Snowboarding/Skiing Catch-all

Jonman wrote:

It's a problem that's fixing itself anyway. It happens less and less each season, and I suspect that this will be the last one where it happens at all. My pet theory on snowboarding is that it's 20% ability and 80% confidence in your ability.

Like most action sports, if you are looking cool, you are doing it right.

So a coworker just told me about this crazy flibbity jibbit: http://www.snowflex.com/. Artificial surface designed specifically from the ground up for skiiers and snowboarders for year-round outdoor activity. Including terrain park features. There's a big park of it in Lynchburg, VA that I may have to check out this summer. It's a 3 hour drive away. Pretty sweet, though.

Jonman wrote:

My pet theory on snowboarding is that it's 20% ability and 80% confidence in your ability.

I think that's true of most activities. With snowboarding, once you learn where your weight should be progress comes pretty fast. There's still a lot of nuance to pick up, but like the weight thing there are a lot of parallels with skiing. How you move through a turn depends heavily on snow conditions, for example. And then you can do things like twist the board with your feet to vary the bite of the front and back edge. Beyond that, I definitely encourage experimenting with different boards and binding angles to find a setup you like. Last time I went (which was admittedly a long time ago) it seemed like everyone was set up to hit the half-pipe even though basically no one actually does. I always liked directional or slalom style boards with really aggressive stance angles and stiff boots, which is nowhere near the setup you're likely to be pointed towards as a beginning snowboarder.

My wife isn't really into snow sports and so I haven't been snowboarding in ages. When the kids get a little bigger though, maybe that will change. There's nothing quite like hitting a few feet of fresh powder on a snowboard.

Mixolyde wrote:

Wisp in western MD

I don't know if you noticed, but that's probably one of the least crowded resorts around. I remember the first time I pulled up to the mountain with a buddy, it was a wednesday and we didn't see a single person on the front face for over a minute.

Last I checked, Alta was still skiers only.

@solidarity

I must have missed an edit there.

Binding should come on the ski. They're designed now so that they don't create a dead spot in the flex of the ski. The binding is on a little track that let's the attachment point move as the ski bends.

Remember, the backcountry is open to riders as well as skiers.

Powder Mountain is amazing. Like Wolf Creek with steeps. Simply awesome.

mrtomaytohead wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

Wisp in western MD

I don't know if you noticed, but that's probably one of the least crowded resorts around. I remember the first time I pulled up to the mountain with a buddy, it was a wednesday and we didn't see a single person on the front face for over a minute.

Last I checked, Alta was still skiers only.

Wisp was fairly crowded when we were there, but it was a weekend right after a lot of fresh snow. Good riding, though.

Thanks for the heads up about Alta! I'll look into it.

Alta is, indeed, still skiers only, and I doubt that'll change any time soon.

Going back for my first day on snow after my injury.
Night skiing tonight.
I figure I have about three weeks before our season is up. If the weather holds.
Last year we got a week of 23 degrees C weather during the March break which shut everything down.

A little apprehensive. If I fall the wrong way, I could tear something up. I only have about 80% range of motion back in that shoulder.

I'm actually back to the surgeon's official "resume contact sports" date (12 weeks) so much less chance of re-breaking.

It's going to get the adrenaline going. I'll have to stay calm level headed, and restrained. Low performance night. Maybe if I write it, I'll stick to it.

Easy does it, Ghost - nothing wrong with getting out there, cruising the blues and easier blacks, and just relaxing into your turns!

Very excitedly heading up to Sunday River on Friday night, planning to ski from 8am-8pm on Saturday. I've new skis -- my first pair of NEW skis ever, in fact: Fischer Motive 88s. Currently sitting on the bench in the basement, letting their second hot wax soak in. Will be scraping and putting two more coats on before heading out.

I've also taken the advice up-thread, and contrary to earlier protestations, took a lesson this year. Grabbed a couple of valuable tips on how to more smoothly link my turns, which I have been playing with ever since; curious to see how going from a pair of '05 Rossis to '12 rockered skis will do for my technique. The Motives are "semi-twin tip" skis, as well; in theory, they'll be really nice in the trees, which is a huge part of what I'm looking forward to at the River.

Wish we had more season left!

One last trip this year: Mad River Glen this Saturday. Can't wait to get up there; even my wife, who is only 2 lessons into her skiing career, is coming along (albeit with a plan to take a 2 hour private lesson and bring a book just in case).

No boards, just pure, natural snow all day. Ayuh.

Nice little dump here over the past few days, I may try for a trip on Friday if the wife and kiddo allow. May hop over the state line to Silver Mountain(wheeee Gondola).

I'm coming to the realization that I may need a whole new setup. My resort set is a pair of downhill skis from the '90s, with some Targa G3's. A few years ago i picked up a set of Karhu Guides and some leather boots for backcountry skiing. Eventually i picked up a pair of used Scarpa T2x's.

So, what I have. I have a newer set of skis that are phenomenal for touring in the backcountry when I know there's going to be powder and a lot of downhill but chatter like hell on the groomers due to their light weight, a used set of nice plastic boots that destroy my feet after about 4 miles of touring, an ok set of leather boots that provide the comfort on the uphill but have me missing the plastic stability on the downhill, and an old set of downhill skis with "They'll get the job done" tele bindings for skiing groomers.

I'm thinking an all mountain ski like the K2 COOMBack, and transferring the bindings over. I love my boots, but they need to be a half size smaller I think. I might be able to get them comfortable with some foam and custom liners, but that's going to run me about $200.

With the season almost over I'm definitely looking forward to summer, and drifting away from skiing, but there should be some screaming deals soon. Now just to convince my wife that these are needs and not wants.

Druid: The Volkyl Mantra is an incredibly popular all-mountain ski this year; I waffled between that and a Fischer Motive 88, ultimately going with the latter. Both might be worth checking out.

The Motives tear through crud, corduroy, and ice, and do well in the powder on account of the early rise and semi-twin-tip rocker. Check out http://www.levelninesports.com/ -- both my ski buddy and I picked up near gear from there at pretty fantastic prices, and that was a month ago, so I imagine their deals will be even better now.

For boots, I've moved towards Nordica's alpine stuff. I'm not a connoisseur of boot tech, but as always, get a professional fitting no matter what; it's the single best way to get a good experience out of your gear.

For (alpine - not tele) boots:

Expect to spend two to three hours at the shop choosing a pair of boots.

Go to a reputable ski shop.

If they don't ask you to take off your boots and socks to look at your feet, as the first thing, leave.
(except for maybe asking about your skill style and where you ski most).

They will recommend a manufacturer by the shape of your foot.
Lange, solomon, and a couple of others are notoriously narrow.
Technica are wider... etc. They should know which manufacturer will best suit your foot shape.
Ask them why they made their recommendation. If it doesn't relate to the shape of your foot, leave. Don't let them talk you into anything along the lines of "we can customize it for you". This is a second step, after the shell generally fits your foot.

Next they should shell fit you. They pull the liner and ask you to step in and touch your toe to the front. Then they stick their hands, and/or, a measuring tool or dowel in the shell with your foot.
If they don't shell fit you, leave.
If they stick their hands in there with your stinky sweaty feet, and touch all around your foot in the boot in a way that almost makes you uncomfortable, you might have the right shop.

After the shell fit, they should have you put the boots on in a ski ski sock and wear them for 20 mins.
At the end of 20 mins, they have you take the boots and socks off quickly, and look at your feet and ankles.
They're looking for white spots and red spots. Red spots are OK if you're not in discomfort. White spots are not OK. These will be painful pressure points.

Once you have the right boots generally fit well, now you do the manufacturer's customization if it applies to your boot model. Some, you bake the liners or shell, or both in an oven an put them on hot and clamp them down. You stand still in them for about 10-15 minutes. Maybe flex them a little toward the end.

After all of this is done, you may wish to visit a custom boot fitter, to have foot-beds done, and any "blowing out" / "punching out" than you need for your feet. Some people have a frostbitten toe, or a high instep, or something that needs that little extra room.

After all of that, you should be wondering why you ever put up with any discomfort at all while skiing.
We had a CSIA 4 at the hill who skied for a lifetime without custom fitting, and after he had it done, he said, "I didn't know that you didn't have to be in pain for a performance fit".

And last of all, avoid gimmiky boot tech, or styles. The retro styles, fake rear entry boots, skateboard shoe style boots.... get a four or five buckle boot. Choose based on stiffness and shin angle, and your skill/style of skiing. Get maximum adjust ability in the buckle hardware if it doesn't put you out of your price range.

Oh, and women, don't buy men's boots and vice versa. Women's boot cuffs are lower to accommodate the lower reach of a woman's calf muscle.

I bought my first pair of mountaineering boots, when I was 19, out of a catalog. I've learned from my mistake since then, and generally buy only directly from the store now. The sad thing about my Scarpa Tele boots is that I went to my favorite local outdoor shop to buy them in late April/early May and everyone working there was "over" ski season. All the ski gear was in a basement area where you had to be accompanied to shop, and the dude that let me in down there would barely give me the time of day even though he was a skier. It was frustrating, but I needed the boots immediately and left the store with them. I can ski all day in them in comfort, but once I start touring I have to be really conscious about keeping up on the hot spots with duct tape.

A friend mentioned a few years back how he was fitted by an employee at a shop in Portland OR who should have been a podiatrist. I may see if they're still employed there and get set up there when/if I take the boot plunge.

Ghostship wrote:

THE BUSINESS

Listen to this man.

TheHipGamer wrote:

One last trip this year: Mad River Glen this Saturday.

We used to stay at Madbush resort. Is that still there?
One vacation we were jumping off the lofts with the owner's son, onto the beds below.
It won't be the most pauche place. We didn't have alot of money when I was a kid.
They did have a Scramble machine, and a couple of others in the back of the games room as well as bumper pool.... way back then.

Having lived in the east, skiing choices were very limited and painful to get to. Then a few years ago I drove a part of clavical bone that is connected to acromion joint through my back. Not good. My surgery and recovery went very well, but I never went back to the hills. Lack of people to go with, self motivation, and total PITA of southern Ontario skiing all contributed.

But now I live under some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. I get to see ski hills right out of my living room window. I'm totally stoked to get back on the mountains. I own both an ancient pair of skis/boots and a relatively good snowboard (got it on the cheap from a pro). The snowboard is all waxed and ready to go. So, are there any Vancouverites up for a trip up a mountain? I'm looking into going up Cypress, but if I have company anything would do. So long as I can have some time on green runs to get my snow legs back.

I'm also hoping to make it to Whistler before this season is officially over. Never been before. So if anybody is making a trip out there, and would tolerate a hang-on-er, please let me know.

Is it time to revive this thread yet in the Northeast? Because I think it should be.

Thread, arise:
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/9MYLuIz.jpg)

Ooh, timely thread resurrection! I finally picked up a nice set of Salomon Threat freestyle skis for myself this week and put them through the paces last night. I friggin love them!

IMAGE(http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q133/serengeti000/68C8ADD6-63AD-4773-873E-08F8442DD40E_zpsr1462vpj.jpg)

This is me on the small jump at the ski hill. I did work my way up to the biggest jump by the end up the night and nailed it, but alas no pics of that. Heading out again on Saturday and I'm hoping to get some sweet daytime pics that aren't quite so blurry

IMAGE(http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q133/serengeti000/DFE57BAE-385D-4147-AB22-C1395C15DB5A_zps9huesyuv.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q133/serengeti000/1E9ADDE8-7B75-4973-B924-0CAC5AD1383A_zpsq2pwxg0m.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q133/serengeti000/F867A0DE-0E78-4F15-9691-5D4C35D50FEB_zpsq2zhfqza.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q133/serengeti000/8D95AE11-833A-4B34-AB72-4DC494C233CB_zps4538cfrp.jpg)

Nothing better than disruptive snow!

jonnypolite wrote:

Nothing better than disruptive snow!

But the area labeled "disruptive snow" is only supposed to get 3-6", which barely qualifies as disruptive, at least along the south shores of the great lakes, where we're used to that sort of thing, and have the infrastructure for it.

The ski hill we go to most often has about 1/3 of its slopes open. I'm hoping to take the kids at least once during Christmas break.

Katy wrote:
jonnypolite wrote:

Nothing better than disruptive snow!

But the area labeled "disruptive snow" is only supposed to get 3-6", which barely qualifies as disruptive, at least along the south shores of the great lakes, where we're used to that sort of thing, and have the infrastructure for it.

The ski hill we go to most often has about 1/3 of its slopes open. I'm hoping to take the kids at least once during Christmas break.

Agreed -- it's a snowstorm. It's not a big deal, except for skiing.

That said, the forecast is upped to more than a foot north and west of 128 in MA, which is awesome for this time of year. I am headed to Okemo in VT early on Sunday to make the best of what looks like an early powder day; debated making the drive to MRG, as well, but I'll be there for a week in mid-February. Even with just the man-made stuff and some light snowfall, the local mountain near me has been open for a while, and it's awesome to get out so early. Nothing like VT or NH in the northeast, though.

I'm still loving my new-as-of-February Fischer Motive 88s, and am looking forward to trying them out at Tahoe after the RSA conference in February. I'm in San Francisco for work, and plan to extend my stay, rent an SUV, and make the drive.

WhiteTail in southern PA is doing some events next weekend, we are thinking of going to the Skiing Santas/World Snowboard Day stuff on the 22nd: http://www.skiwhitetail.com/events/s...

My daughter got a snowboard for Christmas and will be learning this winter. Would it be better for me to grab a snowboard and learn with her, or grab some skis, which I already know how to do. I am thinking snowboard.

mudbunny wrote:

My daughter got a snowboard for Christmas and will be learning this winter. Would it be better for me to grab a snowboard and learn with her, or grab some skis, which I already know how to do. I am thinking snowboard.

Snowboard so you can go *thwap* along with her the first time you catch your front edge.

It'll give you two a point to bonding over the pain of learning.

mudbunny wrote:

My daughter got a snowboard for Christmas and will be learning this winter. Would it be better for me to grab a snowboard and learn with her, or grab some skis, which I already know how to do. I am thinking snowboard.

Skis!

Being able to stay with her and offer guidance without simultaneously trying to learn a new thing will help both of your mental states during her early learning processes, and it will instill in her a sense of awareness for how skiers move and work -- something a lot of snowboarders who have never skied lack, often with realizing just how big that blindspot of theirs is, and leading to some of the animosity between the two.

Learn to board! Just don't mix it with being with her when she is learning.

Amazing day at Okemo in VT on Sunday. The recent storm dropped over a foot of fresh powder, and they (wisely) chose to do minimal grooming, leaving almost the entire mountain in a totally natural state. There was a lot of blowback from folks in the parking lots and on Facebook, whinging that they weren't able to ski or board at 50+mph or take their kids down a series of easy groomers, but it was an incredible and magical experience for anyone comfortable in the bumps.

This is what skiing should be, honestly: real snow, real terrain, and a day of technical fun without long lift lines or crowds. Whew. One of my top-five days on skis, ever.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/mSEnDFG.jpg)