jump to navigation

Falling for the hype. August 9, 2011

Posted by Wendy in Ski Gear.
Rear Entry Ski Boots

Rear Entry Ski Boots. Remember these?

You know how it is: each year gear companies come out with stuff that’s going to set our lives on fire, and the ski world goes wild: Buy this or don’t even bother showing up at the mountain. Some of us ignore the whole thing; some of us pony up and are extremely pleased; and some of us buy in and are, well, somewhat less than delighted.

My husband calls it the Magic Feather Syndrome. You know, as in the Disney cartoon film Dumbo. If you remember, Dumbo holds a feather because he thinks it’ll help him fly, even though he’s fully aero-capable. We’re just like Dumbo. All too often, we believe that x or y will make us ski better, even though we’re perfectly fine without it.

That doesn’t mean all new developments are useless, or that it’s all in our heads. A jacket made of the latest technical fabric, for example, can do wonders in keeping us dry and warm. And there are lots of developments — shaped skis, for example — that have made profound differences in the way we ski. That said, there’s a fair amount of overpromising involved with new gear. You can’t help but expect that. After all, companies want us to buy their stuff. But sometimes it’s a little over the top. And that’s where the hype comes in.

So what hyped gear have the Ski Divas found that didn’t deliver as promised? Here’s a sampling from this thread at TheSkiDiva.com:

  • Rear entry boots
  • Soft boots
  • Wool baselayers
  • Heel lifts
  • K2 Lotta Luvs
  • Rossi Bandits
  • Heated gear bags
  • Heated gloves
  • Leki grips

There’s more, too, if you care to look. Though there’s some disagreement over what’s hype and what isn’t. As my daughter says (and I love this), one person’s yuk is another one’s yum. Obviously, the best way to tell if you’ll like something is to try it yourself. At least it’s a way to see what all the hype’s about. And maybe buy into it yourself.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Coming Clean, or How’d I Get All This Crap, Anyway? August 2, 2011

Posted by Wendy in Ski Gear.
Tags: , ,
1 comment so far

I think one of the reasons God invented summer was so skiers would have a chance to clean out their closets. You know, go through your gear and either get rid of things, sell them, or throw them away.

Right now I feel a little bit like Andy Rooney on Sixty Minutes. ( “Do you ever wonder why there are so many paper clips in your desk drawers?”  I feel like poking a fork in my eye everytime he does that routine.)  But really, I’m amazed at how much crap one person can accumulate.

Trust me, I’m not a hoarder. I got over saving most things years ago. But for some reason, ski stuff is different. I have goggles and gloves/mittens coming out the wazoo.

With goggles, it’s pretty easy to figure out why. I used to work in a ski shop, and sales reps were always handing them out. Plus my own personal search for a goggle that wouldn’t fog or make me look like a dork led me to buy a few, as well.


Some of my goggles.

Gloves and mittens are easy to understand, too. My hands get cold very easily. So I’m on a constant quest to find something that’ll keep them as warm and toasty as possible. And after a while, even the best glove or mitten tends to pack down. So I end up buying something new.

Of course, there’s my multiple pairs of fleeces, gaitors, balaclavas, socks, and miscellaneous other items. Plus base layers I’ve tried and failed to fall in love with.

My husband is ruthless about this sort of thing. “If you’re not using it, get rid of it.” But me, I’m not so sure. What if someone visits who needs something? What if I lose x and need to replace it in a hurry?

If I’m lucky enough, I can keep putting the whole thing off so long that eventually, next season will roll around and then maybe, just maybe, today’s potential cast offs will become tomorrow’s must haves.

Think that’ll actually happen? Nah, me neither. But it’s easy to pretend.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related

Announcing TheSkiDiva’s First Best-Of Awards: The ’11 Mountain Top Picks. April 4, 2011

Posted by Wendy in Gear Review, Ski Gear.

Everyone’s heard of the Oscars. The Emmys. The Grammys. There are tons of awards to celebrate the best of everything.

Which got me thinking. Why not let the world know what women skiers consider the best in the ski world? So a few weeks ago, I emailed a survey to all 2,700+ members of TheSkiDiva.com, the leading online community of women skiers, to determine their favorites in everything from skis and apparel to resorts. The winners would be named a 2011 Mountain Top Pick.

Now the results are in. No, there’s no prime time telecast on the major networks. Not even on cable (though who knows, maybe someday…..). In the meantime, imagine this: a ballroom filled with luminaries from the ski industry. Look — there’s Lindsay Vonn! Glen Plake! The CEO of Vail! Eddie the Eagle! Everyone dressed in their finest fleece and Gore Tex, sitting down to bowls of ski lodge chili and local microbrew.


For now we’ll have to make do with simply listing the results on this blog. So here are the winners of the 2011 Mountain Top Awards from TheSkiDiva.com

(Please hold your applause til all the winners are announced. )

Favorite Front Side Carver: Volkl Tierra

Favorite Powder Ski: Rossignol S110W

Favorite All Mountain Ski: Volkl Aura

Favorite Ski Boot: Dalbello Krypton Storm

Favorite Ski Goggle: Smith IO/S

Favorite Helmet: Smith Variant Brim

Favorite Base Layer: Patagonia Capilene

Favorite Ski Sox: Smartwool

Favorite Jacket brand: Arc’tyrex

Favorite Ski Pants: The North Face

Favorite Gloves or Mittens: Swany

Favorite Eastern Resort: Stowe

Favorite Western Resort: Alta

Favorite Midwestern Resort: Nub’s Nob

Favorite Eastern Canada Resort: Mont Tremblant

Favorite Western Canada Resort: Whistler Blackcomb

Favorite European Resort: Val d’Isere

Favorite Women’s Clinic: Okemo’s Women’s Alpine Adventures

Favorite Kids Ski School: Keystone

Unfortunately, we don’t have any statuettes or plaques to award. Just a handy dandy logo that the winners may or may not use.

2011 Mountain Top Picks

Congratulations to all those who were selected. To the Divas, you’re the best!

(You may now applaud.)

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.