Ski Boot Buckle Lever Comparison 2017

ski boot lever tool comparison review skitool buckletite brixski

by Skimum Richelle

CLICK HERE TO READ THE UPDATED 2018 REVIEW

A previous post of mine titled, Seriously, I Need A Tool For Buckling My Ski Boots?, reviewed the SkiTool lever device that helps you buckle your ski boots.  In short, the tool worked well for a little over a season or two, but then broke.  I was able to repair it (with copious amounts of gaffers tape) to a point where I could use it again, but it has never quite been the same.  Flash forward to several weeks ago, I was contacted by not one, but two other boot tool manufacturers and was offered a chance to review their devices.

I also want to quickly address some issues that some have raised in the comments section of my previous article, questioning the very need for such a tool.  Some have suggested to me that I must have the wrong size boots or that I’m over-tightening them if I have to use a tool to tighten them.  First, I can assure you that I have the proper boot size (fitted by a professional).  Second, I do not over-tighten by boots.  I buckle my boots once, for the day, and then leave them buckled until I am done skiing.  I do not have any problems with pain, circulation, etc.  What I do have a problem with is getting by boots buckled up tight enough initially. The small buckles just don’t provide enough leverage to close on those last couple notches.  Call me weak, or soft handed…fine, but I am confident that I have a good and proper boot fit.  If anything, I find that many skiers (especially women) do not buckle their boots tight enough…which can make their skiing sloppy, less precise, and more dangerous.  For me, a boot tool makes all the difference to easily get that perfect fit!

On with the comparison…

In this comparison I have reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of the three types of boot levers that I have used, namely, the SkiTool, the Buckletite and the BriXski.

Skimums Tool Comparison Ratings

ski boot lever tool comparison review

*: BriXski pricing is approximate and is based on current exchange rates – Swedish Krona to USD, and shipping from Sweden.

Hand Grip

How easy is the tool to hold?  Does it slip in your hand? The best grip winner is the Buckletite tool.  It fits in my hand well and doesn’t slide around.  The SkiTool also feels pretty good in your hand and has little wavy sides for your fingers to wrap around.  My least favorite grip of the three was the BriXski.  It tapers down quickly and is very smooth.  It’s not terrible, but my bare hand does tend to slip a bit when using it.

Buckle Grip

How well does the tool hold on the boot buckle?  To be honest, I did not think any of these tools held particularly well to my buckles.  They all tended to slip around…or even slip off the buckle as I was applying pressure to them. The good news is that I have a simple fix for all of these – add a little fabric based tape (gaffers tape, duct tape, medical tape) to the surfaces or edges that come in contact with buckle.  Very effective! No more slip!

Lever Action/Power

How well does the geometry of the tool work?  How much strength and pressure is required by the user?  All three tools actually do a good job here.  After all, that is what they are designed to do.  If I had to pick one, I’d say the Buckletite tool provided the best, most stable platform.  The flair on both ends just gives your hands a little bit more control when applying pressure.

Lever Angle

Brixski ski boot lever tool review comparisonFrankly, I never even thought about this until I started comparing these three tools side by side.  I quickly realized, however, that the angle at which you attach the tool to the buckle is much different with the BriXski tool compared to the other two.  The BriXski tool’s unique design allows you to slip the buckle into the little opening of the tool.  The result is a much easier “angle of attack” to grab the buckle.  This description may not make much sense, so I have included a couple photos (below) to illustrate the difference.  In the end, does it really matter?  Maybe not, but I did find it easier and quicker to attach the BriXski tool without having to contort my arm.

ski boot boot lever tool angles brixski buckletite

brixski_no

The BriXski tool does not work on these older style buckles.

With all of that said, I did find a drawback to the BriXski tool, in that it does not work on all ski boots. While it seems to work on most of the new style buckles, it will not fit over some of the older style boot buckles.  I found three different boots (in my attic) that the BriXski tool will not work with.  The tool opening is just too small to accommodate the wider metal or fatter plastic buckles, including a pair of our kids boots.

Flex

There should be little or no flex in the tool.  From the first time I ever used the SkiTool it flexed just enough to make me nervous about it breaking (and ultimately it did).  Both the Buckletite and the BriXski, however feel much different and much more solid.  I have a hard time detecting any flex in these two at all.  This increased rigidity helps efficiently transfer energy from your hand to the buckle, and gives you more confidence when applying significant torque.

Durability

For me, the SkiTool fails the durability test.  Its soft and flexible plastic just does not hold up over time.  In contrast, Buckletite levers are made out of PROLON, a tough 33% fiberglass-impregnated nylon and they are guaranteed for life.  The BriXski lever is made out of a material called PA6 45, which is a high quality plastic reinforced with 45% glass.  It appears to be very tough and have almost a metal-like quality.  Both Buckletite and BriXski also have great warranties on their products.  If they break, send them back and they will send you a new one.

To be fair, however, I have not used either the Buckletite or the BriXski tool for a comparable period of time as the SkiTool.   Based on other factors, however, such as the flex and materials, I believe that both the Buckletite or the BriXski will hold up much better.  Time will tell. I plan to check back with you from time to time and will definitely let you know if my actual experience differs from this initial assessment.

Where to Purchase

Ski Tool Company
www.skitoolcompany.com

Buckletite
www.buckletite.com
Contact seller for special dealer and industry pricing as well as combined shipping for multiple unit orders.

BriXski
www.brixski.se
Seller is based in Sweden and is currently working on setting up distribution in the USA.  See seller website for updated purchasing options.

 

This is our playground

IMG_3794.JPG

It’s time to ski! Starting January 6th, Intermediate-Advanced women skiers will head to Snowbird on Wednesdays at 9:30am. For the first time this season, however, we’ll start with the super-popular FOUR FREE GROUP LESSONS by Susi and The Mountain School.  Then, in February, we’ll just meet and ski. No agenda. We ski until we have to leave. For some, that’s 10:30am, others it’s 3:30pm.  If the weather is crummy (winds 20+mph or sketchy viz), then we pass. It’s just not fun to ski in those conditions, and WE LIVE HERE.  There is no scheduled end date.  Last season, we just took off our ski boots and put on our hiking boots and played throughout the summer.

As mentioned, The Mountain School will start off the season with FOUR FREE* GROUP LESSONS for Skimums.  These have been very popular (sometimes, too popular).  The Mountain School doesn’t mind, but it wants to have enough instructors there.  So, we’re going to ask Mums to RSVP EACH WEEK through Evite.  (*Suggested gratuity of $10-20 per lesson)
IF YOU ARE A SNOWBOARDER, please leave a comment on your RSVP.  If there are enough BoardMums (we need a better name), we’ll ask very nicely whether The Mountain School can get an instructor.
IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER, The Mountain School REALLY wants you to get on the slopes and has terrific and affordable LEARNER’S PERMIT 
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT OR AREN’T SURE HOW TO START, contact Susi Muecke at The Mountain School, our incredible Instructor, Sherpa and Friend to see what you need to reach whatever goals you have.
Happy Holidays, Skimums!  See you on the slopes.

Opening Day Tram, Trail & Tix Deal

IMG_2796 (1)

Skimum Katie last spring on Regulator Johnson (sweet treat–open on Opening Day)

Snowbird kicks off inaugural weekend with more vertical terrain than any other resort in Utah

SNOWBIRD, UT – Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort announced it will begin Aerial Tram operations on Friday, Nov. 20, during opening day of the 2015/16 ski season.  It has been four years since the Snowbird Aerial Tram has operated on opening day.

“We have had ideal early-season conditions with natural snowfall and cold temperatures for snowmaking, allowing us to open terrain from Hidden Peak all the way down through Gad Valley,” said Dave Fields, Snowbird Vice President of Resort Operations.

Skiers and snowboarders can ride the Aerial Tram Friday, Nov. 20, to the start of Regulator, located at 11,000 feet.  Skiing will be available via Regulator to Bassackwards, connecting to Big Emma. The combined territory of these runs totals more than 3,000 vertical feet and two and a half miles of skiable routes.

All day tickets will be sold at a reduced price of $75. Snowbird chair passes will be valid on the Aerial Tram for a limited time.

Snowbird’s shuttle will be running to transport guests to and from Gad Valley and Snowbird Center from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Creekside Lodge will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The best lodging deals of the season are available to those who plan early. Early Bird Stay and Ski lodging and lift packages are currently available starting at $99/person (with lift tickets and free skiing for kids 12 years old and younger, double occupancy required) through much of December by calling (800) 453-3000 or visiting www.snowbird.com.

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is investing $35 million into capital improvements for the 2015/16 season. These projects include The Summit at Snowbird, an extensive remodel of The Cliff Lodge, a new RFID ticket system and increased snowmaking capabilities. For media information, please contact Snowbird Communications Manager Brian Brown at bbrown@snowbird.com or (801) 891-3496

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Mountain Tech – Ski Apps And More!

2015 Review

By Skimum Richelle

Remember the olden days when you had to stay up and watch the 10 o’clock news to see what the weather was going to be like tomorrow? These days I have an astonishing amount of information, all in the palm of my hand, and available anytime I need it. Following are a few of my favorite apps and websites that I regularly use to enhance my skiing, and beyond. Some of these are Utah, or even Snowbird, specific but my guess is you can find something that will help you wherever you live or ski.  In no particular order…

Trace Screen ShotTRACE SNOW (FREE – Android,  iOS)

Trace SnowTrace Snow (formerly known as Alpine Replay) allows you to track your day on the mountain by measuring speed, distance, vertical feet, calories, time and more.

I’ve tried several ski tracking apps over the years, but this one has remained my favorite.   One of it’s best features is that you can quickly open the app and hit the big orange GO triangle.  It takes two seconds!  Put your phone back in your pocket and then hit the pause/stop button when you are done skiing for the day.   You can also access all of your historical stats via their website and share (brag about) your day by sending your daily stats page  to friends.

I should also mention that Trace Snow also offers a small hockey puck shaped disc that you attach to your skis or snowboard. This little device augments your phone’s GPS and gives you some pretty detailed stats on tricks, spins, etc.  Since I’m not doing much park skiing these days (or ever), I don’t really have any need for the premium service.  The basic, free version provides plenty of info for my skiing style.

MyRadarMyRadar (FREE – Android, iOS)

MyRadarThis little icon holds a prominent spot on my phone’s home screen.  Wonder if that storm rolling across the Great Salt Lake is on track to hit Little Cottonwood Canyon?  Just pull this app up and watch the storm trajectory, size and speed.  Very simple to use!  Definitely a must have app!


Snowbird Mountain Report WebpageMountain Report

Snowbird-LogoI’ve been accused from time to time of being a bit obsessive, but this time of year, checking the Snowbird Mountain Report page is part of my daily (or, uh…hourly) routine .  It is a great page to give you some quick stats on weather and mountain conditions.  A peek at the mountain cameras tells me what visibility is like (and which goggles I need) and the Snowbird Snowcam snow leader board tells me which skis I should grab for that day (hopefully the FAT ones!).  Knowing which lifts are open, closed or pending can be extremely helpful on knowing where to park at the Bird.  I have this webpage bookmarked in my mobile browser (actually, it’s my homepage).

7-Day forecast

468px-NOAA_logo.svgWhen doing some longer term planning, I always check out the NOAA 7-Day forecast page.  I also have this page bookmarked in my mobile browser.

I should mention here that the NOAA just recently optimized their website for mobile devices.  Yay!  So much easier to read now!NOAA-7-Day

24-Hour forecast

468px-NOAA_logo.svgIf you want to get really geeked out on your storm tracking (like I have been known to do), you can go to NOAA’s 24-hour forecast.  It has detailed information on forecasted weather conditions at Snowbird and Alta ski resorts including temperatures, freezing levels, winds, snow water content (density).NOAA-24-Hr

Canyon AlertsCanyon Alerts (via Text, Email, Twitter, Facebook)

CanyonAlerts_LogoIf you like skiing powder, or plan to ski after a big storm, this alert service is a must have!  As you probably know, Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons are prone to being closed during and after large storms while UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) clears the roads and does avalanche control work.  By subscribing, you are automatically alerted about canyon closures or restrictions.  The Canyon Alert system is provided by the Unified Police Department.  You can subscribe to their alerts via their website.

Personally, I receive only critical text alerts.   You can subscribe by texting “canyonalerts” to 553535.  There are a number of subscription methods to choose from, however.  Pick the one that is best for you and stay informed!

What’s on your phone?

Did I miss a great app or website?  The app world changes fast and there are great new ones all the time.  Please post a comment and let me know what you use and why.

Women’s Skis: Ski Reviews by Skimums 2015

By an Amazing Group of Skimums

IMG_2453The magazine featuring reviews of the hot new skis drops on our doorsteps, and we immediately flip the pages to results. Skim, skim, skim through the “men’s skis,” still not sure why they’re always gender-specific and why it’s not ladies first. Aha! There they are — reviewed by professional skiers that ski every day in multiple hemispheres, have different skis for every mountain and every condition, and probably don’t have to purchase retail skis or ride half the morning along side a whiny [fill in appropriate family member].  Yes, just like us!

We still read those pages first. The pictures are cool, the skis are hot and, honestly, we want those big fat skis that make us look and feel like the woman in the photo dashing through the powder with her wind-blown hair flying and her non-chapped lips smiling. She looks like a super hero (no, not Wonder Woman, she’d freeze in that outfit) charging down the mountain. Fearless. Graceful. She can do anything. Yes, now that sounds more like us.

When local retailer, Ski ‘n See, asked Skimums to demo some skis and give our thoughts, we eagerly agreed. No, we are not professionals, but most ski buyers aren’t. So, we thought that might fill in a gap we saw in most reviews. However, we are not spring break skiers either. All of us ski regularly, about 1-3 times per week in winter (Don’t hate us! We don’t ski all day. We all have paid and unpaid jobs around here. It’s just one of the perks of living in Salt Lake.) All of us own our skis, and many own more than one pair or borrow from our kids and spouses. Skimums are intermediate to advanced skiers at Snowbird, which has some of the most varied, challenging and fun terrain in Utah. When reviewing the skis, Skimums tried to steer clear of the technical stuff and consider what we would tell their friends about them.

snsI like my skis except when I fall. Then, they stink.
–Skimum Bettina

What did we discover? Because of conditions, there was a lot of talk about groomers in the reviews. Snowbird’s groomers on test day were long, hard, fast and sometimes icy. If they say the skis “held,” then they really held. The Mums know powder and some gave their predictions about how the skis would respond in “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” A big surprise, almost all of the skis tested seemed to perform well in crud. Skimums crushed Death Cookies!

Why do Skimums get excited about skis the way some women get excited about shoes? One answer may be because they both make you look and feel good when you step out on the mountain or on the town. You see, on the slopes, Skimums (or any woman who gets the ski bug, a precursor to powder flu) stand on the summit and become SuperMums, each possessing special powers and some version of Kryptonite (ok, it’s usually moguls).

There were some weaknesses that certain skis ameliorated making us feel strong and confident and, frankly, just kickin’ skiers, but some skis worked better with different types of skiers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but when reading any review, no one should be discouraged if a popular ski just doesn’t “work” for her any more than Reece Witherspoon’s cute Oscars® dress would. Try lots! Try different sizes! Several Skimums noted that they thought the skis would have ridden better in a larger or smaller size. Rocker and camber, among other things, have greatly altered the chin-to-forehead ski-sizing chart.

Ironically (if you’re ever on the lift with us, you’ll understand why), Skimums hate, hate, hate “chatter,” that unnerving rattling you can get when cruising on groomers, and were quick to note the skis that kept quiet. Contrary to popular opinion of the guys renting in some ski shops, Skimums seemed to prefer heavier skis. If anyone wants to know, we will tell you that they usually feel more stable. It is the same reason most of us regularly ride wider all-mountain skis. Like most super heroes, we like to fly, and it doesn’t help or look good if we’re constantly hitting turbulence.

The Design…Ok, listen up manufacturers. We’re girls, we like bright shiny things, we love great art, and we will sometimes buy great skis in spite of the designs, but do you really think a scantily-clad woman, a geisha or a bloody-fanged whatever is going to entice us to drop a grand for your skis? Just a thought… Other than that, please note, we still like pink.

You’ll notice we did not declare a winner, because that did not make sense to us. We all ski differently and are looking for different arrows to fill our SuperGirl quiver or something to kick that Kryptonite to the curb with. We also have different priorities and budgets. That is why we included the “Value” section (“KSL” is a better version of Craigslist in Utah). Whatever you do, make sure to demo before you buy. Most places will credit the demo cost towards purchase. Ski ‘n See has a huge selection of skis and sizes, great service and terrific sales. We can often wait for the ski we want to come down to the price we can afford. In the meantime, most Skimums concluded that there are some great skis out there, and we plan to demo more in coming months.

Let us know what you like. What makes you feel like you can fly?

 

Skimum: Kathryn
Regular Ski: Solomon Bamboo
Test Ski: Rossignol Soul 7

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers xxx Excellent, so stable. If you want to go fast, this is the ski to have. I flew down the black diamonds without even a hick up (if you don’t count the cat track that I wasn’t prepared to hit at such incredible speeds…nothing a little more experience couldn’t remedy).
On Crud x Great. Again the stability really made all the difference.
On Powder x I am sure they would be incredible in powder had I had any powder to try them on.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x I love the honeycomb in the tip. Neon yellow is not my color, but that is really not a deterrent for me.
Recommendation to a Skimum? x If you like to go fast this is definitely the ski to have. Great all mountain ski. Easy to maneuver considering the width. Easy to get on the edge.
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL I would actual pay retail for these if I had to (and that is saying a lot coming from me). [Retail $800]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes — I have never skied with a ski this wide and it only took the tiny hill from the Gadzoom lift to Little Cloud for me to know I was in love. The Black diamonds were a breeze. WARNING: These skis are fast. Give yourself ample time to prepare for turns etc. because the ride is so smooth, you may be going faster than you think.

 

Skimum: Liz
Regular Ski: Blizzard Samba
Test Ski: LINE Supernatural 100

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.46.38 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x
On Powder N/A Didn’t get to try them on powder
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x
Recommendation to a Skimum? x
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL [Retail $649]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes – These skis were ok, but I definitely prefer my Sambas! The LINE skis had a lot of lightness near the tips, so if I didn’t have my weight forward, the front of the ski flattened quite a bit, especially on hard straightaways.

 

Skimum: Margit
Regular Ski: Kastle 88 size 168
Test Ski: LINE Supernatural 170Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.46.38 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x Couldn’t really sink my edges
On Crud x Fit in moguls well
On Powder Didn’t have a powder day L
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Nice color, doesn’t matter so much
Recommendation to a Skimum? Super mellow ski, definitely not a carver
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Probably KSL if at all [Retail $649]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes—Skimum Liz and I switched mid-morning (the LINEs were her demos). We both felt they couldn’t find an edge or hold it. But I got separated from the group and booked two runs to the other side of the mountain to find the ladies & they held! Fine, not good, for high-speed groomers, but I’d prefer more gripping for ripping!

 

Skimum: Casey
Regular Ski: K2 Super Bright
Test Ski: Volkl RTM 81Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.51.56 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x On steep groomers I could easily get super low and lay into a deep carving turn. This ski ran fast and felt somewhat stable with speed, but it shined in the bumps and other places where tight turns were necessary.
On Crud x
On Powder N/A Doesn’t float on top but doesn’t entirely sink either.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) With neon sides they look as fast as they go!
Recommendation to a Skimum? Save them for the firm, fast, playful days. Use an all-mountain ski to really get around.
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Buy them cheap unless you are sure you love them.  [Retail $1065]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes — Given the firmer conditions this year, I feel I picked the perfect ski to try for the day. I noticed the tail said “sensor wood core”. I really have no idea what that means but what I do know, is that this ski felt like it really could “sense” my weight shifting into a turn. At a certain point it literally popped me into the next turn with almost no effort! I found myself popping little jumps and feeling super playful on these things! Being 5’6 I thought that skiing a 171 would be way to long but with the full rocker, it felt more like a 161 with all the stability of a longer ski. I felt confidant leaning forward but still had a ton of control.   While this ski would be challenging in deeper snow or crud, it’s great on piste. I loved it!!!

 

Skimum: Margit
Regular Ski: Rossignol S7, Kastle MX98
Test Ski: Volkl Mantra 170Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.24.24 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x Nice edges
On Crud x Didn’t feel like I was in control
On Powder N/A No powder the day we skied L
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Not pretty, really don’t care though
Recommendation to a Skimum? Liz & I switched. She liked these!
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Maybe KSL, I wouldn’t buy them retail.
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Blue
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— To be fair, we didn’t have great snow. I had hoped to take these off-trail but conditions were abysmal. Skis turned out to be great on groomers, really letting you sink your edges in. Would be trustworthy on ice. Worried the front rockers would turn on me on high-speed flats but were just fine.

 

Skimum: Liz
Regular Ski: Blizzard Samba
Test Ski: Volkl MantraScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.24.24 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x
On Powder N/A No powder that day!
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Pretty good-looking!
Recommendation to a Skimum? x
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Would recommend to a Skimum looking for an all-mountain ski.
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes—I really liked these skis on the hard-packed snow! They handled well in moguls, too, and felt stable on fast straightaways! It would be fun to try them in the powder as they seem like a great all-mountain ski.

 

Skimum: Denice
Regular Ski: Rossignol Soul 7
Test Ski: Volkl AuraScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.10.00 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x
On Powder N/A Didn’t really get to use it in powder but imagine it is good
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x
Recommendation to a Skimum? x
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Just because I don’t like ever paying full price[Retail $825]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— It is a great ski. I felt more comfortable on Regulator Johnson at Snowbird than I ever have. No chattering because it is heavier. If I didn’t already love my Soul 7s, I would definitely get these.

 

Skimum: Katie
Regular Ski: Rossignol Temptation 88 163mm
Test Skis: Volkl Kenja 157cm (Volkl Aura*, Rossignol Saffron 7**)Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.07.58 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.10.00 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.36.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x It was difficult to fin/hold the edge on groomers; felt unstable at high speeds.
On Crud x Decent in the crud and bumps. Easy to turn.
On Powder N/A Unable to test in powder, but hoping they perform well.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Not overly feminine, but I love the black w/fuchsia accents
Recommendation to a Skimum? x Perhaps these would be better in a longer length, but I would not recommend them in 157cm
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL They better be cheap![Retail $775]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green I think in a longer length these could be great skis, but they are stiff and unstable in a short length.
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— I also tried a few other skis on demo day. Here are a few quick notes:
*VOLKL AURA: heavy skis, feel solid underfoot, very stable at high speeds and difficult to turn quickly, beware! They feel like a Cadillac; stable, smooth but not nimble.
**ROSSIGNOL SAFFRON 7: This was a fun, easy nimble ski. Probably my favorite of the day. Easy to turn, fairly stable at high speeds, much better than I was expecting! Plus, the pink design is pretty cute.

 

Skimum: Emmy
Regular Ski: Dynastar Exclusive
Test Ski: Rossignol Saffron 7

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.36.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x
On Powder N/A Man, I wish I knew! My guess is amazingly Great.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) xx LOVE IT (pink, hello!)
Recommendation to a Skimum? x
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL [Retail $700]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes — This ski felt really stable. No chatter even at my top speeds. I would have bought it right on the spot if it wasn’t a little bit of work in the moguls.   Especially when I wanted to get through them fast, it felt a bit heavy/clunky and I found myself picking my foot up on turns. If I didn’t love bouncing around in the bumps so much, this would’ve been the ski for me.

 

Skimum: Valerie
Regular Ski: Rossignol BC Pro 110
Test Ski: Rossignol Saffron 7Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.36.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x They felt stable
On Powder Wish we had some!!
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x
Recommendation to a Skimum? Great all-mountain ski. By far, my favorite of the day.
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL You can probably get these for a great deal now.
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Perfect for the blue/black skier.
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— I really liked these skis, but to be fair they are really close to what I already ski. The honeycomb design makes the ski lighter than my ski, but I felt that they maneuvered pretty similarly. These are great all-mountain skis, but on big powder days, I would probably still use my fatties. They don’t turn as well as the Saffron 7, but they glide nicely through the powder.

 

Skimum: Julie
Regular Ski: K2 Superstitious
Test Ski: Rossignol Saffron 7Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.36.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers xxx SO much fun!! Balance, speed, CONTROL
On Crud xx Excellent—handled choppy snow beautifully
On Powder x Not so much powder, but suspect they will float
Design (Is it purr-dy?) xx Yep—who doesn’t love a little hot pink?!
Recommendation to a Skimum? x YES!
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL I’m cheap, so probably on a demo sale
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Black/Double Black, Blue
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes—Loved these skis on the steeps and in the crud—They performed beautifully and no matter how fast I went, I always felt completely in control. The stability and balance was incredible – I could honestly feel the mountain directly under my feet. The one drawback was moguls—they suddenly felt bulky and unruly in the hard-packed bumps. I’m sure in softer snow with a little powder under foot they would perform better, but I really struggled in the bumps with these babies! Overall, a wonderful all-around ski that handles well and gives the skier more confidence on the hill.

 

Skimum: Paula
Regular Ski: Liberty Envy 157 (2013)
Test Ski: Head Total Joy 158Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.37.16 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers xx Like horses heading for the stables, I had to hold on tight and just let them go.   Very stable on straights. Not as much speed and distance on traverses making the ride to Bookends pretty tiring before I even got to the fun stuff.
On Crud xx On crud and moguls, I couldn’t get these skis to engage and turn as easily as expected making me hesitant in steep moguls. Excellently handled the crud otherwise.
On Powder N/A No powder, but I kept wondering whether snow would shoot up at me through those weird cutouts on the tips. J
Design (Is it purr-dy?) xx Teal and White—Seemed plain next to all the other skis with colorful artwork
Recommendation to a Skimum? xx If you want to fly down groomers at Deer Valley, these are your skis. If you want to take them down Tiger Tail at Snowbird, you better have a glass of wine waiting at the bottom of the run.
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Because they come with bindings (which I liked), these would be worth surprising The Misses with on sale. [Retail $925 bindings incl]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Blue to Black Skimums would enjoy these; a SuperMum might be able to tame them on moguls better.
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes– These are billed as all-mountain skis, and with the shovels on the tips, I suspect they’ll keep most floating on top of powder.   They are surprisingly light with a stiff ride. They performed very well on groomers gripping the mountain on a VERY hard-packed day. When I let them go, I flew. The 85-under foot and camber meant that there was ZERO chatter flying down Road to Provo, and even when I hit the occasional death cookie, they smashed it flat. Yeah, that was fun! I fought like a mad dog with these things in moguls though.   Granted, I’m not a mogul mama, but I couldn’t get these things to turn as easily as I expected on big bumps.   Because my boots seemed to be smaller than everyone else out there, no one else could quickly swap with me. I would love to hear how others ride them.

 

Skimum: Charnee
Regular Ski: Dynastar Cham W 87 (2014) 5 pt sidecut (109-127-87-103-90) Radius 11m, Extra- long tip rocker, traditional camber under foot, narrower pin-tail.Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.02.58 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x They carve great on the groomers but I get some chatter and have to work harder for the edge on icy and hard pack surfaces, so I may be hard pressed to give up my carvers for those days.
On Crud x Can get bouncy in set up crud.
On Powder x Floats in powder as advertised, although with deep powder one may prefer the wider Cham W 97.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Dynastar didn’t put a lot of graphics into the ski; it is rather plain but in a bold, bright pink, which I am getting used to.
Recommendation to a Skimum?
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL [Retail $600]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— I demoed this ski on a deep powder day at Snowbird at the end of last year’s 2014 ski season. My current skis are the 2006 K2 One Luvs (115-68-99 radius 12m) and I was overdue for a newer, wider powder ski but wanted to still have quick turns when I ski the moguls and the trees. The Dynastar Cham 87 gave me that extra width and their radius was more to what I was used to for those quick turns.  They rocked in the deep powder and I loved them so much I took advantage of an end of year sale and bought them.This year was my 1st chance to actually ski with them, although we have not had a lot of deep powder days, I am pleased with their performance as a 60%-40% powder/groomer ski.  They did well on crud and easily turned in the moguls and trees. I could always ski well in the powder with my K2 One Luvs, but going wider with the 87 is a vast improvement when in powder and has changed my game that I don’t regret not getting the Cham 97.  It was suggested with its long rocker to go with a longer ski. My K2’s are a 153 so I went with a 159 in the Dynastar Cham. Bottom line, it is a great overall ski but I will keep my carvers around and have a 2 quiver arsenal.I want to add and give a shout out to the Snowbird Ski Mums.  Since I started skiing with this awesome and supportive group of women skiers last year, I now have the confidence to ski the entire mountain at Snowbird and have made some great friends.

 

Skimum: Margit
Regular Ski: Kastle MX 88 size 168Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.00.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x Carve, carve, carve!!!
On Crud x Good size to get through the bumps
On Powder x Can do but wish they were longer
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Ugly graphic but I don’t care
Recommendation to a Skimum? x These skis totally shred!
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL $$$ I bought mine half off in spring [Retail $1499]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Each and every Mum – soooo fun!
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes—These skis & bindings were half off in April.   I still felt naughty for buying them (giggle giggle). These Austrian skis were still a bit pricey, but they are tops on the slopes! They carve, hold edges, and bounce you off the bottom lip of your turns. Let ‘em rip on groomers or through Mineral Basin crud… They’re game! Wish they were slightly longer, but don’t blame them. They’re the perfect carver & double as all-mountains! LOVE!

 

Skimum: Margit
Regular Ski: Rossignol S7 178ss7

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x I still carve in my boats
On Crud x Slices through
On Powder xxx Yes, yes, yes!
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Scantily clad female? Why?
Recommendation to a Skimum? x Hearty recommend
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL My husband surprised me. Retail. [Retail $800; outlet now]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Black and Blue
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes — When I got them, my first thought was, “These dogs wanna run!” Your quads will notice the extra length. Truly a fun ski, an all-mountain ski. They slice, dice, and yes, carve, on groomers.   FAST. They’re three years old now, might be hard to get your hands on a pair; but it’d be worth hunting them down.   These skis will make any skier grin from ear to ear and chortle down the mountain. WARNING: Way too much fun! Second WARNING: These skis want to ski tram to bottom with no stops.

Disclaimer: The statements about the skis are the opinions of the reviewers alone. A few Skimums provided reviews of their own skis, as well, because that’s just what girlfriends do. Ski ‘n See provided the demo skis to Skimums free of charge on February 25, 2015. Skimums would like to thank Jessica Osterloh at Ski ’n See for her wonderful vision and exceptional work in making this event happen.

 

 

 

What a Difference a Tune-up Makes

TwinPeaksby Skimum Denice

This summer I purchased a demo pair of Rossignol Soul 7 skis. I was pretty stoked about finding them since my husband bought a pair the season before and loved them!

The first day I took them out, however, I was pretty shocked and upset about my purchase. I could ski in the moguls okay with them, but as soon as I got on groomers it was like I had never skied before!  I had heard that they might be a little harder to ski on groomers, but I had no idea it was going to be this hard.  I wanted to go one way and my skis would go another.  My experience was so bad that on my drive down the canyon I had decided to sell them and hopefully get my money back.  My husband suggested that I go get them tuned just in case they weren’t done right. I couldn’t imagine a tune-up would make that big of a difference, but I decided to give it a try.

I took them to Twin Peaks, a local ski shop, and they had them ready for me the following day.  I went to Snowbird to give them one more try.  I literally was scared to death to ski on them, for fear of hurting myself in a fall.  Oh my goodness!!!  I can’t even tell you how excited I was as I took my first run down.  I could ski again!!!  Not only could I ski, but I felt like I skied pretty well.  The groomers were no problem at all.  I actually felt more
comfortable on them than I ever have.  I love my newly tuned Soul 7 skis. Needless to say, I am sold on regularly tuning your skis.