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Skiing products that changed your skiing life - Page 2

post #31 of 52
I suppose I should have mentioned fatter skis, I really am not a big fan of pronounced side cut (you hypercarvy peoples can have your short radius turners and the groomers they're made for), but skis with a waist of over 85mm really have made off piste skiing accessible and desireable for sub-experts like myself.
post #32 of 52
Mittens instead of gloves...cheap mittens keep me much warmer than more expensive gloves. I'd imagine that some $250 gloves might do the trick, too.
Wearing a face mask makes skiing much more enjoyable for me in most conditions.
Stepping up to Fischer Red Heats from my starter Atomics last season helped me a lot. I'm not saying Fischer is better than Atomic, but skis intended for somebody who can actually ski made my experience much better.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

I suppose I should have mentioned fatter skis, I really am not a big fan of pronounced side cut (you hypercarvy peoples can have your short radius turners and the groomers they're made for), but skis with a waist of over 85mm really have made off piste skiing accessible and desireable for sub-experts like myself.
 
"accessible and desirable for sub-experts like myself".   Right, VA is a sub-expert.  The standards here are pretty high.  I guess that makes me a beginner. (the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Just look at some of his trip reports)

Anyways, off piste skiing was always desireable for intermediate and above skiers with long skinny skis, although lifts and grooming did create a change away from off-piste skiing in beginners through intermediate skiers and a whole subset of skiers of all levels that seems to be lessening due to fat skis.

The short-radius skis did encouraged me to go back and work on my short turns (that and living in Ontario Canada), but I've come full circle; after spending last season almost exclusively on the 13-m skis, I took the Volants out for the last day, despite the conditions not being particularly snowy.  I enjoyed just blasting the larger radius turns on the Volant skis so much (despite having to forget about turning on the icy bits) that now I'm thinking, "What was I thinking?".

SG skis! Now there was a change.  Finally a ski I couldn't find the speed limit for that I could still turn at reasonable speeds. 
post #34 of 52

Gotta disagree on fat skis. I enjoyed skiing powder long before fat skis were around, and if anything, fatties have encouraged the masses to join me. Boo.

post #35 of 52
As I think back on this topic, there are two "products" that totally changed not only my skiing life, but the course of my entire life - PERIOD.

The first was SKI Magazine.  I was a college freshman living in a fraternity house in Iowa in the fall of 1967.  The parents of one of the guys in the house got him a subscription to SKI, even though to my knowlege he never read the magazine and never went skiing in his life.  The magazine would come to the house and just sit on a coffee table in the living room.  I opened it up one day and was blown away by the images. 

I was an Iowa boy - I had barely even seen any mountains, much less peaks like the Alps covered in snow.  I was only vaguely aware that the sport of skiing even existed, but it looked damn cool in those issues of SKI.  I read that first issue cover to cover and started eagerly awaiting each upcoming issue. 

Because of SKI magazine, I asked around and found out there was a little tiny "ski hill" just outside Des Moines and I couldn't wait to go try "skiing" on Christmas break.  So the day after Christmas, three friends and I went to Ted's Ski Hill - vertical drop 80 feet, two rope tows, one beginner run and one "expert" run.  210cm wood skis, cable bindings, leather boots.  Total bill for lift ticket, boots, skis = $9.00.

I was totally and irretrievably hooked from the very first moment I tried sliding around on those things.  I'd led a moderately athletic life to that point but this skiing thing was a zillion times better than any sport I had ever tried.  I was addicted.

The second product that hopelessly sealed my fate was this thing:





I first rode the Jackson Hole aerial tram as a college sophomore in March of 1969.  When those doors opened after my first ride to the top, I literally passed through a portal that would affect nearly everything about my skiing and my life from that day forward.

In a very real sense, I doubt that anything has affected my skiing life more than the Jackson Hole aerial tram.
post #36 of 52
Allograft ACL Reconstruction Surgery: $20,000 plus 6 months of grueling rehab, and worth it.
post #37 of 52
Great Post Wildcat!

I would have to say my custom fitted boots with my custom foot beds and Hotronic heaters.  It's amazing how much this changed my skiing,  The custom boot fitting and sole planing made things possible that seemed impossible for me. 
post #38 of 52

This isn't a ski product, but it has made an impact on my skiing - cruise control. There isn't too much between Omaha/Lincoln NE and Denver. Just get in your vehicle, bring some good cds, and switch on the cruise control for the 500 mile drive.

post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestPete View Post

This isn't a ski product, but it has made an impact on my skiing - cruise control. There isn't too much between Omaha/Lincoln NE and Denver. Just get in your vehicle, bring some good cds, and switch on the cruise control for the 500 mile drive.

Egg McMuffin is my "King of the Road" breakfast of choice for my 180 mile early morning trek West or North, and yes, cruise control!
post #40 of 52
- My first super-shaped SL skis in 03 - 155 WC Stock Rossis with an 11 or so m radius bought off a National Teamer. That was my breakthrough season.

- 2007 Volkl Racetiger GS 185 - the first GS skis I truly loved

- Funshapes - wow...
post #41 of 52
Hard to pinpoint just one product or experience.  I think over 35 years the improvements have come in a steady dribble, and with all those various improvements, I ski better now than as a younger man.  Better with less effort too.

If I had to dredge up a ski-life changing deal, it would be Jackson Hole Steep Camp 2002.  Made me realize my limits were higher than I thought.  That and skiing with you bears.
post #42 of 52
I've been fortunate in that I grew up with ski nut parents who could keep me in good gear; and my first pair of non-junior skis came just after shaped skis started to take off, so it's been more evolutionary progress than a revolutionary jump in technology or quality, but a few things have certainly been eye-opening along the way, even if they weren't life-changing:

Slalom skis - first pair of real slaloms was pretty amazing, particularly for someone who mostly skis 600 or 700 ft. of hardpack. A pair of bright yellow 150cm (eek, so short!) SL:9s turned me on to the sort of fun I coudl have on a slalom shape, but my SL RDs really showed me what could be done.

"High Intensity" Oakleys - lots of low light lenses out there, but these really made a difference for me, even over yellow lenses. Finally I was seeing more than feeling in some of the nastier conditions to be found.

Lace up liners - having racing shells to go with these obviously helps, but I think these are some of the best high performance innovations lately. I've long had problems keeping my heel in place, even in properly fitted boots, but these kept me snug and confident. Convenience be damned, I'll take the extra few minutes each time to get them on/off for the amount of comfort and performance I get.
post #43 of 52
There are several products that have made a huge difference in my skiing life

1) Buying a pair of Fisher Sceneo 400's for 70$ at the ski swap 5 years ago.  After having to really vwork skiing my 178 volants, Skiing became a joy and I found I could do it.

2) Finding a good bootfitter (Bootdoctor at Taos Ski Valley - plug) - they sold me a good pair of boots at a good price and worked with me until they were right.  I haven't had any boot issues since - comnfortable, responsive & warm.

3) Locals clinic at TSV   $160 for 6 lessons, my skiings gone up 3 levels - thank you Dano & Terry-Su.
post #44 of 52
Not really a product, but an event that changed skiing. The end of the cold war.
The technologies and materials that started being used for sporting equipment when the production of weapons and military aircraft slowed advanced skiing exponentially. Carbonfibre, titanium alloys and thermoplastics let the ski manufacturers build what we have at our disposal now.
post #45 of 52

Edited by RUIDI WIRSCH - 1/20/11 at 4:00pm
post #46 of 52
Nice thread!

Footbeds and an expert boot fitter

Goretex

Thermals that don't keep in the smell

High speed lifts

Boeing/Airbus Industries
post #47 of 52
Shaped skis and proper alignment.
post #48 of 52
A product of chance:  The USAF assigning me to a western mountain state.

A product of dedication: 22 years of service that allowed me to retire at 42.

A product of good fortune: The inspiration of working closely with a Winter Olympic medalist in alpine skiing.

A product of the times:  The EPIC pass, allowing me to fool myself into thinking that I'm skiing for free, part of the way into the season. 

...high speed lifts. 
post #49 of 52
My helmet, or I would have put a wrap on my ski life at 59.  waaaay to early.
post #50 of 52
Austria and my Irish cousins... I had stopped skiing regularly for years, mainly because I had no transportation (I live in NYC, had no car) and lost all of my ski-buddies to marriage/kids.  So a few years back my cousins in Ireland started doing a ski trip to Zell am See, Austria.  I flew over to meet them & it re-ignited my passion.  I haven't been the same since & skiing is all I talk/think about.  And I still go to Zell am See every year!!
post #51 of 52
Probably my first trip to a western mountain (1980) after skiing for years on small hills in Western New York and SW Pa. Loved skiing here at home, but thought I died and went to heaven skiing 2-3 times the vertical on a western mountain. These yearly western excursions raised the "amp meter" and after many trips west , I still feel get fired up and feel extremely fortunate .

I think that's something that might be more of a common thread for  flat land skiers. I remember years ago I rode the lift with a guy at my home hill here in Pa. that I couldn't hold a candle to when it came to western ski destination enthusiasm, he told me on his annual ski pilgrimage out west that he skied from "bell to bell" ate a candy bar on the lift for lunch , etc , etc.

You just have to love that kind of enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity to ski at a great place. I don't ever want to become too jaded about going west. Its still extremely special for me and has provided me with an experience and enjoyment that  few things can match. I don't give a s__ about going to Europe, going to the islands, anything else really. Let me ski where I want to.

I am extremely fortunate that I am married to somebody that allows me this indulgence.
post #52 of 52
Ski Brakes
4WD/AWD vehicles
Neck Gators
Thinsulate
Cat Tracks
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