Archive for December, 2009

Tamarack powderskate demo

I headed back to Tamarack on Sunday to meet up with the boise crew. Jeff had spread the word but was unsure how many would actually make the trek. I was blown away when I finally met up with the SIX of them, that’s kind of a record. It took some driving around to find a place to park and even longer to actually get the snowmobiles started, well to get one of them started. Somehow it was decided that I would get the first ride up with two snowskates, the 152 and 158. It was a short trip up to the mid mountain lodge. The snowmobiles had been busy and much of the terrain was tracked up. There were still lots of turns to be had though on the sides of the runs. The sled dropped me off and returned to shuttle more riders.  At the lodge there were a handful of guys with snowmobiles trying to get a plan together to build a jump somewhere. Standing amoungst them with the pow skates was a bit awkward. A couple asked a few questions but none seemed too interested.  I grabbed the 158, which I had just set up the night before, and headed up the side of the run for some turns. The 158 is the biggest powderskate on the market and I had only ridden that size one time last year.

tamarack parking Tamarack powderskate demo

The powder was deep and light so in all actuality you probably could have ridden a kayak down the mountain and had fun. I hike three different lines trying to find the best place for all of us to session. The snow was amazing and by the time the others arrived on TWO sleds with more powskates, I was confident that the day would be epic. I had planned on giving a big explanation and a bunch of tips on powderskating but in the end I just handed them the skates and pointed up. I don’t think anyone even fell the first run or the second for that matter. I tried to take some pics but usually was just hooting and hollering every time the blew past. We spent the day making laps and it was perfect. Towards the end of the day I ran into a couple of the guys who were on the jump-building expedition. I asked if they got any good turns in and the guy replied that no, they had spent the day trying to find a spot to build on and it just hadn’t panned out, too bad, there was lots of good powderskating turns to be had.

tamarack empty Tamarack powderskate demo

tamarack cory Tamarack powderskate demo

See what I mean, I’m not very good at getting action shots.

tamarack deep turns Tamarack powderskate demo

Jeff had brought his Lib 48 and it floated as long as you kept the nose up.

tamarack valley shot 300x215 Tamarack powderskate demotamarack lib 48 300x239 Tamarack powderskate demo

X mass

Spending the holidays in Mc Call, Idaho. Yesterday I hiked Tamarack ski hill. Tamarack went bankrupt about two years ago. It was on path to becoming the next vail, (that’s what they thought anyways). It has a huge village that is almost completed. It won’t be finished anytime soon though as all construction was halted when the bankrupcy was filed.  I hiked up about 1600 ft to the upper lodge which is also not finished. It looks done from a distace but when you get right up to it, things resemble a ghost town. It felt like being in some sort of sci fi flick where you are the only person left after some catastrophe. The quads were all there and the snow was sick but no people. The snow was really amazing, deep, light and fluffy. I was on the 125 cause down low it was 1″ of dust on this nasty crust and I wanted something I could control in case it sucked all the way to the top. At about a quarter of the way up though it got really good. The 125 got me throught the deep stuff as long as I kept my speed up. On some of the steeper rollers it was absolutely amazing. Looks like I’ll be going back on Sunday with a few Boise guys and some sleds to hit the area again. I’ll have the big boards this time and the camera too for verification. Anyways happy holidays, here’s a Xmas pic of the 36″ top deck and 45″ sub.

36 chiller bottom X mass

Heavy snow post

So the last three days delivered around 20” inches of snow to the resort. Last night it got kinda warm so the conditions were light snow under a heavy layer of wet stuff. Headed up first thing in the morning to catch the opening of the triple chair into south bowls. The chair had been closed during the entire storm so all the terrain around it would be untracked. I grabbed the 125 FPS first thinking that the snow had consolidated and I wouldn’t be sinking that much. At first on the steep stuff it seemed like the right choice but about half way down the south bowl where its not as steep and the temps were a bit warmer I had to straight line it just to get out. Back to the lodge for a board change. The 152 has a fat tail that will float pretty much everything but it does take a lot more leverage to carve on groomers. When I do take it out for resort riding its usually after big dumps where I won’t be spending much time on groomers. That’s where the 151 has a big advantage, it can handle groomers and hardpack easily, really easily so riding between stashes is easy and fun. Yesterday’s snow was heavy though and a real work out and the area we were riding was perfect for the 152 and riding was a breeze. Cole had his 151 and on the upper steeper section he was killing it but on the lower section where the snow was much heavier it was a bit harder. Not as tricky as the 125 but still you had to keep your weight forward to keep the tail from sinking. If the tail sank you slowed down and stopped, which meant possibly falling off your board and getting snow all over the grip and basically just wearing you out. Getting back up onto your board in deep powder takes some effort so you wanted to avoid that at all costs. You’ll notice the snow build up on the grip in the pic. Yea, heavy high moisture content snow sticks to it.

152 151 shoot out 225x300 Heavy snow post

151 152 shoot out Heavy snow post

151 152 shoot out cole turn Heavy snow post

I had my leash break for the first time and just happened to be right in front of the patrol. Please remember to always check you equipment and leash for edge cuts and loose knots, a snow laden powder skate weighs a lot and can bust a simple cord! Only use webbing dog leashes or the hard core coil leashes. We don’t want run away skates period. Trust me even if it just goes into the trees you will either loose it or at a minimum have a HUGE hike down the hill.

Shop update

Been super busy in the shop with decks, subs and trucks plus the holidays just around the corner. Sent off a big stack to Adam, a board going to barontieri today and 23″ of fresh (heavy) pow at the mountain. Meeting Cole at 8:00 for some early tracks. As always I’m wondering 125 or 152. Would be nice to have a 151 for days like today. Bringing snowshoes and poles in case we need to duck a rope for the backcountry. Even when the mountain has a bunch of new snow the allure of untracked is powerful. Hopefully some pics for tomorrow.


Riding and Building

This can be a fun time of year, building boards in the shop in the morning and testing them in the afternoon. Sometimes it can be frustrating if its really dumping and there is lots to do in the shop but this year winter is off to a slow start. We’ve had a week of sub zero temps and HIGH winds which has scrubbed the backcountry, nothing a snowskate can’t handle though, further proof in my mind that all you need is snow to ride. Cole and I jumped out of bounds behind the quad, breakable crust with hidden obstacles. Don’t  know if skiers or boarders would even bother but we had a blast. It was way to cold to stop and get some riding shots so I just took a few pics along the way.

dec backside road Riding and Building

dec backside tracks Riding and Building

Cole brought his 151 and I had the 125. It will be interesting to see how these two boards compare through out the year. Yesterday the 125 was probably the easier choice, I’m not sure why but it was. We took turns riding both boards and the conditions were pretty crazy so I don’t think it really tells me much about how they compare. I guess it was easier to keep the tail down on the 125, you weren’t having to lean too far back which made turning easier. Like I said the crust was wicked but fun.

dec backside compare Riding and Building

We put in a boot track and fired off four laps in a couple of hours them headed back to the resort and the barren ski slope.

dec backside hike 225x300 Riding and Building

I finally got a chance to ride the 151 on some hard core groomers. That thing is pretty amazing for how long it is and how locked in you feel on a carve, even over blue ice. That board will definitely be a contender on in-bounds powder days.

Just a couple of pics from the shop, a stack of decks, boxes of truck parts and a pile of off cuts. I hope to get the store up soon for easy online ordering. A lot of these decks are spoken for, either heading to Adam or for locals. If you want to be put on the list before the shop goes up email me your wants at

dec backside boardstack 300x143 Riding and Building

dec backside truckparts 300x225 Riding and Building

dec backside scraps 119x300 Riding and Building

Test run

dec thur coles new board Test run

I told Cole I had a couple of boards coming in from Florida Powder Skates. I was thinking about keeping the new 151 for myself. He pretty much just payed me before I had a chance to say no. The new 151 is a cross between the 152 and 125. It has the dims of the 125 but the length and insert locations of the 152 and as an added bonus an early rise nose. this translates into a sub that can float the deep stuff but still carve ice.

dec thur chairlift Test run

Most of the mountain is still closed, just not enough snow. This means all you need to do is hike a few yards and you get untracked goodness.

dec thur cole hikeing Test run

dec thur coles carve Test run

dec thur cole grab1 Test run

Cole loves his new board, he was going on and on about how the thing rips and we had only been riding an hour or so. It just didn’t take anytime to get her dialed in. When he was catching his breath I borrowed it for a rip. Yep it works!!!

dec thur mark carve Test run

We were just hiking this little patch next to the groomer track above where the cat track came in. No one bothered to hike the 40 yards up the hill so we had it all to our selves. Groomers can be fun too.

dec thur carve Test run

A quiver doesn’t need to be really big to cover the bases.

dec thur boards Test run

After hitting this patch we had to navigate some really hard icy areas that had been over skied. Cole had no problem on the 151 and passed me right by. Sure on tight narrow icy crap he slid out a bit but overall the board killed it. Good job Adam!!!