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decking material for showshoes?

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Our boys want to make snow shoes, so I'm trying to figure out how to do it myself so that I can then teach them.


I know how to bend the frame, but I'm at a loss as to what kind of material I can use for the "webbing" or "decking" material, as seen in these two pictures:





I've seen hypalon rubber suggested, but what I can find online is way too expensive.


Any ideas on a readily available, inexpensive material that we can use?



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Jackfrost - 1977 - Our snowshoes didn't have 'decking'. The frames were woven across with quarter inch wide strips of leather. (Or some reasonable facsimile thereof...)


The army gave us 4 foot long trail snowshoes. Not too wide, with a long tapered tail for stability and speed. Enough webbing to support a 195 pound soldier carrying an 80 pound pack.


For jumping, our snowshoes were rigged on our lowering lines (Rucksack to jumper- 20 feet of 1 inch nylon rope). What they didn't plan for was the USAF dropping us at 150 feet above the deck instead of 500 feet. Dang that magnetic interference! When you jump out of an airplane going 125mph, you are going 125mph, so your parachute opens horizontally, and you swing down under it. With only 100 feet to fall, by the time you check chute and drop ruck, you'd better be into you PLF, or you'll break a leg. Half of us never got a chance to release our snowshoes, so we grounded with them still tied to our harness. Lotsa 4 foot trail snowshoes became 2 foot bearpaws suitable for motor pool work...

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Some of the coolest snow shoes I've seen...


PVC pipe for the frames, then 550-cord for the laces, and an old truck inner-tube cut out for the "webbing". The rubber webbing was reinforced with punch-through metal gommets (like for tarp corners) and laced onto the PVC frame with the 550 cord.


The troop I saw drilled holes in the PVC tubes to anchor the 550-cord in place on the frame.


Looked like they worked pretty darn well and rather cheap in the materials department.



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