In Memorium, Carl Ettlinger

Carl was a giant of a man whose outsized voice roiled every conversation like a burst dam and whose expansive vision reached across the mixed milieus of research, journalism, risk management and education. I knew him when he was at the peak of his powers, as he explained to me when I interviewed him for a “where are they now?” profile in Skiing History. He was able to conduct long-term research on injury patterns as well as analyze the particulars of the current binding market, turn around and package this knowledge into articles for Skiing and Skiing Trade News, followed

Are Your Old Bindings on Death Row?

As every boot fit winds to its conclusion, the bootfitter will ask if there are any skis that need to have their bindings adjusted to the new boots. Even someone planning to buy new skis to go along with their boots may have a second or third pair that is still in the starting rotation. The warm afterglow of the new boot purchase suddenly cools when the skier is informed that the shop can’t adjust the old bindings to the new boots. In many cases, the old bindings look to be in tip-top condition, so why won’t the shop work

The Ten Best Women’s Skis You Can’t Find

An examination of the current women’s ski market – as outlined in a two-part article on – reveals that the most highly adapted made-for-women models reside in a category that’s all but invisible in the U.S. The Technical genre comprises the narrowest non-race skis that are intended for carving continuous arcs on groomers. Because this describes how and where a majority of Europeans prefer to ski, Technical women’s skis are popular across the pond. The reason they’re MIA in the U.S.A. is the advanced to expert woman in America finds the adventure of off-trail skiing far more alluring than

Boots for Big Feet

It wasn’t so very long ago that options for fat, wide feet were few and far between. Now every brand makes at least one series of boots built on a wide last, and myriad medium and wide shells can also be heat-molded to conform to almost any foot shape. While most wide boots are still aimed at recreational skiers of modest ambitions, there are also more options than ever for more skilled skiers with prodigious pedal extremities. The boot models referenced here aren’t single iterations; each represents a series of models covering a full range of flexes and associated price

7 Biggest Influences on Current Ski Design

Since the early 1990’s, the overarching objective of non-race ski design has been to abbreviate the learning curve. Mission accomplished. These are the seven most influential factors driving modern ski design. Fatness – By using girth as a guide to model selection, ski makers were able to rationalize four different categories where there used to be one. Shaped Sidecuts – Once mainstream manufacturers realized the carving ski wasn’t going away, they euthanized all their straight skis in short order. Early Rise/Rocker – Early rise was an experiment; rocker was a revolution. The adoption of double-rockered baselines turned all skis into

7 Things You Should Know About Knees and Your Skis

The only foolproof way to protect your knees when skiing is to stay home. But there are some things you can do to mitigate your risk of knee injury, starting with… Learn to ski better. Knee injuries are positional in nature. Skiers who start with a balanced stance and solid technique are better protected from injury. Avoid skiing on wide skis on hard snow. Just trying to get them on edge can cause discomfort and not edging them results in a loss of control. If you’re not already an expert skier, using a ski that’s too wide for you will

Top Ten Bargains of the 2020 Ski Market has created a Value Rating System to identify the best ski deals. The Realskiers VRS correlates a ski’s street price with its overall performance score to determine the season’s best buys. The envelope, please…. Blizzard Black Pearl 78 A testament to how well Flipcore design translates to Frontside conditions. Dynastar Menace 98 The old Slicer is still a terrific twintip with true, all-terrain chops. Salomon QST 92 The revised QST 92 made a quantum leap in overall performance. Atomic Vantage 97 C W Atomic’s lightweight Prolite design hits its sweetspot. Liberty Genesis 90 Despite its bias for off-trail skiing,

Does Your Ski Shop Belong in America’s Top 20?

Specialty ski shops are part of the connective tissue of our sport. More than just a commercial nexus, specialty shops provide vital educational and social services for the skier community.  They hold the keys to every skier’s skills development, for specialty retailers are where you’ll find the best bootfitters. Without the services of a well-trained bootfitter, attaining high-level technical proficiency is difficult, if not impossible. The specialty shops listed here have all contributed their time and resources to assist in its mission to serve the skiing public. They are among the best shops in America because they consistently strive to