Demo days thoughts and mini-reviews

A couple weeks ago I took part in the Christy Sports demo days at Loveland, as I was looking for a ski to replace the second-year 187 Bluehouse Districts I sold off a couple months ago. These were skis like the K2 Kung Fujas, Rossignol S97 and S3, and the Head Jerry. There were a few other skis I wanted to try as well, like the K2 Obsethed and Head Jimi.

The first ski I took out was the 179 Obsethed, as the Fujas was out on the hill. Conditions were pretty hard, and I wasn’t warmed up yet and just didn’t love them. I knew I’d be happier on them in better conditions and once I had a few laps in my legs, so I took them back with the intention to try them again later.

The 179 Fujas was a great ski – playful but could throw a little weight around when needed. Later in the day I would realize it’s pretty much a perfect blend of the Rossi S3 and S97. Unfortunately K2 changed its sizing this year – a 179 (like with my Public Enemies) used to measure more like a 183 from other manufacturers, but that’s corrected for this year, making the 179 feel just a little small. I lost a good amount of weight over the summer though, and so felt comfortable with a little bit smaller ski. Last up at K2 was the Revival. I was hesitant to ski it as it seemed to be entirely park-specific – no camber, equally rockered tips and tails, and a pretty centered mount. I was absolutely shocked at the ability for it to carve on hardpack, and I think I found the replacement for my Public Enemies when they finally need to be retired.

Next up was the Rossignol tent. I wanted to try the S3 but they were all out on the hill, so I took out the S97. It was exactly the ski I had been looking for – maneuverable, easy to ski, and plows through everything. A bottom-feeding charger if you will. Don’t be fooled by the marketing speak, as this ski has zero rocker at all. That said, I loved it so much I picked up a pair of last year’s, and they’re leaning against a wall waiting to be mounted. The S3 was back when I took the S97 back, so I took it out. It’s an incredibly fun ski, and I wish more terrain had been open. In contrast to the S97’s tendency to go through anything in its way, the S3 likes to go over everything. I have a pair on order from a local shop, and can’t wait to get them out on a powder day. My only dilemma is what bindings to put on them.

Next up was Head. I tried the Jerry, and hated them. There was a weird hooky feeling to them, and I just couldn’t get them to feel right. I jumped on the Jimi next, and loved it. Powerful, slarvy (even on mostly-hardpack, though it had been snowing all day and softened things up), and easy to lay on edge for big-radius turns. Lauren is getting a pair of these, and I think she’ll like them.

I stopped back at the K2 tent to try the Obsethed again, and all they had was the 189. I took it out and it was fun, but too big for me. I liked it quite a bit more, and can understand some of the hype around it. I was getting tired and badly needed to stop for lunch and a rest break at this point, as I had been demoing skis non-stop for six hours. I wish I’d been able to try some of the smaller brands (Ski Logik and Icelantic specifically) but just ran out of time.

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A few more from…you guessed it, Loveland

11 days into the season and I still haven’t ventured out to the backcountry (though plans to correct that are in place), and have instead been having fun, trying to dial in new boots (Full Tilts, which have already given me four broken buckles in 5 ski days on them), and getting my legs back under me at Loveland. Just a couple photos here from the past week.

Alex is one of the few people on earth who can actually put a 150-flex ski boot to good use. Must have something to do with chasing the never-ending winter for a few years. Continue reading

Cyclists: Keep seeing ’em. Also, fenders.

With the change in the weather Denver is finally experiencing, it seems that many drivers have completely forgotten to look for anything on the road smaller than a pickup truck. On my snowy ride home (the first of the season), there were several drivers who were clearly completely oblivious to my existence, despite flashing lights (however dim they may have been due to the extremely heavy snowfall). Keep your eyes out – though I’m sure most readers of this blog are likely not part of the oblivious-to-cyclists group. Continue reading