What are the specifications of the Hoks?
99cm Balla Hok (pair) 2 lbs 6oz (1.08kg)
125cm Hoks (pair) 4 lbs 8 oz (2.05kg)
145cm Hoks (pair) 5 lbs 5oz (2.38 kg)

– Dimensions of 125 and 145 are (in mm) 124/110/122
– Dimensions of the 99 Balla Hok are 102/90/101
– Single camber
– Slightly rockered tip
What are the differences between the 2 sizes of Hoks and how do I pick a size?
The 145 has a little more “ski” DNA in it. This makes the 145 better for medium to large skiers wanting to use the Hoks in a more downhill fashion. The 145 has a bit more glide as well, but is less maneuverable in tight spaces. The 145 has a bit more floatation for deep snow and BIG skiers.
The 125 is better as a snowshoe substitute for most all users and for lighter ski focused users. The 125 is more maneuverable, better in thick woods and brush, lighter, and a little better grip. The 125 is also easier to control for those unfamiliar with skis.
Both sizes turn well with the 125 being a bit easier due to the length, but also a bit less stable at speed.
Skier size and weight  does come into play when sizing the Hok but we feel it is on equal footing with the intended use and conditions. As a general rule women of average size weight or smaller should use the 125cm, and men over 6ft at average weight could go with the 145cm. But for general use and as a snowshoe substitute the 125 works best even for larger men. We originally were going to do just the 125 and did all our testing on that size (2 medium to large guys).The Hok length affects the boot/binding you use as well, with the 125cm being easier to ski with a light boot or the universal binding.
What is the difference between the Kōm ski and the Hoks?
The Kōm and Hoks are designed to be quite different in how they perform and are used.
The Kōm is designed much closer to a traditional backcountry ski, with a few modifications. Both will travel well in the backcountry, and are designed with that in mind.
Here are some of the differences in use and performance between the two skis.

– The Kōm is a bit narrower under foot, but has more sidecut. Generally you would ski the Kōm longer then a Hok. The Kōm will perform better (more like a normal ski) on downhill terrain.
– The Kōm has a fishscale base. This allows the ski to glide faster, but in all but warm spring snow the Kōm will not climb as well as a Hok due to the Hok’s slower but grippier climbing skin base. This can be particularly pronounced in deep cold snows and on crusts, where scales do not grip well. We recommend using a climbing skin on the Kōm if a lot of steep and or sustained climbing is in the desired usage.
– The Hok can generally be skied with a lighter boot, particularly if one is just out touring.
– The Hok, because of its forward mounting position, will often break trail better as it tends to be very even weighted, keeping the ski balanced when moving through deep snow.
– The Hok will be more maneuverable in thick forest or brush, and is very easy to turn at slow speeds and has a very even swing weight.
– The Hok is great for backcountry travel where simplicity of moving through mixed terrain is desired.
– For downhill skiing in the backcountry, the Kōm is very well suited, and turns well with either tele or parallel turns.
– We recommend the Kōm with a light plastic boot like the Scarpa T4 or the Garmont (now Scott) Excursion. For all but brick hard snow or aggressive downhill, the Hok can do well with a sturdy leather boot and lightweight 3pin binding, universal binding, or a Salomon or Rottefella BC system binding.
Help! Snow is sticking to the bases of my Hoks. Is there a wax for this?
Mostly the Hoks are fine to use as is. Conditions where you might have clumping or icing are the same as with all skis – new snow warming right around freezing. The best is to wax if you anticipate this being the case – i.e. before you are out there and the problem occurs. In our shop we sometimes use Silicone spray from Napa auto parts. Spray the whole ski (base and skin), rubbing the silicone in side to side (NOT up and down). Let them sit until dry (maybe 30 min or less) then use. This works great for doing a bunch of skis. Currently we are selling SVST Power Paste ,similar to  Swix F4 and can be rubbed on both the base and skin material.
Other options are the various skin waxes available, paraffin, and XC paste glide waxes. We do not recommend hot waxing the skin, it can be damaged by excessive heat and clogged by melted in wax.
In the field, the SVST works best (and is handy to carry) and can be put on the whole ski base, skin and ptex (you will find the ptex ices up as much as the skin). Again, rub the wax in sideways into the skin nap. Have a snack while it dries a bit then you are good to go.
A small PLASTIC scraper can be handy to have in the field to clean  and scrape the base (if it is iced up) before applying the wax. A credit card works in a pinch.
Is there a general maintenance I should do to the Hoks?

The Hoks do not need a lot of maintenance. We recommend making sure the bindings screws are tight (if they loosen, put some blue locktite in the inserts). If the bases start to look dried out you can rub xc paste wax or hard (glide) wax on them. Silicone spray, xc paste waxes, or skin waxes can be rubbed on the skin part of the base. When not in use, keep in a dry place (do not leave them sticking in the snow – especially wet snow – all winter. Clean off excess snow after use, especially in the binding, so it does not freeze in place.

What is the screw size of the inserts in the Hoks?
The threaded binding inserts in the Hoks are stainless steel and the thread size is M6 (6mm). We use different length screws for different bindings.
– 3pin: toe piece is 12mm length, custom AS heel piece is 16mm.
– The universal binding screws are 25mm length
– The adapter plate insert screws are 20mm length.
I have screws coming loose in the inserts, what can I do?
Screws can be prone to come loose especially when the are metal on metal like on a 3 pin binding. We include a pillow packed of thread locker with our 3 pin kits and Heel kits. Use according to the directions. If you don’t have this or need more you can buy locktite at any hardware store and add that to the inserts before screwing in the screws. We recommend the blue (product #242) non permanent locktite.
We also use zinc coated screws, not stainless. The inserts are stainless and mixing stainless with stainless can lead to the screws binding or seizing up in the inserts.
Where did the design and graphic come from on the Hok?

The tail design on the Hok is from a felt rug I purchased in the Altai Mountains on one of my early trips there. This is a classic nomadic design from the area and the felt rugs are common there, used on sleeping platforms, yurt floors, and the beds of the horse drawn sleds called ‘Chanas’

Hok is kind of a weird name. How do you pronounce it and where does it come from?
Pronounced like the bird of prey [hawk]. The word Hok is very close to the Tuwa work for ski. The Tuwa have a HK sound that is something not found in English, but to the western ear is sounds like Hok.
The Tuwa are actually Tuvan and moved south to the Altai probably in the last 400 years. They are the most avid skiers and are true mountain dwellers (and hunters). They are also one of the smallest ethnic groups in the Altai and number fewer then 4000 in the Chinese Altai region.
Where are the Hoks made?

The Hoks are made in a small factory a few hours south of Shanghai, China. The factory has about 40 employees and makes skis and snowboards exclusively.

Can I mount other bindings on the Hok?
Yes. Using the adapter plate, you can mount SNS BC or NNN BC bindings directly on the Hoks without drilling. There are also several other Nordic style bindings that can fit the adapter plate, check with us for more details on this.
You can also mount AT and some telemark bindings using Binding Freedom aftermarket inserts on the Hoks. We do not warranty this but it has been done by a number of users.
What if there are rocks and dirt where I ski, will this ruin the bases?

Since the advent of modern Ptex based skis, rocks have been the scourge of all ski bases, with some bases being more prone to damage(fishscale bases in particular) then others. The skin part of the base on the Hoks can also be damaged by rocks, gravel and sand. Avoid these when you can, but it is possible to cross bare spots and rocky gravelly areas if one is careful. Rule #1 is never slide on rocks, gravel, sand, or hard woody debris. Always step lightly when crossing any of these and the Hoks will be fine. We ski early and late season a lot on the Hoks and so encounter poorly covered or melted out areas often and the ‘step lightly’ technique has worked well in all our “testing”.

How durable is the skin material on the bases of the Hoks?
The nap material (hair) of the Hoks skin is nylon and very durable. We have Hoks with well over 100 days on them and the skin still looks and works well. The material can get gouged and scraped by rocks in particular so avoid sliding over any rocks, gravel, sand, or hard woody debris. Step on or over these obstacles as needed.
We have never seen any sign of frozen or crusty snow wearing out the fur or hair on the skin material.
If you cut, damaged or peel up a bit of the skin material it is easily fixable – see the instructions on this PDF –
To Repair a Skin Tear or Delamination
Finally, if you think your skin is really past its life, they are replaceable as long as they are not from the 1st year Hoks. Contact us for more information on this.
Is the skin material on the Hoks replaceable?

Yes, as long as it is not from our first year Hoks, You can contact us for replacement, and we have also have a few replacement inserts with a peel and stick glue on the back. This requires a bit more work on your part, but if you are reasonably DIY proficient it is doable at home.

Skin colors by years.

What if the skin material gets gouged or comes loose in a spot?
The Hoks have a 1 year full warranty on them and if your skin delaminates beyond that from normal use we will repair it free of charge. The skin material on the Hoks is easily repairable barring catastrophic (as in major delamination) failure. We can also repair it here for a small fee.
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