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Fri, Dec

RealSkiers: Unbalanced By Design

Realskiers-buckle-pressure

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.

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Ridge Merino: Ski And Ride Layers You’ll Want to Live In

Ridge-Merino-Wool-Baselayers-in-Hot-Creek-Blue-and-Atmospheric-River

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.

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RealSkiers: What You Should Know Before You Buy Your Next Boots

RealSkiers: What You Should Know Before You Buy Your Next Boots

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.

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RealSkiers: On Fluidity

RealSkiers: On Fluidity

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.

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RealSkiers: When Race Skis Ruled

RealSkiers: When Race Skis Ruled

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.

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RealSkiers: Incremental Innovation - What To Expect in 2018 And Beyond

RealSkiers: Incremental Innovation - What To Expect in 2018 And Beyond

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.

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RealSkiers: So You Want to Test Skis?

RealSkiers: So You Want to Test Skis?

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.

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RealSkiers: On Roundness

RealSkiers: On Roundness

 

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.

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PCSkiGal: Top Picks For Winter Feet

PCSkiGal: Top Picks For Winter Feet

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
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
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.
Ahnu Sugarpine


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

Altra Lone Peak 2.0 Polartec Neoshell

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

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

Lowa Sparrow WS Climbing Shoe

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.



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1420 Hits

RealSkiers: The Mail Bag

RealSkiers: The Mail Bag

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. 

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