Nordica in November

It is so very exciting to tap into my web browser every morning and, using the “snow spy cams” at various New England ski mountains, take in the beautiful sight of landscapes growing from green and brown to lovely, lovely, whiteness!! It is, other than actually being on the slopes, the best way for me to start a day. I have a great view of lower Narragansett Bay from my office, but it doesn’t rate with the flash of excitement that comes with seeing a snow covered ski slope.

But I digress. The past few posts have taken a look at this season’s crop of skis and boards from Capita, Blizzard, and Volkl. This post takes a look at Nordica, and the next will focus on RIDE snowboards.

Nordica has made some changes in their ski line over the past few years, and the result is some really great skis. For those into carving up the frontside groomers, the Nordica GT series of skis are pretty incredible. Subtle changes have been made to ski sidecuts, and the bindings beefed up just a bit to better transfer control from boot to ski. But wow! What a big difference in performance!

I skied a bunch of the GT skis this past February, and every single one of them were fast and easy into and out of turns. And they gripped throughout the turns with style and grace. I had always remembered the GT skis as being a bit “slippery” in tight turns, but no more. The new GT 84 Ti was a match for any other ski of similar design. If you are in the market for a frontside carver, check out Nordica GT for sure!

Also new for this season is the Navigator series of skis. These are the NRGy series skis redesigned to be more “carve worthy” on the groomers. I have a pair of NRGy 90’s, and love them on soft snow, but not so much on the hard pack. The new Navigator skis are indeed much more attuned to performing on the groomers, and definitely better on the hard pack. Fortunately, they still maintain much of the light, playfulness of the NRGy series. Nordica changed up how and where they place stiff but light titanal mesh to achieve Navigator’s new style of performing on the slopes. If you are looking for a ski that plays well all around the mountain, Nordica’s Navigator series may contain your dream ski.

Enforcer continues to be a slope-crushing ski. The new version for this season, with a 110 mm waist, may be a bit too much for typical New England conditions, but Enforcer 93 will provide everything you need here in the East. Enforcer plays in the woods, carves the groomers, floats powder, and absolutely crushes late day crud. Need I say more?

For 2018 Nordica hit the “Refresh” button on it’s collection of boots. Nordica ski boots have been gathered into “families” that reflect level of skier performance. Some upgrades have been made to boot liners, making them more malleable for custom fitting purposes, but the big change is in boot style organization. As Dalbello did (see the Volkl/Dalbello POST titled “First Frost”), you can now find your dream Nordica ski boot by performance level. If you want an intermediate level boot, you find that family of boots then zero in on the stiffness level you want, and then boot width. This is a much simpler, more intuitive approach to selecting a ski boot that best fits your style of skiing.

Those are the major “news worthy” items for Nordica skis and boots for the 2018 season. Stop by and check out the new Nordica skis, and peruse the Nordica line of boots. You are bound to find something you like!

I hear a turkey gobbling. The noise that follows next Thursday’s feasting is the quiet purr of ski lift bull wheels, the swooshing sound of sharp edges cutting through snow, and whoops of joy as skiers and riders plummet down pearly white ski trails.






Veteran’s Day Sale!

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Avie’s Ski/Sport will be taking 20% off regular price of ALL jackets and pants.

Yes, ALL jackets and pants.

Yes, 20% off regular price.

Sale ends when the shop closes at 5:00 PM this Sunday, the 12th of November.

So don’t wait until Monday.

The temperature is dropping (just wait until tomorrow!!). The snow is flying up north. Yes it is, both natural and man-made. Lifts are spinning. Opening Day is only a few scant weeks away. 

Get the goods while the getting’s good. 20% off jackets and pants until 5PM Sunday.


First Frost

It was great to wake up this morning and see a nice heavy coat of frost. It has snowed a couple of times up north. Ski areas are working snow guns overnight as they begin to build up the base we will ski and ride on this season. Killington and Sunday River have lifts spinning taking eager beavers up for some early season turns.

If you haven’t turned thoughts towards skiing and riding, this ought to help you get focused. Last post focused on What’s New from Blizzard and Tecnica, and the one before that on new Capita, Union, and thirtytwo snowboard gear. Check those out if you missed them, but first read on as we check in on Volkl and Dalbello.

Volkl Skis

For 2018 Volkl has introduced a new “3-D Glass Inlay” system into some of their higher end skis, mainly in the RTM series. The idea here is to reduce weight in the ski by reducing the amount of metal. That gets replaced with a new fiberglass formulation that provides great stiffness without extra weight. I have skied the Volkl RTM 84 for several years—they are my “go to” skis—and I didn’t see much difference in performance between mine with full titanal inlays and the new 3-D Glass Inlay skis.

System Skis

But that’s a good thing!! It means the RTM series of Volkl skis remains a hard-charging, super grippy all around ski. Volkl did introduce a new RTM 86 model, which is just a touch wider than the RTM 84 model. Because of the glass inlay, they are pretty light, but still perform incredible everywhere on the mountain. I continue to give all the RTM series skis a big “Thumbs Up.”

Volkl also came out with a new RTM 76 Elite model. All the metal has been removed, leaving only a very lightweight wood core—no 3-D Glass Inlay in this model. They are very lightweight, and so pretty quick into and out of turns. While they didn’t have the same grip as their heavy-weight cousin RTMs at higher speeds, the 76 Elite would be a great ski for an advancing intermediate skier who wants to hone carving and cornering technique.

Flat Skis

Also new for this year is the Volkl Kanjo, an 84mm at-the-waist, free ride ski. At first blush I thought—”This is just a skinnier Kendo.” I was wrong. They are very different skis. Kanjo has a new titanal band layup that adds stiffness only in those places where needed. This keeps them light but not letting them lose stiffness. The result is a very, very playful, responsive, hard-gripping, fun-ripping ski. They even carve pretty good. I found Kanjo to be one of the most fun skis I got to try at the On Snow Demo this past spring.

You women still have Kenja and Yumi, which have not been messed with for this season. And a good thing that is as they have been, and continue to be, a pair of great sticks for all around the mountain fun. Overall, women’s skis from Volkl really didn’t change at all for this season, largely because they changed so much for you ladies last season. Not to worry, the 3-D technology, and I’m sure other even newer technologies, will creep into Flair and other Volkl skis in the near future.

And now for Dalbello Boots

Dalbello has reconfigured their ski boot line by clumping similar boots into “families” based on performance. For instance, their intermediate level boots are all clumped within the same family name, and the family has a variety of flex and widths options. So, if you want an intermediate level boot you would look in the Avanti family. Then you would find a flex level that you want, and then find the right width for your foot. This makes boot shopping much more logical, and one heck of a lot simpler for both customer and boot fitter!

Cabrio Design Technology

A unique feature of many Dalbello boots is the 3-buckle Cabrio technology. The debate between 3- and 4-buckle boots has waged long and fierce. I used to fall on the 4-buckle side, based on the premise that you lost too much performance going into a 3-buckle system. I say “based on the premise” because I hadn’t skied a 3-buckle boot—other than a quick demo here and there. Until last year, when I decided to swap out my 4-buckle Dalbello Scorpions for a pair of 3-buckle Dalbello Kryptons. I had to see first hand so that if nothing else, I could give Avie’s customers something more than regurgitated opinions. Plus, I was curious.

Once I got the Krypton boots tweaked for my feet—custom insoles and a couple of rounds of heat fitting to properly seat my foot—I can say I have never loved a ski boot better. The 3-buckle design makes these a snap to get into, and easy to slip off at the end of the day. No more exhausting end-of-day tug-of-war to get off, no more early morning sweating and cursing to jam my feet in.

Is there a difference in performance?

All I can say is that if I lost any performance in moving from 4- to 3-buckle ski boots, I haven’t noticed. In fact, I think my skiing actually got a bit better in the Krypton boots. But that could be for a lot of reasons other than 3- or 4-buckles. I honestly feel that it is because the Krypton boots really hold my heels snuggly in place, allowing little to no upwards slip. The Dalbello boot rep says the 3-buckle Cabrio system is designed to lock down the heel. Who am I to argue?

The point here is, stop in and try on a pair of Dalbello boots with the 3-buckle Cabrio design. I am positive you will like the ease of entry and exit. And after you clomp around the shop in them for 15 or 20 minutes, you may decide you want to take them for a spin for the season.

And here is my one best boot fitting tip for you to consider—if you have your feet in a pair of boots that fit and feel really good, except for maybe one little niggling thing that doesn’t feel quite right—ask whoever is helping you to drop in a custom insole. You may just get from “Hmmm, these boots feel pretty good!” to “Aaaahhhhhhh. Sublime.”

That’s it from me for the Volkl  and Dalbello line up for this season. Stop in at Avie’s and check out the Volkl skis and Dalbello boots, and get yourself ripped and ready for the slopes.





This year, women skiers win big

Blizzard and Tecnica have spun up an initiative called “Women-2-Women.” Basically, they are having women engineers–and designers–work with women skiers in a back-and-forth fashion so that they design gear that not only mechanically works specifically for women, but also addresses considerations of style, form, and function from a women’s perspective.

Historically, ski gear has been male driven, with women’s gear being prettied-up, sized-down men’s gear. That has been changing, but Blizzard and Tecnica have put change on the fast track.

For instance, the new Blizzard “Alight” system skis have the bindings offset just a bit to better take into consideration the difference in a women’s stance relative to those of men. Does it make a difference? Women skiers are telling women engineers—Yes, it does. The Alight skis have also be designed with a new layup of wood, metal, and fiberglass to keep them light but still keep the lady locked in the bindings totally in control.

The result? A pair of skis that caters to the unique anatomical construct of a women’s body and musculature.

Skis not enough? Tecnica didn’t think so. The Mach series has a new, totally organic liner material that captures heat, a higher back spine to account for differences in a women’s calf muscle placement, and a slightly different forward lean angle to account for differences in a women’s stance. The Ten.2 boot series now sports an adjustable cuff so you can custom fit the boot to your specific calf size.

And, the Women-2-Women initiative added a bit of panache. Women’s skis and boots have been designed such that colors, trim, and styles complement each other in a way that makes for a balanced, total outfit that looks like it was planned that way. Because it was. 

Yes ladies, you should feel pretty special. Blizzard and Tecnica have produced the goods for you for 2018. Pop into Avies’ Ski / Sport and check out the new gear. It’s awesome.

Does that mean men are losers?

While there are no doubt a few women out there thinking an emphatic “You Betcha,” from a skiers perspective–not really. 

Blizzard Quattro was new to the scene last year, and other than a few tweaks on some models, and a new 86 mm waist model (which by the way is fantastic!), Blizzard left great skis to be, well, great skis.

Blizzard did make some adjustments to Bonafide and Brahma skis, redesigning the sidecut so that they tip into turns much, much quicker, allowing the ski to carve pretty darn nicely. That small redesign makes Brahma, with it’s slightly narrower waist, what could be a one-ski-does-it-all ski for New England skiers. 

New for 2018 is Blizzard Brahma CA. The CA stands for carbon. Blizzard pulled out the titanal sheets from its traditional Brahma ski and replaced it with strategically located carbon fiber inlays. So where Brahma is super stiff, crushing anything in it’s path, Brahma CA is lighter, more nimble, and with a lot of “pop” so that you can twist, turn, and slash your way around anything you encounter on- or off-piste. This skier found Brahma CA to be an incredible amount of fun to have underfoot.

Tecnica hasn’t made any major changes to men’s boots for this season. The Ten.2 series of boot has been regrouped into a “family” of performance-minded but comfortable ski boots. The regrouping of the Ten.2 family also sees a slight redesign of the liner to better accommodate wide feet. While fitting a Hobbit may still pose a challenge, fitting a ski boot for the rest of humankind, will not.

That’s the news for Blizzard skis and Tecnica ski boots for the 2018 season. And it’s all good. They hit a home run for the ladies with a new series of ski, and redesigns of boots, both specifically engineered for women, by women. And they didn’t mess with the good stuff they released new last season for men. A few tweaks, and a few new models.

Stop by Avie’s Ski / Sport and check out the new goods Blizzard and Tecnica have stashed at the shop. This skier will be on hand this Sunday, the 5th of November, to continue the conversation started here. Stop by and say Hello. Love to see you and talk skiing. 




Take A Ride

Hear Ye, Hear Ye All Riders!  Avie’s Ski / Sport has a new brand of snowboards, bindings, and boots for you to come drool over.

Capita snowboards have found there way into the shop, and they are sweet. Great graphics atop a hi-tech deck makes for great adventures all over the mountain. Capita mixes up some great blends of carbon fiber and lightweight but structurally strong woods—like bamboo—to create snowboards that are hard charging, yet responsive. Come on over to the shop and check them out while they still adorn the wall in the “Riders Room.” They won’t be there long. Not with their come-hither great looks and siren-call pricing.

Union Binding Company makes a debut at Avie’s Ski / Sport this season as well. Rugged, lightweight, and with a bit of flex to give a cool, surfy feel to your ride, Union bindings might just make a nice marriage on the Capita snowboard you are ogling. Yeah, we noticed. But it’s okay. And Union bindings will fit the deck you have if you are looking to do an upgrade on those old, beat up, duct-taped, dry-wall screwed, zip-tied bindings that while serving as a badge of honor, are also an embarrassment.

And guess who walked into Avie’s Ski / Sport this season? thirtytwo boots, that’s who. Sure, they got BOA lacers, but they also have traditional lacings for those of you who really do like the flexibility of lacing your boots the way you like them for the ride that you want to have. Warm and highly weather-proof (think no more soggy wet feet), thirtytwo boots may be just the thing to nestle your tootsies into this season.

But riders beware!! There are only so many goodies in the shop, so make it a point to surf your way into Avie’s and check out the new gear before it disappears. 




Be Prepared!

My apologies for the barrage of postings of new skis and snowboards to Facebook. I didn’t realize that there was a switch—which obviously was in the ON position—that  auto-posts each product. Sorry about that!

On the plus side, I don’t really need to announce the arrival of TONS of NEW STUFF at Avie’s Ski / Sport!! But I am going to anyway…….NEW STUFF for 2018 is flowing into the shop each and every day! 

So don’t delay! Be prepared for the 2018 Season of Snow to start! They are making snow at Sunday River. Killington Peak is coated in white amidst the blaze of orange and red. I personally saw the onset of winter when hiking Mt. Hood in Oregon a couple weeks ago. As we hiked toward the summit, clouds poured over the peak and down the slopes bringing mist, then rain, then snow! And lots of it! Over two and a half feet! The Rockies are already getting dumped on and that wonderful, white, fluffy stuff is heading this way.

Get prepared! The BEST selection of gear you will have available at Avie’s this season is RIGHT NOW!! The biggest selection of boots and sizes is available right now. The broadest selection of ski models and lengths is available right now. The coolest, newest snowboards are available right now. The widest selection of seasonal lease gear is available right now. 

The longer you wait, the slimmer the pickings. Sure, Ted can order more——IF the manufacturers have it in stock. 

Check out the website. Peruse all the new skis, boots, and boards. Better yet, stop into the shop and let us help you into some new gear for the 2018 season. Now is the time. Selection is best and you will have the widest range of options and choices, ensuring that you get exactly what you want and need to maximize the fun you will have playing in the snow.

See you soon.


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.




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.



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!