Revelations

Is 3D Imaging a Fad or the Future?

Any serious attempt at bootfitting begins with an assessment of the customer’s feet and lower legs. This appraisal can be as superficial as measuring each foot for length or as detailed as a complete skier profile accompanied by a few basic biomechanical evaluations.

Better bootfitters gather further information from a litany of details that lie outside the scope of the usual foot-measuring device, such as a Brannock. The veteran bootfitter watches how the customer walks, sits and assumes a skiing position, for starters. The savvy fitter can even spot limb-length differences and redistribute pressure around the foot in places no measuring stick can quantify.

If this sounds like a pretty sophisticated skill set, well, it is. Yet many, if not most, prospective boot buyers approach the bootfitting exercise with the same enthusiasm they usually reserve for a root canal. Suspicions are often confirmed when the first boot proffered seems crazily short. Even the most knowledgeable fitter is obliged to re-establish his/her credibility just to move the bootfit process pass square one.

Reader Comments on Why Ski Sales Have Shrunk

Reader Comments on Why Ski Sales Have Shrunk

In this week’s Revelation, I posted my top ten (twelve, actually) reasons why skis sales have shrunk, along with the musings of two Dear Readers on the subject. Note that the topic’s focus was ski sales at retail, not skier or skier/rider participation rates, subjects that are certainly related but just as certainly not the same.

Below are verbatim reader responses culled in the last 48 hours. I’ve corrected the odd typo, but otherwise left these contributions intact.

My thanks to all who took the time to tell their tales. – J

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Top Reasons U.S. Ski Sales Have Shrunk

Top Reasons U.S. Ski Sales Have Shrunk

[As I wrapped up an earlier Revelation, I proposed to my beloved readership that they share their list of the top ten reasons U.S. ski sales have shrunk. I elicited only two written responses, so I’ll reproduce both here in their entirety, along with my musings on the subject. Consider these submissions tinder to light a fire under you, Dear Reader, to submit a list of your own.]

From Rick Pasturczak
1. Snowboarding-
I’ve noticed most snowboarders are 12 to 20 years old and once they become an adult, almost all stop. While I noticed most skiers continue on.
2. High school and college sports-
Schools now require practicing sports during Christmas and spring breaks taking away opportunities to hit the slopes and family vacations to the mountains. I’ve been told by many parents the coaches forbid them to ski.
3. Travel costs-
Lodging, airfare, ground transportation, and lift tickets.
4. Video games
5. Cost of lessons make it expensive to improve.
6. Confusing selection of equipment
7. Magazines and movies showing extreme skiing
8. Cruising. We need some resorts to be all inclusive.
9. Baggy pants. Bring back stretch pants and sex appeal.
10. Last, we need mother nature to be more consistent with snow.

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Realskiers 2021 Women’s Ski Test: A Series of Linked Recoveries

Realskiers 2021 Women’s Ski Test: A Series of Linked Recoveries

If you ever saw footage of early-1970’s mogul contests, you understand the expression, “linked recoveries.” This turn of phrase sums up my repeated attempts to capture coverage of the primary players in the 2021 women’s Alpine ski market.

Before we learned coronavirus wasn’t street jargon for overindulging in imported beer, I had a plan in place. I’d paid handsomely to have my test card app refreshed just in time for the major western trade fairs at Mammoth Mountain, CA and Snow Basin, UT, which convened on overlapping dates.

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Realskiers.com Recommends Top 2021 Models in Cornerstone Categories

Realskiers.com Recommends Top 2021 Models in Cornerstone Categories

When the ski world skidded to a stop last March, the Realskiers.com database had already logged hundreds of digital test cards, a very promising start to what turned out to be a dismal season.  There was just enough data to separate wheat from chaff, a winnowing process that revealed the top 70 unisex models spread across the four most popular genres: Frontside, All-Mountain East, All-Mountain West and Big Mountain.

It seems like ages ago, but it was only Friday, March 13 that I skied Mt. Rose for the last time. I left the mountain that day brimming with blind optimism. My plans to recruit veteran instructors to rotate through some twenty-five 2021 women’s models were taking shape. I took a few test laps under sunny skies and headed back to Reno confident that I had my bases covered.

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The Brave New World of Bootfitting

The Brave New World of Bootfitting

During my time on this planet, the value of knowledge – specifically, the detailed understanding of accumulated facts about the past – has been steadily devalued.  The impact of the pandemic and the crater it’s left in the world economy has created an uncrossable chasm between now and then. The Firesign Theater once capriciously declaimed, “Everything you know is wrong.”  How right they’ve proved to be.

One of the many casualties of our perilous times is that bootfitting as we knew it is over.  The last time anyone was able to practice this arcane skill, the best bootfitters would literally lay their hands on the bare feet of their customers. All the good reasons why this hands-on inspection was the part of the state-of-the-art protocol will not be enough to save it. 

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Silver Linings

Silver Linings

A little over a week ago, I was skiing. A little over a week ago, I was recruiting Mt. Rose instructors for a women’s...

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On Self-Expression

On Self-Expression

Last week I spent four glorious days seeking paths to self-expression in the white world of Snowbird. To honor this...

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