to drop the weight by more than 50% to a svelte 112 grams. Now when you put the lock in your pocket, you almost forget it’s there, because it is so light and unobtrusive. What James was not willing to compromise was the quality of the lock cylinder, which does have a very solid feel when locking and unlocking. The lock has also 10,000 key options which is 10X most major lock options for racking systems.

Yes, skis get stolen, and when that happens, it is usually a premeditated theft. What is just as, if not more common, is pole theft. Sometimes that‘s simply a case of mistaken identity. Fifteen dollar rental poles are confused with $200 LEKI carbon fiber ones, even though there are no straps on them … because [sponsor plug] you have LEKI’s Trigger 3D gloves.[/sponsor plug]. Mistaken pole identity is usually not malicious, but, in the case of LEKI … sometimes it is. The Loqski will protect you if you have no pole straps to hang from the ski tips to differentiate them from other poles in the rack.
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So, how does the Loqski work? Again, the beauty is in the simplicity. Now that all skis have *brakes, the Loqski attaches to the ski brakes where they are clipped together. The poles are then placed in their own spots and the lock is tightened around the brakes and the poles. When the key is turned, both skis and poles are locked together. At this point, it is a free-standing locked device and unless you unlock it with the key, a thief will be walking away with an obvious set up that will draw attention, something that the thief does not want. If you are looking for an added level of security, Loqski does offer a 6 meter galvanised steel cable with a soft outer protective layer, that attaches to the brake clip and around a post or ski rack.

I did do a couple of trial runs attaching the lock to our test skis before I went to the resort, something I would suggest especially for kids and those with limited mechanical skills. What was impressive was that even after just a few trial runs, the Loqski was simple to operate with gloves on.

James and Loqski did their homework when designing the product. Loqski reached out to all the binding manufactures to get bindings to test their lock with, and I was told Marker sent them five dozen pairs! In complete transparency, I didn’t try the lock with all of SkiTalk’s test skis , but of the dozen or so I tried, it worked with every one. Will it work with every possible ski/plate/binding option out there? Maybe not; there might an isolated combination that won’t, but I would say 95% of the time it will, and that‘s pretty good.

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Because part of the lock goes between the skis, there was a concern that it might damage the bases and edges. This is nothing to worry about. First of all, the edges are harder than the material used to construct the lock. As far as the bases go, unless the skis are squeezed together or the brake arms are right up against the sidewall, I don’t see an issue with base damage. I really think the product is darn near foolproof, but in the many years of reviewing products, I have found fools to be adept at finding Nth degree shortcomings.
  • Who is the Loqski for: You bring multiple skis to the resort and might leave a pair (or three) unattended. You have expensive skis and poles and you are afraid of someone taking them. This is cheap insurance at less than $49 (US).
  • Who is the Loqski not for: You live on the edge and have good homeowner’s insurance. *You own telemark/backcountry skis that do not have brakes.
  • Insider tip 1: If you have multiple members in the family and are getting more than one, get different colors and color-code the keys.
  • Insider tip 2: Put the spare key on your lanyard with your pass.
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About author
Philpug
I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time as a Gear Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.

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Yes! I am buying these. I have been the victim of a "ski swap" a half dozen times over the years. In almost every case, the person who took my skis had been drinking at the lodge.

The first time, a guy with Rossi Bandit rental skis took mine by mistake. The thing is, his rentals had an orange top sheet, and different bindings, and my Bandits had a blue top sheet. He tried to return my skis to the rental place, and according to the ski patroller that gave my skis back to me, the guy kept insisting to the rental shop that the skis were his.

Another time, a woman who looked like she was in her 40's took my 10 year old daughter's skis, which were the same color, but my daughter's skis were a different brand and obviously much shorter than the skis that the woman had. Also, the woman's boot size was different, but she somehow managed to get into my daughter's bindings. She went up the lift and skied a run on the child sized skis, I was talking to a patroller about the missing skis when she skied past me after finishing her run. I noticed she was on my daughter's skis. The patroller pulled her over. She admitted to having a couple of cocktails at lunch. We had a good laugh over that one and went on with our day after getting the skis back.
 
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Loqski or not, the moment you left your WRTs unatended, they magically disappear.

Poof...like that... :ogbiggrin:

Don't get me wrong, I am still buying at least 3 of these. If not more.
 
As someone who has come home with tragically mismatched ski poles, I’ll be buying one- at the very least it will help stop me from screwing up at the end of the day. The time I did it though I left with a way worse pole than I left behind, plus it was at least 6” longer.
Maybe I’m to old for day trips.
 
Hopefully they will be available soon. Right now it says coming early December on the website.
 
It’s funny how the mind works. I had gone down into the basement in the fall and looked at the poles and could not quite understand how I’d done it. How could I have managed to mismatch those ski poles so badly when I was only gathering up one pair of skis and poles- I mean, seriously, one was significantly longer than the other, and they weren’t even the same material.
I did the post above and then realized my memory was completely wrong! It wasn’t a day trip, (but I remembered it that way because I got in a car to drive to where we were staying), and I wasn’t alone, I was with my wife who is much smaller than me. So when I had a handful of poles that were different lengths and materials it didn’t phase me.
Anyways, one less little unexplained mystery in my life. It only took me 3 years and responding to a random post about mismatched poles to solve it.
On the other hand, I just wasted a few precious moments of all of your lives explaining this.
 
I still feel the old "ski key" system is better though.
#1 the system actually locks your skis in place so no one can walk away with them
#2 the lock itself is way smaller and less of a hazzle to carry around.
Drawbacks of the ski key is off course that they require a specific ski rack and I see less and less of those around. For that reason I might also end up getting some loqskis.

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I started the post on Loqski and still maintain it’s the best and most secure setup I’ve come across. Had mine for 3 seasons and it’s taken care of me at CO Front Range resorts, Targhee, Jackson and Big Sky. Will it defeat the well prepared thieves that are out to clean off a rack, no. Everyone else, yep.
 
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