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Arne Backstrom, the Bodacious the beginning of Flipcore

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 


This is posted with the approval of Storm Day Sales and its author.

I will try to provide you some attempt to verbalize and frame this mythical creation bearing our dear friend and Team Rider Arne Backstrom’s signature- The Bodacious! We have some serious skin in this ski out here in California. Arne and I were driving back from a little surf mini-strike in Santa Cruz when his idea for the “upside down ski” came about after smashing some Indian food at Punjabi Dahbi on I-80. The idea evolved into Flip Core, which is the proprietary technology that makes all the Blizzard FreeMountain Skis absolutely magic. Flip Core uses a manufacturing process in which the bell shaped core of the ski is literally flipped upside down in the mold allowing the ski’s rocker to naturally follow the shape of the core, with much less internal and external stress than traditional manufacturing method. The result is unmatched ease, balance, smoothness and flotation but also provides liveliness and pop. Check back for a video and more detailed description of Flip Core. So anyway, back to the Bodacious. In early January Jed Duke (Director of Product) called and said the Flip Core idea was getting some traction with the euro production team, but it was up to us USA dudes to influence the direction the collection took. At this point it was January early Feb 2010 and Arne was just destroying the competition on the big mountain circuit.


Arne was using the Titan Zeus which was a 194cm Braveheart broadsword of a ski. Not forgiving at all, but really stable. Arne only used it in competition because it was too burly for actual freeskiing. He wanted something that was easy, lively, poppy and most importantly rockered without the unaesthetic kinks/bends in the rocker. He also was really inspired by guys like Sean Petitt and Eric Hjorliefson who are smaller dudes, but used relatively long (189cm+ length) skis. Easy plus length (rather than width) is what he really wanted to take his skiing to the next level. After not a whole lot of deliberation we also both thought that somewhere around 118mm was the perfect, most versatile waist width for a big mountain specific ski, especially for the Sierra/Coastal/AK snowpacks we wanted the ski to excel in. From there they broke the line out in 10mm waist widths starting at 118mm and finishing at 88mm. In March Stefano Mantegazza (International product NINJA) and Jed Duke (USA Director of Product) flew out to Kirkwood where we were having our annual team summit/video/product shoot. They brought the first proto flip core skis, which was a 108mm waisted 193cm version of whats now the Cochise. To be honest, one look at these weapons and every single one of us lost our shit when Stefano pulled them out of the bag. Absolutely the sickest looking flat tailed, wood, metal, petex perfection any of us had ever seen. We hadn’t even put the bindings on it! The next day we went to Squaw to ski 6″ on crust and put the ski through its paces with the team. Arne absolutely loved it. “I feel like a ninja on this thing”. We knew we had something special in Flip Core. Later Jed, Stefano, Robin McElroy, Arne and myself went to the River Ranch for dinner that night. We were really fired up about the skis, and also we really fired up (much to his chagrin) on Arne! He had just won the first ever McConkey Cup, which was now the trophy for the overall Freeskiing World Tour winner. We were going off to Stefano about how rad that was, and also how Arne and been filming with Matchstick Productions and Warren Miller, really hyping him up. Stefano was very excited, as this was going to mark a new era for our company. He told Arne that we would make the Bodacious Arne’s signature ski! Also 196cm for the long size Bodacious! We were FIRED UP!! He asked Arne to email him his signature along with pics of his Sickbird buckle he won at Revelstoke. (The Sickbird Buckles are what gave us the inspiration for the Bull theme We have 7 buckles between 4 team members!).

A month later Arne had just returned from Chamonix, where he had been making a been making a name for himself “going left” off the Aquile de Midi.http://arnebackstrom.blogspot.com/2009/10/mallory.html He spent the month there training and getting ready for a ski mountaineering expedition with Kip Garre and Dave Rosenbarger in the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru. Arne took off in late May. I drove up to his place in Squaw to grab his signature- which he had practiced 5 or so times till it was perfect. I scanned it an emailed it to Stefano, so fired up for him to get a signature ski.

We got news of Arne’s passing on June 3, 2010. I won’t attempt to put into words what the loss was for all of us that were close to him. We are all stoked that some of his legacy lives on in a set of skis that he himself would be very proud of, and are game changers for the rest of us. A portion of the sales generated by the Bodacious will be donated to Arne’s Memorial Fund which will help provide children with outdoor opportunities and raise environmental awareness. 

You can read further HERE for unbiased biased review.


post #2 of 4

These skis do ROCK!  I couldn't believe how smooth and damp they were for a rockered ski.  The Bodacious is on my short list for an everyday driver here in the Tahoe arena!  

post #3 of 4

Thanks for posting that Phil.

post #4 of 4

I think yesterday was Arne's birthday.


  The Bones I bought just came in today. Despite some others' opinions, I love the graphics..particularly with the backstory. I just hope I'm worthy of them!

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