Category Archives: Skiing

Why DPS Carbon Skis Stand Out

2e1ax_default_entry_IMG_5980That’s What She Said

 You know how your grandma says you’ll know immediately when you’ve found “The One”? She was right. It took only a few turns and I fell deeply in love with my DPS Yvette 112RP carbon skis.

 DPS – Heard of them?

Yes, smart guy, I’ve heard what you think DPS stands for. Thanks for telling me anyway and grossing me out on the chairlift. I don’t know you and it’s creepy.

 In 2005 pro skier/ski designer Stephan Drake joined forces with ski engineer Peter Turner and DPS was born. It stands for Drake PowderworkS, and the company seeks to “create the perfect skis worthy of those who live and breathe the sport”.   DPS is known worldwide for its trailblazing technology, shaping, and durability.  They are the world’s only company to create a “Pure prepreg carbon fiber sandwich ski”. Their Pure3 skis are manufactured at their factory in Salt Lake City. Made in the USA!

 Big and Pink and Beautiful

 If you don’t recognize the name, I bet you’d recognize the skis. In contrast to the industry standard, DPS has chosen solid top sheets in optimistic colors with minimalist logos. They stand out in both looks and performance.

 The Pure carbon Yvettes are HOT pink, and just looking at them makes me happy. It’s not just their shimmery unicorn candy heart color, but for their shape and feel. I’ve always been more tomboy than princess – but these Pure carbon skis are beauty and beast. DPS doesn’t dumb down the technology and slap on a pretty top sheet for the ladies. The Yvettes are based on the geometry of the acclaimed DPS Wailers: 141/112/128. The tip rocker is 480mm, which enables the Yvettes to shine in the powder. They’re responsive and do well in a variety of snow conditions.

Confession, I should admit that I telemark. I’ll wait while you tell an out-of-date telemark joke. Haha, done? I think I rode the chairlift with you earlier.

 I mounted my Yvettes with TwentyTwo Design’s Axl bindings.   It’s my dream set up. The Yvette 178cm weigh 1700 grams, or 3.75 pounds each. My Axl bindings (small) weigh 1.9 pounds each. SO combined they weigh 5.65 pounds, which is less than a six-pack. They’re so light that in contrast it felt like there were no skis on my feet.

 Ski the Space Age

DPS pioneered the carbon ski technology utilized at its Salt Lake factory. Similar technology is used in jet fighters and spacecraft. The prepreg carbon used by DPS is spawns freakishly lightweight, torsionally stiff skis. My Yvettes float like a dream in the pow, bust the crud, and carve the corduroy. Ideally we would all have an assortment of skis for different conditions. But if you have to survive with one pair, this would be my pick.

Don’t believe me? Demo a pair 3/21 at Big Sky Resort from 9:30am to 3:00pm, or swing in to Grizzly to check them out.

The Unsung Ski Sock

2e1ax_default_entry_IMG_2955The Unsung Ski Sock

If I had a dollar for every kid who has come into my shop to rent skis wearing a thick pair of cotton tube socks, I would be a rich man. Socks don’t matter. Or do they? Here are a few thoughts on what ski socks to buy for every ski occasion.

On a ski vacation and renting ski equipment? This is one of the few times I will recommend a thicker sock. Definitely not cotton though. Stick with wool, which is my preference for both comfort and their natural anti-microbial characteristics. If you are allergic or have a strong aversion to wool, go with a synthetic. Rental boots tend to fit on the large side, so a mid-weight will take up some slop, have some padding for your shins to reduce the dreaded shin bang, and provide some extra warmth. Remember that warm ski boots depend on good circulation and being DRY. This applies to having both dry ski boot liners and dry ski socks.

Buying new Boots? Go thin. Pick your fabric of choice. My preference is merino wool. Thin socks will give the most room in your new boots, which should fit tightly. Trying on new ski boots with thick socks will give you a false sense of the size. Odds are you will end up in a boot that is too big – a costly mistake!

Your ski boots have a few days on them? Experiment with progressively thicker socks until you find the pair that works the best. Ski socks come in a variety of thicknesses from ultra lightweight, to lightweight, to midweight. Feel the thickness of the socks at the foot, and you will notice the subtle differences in thickness. Some will have more padding on the shin, others none at all. If your boots still feel sloppy even with the thickest socks, it might be time for new boots.

Want to feel like superman? Try some compression ski socks. Like the socks used to aid in medical rehabilitation, compression socks vary how much they squeeze your ankles, mid calf, and calf. This helps pump blood out of the legs and back to the heart, slowing fatigue and aiding in recovery. It’s not a gimmick and is well worth the price of admission.

Keep those feet dry!

Ken Lancey, Owner

AAAhhhh, Montana

A chill is in the air, in Big Sky, Montana. The hot summer of 2012 has given way to frosty mornings, but winter isn’t quite here yet. September is a glorious month. The chilly mornings turn into warm afternoons perfect for hiking, biking, fishing, golfing – whatever! The kids are back in school, the tourist season is slowing, and the trout are hungry again. Ahhhh, Montana.

August was another hot and dry month overall. The Pine Creek and Millie Creek fires devastated their areas. Big Sky was relatively smoke-free, compared to the Bozeman area, but still suffered smoky days due to other fires burning to the west. Our thoughts are with those who were affected by the wildfires. The firefighters and others who help are true heroes.

I avoided some of the smoke when returned to my birthplace in upstate New York. When I visit New York, I’m always surprised by the water that seems to hang in the air. The lush growth, hot nights, and cadent crickets make me feel like a kid again. But it also recalls memories of wet, cold, cloudy winters. The dry cold of a Montana seems friendly when compared to an ice storm. Yes, Big Sky has also spoiled me with its fluffy powder and blue bird days. I dearly miss my friends and family back east, but when it comes to skiing Big Sky, Montana is hard to beat.

I guess it’s obvious I’ve been obsessing about ski season already! The new winter gear and clothing has been pouring in at Grizzly Outfitters. It makes it difficult to resist sneaking out of the office to try on clothes and bend skis. Of course, I do need to check out the merchandise for marketing purpose, right? Our customers near and far, need to know this information!

I finally took the plunge and bought a jacket I have been eying for a while – The Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket. It’s a great all-around piece, great for layering or on its own. It’s filled with just the right amount of premium 800-fill goose down to make it a useful coat in warmer temperatures. The shell is a special edition nylon that is half the weight and twice as strong as Patagonia’s other down fabrics! It will fit perfectly under my ski jacket!

I know, I know, I am jumping the gun as far as ski season is concerned. September is my secret favorite month of “summer” here in Big Sky. The days are delightful and the perfect temperature for getting active outdoors. The nights are cool and perfect for campfires, hot tubs and sleeping. The aspens are turning gold, and the willows into their autumn wine color. The smell of wood stoves burning lingers in the night air. A bear swats my grill of the back deck, and a mother moose tries to trample my dog. Ahhhh, Big Sky. I love this place.

Snow and Spring in Big Sky, MT

 

img_0447Ha, it snowed.  Nine inches on Lone Peak!  I’m sure this was disappointing to many folks who have been lusting for spring, but too bad. It was beautiful. The snow clung to every tree and shone in the sunlight.

I realize that the 2011-12 ski season was not the most powdery ever to hit SW Montana. Big Sky still fared better than many areas, and I enjoyed a healthy amount of faceshots this winter (…..and I don’t mean the house shot at the Lotus Pad, which are also delicious).

Lots of folks round here are over the winter, but they’re in DENIAL. Big Sky always gets pounded with snow after the resort closes. I did a little online research on Big Sky’s historical weather. The data from several sites showed snowfall into June, and showed June as the wettest month in terms of precipitation. Check out this summary from 1984-2012: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?mt0775      

It’s interesting to look at the inches of precipitation for each month versus the snowfall in inches. This is also known as the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE), which is the amount of water contained within the snowpack. An easy way to think about it is that it is the amount of water you would end up with if you instantly melted the snow. Obviously, deeper snow with less water = fluffier POW! That’s the technical explanation.

Some great sites to geek out on the local climate include:

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center: http://mtavalanche.com/

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: http://www.noaa.gov/

US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Site: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/

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