Author Archives: Alan Desbonnet

Let the season begin?

Ted thinks I’m nuts, though I’m not so sure he’s right.

I start thinking about skiing in July, and I readily admit to that. And the fever builds over the long months of heat and humidity, though that doesn’t wilt my resolve that snow will come.

But then comes August, and things get worse.

I get my first issue of Powder magazine in the mail. Images of snow, skiers in mid-flight off jumps, bumps, lumps, and garbage dumps. Stories of endless days of gravity having its way with people with two sticks strapped to their feet careening downhill. It reminds me that winter is still far away, a thought both depressing and filled with hope.

But the signs are here that winters approach is inevitable. The “end of summer bugs” sing their chorus at night, and the days are shortening. My daughter Allison, pictured above, is off hiking the Vermont Long Trail wanting to finish before the first frost graces the mountain tops. While that day is in the future, it’s a not too distant future. Her look is not because she has 273 miles to trek, but rather that she’s going to Stratton, Killington, Sugarbush, Stowe and Jay’s Peak and forgot her snowboard. She, from atop Stratton and then Killington, reports that it is pretty weird to be looking out upon the slopes we not so long ago zipped down, seeing them draped in greenery. She is also rather glad she didn’t bring the snowboard after all.

I guess I’m not the only one inflicted with such thoughts. Ted reports he’s had a few people come into the shop and walk out with ski packages of boots, poles, skis and bindings. Their thoughts wander too into the future, and the images they see in their minds are themselves, carving graceful curves down the slopes decked out in new gear.

September looms, and I make a migration west to hike Mount Hood, and perhaps get the chance to tour the Dalbello R&D center and see the latest and greatest in their pursuit of the ultimate ski boot. And by the time I return east from that trip, the 2018 crop of skis, snowboards, boots, and other paraphernalia will be making their way to the shop and onto the sales floor.

Avie’s will be abustle as it transitions from summer to winter. Talk will turn to all the new “toys” of the upcoming season, if the winter will be good or band. And for better or worse, this blog will pick up the beat reporting on the new gear, trips, and whatnot.

On the “for what it’s worth” topic, The Farmer’s Almanac and other oracles of long-term weather predictions for once all agree on a colder, harder, harsher, more despicable, more crippling and cruel, exceedingly downright lousier winter than normal. 

I guess Ted might actually be right. I’ve got a really, really big smile on my face.

 

 

AlanD

Hot New Item!

Check this out —- Adirondack-style ski chairs.

Ryan has been busy measuring, cutting, and constructing. And yes, he still has most of his fingers. The outcome of this unexpected burst of creativity has been some really nice leisure living furniture for your deck, lawn, porch, patio, campsite or cabin. Heck, they might go pretty good at the dining room table.

These are likely to be limited in availability as they are not factory produced. It takes a bit to put one together, and Ryan only has so much time available. And he’s pretty slow at it. So stop in for a visit at Avie’s and park your derrière in one of these fine pieces of outdoor furniture, while they last.

While these Adirondack ski chairs will help you chill this summer, for the bold they can give a thrill this winter. Fasten an old pair of skis to the chair legs and point-em-downhill!*

*this activity not appropriate for children under 6, or anyone older with half a brain

Come Forth on the Fourth

Unless you’re the most hardened of diehard skiers, the weather is perfect. And even then it’s pretty darn good.

And Avie’s Ski / Sport is OPEN from 10AM until 5:00PM on July 4th so that you can be sure to pack in as much fun in the sun as is possible while the getting is good.

An expanse of paddle boards. A sea of surf boards. An acre of sun glasses. A — place your own witticism here — of sandals and other summer fun gear.

Don’t let the 4th of July slip by as just another day wishing you were having outside having a blast. Avie’s has what you need to go from blah to gaga. And you can get in on the 4th of July.

So on the fourth come forth and start summer. Don’t wait until too late.

 

What’SUP?

You are if you are standing atop a new Stand Up Paddle Board that you picked up at Avie’s Ski / Sport. New paddle boards are in stock and ready for you to take out for a spin. Avie’s has a nice selection of lengths and styles, and can help fit you to one to match your abilities whether a first-time SUPer or a super SUPer ready to paddle out into the surf.

Individual boards and paddles, or SUP packages await your perusal at Avies. Paddle boarding builds upper torso strength, and greatly enhances your balancing abilities. And yes, both will be very useful, especially the balance part, when you get back onto the slopes this coming winter.

And as an extra bonus, there is NO SALES TAX on paddle boards in Rhode Island. That’s a 7% savings from buying in a nearby state, without even trying!

We Are Back!!

Ok, technically we didn’t go anywhere. But we are back. On Sundays. Open noon to 5:00 PM for your shopping pleasure.

If you haven’t been into Avie’s in a few weeks, put it on your “bucket list” for the month of May. What a change! You wouldn’t know it was a ski shop. Well you would if you walk into the upper level, but if you don’t go there it will be pure summer fun above and below the water.

Lots of stand up paddle boards, as well as skim boards, surf boards, and boards you won’t even know what to do with. But you won’t be bored.

Tons of sandals. And racks of uber-cool sunglasses just waiting to be perched on your nose, saving your retinas from those nasty infra-alpha-red-beta-gamma rays. 

Need some early summer adventure? Browse the new wet suits, swim fins and face masks adorning “I’m not a ski shop now” walls. Suit up and dive in! Grab one of the many spearguns and bring home dinner. 

Avie’s is brimming over with good cheer and new “stuff.” Stop in and pick up what you need—on Sunday even—for your next, or maybe your first, adventure of the summer. 

Change Over Time

While there are still some pockets of snow to play in at Killington and a few other spots in northern New England, it really is time to plunge into and enjoy the change to warmth. And with that change comes chaos at Avie’s Ski / Sport as gear for summer and winter get swapped about the store. Despite the chaos, it’s a good time to pop in and see what’s up. …more

Time to Switch Gear

Yes, it’s snowing this morning up at Jay Peak. But I’m not at Jay, I’m several hundreds of miles south along the coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Much as I hate to admit it, I am thinking of putting away the skis for this year. Time to ready kayaks, tennis rackets, fly rods, road bike, and the other gear that will get me through the summer.

As tempting as it is to simply shut the closet door and banish the skis to darkness in the corner for the next seven months, I know I need to give them the treatment they deserve before their hibernation settles in. That means repair the base, hone the edges, and lay down a coat of wax. …more

It’s Official — Spring is Here!!

Today is the 21st of March. Yesterday, by the calendar, was the first day of spring. Today, on my drive in to work, I noticed the osprey atop her nest on Route 1 at Silver Spring Cove in Narragansett. When the ospreys are back on the nests here along coastal Rhode Island, to me, that marks the start of spring.

The snow is still great up north. Ask anyone who was on the bus trip to Okemo this past Sunday.  Ski and ride season isn’t quite over yet. Keep hitting the slopes as much as you can for as long as you can. Temperatures are continuing to run cold up north, so take advantage while it lasts.

But if you really need to call it quits for the season, there’s a few things you should consider. …more

Fond Farewell

The 50 or so lucky folks who took part in Avie’s Ski / Sport Customer Appreciation, Final Ski & Ride Trip of the Season, had lots to appreciate.

Fast and firm snow under cloudy skies started the day. The packed-powder groomers took an edge so nicely that everyone with an urge to carve at any speed could do so with grace and ease. It was a fun and fast paced morning.

And then, the clouds not only parted, they disappeared. Completely. Under warming temperatures and aquiline blue skies, the Avie’s faithful had a spring fling in soft snow and thinning crowds. Not a whisker of a breeze topped off an afternoon that could only be described as delightful. From the top of the mountain, I was surprised you couldn’t see Watch Hill and the ocean. It was truly that clear of a sky.

The ride home was filled with blissful exhaustion and bright smiles, sore muscles and more bright smiles. Ted made the rounds, giving away everything from socks to hats, key chains to frisbees. Soupy and cheese, cookies, and other morsels made the rounds. There was nothing to disappoint.

While the bus trip season from Avie’s may be over, the skiing and riding certainly is not. Anyone who pointed skis or snowboard downhill on the mountain can attest to that. I will say it was some of the best conditions I have experienced this season. Okemo deserves a tip of the hat for keeping their slopes in such great condition. All I can say is get out there and go at it again. And again. And yet again if you can.

It was a fantastic finale and a very, very fond farewell. Ted and all of us at Avie’s want to say Thank You for letting us share the final trip of the season with you.

 

 

AlanD