Interview with Petar Dimitrov – the inventor of Small Foot inflatable snowshoes

(360 is the most popular Bulgarian magazine for extreme sports and people with extreme lifestyle.)

“I am inspired by the balance between business, by creating innovative quality products and protecting the environment.”

Small Foot are the most compact snowshoes we have ever seen. If you ever needed to wear snowshoes on your back in the mountain, you know exactly what an effort this is.

Petar invented inflatable snowshoes, which could be packed in a compact suitcase, when they aren’t needed. You can attach them to yourself and you don’t even need to have a backpack.

How Small Foot was born?

This happened about 3 years ago in the mountain. We were snowboarding and I got lost. Then I had to put off the board and start struggling with the deep snow. Then I wished I had something small, light and compact to pull out of my backpack which could help me move easier. In that moment the idea of inflatable snowshoes flashed through my mind. I was almost 100% sure that I will find something like this on the internet but unfortunately I couldn’t. A few days later I made an improvisation by myself. I attached a strap to two air bags. After this test I was pleasantly surprised, inspired and I decided to develop the idea.

Tell us about the process of design, what was your method of approach to this idea?

When I was sure that the idea is working, I started to think, to make tests with different forms, sizes, ways of fastening, materials. This helped me to improve Small Foot as functionality and design. The next year I decided to participate in the biggest sport expo in the world for innovative sport products „ISPO brand new” in Munich.  It started like a joke but I received an e-mail telling me that I am among the winners in the category “winter equipment”. This gave me self-confidence and assured me that this product has a potential.

Do you want to challenge someone with this product?

The inflatable snowshoes would be useful to all the people linked with the mountain and especially to all those who practice extreme winter sports. The snowshoes are very compact when deflated, light and safe for carrying and there are specially designed bags for the different winter sports. We are also working on a special backpack where one of the snowshoes stays inflated and serves as a back protector.

Who inspires you in your work?

I am inspired mainly by the extreme sports and the needs of people who practice them. I am impressed by the Scandinavian companies who are developing sport products with functional and clean design and are oriented towards the use of ecological materials. The balance between business, creating quality products and saving the environment inspires me.

Which are the biggest challenges in your work?

Creating a quality product which is oriented to users all over the world is one great challenge by itself.