February 29, 2012

Embracing the Edgie-Wedgie

Embracing the Edgie-Wedgie

Whenever I find myself riding up a chairlift with a ski instructor, the first thing I do is ask what age range they teach. And if they say ‘kids’, I get a bit of a glint in my eye and I start asking a whole bunch of questions. That’s how I learned about the Edgie-Wedgie, a simple and inexpensive device that I’ve really come to see as essential when working with small children (more…)

Posted in kids | 5 Comments

February 28, 2012

Rossignol Pursuit HP

Rossignol Pursuit HP

Rossignol’s new Pursuit HP replaces the popular Avenger Ti, taking over the maker’s high-end frontside carver niche—non-race edition. Think of the wood/titanium-core Pursuit not so much as a race-stock relative but rather as a pedal-to-the-metal crowd-pleaser. The ski showcases Rossignol’s mastery of next-generation Frontside design, with an 81mm waist and a very slightly rockered tip (more…)

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February 27, 2012

Nordica Fire Arrow 80 Pro

Nordica Fire Arrow 80 Pro

Nordica’s Fire Arrow 80 Pro was one of the most popular skis at this year’s SIA demo. I waited diligently for a chance to ride the updated Fire Arrow, and I’m glad I did. This is a significantly improved ski, taking last year’s Fire Arrow 80 and giving it a much-needed jolt of energy. For a quick refresher, I thought the original Fire Arrow was interesting but just a bit too sluggish; it lacked liveliness. The Pro shares the same (more…)

Posted in Gear | 3 Comments

February 24, 2012

The Liabilities of the Leash

The Liabilities of the Leash

Forgive me for sounding dramatic, but the use of a leash turns out to be something of a two-edged sword. When it comes to teaching your kids to ski, it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate the good and the bad of the leash so that you can use it to best effect (if you choose) while avoiding the worst of its pitfalls. Should you use a leash? As with most things involving children, the answer is: it depends (more…)

Posted in kids | 2 Comments

February 23, 2012

Blizzard Cochise

Blizzard Cochise

Of all the skis I tried at this year’s SIA show, the Blizzard Cochise was easily the biggest surprise. The Cochise didn’t just win best of show—it changed how I look at rocker. Let’s call the Cochise a rocker evolution: the maturing and perhaps finally the true realization of rocker’s full potential. To really understand what Blizzard has achieved with the Cochise, you’ve got to talk, oddly enough, about hard-snow (more…)

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February 21, 2012

Salomon Enduro XT 800

Salomon Enduro XT 800

Salomon’s Enduro XT800 is another one of those carving-oriented All-Mountain skis that finds itself reclassified by today’s standards as strictly a frontside carver. Yes, the ski employs some tricks to improve floatation and soft snow performance, but a 79mm waist may as well be a needle these days, so let’s just call the Enduro XT 800 what it is—a high-level hard snow carver (more…)

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February 20, 2012

Atomic Smoke Ti

Atomic Smoke Ti

Atomic’s Smoke Ti is a frontside carver that makes shop owners and skiers happy alike—it sells well, and it delivers a lot of ski for the money. Probably Atomic wouldn’t exactly push this as an economy-class ski, but you can’t help noticing that the Smoke Ti trades at a noticeable discount compared to everything else in its class. Is this an elite-level carver? No, but I’ll say again (more…)

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February 19, 2012

Everyone Has Fun, No One Gets Hurt

Everyone Has Fun, No One Gets Hurt

‘Everyone has fun; no one gets hurt’ has become my motto when I’m skiing with my kids. As a mission statement it is simple, concise, and appropriately catchy, but before you nod your head in agreement and then move on to something more interesting, let me first take a moment to try to convince you that this little mantra is perhaps more nuanced than it first appears (more…)

Posted in kids | 0 Comments

February 15, 2012

Chasing My Brother

Chasing My Brother

Really there’s no better motivator than having a little brother who’s faster than you in the gates. I spent damn near my entire young adulthood chasing him, and, well…it looks like I’m still trying to catch him. :) Hard to say who’d be faster if we jumped into a course today, though I do like my chances on my Speed Course Ti’s. Once again this is Telluride, CO, test footage from the HD Hero2 (more…)

Posted in video | 2 Comments

February 15, 2012

Volkl RTM-84

Volkl RTM-84

Volkl’s RTM 84 has been highly regarded in print reviews, topping many a frontside-carver list. Oddly enough, however, during my own on-snow testing at Winter Park, the RTM 84 proved to be one of my least favorite hard-snow skis. The RTM (“Ride the Mountain”) is what we might call a ‘modern’ frontside ski: extra girth underfoot for soft-snow performance, paired with an subtle early-rise tip to make for (more…)

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