Tuning at the Taproom

Join an Avie’s ski and snowboard tuner on Wednesday January 18th in the Grey Sail Brewing Taproom at 63 Canal Street in Westerly, 6:00 PM. Grab a pint of your favorite Grey Sail brew. Enjoy an informal “How To” keep your skis or snowboard in tip top performing condition.

Why would you want to attend? Because Grey Sail has some awesome beers on tap. And Wednesday after work is a great way to say goodbye to the start of the week and to salute the coming of Friday and the weekend.

You will get the chance to see how, with not too much up front expense, and with a little effort, to keep your skis and snowboards New England worthy. Face it, New England sees incredibly varied ski and ride conditions. Ice, crust ice, icy crust, sticky and wet snow. Every once in a while nicely groomed soft snow. And heaven forbid—powder.

To get the most out of New England skiing and riding you need 2 things. (1) Sharp Edges. (2) the right wax. After the tuning demonstration you will know everything you need to know to be New England snow ready.

And what is a day on the slopes without a pint afterwards? Pay it forward with a pint of Grey Sail on Wednesday January 18th at the Grey Sail Brewing Taproom. Even if you decide ski tuning is not for you, having a great pint of beer is not such a bad conciliation prize.

See you at 6:00 PM in the Taproom at Grey Sail Brewing, Wednesday January 18th. RSVP to tuningshop@aviesskisports.com so we get an idea of numbers. Thank you.

Bromley Bus — January 22

Get on the bus to Bromley — Vermont’s Sun Mountain — Sunday January 22nd.

Get you, your friends and family, to Avie’s Ski / Sports early Sunday morning on the 22nd. Stow your skis and boards in the belly of the bus. Bring your boots on board for a warm ride north. Sleep, chat, break out breakfast. It’s all good on the mellow ride to Bromley.

Price includes lift ticket and round trip coach bus fare to and from Avie’s Ski / Sports in downtown Westerly, RI. You get to ski and ride all day long without a worry that you have a long drive home ahead of you. Chill on the mellow ride south—mellow because everyone on the bus is blissfully exhausted. Dinner and a movie? Yup. Got that on the way home. You bring along a packed dinner, or pick something up on the mountain, and Avie’s supplies the movie.

Conditions?

The long term forecast for the next couple of weeks, while not projecting Arctic blast temps (thankfully), is showing the north to keep the cold and to generally be favorable for snow-making as well as snow preservation. Lots of opportunities between now and then for a good dumping of snow. Even a couple.

Be Ready!

So get ready for the 22nd. Get those skis and snowboards tuned and waxed. Find those helmets and gloves and goggles. And don’t forget —

Get over to Avie’s and reserve a spot on the bus! No one is going anywhere if you don’t sign up.

Winter is here, though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it here along the coast. But there is white stuff to our north to play in, so let’s take advantage. We have passed the solstice and days are lengthening (yeah, they really are) and winter will be spring before we know.

Get to Bromley on Sunday January 22nd. Get there with Avie’s Ski / Sports.

Avie’s Bus Trips — Are BACK

After a hiatus of several years, bus trips to ski resorts in New England, originating from Avie’s Ski / Sport in Westerly, have returned.

WHAT

Same fun deal. Leave Avie’s parking lot early Sunday morning for the ride to a ski resort in New Hampshire or Vermont. But you don’t have to drive. Sleep, relax, have a leisurely breakfast. Just chill for a few hours before delivery to the slopes. Walk off the bus and hit the trails.

At days end, return blissfully tired to a warm and comfortable motor coach for the return trip to Westerly. Have a snack, or dinner you picked up or brought along. Relax. Chat with others about the great day on the slopes. Kick back and watch the movie, read, or take a well deserved nap.

WHERE

This season Avie’s will run trips to Bromley in Vermont, and to Waterville and Loon in New Hampshire on select Sundays throughout January, February and March. Dates, destinations, and details can be found by clicking HERE.

Same great deal. Cost of motor coach to and from, as well as lift ticket cost, are included in the price. It is a great way to enjoy a day on the slopes—the only work you do is having fun!

HOW

One major change is how the bus company is handling bus confirmation. In the past Avie’s had to commit to running a trip by the Thursday before the Sunday trip. This season Avie’s must commit to bus use by Friday the week BEFORE the trip is scheduled to run.

Bottom line is that if you want to go on a particular trip date, sign up early. If sufficient people have not signed up by the Friday the week before, unfortunately, the trip is likely to be cancelled due to lack of interest.

Go check out the trip list and get yourself signed up. As always, last trip of the season is the Customer Appreciation Trip. Sign up for that one early, it fills completely every year.

In Tune For the Season

The weather is finally tilting towards cold, even here along the coast. Ski areas to the north are now open and expanding trail counts.

If you haven’t already started thinking about hitting the slopes—seriously, you haven’t? Well, you should. Now is the time to get your gear in shape to hit the slopes so you can turn thought into action.

A good way to do that is bring your gear to Avie’s Ski / Sports and have one of the shop techs get it all set for you. It’s an easy way to get it done and over.

For those of you however, who may want to take a more active hand in getting gear not only ready for the season, but keep it in great performing order the entire season, there is another way. Do-It-Yourself ski and snowboard tuning.

Why DIY? Two major reasons:

  1. This is New England and we get a real mixed bag of conditions to ski and ride on. Sure, Avie’s will put an all purpose wax on your gear which helps you slide along pretty okay. BUT if you DIY, you get to wax your gear according to conditions so that your gear slides WAY BETTER, every time all of the time. While others are skating, poling, struggling, and saying not nice things about how “sticky” the snow is, you will sail right by at a nice speed with a big smile on your face. Seriously.
  2. This is New England and there is almost always icy surfaces involved. When you leave the shop with your newly tuned gear the edges are sharp and hold great in the turns. After one or two times out on the slopes the edges are already becoming dull. Here in New England you NEED SHARP EDGES. From crusty and crunchy to downright glacier ice, it’s there, everywhere. And it eats edge sharpness just like you did with turkey on Thanksgiving Day. If not turkey, then definitely with pie. Who are we kidding? Probably both.

Ski and snowboard tuning is not difficult. And not expensive if you don’t want it to be. Sure, you can go all out and get all the gear and have the best of the best. But you can also modify stuff you have around the house, or maybe build a couple things out of scrap lumber. Outside of a few “must have” items, how in depth you want to get is up to you.

Where to start?

Come to Avie’s Ski / Sport on Sunday, December 11th at 2:00 PM and take in a FREE demonstration by one of Avie’s tuning techs to see what it is all about. At the demo you will see and learn:

  • What basic equipment is needed to get started waxing and sharpening,
  • How to use that equipment properly,
  • Options regarding accessory equipment that makes things easier, ranging from free and easy to expensive but wicked cool,
  • Learn about waxing alchemy so you know what wax to use, when, for best glide,
  • Learn the few things you should not do.

After the demo, should your interest be tweaked and you would like to jump into ski and snowboard tuning, get 20% off tuning supplies and equipment at Avis’s Ski / Sport right then and there.

What could be sweeter?

Actually, the sweetest thing will be when you go charging down the mountain, beating friction, holding turns over crust and ice, and sailing across all those flat runouts that you used to dread!

If interested, RSVP to tuningshop@aviesskisport.com so we can be sure to have adequate space for all those interested in attending. This is a free event and requires no purchases.

We look forward to seeing December 11th; 2:00 PM at Avie’s.

A Tip for Skiers

Actually two tips. Maybe best stated as Twin Tips.

Avie’s Ski / Sports has a Twin Tip ski set up guaranteed to bring a smile. Ski, bindings, mounting and adjustment — $499.

Choose between a pair of Armada ARV twins, Nordica Soul Rider 84 twins, or Volkl Bash 81 twins. Pair your choice with a set of Marker Squire 10 bindings and you are ready to hit the slopes with some new fun sticks.

Why twins? Do you play in the park? Love the quiet of the woods? How about just like to get goofy and ski backwards, just for the fun of it? That’s why twins. They make being off piste that much more fun. And face, if you play in the park, or aspire to be a park rat, you simply gotta have twin tips.

So here is a way to get that pair of twin tips you have been pondering over. ARV — go anywhere do anything. Soul Rider — slays the groomers as well park play. Bash — light and poppy for the dedicated park rat.

Stop in to Avie’s and check out the twin tip deal. It’s a steal. But it is limited to inventory in stock, so the longer you procrastinate the fewer options you might have.

Oh yeah — don’t forget to bring along a ski boot. The Avie’s certified technician will need that to mount and adjust those new Marker Squire 10 ski bindings to your boot.

Ripping into the Ski Season

Avie’s Ski / Sports has a great opportunity—for both men and women—to rip into some brand new ski gear for the upcoming season. Avie’s “Ripper Package” point you in the right direction to rip up the slopes this season. Here’s the deal.

For this deal — men or women — you get a choice of Nordica Unleashed 90 or Volkl Revolt 86 ski. Once you decide which of those two are most desirable — not an easy choice — Avie’s will mount — at NO COST — a pair of Marker Squire 10 bindings onto the skis and adjust them for your ski boots. Yes, free mounting and adjustment.

Nordica Unleashed 90 — you guessed right, 90 mm at the waist — are a set of lightweight, yet stable sticks designed for wherever you point them. With full camber underneath the binding Unleashed 90 are lively and poppy. In other words, a lot fun and easy into and out of turns. A bit of rocker in the tips is like steering assist to get into and out turns quick and easy. Does that make them fun in the woods? Oh yeah! And with a 90 mm waist, they will do pretty will on those days when the light and fluffy is falling from the sky.

Volkl Revolt 86 — yeah, 86 mm at the waist — is a true twin tip that is designed for playing in the park, but not so much that it isn’t comfortable on the groomers. Having rocker in both tip and tail, these sticks are super “turny” and nimble. Because they are so very nimble, Revolt 86 will be sheer bliss in the bumps and in the woods.

Oops, almost forgot the price! $569.95 for skis and bindings. And don’t forget, mounting and adjustment is included.

This one is a tough choice because both are such excellent and fun skis! If you tend towards playing in the park, or if the woods are your thing, you won’t be unhappy with Revolt. If you tend a bit more towards the groomers with lots of forays into the woods the Unleashed will keep you smiling.

Sizes in both skis are limited to existing inventory at Avie’s Ski / Sports, so stop by soon and check out this ripping ski package deal. The season of white is not so far away—the snow guns are blazing on Superstar at Killington—so get that new gear now while the getting is good.

A Blazing Opportunity

Avie’s Ski / Sports has a great opportunity—for both men and women—to get into some brand new ski gear for the upcoming season. This gear will be sure to help you blaze down the groomers—or woods or bumps—because you will be clicked into a pair of Volkl Blaze 86 skis. Here’s the deal.

Women — Pick your desired length of Volkl Blaze 86W ski. This is a system ski, so the integrated binding is already attached to the ski. No need to fret about a binding selection. For a new pair of ski boots, find your size in either a Roxa R-Fit 85W or Tecnica Mach Sport 75W HV.

Men — Pick your desired length of Volkl Blaze 86 skis. Just like for the ladies, no need to fret about a binding selection since these are a system ski setup. Instead, fret over the new pair of ski boots. Pick from either a Roxa R-Fit 90 or Tecnica Mach Sport 90 HV.

Once we find your desired length ski, an Avie’s boot fitter will help match your feet to a perfect fitting boot. Then an Avie’s certified technician will adjust the ski binding for your new boots for free. Yes, that’s included in the price. All this for under $950.

Volkl Blaze skis are lightweight, poppy, all around fun skis. The 86 mm waist makes them incredibly good all around the mountain and in all conditions. Light and springy enough to bump the bumps and dodge trees in the woods. But they still have the stuff to lay down tracks on the groomers. The 3D radius technology makes these skis—despite their width—incredibly turn-worthy, even in short, tight turns. Big fun no matter where you take them.

Sizes in both skis and boots are limited to existing inventory at Avie’s Ski / Sports, so stop by soon and check out the blazing Blaze ski package deal. The season of white is not so far away, so get that new gear now while the getting is good.

Open Monday October 10

Just a reminder that Avie’s Ski / Sports is open today, Monday October 10, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Ski, snowboards, boots and more all in stock for the upcoming season.

Season lease? Ready for you when you walk in the door.

Lease to buy? Of course; lots for you to choose from.

Stop in, browse the big selection.

Slopes Update

I was able to hit Okemo yesterday, and I figured I would share some info on conditions coming into the holiday week.

It was a brisk 8 degrees at the base when people started catching the lift from the lodge to get on the slopes. Fortunately there was no wind so despite the low temperature, it really didn’t feel bone-rattling cold. I got a bit panicky because there was a good sized cluster of people around the lift. But it was because they didn’t load anyone until 9:00AM sharp for some reason.

The crowd dispersed quickly, and the line to the summit 6-pack wasn’t really a line and so I was at the summit in good time. I made a run down to the Solstice area lift to warm up the muscles, then proceeded over to Jackson Gore. Last visit I didn’t get over there so I made it a point this time.

Trail conditions were good overall. Nice firm groomers made up most everything that I put my skis over. There were a few spots on Tuckered Out in Jackson Gore that were scraped clean, despite it being before 10AM. I couldn’t figure that out, but most all of the trail was covered otherwise. Lower Limelight was in great shape, and allowed for a nice carving run all the way to the new 6-pack (no bubble) lift.

I hit the scraped clean effect again on Sapphire, a very popular trail. There was some loose snow on trail edges, so I stayed to the edge, but there were no usual lumps of scraped up snow in the middle of the trail. It was almost as if the groomer pushed the snow off to somewhere else. In other words, no corduroy on that trail! Very strange indeed. I did not revisit Sapphire.

Snow making was in progress in a couple of places, and there were huge snow whales just waiting to get groomed out and make a nice coating to ski and ride on. But not during my visit. My guess is that the grooming team will leave the whales alone until after the warm spell passes by.

While it is impossible to label conditions “great” this season because of the lack of snow, given the amount of natural snow ski resorts in much of New England have had available, conditions were pretty darn good. There were spots in several trails where bare earth poked through, but that was only here and there and not really of big consequence.

Given the warmth visiting us today, overnight and into tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how the slopes hold together. I won’t mention the “R” word, which will only add to the snow removal process.

The bottom line will be wait and see. What is really needed is three, back-to-back storms that dump a foot of snow or more on the hills of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. And then let it stay cold. Not bone-rattling cold. But cold enough to keep the snow through the end of March, at least.

That’s my wish for this season. I am just getting my legs back into ski-shape. And I am just getting my mojo back as I get comfortable with a new pair of skis. I would love to see the ski and ride season hang in there for another month so that I can really get to having some serious fun on the groomers.

So, nothing real exciting to provide. It’s a wait and see game at this point to determine how this warm spell plays out and what havoc may be reaped.

On a final note, I picked up a pair of Auclair Traverse gloves for this season. My other pair of gloves got packed out and were worthless. Despite the cold conditions Wednesday morning, the Traverse gloves kept my hands warm the entire time. I get cold hands relatively easily, so I was very pleased at how these gloves performed. If you want warm gloves—as warm as mittens almost—check out Auclair Traverse.

Okemo Opener

A too hectic life of late has kept me from getting onto the slopes. Yeah, there was a day or two I could have made my way north, but the thought of first day out being in -10 degree conditions was less than appealing. If I were already there on a multi-day trip I would certainly hit the mountain. But purposefully drive 3+ hours for that kind of exposure? Not so much.

But I got to Okemo just this past Wednesday. It was one of those wonderful days of sun, zero wind except for a zephyr breeze on the summit, and temperatures in the low to mid-20s to start the day. Ideal is the word that comes to mind.

Conditions were good. The snow was firm, frozen granular corduroy from top to bottom to start the day. As the morning progressed the snow softened at the bottom, progressing upwards as the minutes ticked past. By my last run—about noonish—things were still firm up top, but getting pretty soft back at base.

There were a number of trails that were open, but not groomed and with not much cover. It was obvious no snow-making had taken place on those trails. And maybe won’t this season. The year got off to a very warm, snowless start, and I can imagine that choices had to made in laying down man-made snow when conditions allowed that to happen. Regardless, there was enough terrain open to keep me pretty happy.

My one regret was not making my way to the Jackson Gore area. Only one trail top-to-bottom had been open over there since Day 1 and while I like that one trail just fine, it wasn’t worth the run over there for just that. But as I was leaving I heard that ski patrol had opened several other trails mid-morning. Oh well, next time.

Last season I only got out a couple times. I was pretty hesitant about how this aging body would respond. But I was pleasantly pleased that I skied without break for 3 hours before the quads started really complaining and the legs feeling shaky enough to let me know it was time to quit.

All in all, a very worthwhile trip. It was wonderful to sit on a ski lift once again, and chat with happy, smiling people sharing tips about where they had been and what trails they liked. It was great to hear whoops of joy coming from a trail behind the trees, and to hear the clicking and scratching of skis running over frozen surfaces once again. Everything else just melts away as the serenity of the slopes creeps in and pushes a big smile onto faces.

While sad not to see 100% terrain open, given what ski resorts have had to deal with this season, I was impressed. It was weird to leave Westerly area with snow piled high on the sides of the road, and to get into central Massachusetts and lower Vermont and have almost no snow on the sides of the roads. Hopefully the storm heading this way today and into tomorrow will leave the northern tier of New England under a heavy blanket of white, fluffy stuff.

I was using some new gear this first trip out, and I’ll tell you about in coming posts. Hopefully I get north again in the coming week. Maybe see you out there. If not, be safe. And get out there and enjoy the snow.