The arrival of ski swaps each fall reminds winter enthusiasts that snow is on the way and that the ski season is right around the corner. Now is the time to get the best deals on ski and snowboard equipment, and ski swaps are a great way to purchase gently used or even new gear for short money. Swaps are not just for buying gear; you can also turn in your used gear that still has life left in it and earn back some of your investment.
Rottefella has created the binding solution for waxless and skin cross country skis. The MOVE Switch is a dial on the front of the binding that will allow skiers to slide the binding forward or backwards without releasing the ski from the boots. That’s right - while you are on the ski trail, you can just bend over and turn the switch for the binding to slide and adjust to the desired weight distribution on each of the skis.
Using all-American materials, manufacturing and workers, Farm to Feet offers skiers, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts merino wool socks that are made with as little impact on the environment as possible and a supply chain completely within the US.
Women to Women looks to take all women skiers to new levels of confidence, excitement and freedom. (Blizzard Ski/Facebook)
Leslie Baker-Brown, Blizzard Tecnica Marketing Manager, was on an athlete summit in Portillo, Chile, a few years ago when one of the pro skiers she was with made a comment that stopped her in her tracks: she gets intimidated when walking into a ski shop.
A blank canvas in the Wasatch invites the skier to etch clean lines on its surface. (RealSkiers)
As the 2017/18 ski season shifts from bright anticipation to rapidly dimming memory, it’s time to look back and take stock of where we’ve been and what we’ve pondered in the past seven months. To this end, here are links to all the recent Revelations you may have missed, along with a skinny summary of its contents.
The Marmot Slingshot down jacket will keep you warm on the coldest day as will an Arc’teryx Sentinel shell with a down midlayer under it. (Karen Lorentz)
The fashions are colorful, the gear rocks, and both are more high-tech than ever — reasons they’ll make you more comfortable and happier on the slopes.
Try to be as specific as you can when describing yourself as a skier. (RealSkiers.com)
Thanks to the popularity of rating sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, every retailer, restaurant and service provider in America is subject to appraisal by its customers. On the whole, this phenomenon is a positive development, even if human nature is such that many folks are more likely to rant about a negative experience than extol an exceptional one.
If you only have an hour, first focus on your feet. (Tecnica Skiboots/Facebook)
If you can only carve one hour out of your crazy holiday schedule to get fully outfitted in new gear, how best to spend this precious hour?
Scenes from a short seminar in buckle pressure. (RealSkiers.com)
After each bootfitting exercise, I spend a few moments ensuring that my freshly fitted customer understands the basic operation of his or her new footwear. Part of this brief operations overview is a lesson on buckle tension. You might think experienced skiers would know all about this; after all, many have been wearing 4-buckle boots for twenty seasons or more.
Ridge Merino Wool baselayers in Hot Creek Blue and Atmospheric River. (Ridge Merino/Facebook)
Ridge Merino is an up-and-coming Merino layer company based out of Mammoth Lakes, California, and their pieces perform as well in daily life as they do in the wildest outdoor conditions. The apparel is inspired by the lifestyle in the Eastern Sierras – where you may spend one morning backcountry skiing and then go bouldering in desert sunshine that very afternoon.
This young lady wisely opted to have her boots fitted by the pros at Boot Doctors. (RealSkiers)
Buying alpine ski boots has never been a picnic. It isn't going to get any easier, at least not in the near term.
Harald Harb pouring himself downhill.(RealSkiers)
If there is a single quality that epitomizes how great skiers ski, it's fluidity. Fluidity is the application of technical skills to the opportunities the terrain and snow conditions provide. Fluidity is anticipation so precise every arc appears effortless. Fluidity arises from the awareness that when we ski, we step into a torrent of gravity.
Franz Klammer's Olympic gold in Innsbruck didn't just raise Fischer's profile among American skiers, it helped build the entire sport's popularity. (RealSkiers.com)
Last week on Realskiers.com I wrote about the best all-mountain skis made since that terminology became common usage. This week's reverie highlights some of the great race skis that served an earlier generation of skiers as their everyday ride.
Over time, incremental innovation results in significant change.(RealSkiers.com)
To appreciate the global trends evinced by the 2018 ski market, one must first comprehend the pressure on major suppliers to renew as much of their product line as resources permit. At a minimum, cosmetics need to change; any model that doesn’t change its stripes, so to speak, risks dealers filling in around carryover, thereby reducing initial orders by 20-30 percent off the bat.
There's a big difference between skiing and ski testing. (Copper Mountain)
Everybody loves to demo new skis. When most skiers try out a new model, they just go skiing and see if they like it. They may lack the vocabulary to describe precisely what they prefer and what they loathe, but they can easily distinguish between being happy and being miserable.
Gad Valley, Snowbird. (Realskiers)
In the White World of the mountains, every line is a curve. The innocents who proudly announce that they straight-lined such-and-such a slope fail to observe that every inch of their descent described an arc through space. (Through time as well, but let's not complicate matters any further for now.) Once atop a mountain, the instant you step into gravity's stream you go from standing on a dot to standing on a curve.
The Oboz Madison is a great pick for both fashion and function. (Oboz)
Winter footwear used to be easy. If you asked any real skier (not bunnies who sit at the Montage sipping hot toddies) what they wore for kicks they'd answer ski boots and Sorels. Ah, the good old days. Now there are so many cute, cool choices you might wind up with the winter version of Imelda Marco's shoe closet.
Those who live in resorts like Park City know what I'm talking about. It's cold, icy and snowy a solid six months out of the year; and it's boring looking down at the same winter feet every day (and night). If you even thought about getting fancy for dinner or Sundance good luck not slipping on your a** in front of international paparazzi- or at least your friend's Snapchat. So you need a fancy winter shoe? There are such things, you know.
Athleisure fans rejoice! You now have some of the most fun and functional silhouettes for winter feet since the Ugg rage thankfully waned. Flirty, fleece-rimmed ankle boots pair with your favorite skinny jeans, calf-high zips compliment your new sweater dress or pencil skirt and, well, those Tecnica Moon Boots go with nothing and therefore go with everything.
If you are in need of inspiration check out these great fashion finds for winter feet:
The Oboz Madison Insulated Boots are everything you could want for winter. Rugged outsoles for traction and friction, a nubuck leather upper for shedding snow and rain, 200g of Thinsulate for winter warmth, a pile cuff for comfort, hidden side zipper for easy entry, an insulated footbed for extra warm feet and they are adorable. $165.
Tecnica MoonBoot W.E. Monaco Lows give you the style of those oh-so popular slipons but with the traction and dryness you need for navigating snow and slush. They may look bulky but they're lightweight, flexible and uber warm. Plus, the Lunar faux fur has waterproofing to keep it from looking like you have a wet rat around your calf half-way through the season. $160.
Wolverine Sirrus Zip Oxford. This hard-to-find shoe is a must for any local. It's the winter equivalent to wearing flipflops all summer. Suede leather waterproof upper, warm, fuzzy, faux-fur lining, removable full-cushion footbed, arch support and deep, deep lug soles. $89.
You see these Ahnu Sugarpines and instantly have to have them. Not only does it come in fun, unique colors you won't find in any other mid-hiker, but they are super warm and waterproof. The Sugarpines have Ahnu's neutral foot position for better balance and stride, a double-reinforced toe to keep out water and cold, and a padded tongue for extra cush. This may not be your snowshoe-shoe but it'll be your fave go-to for casual winter dinners and dog-walks. $89
When you are into winter trail running, there's the Altra Lone Peak 2.0 Polartec Neoshell. Zero drop, waterproof and roomy. The neoshell upper provides a weather-resistant barrier while the sandwiched StoneGuard midsole gives flexible protection as you traipse over rocks and ice chunks. The design is made to feel like an extension of your foot rather than you trying to make your foot fit the shoe. If you have a wide foot and struggle with a comfortable trail shoe you need to explore this brand. $65.
Timberland Authentic Winter Fold Downs. In case you haven't kept up on the trends, fold downs are all the rage. Not only do you get a cute fuzzy shoe but a chukka too. The durable uppers are made with full-grain, waterproof leather and suede, and, unlike other winter fashion boots, these folddowns have a waterproof membrane and teddy fleece lining for extra oomph. EVA midsole and aggressive lugs provide all-day comfort even when the streets get slick. $98
Every outdoorswoman needs the Lowa Sparrow WS Climbing Shoe on hand. When you can't ski for whatever reason the most fun "adventure" workout you can have is in the climbing gym. These beauties offer all-day comfort which is key if you've been in ski boots for five days straight. The women's last keeps your heel in place but gives extra wiggle room in the toe box. It's really more about having a shoe that doesn't make you scream in pain without sacrificing performance; especially in the winter. BTW, these do awesomely on those intermediate (and beginner) sport routes. $140.
Skier Katie Van Riper is all smiles at Snowbird. (Matt Crawley/Snowbird/Facebook)
This week, Jackson Hogen shares some Realskiers.com subscriber perspectives he found instructive, on pedicures, gloves and proper ski size selection, with responses appended.