Regardless of what that article says, burning skis is definitely an essential part of the preseason party. It’s the way to let the snow gods know that this year, we mean business. Another preseason tradition that I’ll be starting is the quiver post. I’ve never been one to shy away from a bandwagon (especially if the band is playing my kind of music), so, with respect to The Snow Way and The Real Jay Peak Snow Report, here’s my quiver (pics to come later, when I finally have all the skis in one place):
Daily Driver: K2 Apache Recon (170)
I originally bought a pair of 174cm Apache Recons in the fall of 2006. I enjoyed them that year, but ripped a metal screw on the Marker Binding in the spring of ‘07, and I sent them back to K2. They responded with a new pair of skis (nice). So I’ve had these skis since Fall 2007. However, I’ve ripped that same freaking screw 3 times. The screw is part of the ski/binding “system” that a bunch of ski manufacturers have nowadays. From this experience, I’ve decided that from now on, I just want bindings that screw directly into skis. K2 has been very good about sending the replacement screw pieces, but it always takes a couple of months and it means that I always lose this pair of skis for some part of the year.
Icepick/PSIA ski: Volkl Racetiger (165)
I bought this ski in March of 2008 at an end of season sale for $300. I ripped one pair of bindings off of them (literally ripped the plastic of the toepiece in half) while doing the PSIA Dev Team tryout. It was a sloppy spring day at Whiteface, and I would’ve been on my Recons, but they were partaking in one of their shop visits. I came flying around a turn, skis got caught up in the glop, and my body kept moving forward. Did a solid forward flip, a couple more rolls, and stood up in fine shape. Unfortunately, the skis were unusable, and I had to ski the rest of the tryout on my twin tips. I just bought new cheapo ($99) bindings to throw on them last year.
Park/Teaching/Rock Skis: K2 Public Enemy (179)
I like K2 as a company, and this ski was one of their best. They’ve made all sorts of changes to it over the years, but this model (I think it’s 2003) still skis pretty damn well. It’s stiff, and this version isn’t fat enough (I think it’s 80mm at the waist), but it works as my rock ski/rail slider/backup daily driver when my Recons are down. Plus it’s good for teaching kids and teenagers because I don’t really care if people ski over them and they get trashed.
Powder Ski: Volkl Gotama (183)
I bought these in the Fall of 2008 (they’re the traditionally cambered ones) and I think I’ve used them about 6 times. I need more powder days. Or possibly I need to ski more Alpine on the Powder days we do get. The problem is, I see a foot of snow on the ground, and I look at my tele skis and I say “THAT’S what I want to be doing today.” It’s not that the Goats aren’t fun, it’s just that I love skiing Tele in powder, the boots are more comfortable, and I prefer the Tele setup for accessibility reasons (easier to hike to certain places, easier to skate over flats, etc.), especially at Gore. That being said, if I was taking a trip out west, these are the skis that I’d bring.
Powder/Touring Tele Ski: Karhu Jak (190)
I had a pair of uncut skins, and I was going to buy some really light sweet tele skis last year to tour with, but I ended up just cutting them for use with the Jaks that I bought in college. I think I got these in 2002 or so, during a period where we went to this ski shop in Farmington, Maine (I think it was this one) with increasingly crazy BC setups. I had these with the same G3 Targas that are on them now, a buddy had Dynastar Bigs with Fritschi Freerides, and another buddy had Skyhoys mounted on 200 cm Salomon AK Rockets. Totally ridiculous. As it is, these skis aren’t too heavy on the uphill, and they’re really nice on the downhill. They’ve got a good width (96) and they rock on a powder day.
Daily Driver/Park/Rock Tele Ski: Dynastar Concept (178)
I got these around 2001 for alpine, but switched them over to Tele when I got the Public Enemies. Since then, I’ve been beating the crap out of them, skiing over rocks, trees, parking lots, small children, and frozen ice chunks. These skis are really reaching the end of their skiing life and are destined for the bonfire next year. I already threw part of the binding in the fire, so I need to buy a repair kit to make the skis functional this year.
So, I guess the next purchases for the quiver are new Tele daily drivers (I’ll probably just buy some $200-$350 lightweight twins) and new alpine daily drivers (I want something fatter, rockered and more reliable).