The question most commonly asked by the new ski buyer, whether in person or via the Internet, is, to no one’s surprise, “What ski should I buy?” When this query is posed on line, the second most frequent question is, “Where should I buy it?”
The device responsible for making skiing an accessible sport instead of a risky form of recreation is the alpine boot. If it isn’t set up to function properly, the expensive slat it’s meant to control and the binding to which it’s connected won’t operate as their designers intended.
Mineral Basin, on the backside of Snowbird, is a bowl so large if it were any bigger it would be a lake. When storms move into this corner of Little Cottonwood Canyon, visibility collapses to a range so dense it should serve as the optical equivalent of Absolute Zero on the Kelvin scale.
To familiarize prospective first-time-in-years ski purchasers with today's altered landscape, we’ll walk you through the Q & A of a current ski sale. Let’s assume in this example that you’ve already confessed to having no idea what’s right for you in this brave new world and have asked a reputable salesperson to clue you in.
The average American skier buys a new pair of skis every 8 to 10 years. For every gear junkie adding to his or her arsenal every other year there’s someone who, as far as the ski industry is concerned, goes dormant for over a decade.
Few skiers are as zealous as Masters and Citizen racers. When the editors at realskiers worked in product development for Salomon in the early 1980s, extensive consumer research led to the identification of three skier archetypes we’ll call Tourists, Players and Zealots.
In another sentence or two, we’re going to inform you that what ski brand you buy isn’t very important. We want to caution you in advance that this statement isn’t entirely true. It does indeed matter what brand you buy; it just doesn’t matter as much as a few other factors that need to be settled first.
Many skiers with 20 ski seasons or more of experience base their associations with each boot brand on their personal history, despite the fact that this history is most likely limited to three models, the last of which was purchased a decade ago.
Most skiers who aren’t professionally involved with the sport at the granular level cling to any number of misconceptions about equipment and technique. Just how some of these fallacies came to be embedded in the skiing public’s zeitgeist is unclear, but friends and family are the usual culprits when it comes to cementing bad ideas in place. To help you shed the shackles of ignorance, we hereby expose five fallacies that hinder pursuit of the quality ski experience.
Most Americans believe in self-improvement, believe that regardless of the chosen endeavor, one should strive to get better at it. As applied to skiing, this world-view implies that all skiers, from rank beginner to elite competitor, would like to ski better. Effective immediately, if possible.
Narrowing the field to new models, note that in today’s world, a completely overhauled model may continue to bear a longstanding nameplate. Among our picks, this alert applies to the Völkl Kendo and Dynastar Cham 97. Here are SnoCountry.com's choices for best new models for 2016:
I’ve just returned from a five-day re-baptism in the gravity streams that cascade from the crown of Hidden Peak at Snowbird, Utah. It's an annual pilgrimage that re-stokes my passion, reaffirms my place in the world and reminds me of every reason why I ski.