Tag Archives: ski

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.






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. 




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

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.




After the Storm — Part 2

Wow! What a storm that was! Ok, wasn’t really, but that’s Ok. We had less to shovel, and less ice to slip on this morning. It’s all good. Except all that promised snow didn’t happen. Such a bummer.

Until you look north, where it’s still snowing this morning. Take a look at the leading image to this post, looking up Mountain Road at Okemo, and see below for a peek up Lower Chief, taken from one of their mountain cams about 7:30AM today. Almost 2 feet of snow in total. Looks mighty tasty from my seat at the keyboard. Wish I was there. 

Wait a minute, I can be there! This Sunday! All I have to do is get to Avie’s and sign up for the bus trip going to Okemo this Sunday. And it’s the Customer Appreciation Trip when Ted gives away all sorts of interesting, fun, and useful ski and ride bling. I better get there quick and sign up before the bus fills.

Wait a minute, I work there and will be going regardless. YOU better get there and sign up before the bus fills and YOU get left behind, chipping ice off your sidewalk instead of playing in one of the best snowfalls this season. 

And if it isn’t already tempting enough—though being on a trip with Ted and the rest of the shop employees should be enough—Okemo has another 3 to 6-inches of snow on tap for delivery Saturday. Ted special ordered the extra snow just for this trip, just so you know. 

You don’t have to dig out, because there’s nothing to dig out of down here. So just get down to Avie’s today and get on the list of soon to be very happy skiers and riders taking advantage of not only great conditions, but a great deal getting there.

See you Sunday morning. I want to see the giant smile on your face at the end of the day Sunday. You will be sure to see mine.




The Roar of Snow Guns

I just got back from a trip into the northern realms of Vermont for a bit of skiing. While riding the lifts and enjoying the tug of gravity on the way back down, a few things gelled in my mind that I would like to pass along for you to contemplate.

First, it seems that the ski areas in lower Vermont, meaning Killington and south, actually have a bigger base than up north. Or maybe it’s just a different kind of base. But my observations suggest that there is more skiable snow on the trails in lower Vermont. 

Second,  …more

Yes, It’s Still Snowy Up North

It’s tough for some of us to think about skiing or riding when the temperature in Westerly is creeping near the 70ºF mark. In February. And there isn’t a speck of snow left on the ground. In fact, daffodils and a few other early bloomers are poking greenery up through the not frozen ground. Many are thinking spring is sprung and skiing and riding is done for another season. But the ospreys aren’t back just yet, and for me that’s the true marker of the start of spring.

I got to spend a couple days on the slopes in Vermont with my daughter Allison and her boyfriend Rob. We hit Killington and then Okemo. I thought I would share a few thoughts, especially for those thinking the season is over. It’s not. …more

Atop of Okemo

Forty skiers and riders, including my niece Kayla, made the journey to Okemo Ski Resort in Ludlow, Vermont yesterday to enjoy the snow. Yes, it was a busy day on the mountain with President’s Day weekend in full swing. But the condition of the trails made the hustle and bustle fade rapidly. …more

Ski & Ride Alert!

All the folks lucky enough to have been on the Avie’s Ski and Ride trip to Killington this past Wednesday had the best of times. Sore muscles after a day of fantastic skiing and riding were the norm. It snowed much of the day while they were on the slopes. And then it snowed even more after the bus pointed south. 

Don’t miss your chance at Okemo. This Sunday, the 19th of February. 

Conditions up north are just incredible. Between 2 and 3 feet of snow have fallen in the hills of Vermont over the past week-and-a-half. Don’t miss out on a chance to dig your edges into some wonderful packed-powder this weekend. 

Wax those skis and boards. Get to Avie’s Ski / Sport and sign up for the trip to Okemo this Sunday. Get some of that tasty snow while the getting is good.

And it’s really, really good.