Archive: August 2010

New Season, new gear to salivate over…

Words/Image: Steve Boisvert

Well, you won’t so much salivate over the gear itself as you will all over your keyboard. Our beloved ski companies are finally launching their 2011 sites chock full of all the new goody-bits and the accompanying specs/measurements/hype, etc.

Check out Volkl, Marker, and Rossignol for their freshy-new websites where, in most cases, this social networking thing has gotten a bit absurd. Click straight for the gear to get some good old fashioned pictures of cool stuff that you want for Christmas, Birthdays, future graduations, significant accomplishments, or anything that you feel warrants new ski gear. As always, check us out once you nail down what it is you need and we will be sure to help you get the best deal possible.

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Dealer Preview| Kastle skis

Words: Erme Catino

Re-emerging in 2007, Austrian based Kastle skis have been rebranding themselves through high end freeride and carving based skis. This year Kastle returns with 3 Pro-Models (Hugo, Davenport, and Griffin Post – not a bad lineup), and a new LX line.

As in years past, will be carrying much of the Kastle line. Kastle produces an array of skis, and their way of naming the different skis may seem simple but can be a lot to take in… hopefully this dealer review will help you shop around the Kastle brand and see some of the highlights for this year. And don’t forget that if you buy any pair of skis from by November 30, 2010, you will be entered to win a season’s pass at your home mountain, see official rules on the site.
On to Kastle…

FX 94: 128-94-117 Sizes: (166cm, 176cm, 186cm).
The Chris Davenport Pro Model – features a light ash/poplar wood core, Double Hollowtech (the unique tip and tail on Kastle skis, which reduces weight and vibration), sandwich construction, two layers of titanium, and a rounded tail plus tail hook for skins. This ski is light enough for long backcountry tours but is stable enough for charging. The FX line also comes in an FX 74 and FX 84 model.


MX 98: 126-98-116 (158cm, 168cm, 178cm, 188cm)
The Griffin Post Pro Model – features an ash/silver fir wood core, Double Hollowtech, Early rise in the tip, Low-camber technology, and sandwich construction. Changed from previous versions, this years MX 98 fits the bill as Kastle’s all mountain one ski quiver. By removing the metal and adding Early rise and a dual radius, the ski drives likes older models, but provides for a much more forgiving ride.

MX 108: 132-108-122 Sizes: (177cm, 187cm, 195cm – you better point it!)
The Hugo Harrison Pro Model, though it has undergone some changes this is still their burliest ski. The MX 108 features a beech/poplar wood core, Double Hollowtech, and sandwich construction, but features a new Early rise tip, dual radius, and Low camber technology which makes this ski way more versatile than its predecessors.

In addition to the Pro Models featured in the MX skis, the MX line also features skis such as the MX70, MX78, and MX88 – so if you are looking for a freeride Kastle stick there are plenty of options.

If laying arc’s is your game you can also check out the RX and LX series.

RX- Let’s keep this simple, this is the race line; Serious edge grip and stability for on-piste performance.

This line comes in a Slalom version titled RXSL and a RX12.

RXSL Dimensions: 121–68–100mm, sizes 156,166 cm

RX12 Dimensions: 118–70–100 mm, sizes 152, 160, 168, 176, 184cm

LX72 and LX82 – The LX line is new for 2011. It features a titanium laminate ski with tapered sidewalls. The LX model has either a 72mm, or 82mm waist and can come in various lengths ranging from 146cm-180cm. According to Kastle, this ski provides really light construction, and a smooth ride that is more forgiving than the burlier models. is proud to offer Kastle skis.

Still looking for advice, Ask an Expert, call the shop (1-800-996-8398)


Zeal Optics: Strap a speedometer to your face…really

Words: Erme Catino

Most skiers have seen it, Olympic Downhills – where the media coverage displays how fast the competitors are racing down the icy course, but when lapping the resort with your buddies wouldn’t it be cool to know what speeds you are traveling.

Enter Zeal Optics with their new for 2010 Transcend Goggle. It’s the worlds first GPS integrated – direct to eye communications goggle, and it can do way more than determine your speed. By partnering with Recon Instruments, Zeal has produced a goggle packed full of features that would make James Bond jealous. The helmet compatible goggle features a wide vision permanent anti-fog lens, and the Head Mounted Display System gives riders info on:

Vertical Odometer
Stopwatch/Chronos Mode
GPS – so you can map your day if you were out on a tour

The LCD display sits tucked in the bottom right corner of the goggle, so on the lift you can scroll through the options and view how far you sent the last hit or how fast you buzzed by the crowds. The goggle also has a USB connector so that you can import your data to a computer. Yes it seems a little like Robocop, and it is awesome.

The goggle’s suggested retail price is $350 for the SPX polarized lens, or $450 for the SPPX Polarized Photochromic lens. We will have a few of these on hand at, so give us a call if you are interested (1-800-996-8398) or check the site. And if speed is your game, but cash is tight – you can always determine who is the most badass in the bunch with a good old fashion Chinese downhill – just like in Hot Dog The Movie.

Please take a look at our Zeal goggles that are on Discount - at


Cold Butt? Not at The Canyons

Words: Steve Boisvert

When one thinks about winter automobiles, I think of European cars from the colder climates, mostly the offerings from the pasty Swedes. I remember seeing the old Saab 900s with the huge, integrated flaps underneath the car that were there for the sole purpose of keeping the snow from being flung about as the car drove, keeping other motorists safe from the visibility problems created by the blowing snow. So I was greatly surprised when I found out that heated seats did not come from the Swedes, but came from luxury-conscious Americans at Cadillac in 1966.

Thanks to the visionaries at The Canyons in Utah, our fat American arses can finally enjoy that long-overdue fresh from the oven feeling every time we get off their new lift. Not only that, but the US’s first heated seat on a ski lift also includes a neato orange bubble that protects the ass-happy occupants from wind shear and “will evoke the feeling of being inside a pair of ski goggles” as if we weren’t already… While that rationale is a little, um, interesting; I would argue that it is clever from the point of view that when I have an itch, I won’t be blinded when I remove the goggles strapped to my face because I am in a gigantic, heated goggle with three other smelly people. I made it sound bad but it’s really a good idea.

The lift also increases The Canyons uphill capacity from base a whopping 47%, as well as improving the time to the top to only 9 minutes, which is also a good idea. Less time on the lift and more time on the hill is a winning formula for all except the stoners and we all know why that is. I was going to Utah for a trip soon anyway but now my keister is beggin for it.

*Look for an update later as I explore the energy requirements for such an endeavor and how the mountain plans to tackle them. Heating elements require a substantial amount of current and since lifts are empty at least 50% of the time (return trip) I would like to know if these little heaters know there is a butt planted on them or if they just nuke the empty seat all day. Stay tuned.

Teaser: What’s coming at

Words: Erme Catino

Skiershop is devoted to carrying unique brands and independent ski companies and we are proud to announce that our dealer list will be growing even more this year! Skiershop understands that small brands identify with the freedom of our sport and the shop is stoked to be supporting them as well as some of the heavy-hitters who have been stepping up their game.

While each dealer will have their unique write-up on Raise The Bar, we wanted to give everyone a teaser before uploading information as gear begins to arrive at the shop.

Fresh off their trip around the US in ‘Harvey The RV’ (of which I can attest is an upscale accommodation), is Trew Gear. The unique colors, loose fit, technical material, and rad logo are just a snap shot of how simply awesome these guys are. Another outerwear company on the rise and new for SkierShop, is First Drop. You may recognize their clothing from jib ninja’s like LJ Strenio and Liam Downey among others. Their gear too has fresh colors and a looser fit – something that both these companies realized was missing in the ski industry.

To round out our new outerwear dealers, Skiershop will also be carrying PowderHorn. Born in Jackson in 1972, and worn by original Jackson Hole Air Force members, we’re psyched to bring a bit of history into the shop.

On the hard goods side of things, Skiershop is super excited about the return of Rossignol to the shop – The S7 will blow your mind and the new rockered S6 is equally as fun. In addition to keep with our Freeride and AT focus Black Diamond will have more of a presence in the store – their AT boots, skis, and skins are all sick. Not to be forgotten we are also adding Dalbello (Italian boot makers of the Classic 2 Piece Overlap – remember Raichle!), Nordica, and to protect your dome POC Helmets.

Stay tuned as we slave over keyboards to get the fresh gear up on the site as it arrives!

2010/2011 Prediction: We Will Get Pummelled with Snow

Words: Steve Boisvert

If you didn’t read the article from which my highly scientific argument is based upon, you should do that now. Now that you are enlightened, it is like holding the Farmer’s Almanac, only with a bit more science behind it–maybe.

With a solid foundation I am ecstatic to report that Cerro Catedral, Argentina has been devastated with snow, and more is in the forecast for the next six days. The on-the-ground (or snow) conditions according to South American Snow Sessions is that there is so much snow you can barely move. Without some fat sticks that is.

Mt. Hutt in New Zealand was just handed 3 feet of snow over the course of one weekend (August 7-8) as their base at the top crested 6 feet with even more in the forecast.

So get amped, and keep buffing those skis until you have blisters. It’s coming…

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South American Sustainability Projects From the guys at SASS

This vid is not exactly a high stoke value for getting out to the mountains so much as helping out the mountains. There are so many incredible organizations in on this project, they will all get a full mention later. Right now, these guys are doing some great sustainability work in South America helping locals and the planet as well. Check out the vid then check out all of those involved.

Beyond the enviro work, SASS is holding a giveaway for customers wanting badly to get out of the summer heat and into nipple-deep powder that includes goods from Dakine, Smith, Marker, and others so what better thing to do while we pine over movie trailers and stare longingly at the southern hemisphere than actually go there?

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Ben Grunow sits down with Skiershop; life as a freestyle coach for tomorrow’s stars

Words: Erme Catino

Ben Grunow, the head freestyle coach at Mount Mansfield Ski Club (MMSC), has spent a good part of the summer at Mount Hood with the MMSC freestyle team. A former pro, Ben has been featured in Level 1′s Second Generation, Level’s 1′s Strike 3, Craze Productions Proof & Contraband, and a few others. Recently Ben took some time to chat with us about the club’s freestyle program, coaching, and how the kids have been throwing down.

How did you get into coaching with MMSC and how has the summer been?

I started coaching a little bit back in 2003 after my knee injury. There was only one kid in the program at the time (Tanner Rainville), and a few years later the program grew to 7 or 8 (to name a few Duncan Adams, Ricki Hess, Colby Adams and Ryan Bowen). After I then moved into the judging scene, and traveled around to judge various Park/Pipe competitions for a couple years. Once I was settled back in Stowe, VT I began coaching full time. The summer has been great; MMSC also took a trip earlier this summer to the Lake Placid, NY Olympic Training Center to hit the water ramps and trampolines.

Stowe, VT has produced some top pros such as Duncan Adams, Tanner Rainville, and a few others. Do you thinkmthat this is a motivating factor for the skiers in the program?

It’s a very motivating factor that plays into all the kids who are striving to become freestyle ski athletes. It gives them a sense of reality that it is possible to come from the “ICE” coast, and make it in the top world of professional skiing. It also gives them some great piers to look up to.

Summer ski camps are renowned for new trick innovation, how was the team progressing their skills this summer?

Well I would say that anytime is a great time to progress a skier’s ability. At MMSC we strive to teach to the individual style of each athlete – to make each “trick” look beautiful and in CONTROL…Every athlete that was a part of the camp progressed in their own way, from sliding more technical rails with ease, to Switch 1260 mute grabs, and double flips with style….

I’ve seen some of your photos from the trip; it looked like an awesome time. What were some of the highlights of the trip?

Well there was never a dull moment….Windells has so much to offer at their training facility from air bags on and off snow, snow turf rail set ups, skate parks everywhere, Olympic trampolines into foam, and the best summer skiing park setup in the World! I would say all of these instruments of progression were the highlights of our trip. We did get a chance to run around Portland and check out VooDoo Donuts and the Nike Store!!!

Funniest or most random thing the happened at Hood this summer?

Maybe not so Funny, but Delta seemed to over book us on our flight out, and kept on bumping us additional days. Half of us made it one day late and the other half were 2 days late – with lost baggage all over the place. The team made due and we rented and shared gear until our baggage finally showed up. Bottom line…Never flying Delta again, they gave us no compensation or remorse for their mess up!

What’s on tap as we near the end of summer, and what major competitions are the kids going to compete in this winter?

The team will try to get in one more water-ramp session at Lake Placid, NY, and then it’s time to hit the gym and wait for the snow to fly. We have a pre-season camp in early December where the team heads to Breckinridge, CO for training and some of the athletes will be competing in The Dew Tour Qualifiers. This winter we will be competing in USSA Rev Tour, USASA Regional and Nationals, Gatorade Free Flow Tour, Dew Tour, Simon Dumont Open, Aspen Open, Anti Gravity Grail, and much more….

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Dew Tour 2011 ala’ Killington

Killington built it and they are coming. Apparently, a 22-foot half-pipe was enough to win the hearts of the organizers and athletes in order for this year’s Dew Tour to make a stop in Vermont. The three-part Dew Tour 2011 will boast the most media coverage of any winter adventure sport this season with Live NBC coverage, simulcast on Verizon V-Cast,  as well as international coverage on Eurosport 2 and Fox Sports Australia. MTV2, USA, and Universal HD will also stop by for a bit just to check in.

Locals (that’s us) should stop by January 20th thru the 23rd for the best athletes on skis in Superpipe and Slopestyle competitions as well as the same events being tolerated for–cough–snowboards. Dew Tour 2011 will drive alot of eyes toward Vermont which will of course help with the local tourism and if Mama winter also unleashes her wrath, illuminate Vermont as a winter sports destination and hopefully get this event here to stay.

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Movie Trailer| “The Way I See It”

This is just another shot to the arm for us while the snow is still so far away. High stoke value here with haunting intro music and epic shots of coolness. Check out Matchstick’s online series In The Making of that will help ward off the summer blues.