Uh…what can I say about these three boards? They are the same yet different. Stiff, mid and soft flex from left to ride. To remember just think of Kate Moss being the stiff one. So as you might guess they each turn and edge differently. I haven’t taken out the soft flex yet, this Saturday for sure, but I kinda have an idea of how it will handle, kinda. It will be fun to ride I’m pretty sure. Definitely a perk with this little obsession, you get to ride something you have speculated on.
There is a snowskating misconception that the sport simplifies things. In reality it makes things more complicated as evidence of the boards we would be packing to the hill. We rode the beginner hill until the quad opened up. Always a nice warm up, mellow fresh groomers. Then back to the new spot which has been delivering some great turns.
We probably got about 4-5 inches but all of our tracks from last week were pretty much filled in. We were able to salvage the boottrack which made for quicker laps.
I have been having fun with the pole cam as you have all probably noticed. What I like watching the most though is the footage of the board, basically from the knees down. I just like watching the board as it turns. It feels like if I watch close enough I’ll actually be able to understand what is going on, but I never do.
I knew this would happen, I build one subthen the craziness begins. You just keep asking, or others ask, “what would happen if…?” You keep tweaking flex and changing dimensions until you can’t remember what the original question was. But I’m not complaining, its really fun to be able to make skis to match your mid season whims. The latest ski is a true twin tip with center mounted inserts and a 5 7/8″ (150 cm) nose and tail. There are two sets of inserts which give you mounting options between 16 and 19 1/2″. We rode it today and it was a blast, unfortunately I have to send it to BARONTiERi cause it was his idea and cause he made a sweet Snowflake logo for me as well as all the work on the website and the ColorFool designs. I’ll be pressing a shop version asap though. Here’s a few before and after pics. The first one shows before the press and the second pic is after the top deck and sub have been cut to shape.
Today I loaded up all of my subs and took them to the mountain. It was a pretty heavy load but the goal was to try and ride them all, or at least most of them.
First though was to grab the 151 and head into the back-country to meet Eric and Cole, who already had four laps in.
After we were done riding powder we headed back into the resort for some groomer laps. We chose a fairly long run to test the boards on with both mellow and steep sections and ending with a lap through the boarder cross course. Eric and I switched decks after each run making sure that we both rode all the options. It was really informative seeing that each deck was set up a bit differently with respect to truck height and sub dimensions. Hopefully after some more runs like this on varied terrain I’ll have something to report but most likely I’ll just have even more questions to ask, which is fine.
I think I figured that the total driving time from Sandpoint to the Ralston Cup to be around 18 hours. Throw in some snowmobile shuttles, hiking donner pass, goofing around and you’ve got about twice that. It wasn’t a race to get there so having as much fun as possible on the way down seemed like a good idea. The fun started Friday morning when I met up with Graham, Jeff, Pidgeon and a snowmobile trailer. We headed up to Bogus Basin to see if we couldn’t get a few laps in before the big drive to Truckee. The snow was deep and the fog was thick but who cares when your making fresh turns. I grew up in Boise and rode Bogus Basin all the time. Unfortunately they don’t allow snowskates so we had to ride outside the area. Jeff has tried to talk the GM at Bogus into letting snowskates on the lift. The GM said he would pay for Jeff‘s gas to drive somewhere else to ride???? After three great laps apiece we dropped off the snowmobile trailer and Pidgeon, who couldn’t make the trip, and headed for Truckee to spend the night. Saturday morning gave us around 6 inches of fresh snow and with the help of our good friend Brad Krommenhock we got some shuttles in on Donner Pass before heading to south lake and the Bonser Pipeline. We got to Bonser‘s just before dark and just as Jommy landed a kickflip over the keg gap. There were a ton of people and the pipeline was going off. Scott Chapelle had rigged up a tree stand about 30 ft up in the air from which you could get a birds eye view of the party and quarter pipe.
I guess I forgot to get pictures of all the features but I did get Brian straddling the coping.
Jeff got us a room for the night that had a blow drier. I guess he thought he would ride better if his skate was blow dried before the comp. Check out his Chiller shirt.
I’m sure some people take snowskating comps seriously but most of us were just there to have fun and hang out with other riders. there is a lot of standing around and waiting which means there is always a flat ground session going. Jake here with a kickflip!
The course had two lines and tons of variations. Boxes, rails, tables big and small and lots of hips with a mini quarter right in front of the judges. It was great to see Sean Davis ride again, so solid on the boxes.
The tables were getting sent by a bunch of people but unfortunately Goblin wasn’t one of them thanks to a bad landing trying to transfer a huge gap between the last set.
The comp consisted of a slalom run and a slopstyle run. The slalom was pretty technical and required you to carry a lot of speed otherwise you crawled across the finish line. The slalom wasn’t something to take too seriously but I did kinda make the 45″ for just such an occasion. I rode it first and had a so so run. They weren’t shouting out times so its hard to know how you faired. I decided to take the 42″morning wood for my second run and it did so much better railing the corners and I felt like I carried a lot more speed through the course. After everyone had made it through the slalom we ran the slopestyle in the same order. Hanging out with a bunch of friends, watching each run and cheering everyone on is just the best. Jake was amazing with his taped open shinner and it was obvious that he rides on a much higher level then the rest. He won the whole damm thing, slalom and slopestyle, I’m not even sure who placed below him.
Chillerdecks donated the slalom prize, its great to have such a ripper owning one of my decks.
I entered the amateur division which had around 35 riders, the most of any group. We’re hoping next year they make a division for old guys so it breaks it up a bit more. I guess the 42″morning wood did a pretty good job cause I won the slalom and took home a Ralston Snowskate. I was blown away and so happy to have one of their new skates to add to my collection. It won’t be a hanger I assure you. I ride every board I own, it keeps me up to date on all the offerings.
After the comp was over we made a bunch of mob runs down the boarder cross course. Comps like this are really the only chance many of us get to ride with other snowskaters and its always a blast. People are gaping that’s for sure plus what other sport do you get to ride right alongside the best in the industry. Afterward there was lots of hanging out and visiting. Travis pulled out his Japanese powskate that he got from a kid in Japan. If you check out the Banff film festival this year you’ll see a segment of this board being ridden by the maker.
After the comp we headed to Bonser‘s for the after party and more riding. then a late night drive back to Brad‘s in Truckee. The next morning brought blue skies so instead of heading home we headed back to Donner Pass. Graham was feeling a bit sore so offered to just drive shuttle. We opted instead to hike some new terrain so he decided to come along and maybe just take some pictures.
We hadn’t hiked far before we came to a very picturesque cornice and all of a sudden Graham wasn’t so sore and tired any more. Both Jeff, pictured below, and Graham hit it a few times before Graham sent it big. Its really hard to take in such a great weekend and luckily we have pics and video to remind us how much fun it was. Thanks to everyone who gave us a place to stay, shuttled us around, and shared their beer. It was an amazing trip!!!
We had a great trip and I’ve tried to take lots of crappy pictures and video. I still need to sort through it all but expect a full trip report by Friday. In the meantime here are a couple of pictures.
Jeff picking his line
Graham sending this drop. He landed at the bottom of the frame. I have some video of this hit that I’ll post too.
Wrapping up a few things in the shop then loading up the van and heading south to Boise to pick up a couple riders. Should be able to get some turns in the Boise foothills on Fri before hitting the road again for Tahoe. I promise to take lots of pictures and shoot lots of videos of the weekend (we’ll see if I keep my promise) and post it all here as soon as I get back. In the meantime here are a few shop pics of the new graphics, thanks BARONTiERifor the creative artwork!!!