Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tackle tight trees on the new lightweight skis!

News Alert! - Just wanted to mention, my first newspaper publication for the 2016-17 ski season was in Canada's Globe and Mail today! You can read my article on the Euro bonuses of Vail Resorts' Epic Pass here: Deadline to buy is Nov 20!!

Lake Louise - Photo by Dan Evans, courtesy of SkiBig3

Today's article explains why many of us will delight in the latest lighter weight skis! But I also have to mention that the lovely, legendary Lake Louise opens tomorrow! Although I'll miss the actual opening, I'll be skiing there in a few weeks time, during a whole month traveling around the Alberta and BC resorts. And my son, Fergus Hudson will be there on Saturday and Sunday, notching up his first few days on his student season pass! 

Deer Valley's Rossignol Demo Yurt - Photo by Blake Jorgensen
Did you buy big fat skis for powder and now feel those weighty planks anchoring you down when skiing temptingly tight treelines, hiking uphill, manipulating the moguls, skiing groomers or just carrying them back to the car at a downhill day’s end? Well, the industry has been thinking of you! Ski manufacturers have been working on lighter-weight skis which don’t compromise on performance perks.

The invention of the wider ski helped open up the backcountry to more skiers but with extra width and more materials, skis naturally got heavier. According to Nick Castagnoli, Brand and Communications Manager for Rossignol North America, the goal has been to produce light weight skis on wider platforms while avoiding any detriment to performance. “A World Cup race ski is built as precisely as possible, stable, downhill driven with heavier wood cores and thick core density,” says Nick. The challenge is to maintain this kind of precision in a light weight construction.

Years of research and experimentation with a variety of materials have come to fruition this season with skis that can pivot and manoeuvre more easily in snow. “There is a feeling of instinctive agility and ease of use,” Nick describes. “Our newest proprietary technology: Carbon Alloy Matrix, utilizes a unique carbon and basalt open weave that results in metal laminate-like stability while remaining incredibly lightweight. We ultimately integrate these materials in a way that elevates the best attributes of each, while removing some of the other more negative attributes. Carbon has an incredible strength-to-weight ratio but can often generate reverb, and create a 'tingy' on-snow sensation underfoot. Meanwhile basalt can often overpower a ski when used alone. Merging these materials together in the way we have brings out the best benefits of both.”

The reduction in weight can be between 10-25%, depending on model. Coupled with extra lightweight integrated bindings, such as the LOOK Xpress, this makes a big difference. “Weight is just as important for a beginner skier as those diving off into the backcountry,” explains Nick. “The easier and less fatiguing we can make learning to ski, the better. Newer models enable you to more easily pivot and manoeuvre, building up confidence and allowing you to have more fun, and this is ultimately what promotes faster progression.”

Maintaining the advantages of wider waist, side-cuts and rocker profiles, these are not just boy-racer skis, but suitable for every demographic - especially those who crave the softer, deeper snow of the West. And the good news is you don’t have to change up your boots so long as the bindings fit. Nick’s advice for the perfect boot: “The most important thing is working with a good boot-fitter to find the best balance of comfort and performance. Your boot is your steering wheel on the mountain and the link between your body and your skis.” He says it is essential that ski boots are comfortable, snug, and warm so you can stay out all day long and keep skiing.

To try them:
- Check out the Rossignol Experience Center Schedule 

- Rent them on your next ski holiday with door-to-door delivery service, Ski Butlers.

Waldorf Astoria Park City
Unique Rossi Skis:
And if you want to get one step further and get limited edition Rossis, check out the deal for guests at the Waldorf Astoria Park City. Only they can buy the Rossignol Strato which features a Wood/Titanium Duracap construction, power turn rocker, and an improved prop-tip — a perfect blend of lightweight construction with racing features. Retailing for $1200, this offer has been created via a partnership between the Waldorf and Ski Butlers

To transport them:
Transpack's Padded Rolling Convertible Double Ski Bag
To protect your new skis and transport them by plane, train or automobile, you definitely need this rolling Rolls Royce of ski bags. Made from super tough, water resistant ballistic nylon, the Transpack SKI VAULT™ DOUBLE PRO is padded with thick memory foam inside nylon lining. The bottom of the bag - the area typically most susceptible to damage - has a reinforced water resistant tarpaulin section with runners for extra protection. The length is adjustable - max size 12" x 8" x 65"-77". Padded handles on the top and front make it convenient - and pain free! - to roll on all-terrain, quiet wheels. The compression straps are industrial strength. Inside there are web straps to secure both skis and poles as well as a zippered pocket for personal items.

To get to and from the resort, there's Rhino-Rack - an Australian-owned roof racks and accessories brand that has just recently launched in the US. Holding up to 6 pairs of skis (4 if they are big fat powder planks), or up to 4 snowboards, it has an easy-release locking system to reduce fumbling and frustrations of operating locking mechanism with gloves on. Together with a secure lock, water and rust-proofing and a five-year warranty, its universal mount is another wow factor.

Rhino-Rack Ski and Snowboard Carrier retails at $159 US

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