Designed in Whistler | Used Around The World

 

The Best Trail Building Tools

 
 

At Shapeshifter Tool Co, we are dedicated to crafting exceptional hand tools for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Based in Whistler B.C., a mecca for mountain biking, you don’t need to look far for inspiration when it comes to trail building. And that's where this whole journey started. Being surrounded by world-class trails, the team at Shapeshifter was inspired to create a line of tools that could keep up. And so, Shapeshifter was born. A hand tool company with a goal to create strong and durable hand tools.

Beyond crafting hand tools originally intended for trail builders, our line up was quickly recognized by landscapers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. And in the summer of 2023, when B.C. was faced with the worst summer for wildfires to date we recognized just how many roles these versatile tools could fill. We take immense pride in offering tools that can contribute not only to trail building but also protecting and preserving Canada’s landscapes.

 

At Shapeshifter, we’re passionate about hand tools, we’re passionate about building community, and we’re passionate about making something that lasts. So please, join us on this exciting journey, and let our tools be the trusted, reliable choice you reach for in your outdoor adventures.

 

A message from the owner

 

Over the last 30 years, I have owned and operated a construction company called Vision Pacific based in Whistler, British Columbia. During this time frame, I have learned time and time again that you want to use the right tool for the job at hand. The right tool makes the work easier, the work is safer, and the quality of the product and the experience is always better.

The creative spark that culminated in the creation of Shapeshifter tools occurred over the Covid lockdown. I am an avid biker, and I like to volunteer my time and skills to benefit my community. I was inspired to take action because I saw that the popularity of biking was growing with new riders wanting to access the outdoors and the fact our town had a disproportionate number of expert trails and needed more intermediate trails.

I joined the volunteer trail building group (Worca) and was instantly inspired by the passion and energy the volunteers. While working with these awesome people I made a series of observations.

The first was that carrying tools up a half-built trail for 30 minutes is tough work. The tools you bring need to be strong, light, and multi-use. I also learned that a pick axe is a form of torture if you are over 5’6”.

This experience launched me, and then my Shapeshifter team, into an exhaustive study of the available products on the market. Then, an optimization program where we made the tools better. We offer the most extensive trail tool/wildfire hand tool catalogue in the market, with different handle lengths and head weights to make the perfect combination. We then powder-coat the product with an array of interesting colours so the user can bond with their tool (new friend).

The reality is that everyone is different and has different preferences. I myself like a heavier tool (if I am not walking far up the trail). I can get into the rhythm of the work, and the weight does not bother me. I was recently at a trail night, and a number of the trail volunteers wielding pickaxes were sitting down and gasping for air after 20 minutes.

If they were using our tools, they would have gotten more done and had more fun in the process. I am going to bring more demo tools next trail night. Every time I am out building trail, I try and problem solve. For a while, I carried tools up in a bag. It was awkward and heavy. My team and I then set out to design a better system. I took inspiration from the Dutch MilkMaid yoke. We made a tool carrier called the oxen, sticking to the animal theme, that can sit on your shoulders (over a pack) and can take four tools. This makes carrying the tools in much easier and gives the ability to move between tools easier. When you get tired of swinging a hoe, you move to raking; when the raking is getting you down, you move to filling our collapsible buckets. In short, our goal is to make trail building and wildfire fighting as comfortable as possible. The tools are designed and scaled for all shapes and sizes. With the right tool firefighters and trail builders can get more done, enjoy the experience more and not put strain on their bodies.

As a company we are passionate about the outdoors and want to preserve nature, creating accessibility to nature so more people can experience it. Please share your experiences with us with our tools. If we can help with designing specific tools for your area we are happy to talk.

 

Tim Regan
Owner
Shapeshifter Tool Co.

 

 

 

Georgia - Sales Director

Originally from Ontario, I moved to British Columbia after finishing university. What was meant to be one ski season turned into staying for four years with no plan to return – I know, it’s a tale as old as time.

Always an avid skier, when my first summer rolled around in BC, I wasn't sure what sport I would take to. With lots of family and friends raving about mountain biking, I thought I would try it out. A few years later, I still love this sport and found myself wanting to be more involved with the work that goes into making BC’s trail we all know and love.

Not being able to lug around a 10 lb tool myself for hours on end, I admired the concept Shapeshifter was chasing to provide well-designed hand tools that could fit the unique needs of the individuals who use them. So, fast forward a few years to 2022, I joined the Shapeshifter team and to this day I have enjoyed sharing this product with those who love to work and love to be in the great outdoors.

If you have any questions about Shapeshifter as a business, the products we carry, or inquiries about bringing these products into a store in your hometown, please feel free to reach out to me at georgia@shapeshiftertools.ca, I’d be happy to have a conversation.

 

Janel - Social Media and Warehouse Associate

Hi! I'm Janel, social media and warehouse associate for Shapeshifter Tools. Born and raised in Whistler BC, my love and appreciation for the outdoors grew as I did. Growing up in Whistler, I was exposed to many outdoor activities, skiing and riding horses have always been my favourites. As any local I have nothing but appreciation for the community that keeps local trails sustained. Currently, I am a student at UBC Vancouver, though my heart still belongs to the mountains.

Though new to the Shapeshifter team, I am excited to immerse myself in the trail-building community. The passion I've felt so far from everyone I have met has been inspiring. I must say there is something addictive about swinging tools in the woods. Personally, my favourite tool to use is the Grizzly Lightweight for its versatile use and easy manoeuvrability, not to mention the gorgeous green colour! Shapeshifter aligns with my values as an outdoor enthusiast and environmental steward. I couldn't be happier to be a part of a local company that seeks to benefit my community and others like it!

If you are interested in being featured on our Instagram or collaborating with us, our DMs are always open!