Ski Season Volume 2 November 1, 2013 Ogden, Utah
Snowboarding losing popularity, while skiing heats up by Mike Krumboltz Is snowboarding no longer cool? A recent article from The New York Times explains that the sport is “sputtering in the United States.” The numbers in the article paint a stark picture for the extreme sport. This isn’t just anecdotal evidence. According to Nate Fristoe, who monitors winter-sport trends, the number of days that snowboarders go to resorts has fallen from 7.6 days a year 15 years ago to around 6.1 days per year today. Skiing, on the other hand (or foot?), has remained at around 5.5 days per year for the past few years. There isn’t one reason behind snowboarding’s apparent face plant. The Times writes that a large factor is the age of the participants. When the sport became all the rage in the ‘90s, the paper writes, many original snowboarders were in their mid-teens. An early 2000s article from ABC News reported that snowboarding was the country’s fastest growing sport three out of five years, from 1996 to 2000, thanks in large to young snowboarders. Cont. on pg. 4
How to Build a Ski Rack by Ryan D’Agostino “I used to ski way back, but now I have carpenter’s knees,” says Norm Abram, master carpenter, native New Englander and a star of television’s This Old House for more than 25 years. Abram may have retired from the slopes, but he remembers how awkward it can be to store skis—they’re long, they’re sharp and their bulky bindings protrude in the wrong places. “We used to lay our skis up across the joists in the ceiling of the garage,” he recalls, a good solution only if your garage ceiling happens to have exposed joists. Drawing on his background as a skier and a homeowner—not to mention his considerable genius with the table saw—Abram designed an easy, do-it-yourself rack especially for Skiing, similar to one he once built in his own garage. It’ll hold skis of all sizes and shapes, out of the way but easily accessible. Best of all, you don’t have to be Norm Abram to build it. Cont. on pg. 3
Top 6 Skis: The best women’s park skis of 2014 by Freeskier Magazine Playful and soft enough to butter around on, yet slightly stiff to handle big tricks at high speed—that’s how most prefer a good, solid park ski. Others might want a total noodle. Another may desire something stiffer, ideal for laying down pipe laps all damn day. We put this year’s park skis to the test at Breckenridge—shredding features both big and small—and from the masses emerged the few, our 2014 Editor’s Picks, as seen in the 2014 Buyer’s Guide.
4FRNT Blondie Overall score: 23.67 “A member of 4FRNT’s lineup since 2011-12, the Blondie was a hit with our testers this season, earning Editor’s Pick status for the first time…” Cont. on pg. 2
Top 6 Skis: The best women’s park skis of 2014
Armada ARW Overall score: 21.75
“The ARW is no stranger to these pages and should be among the top choices for ladies who love to rip in the park…”
Faction Ambit Overall score: 21.25
“‘A great women’s ski … very lightweight, playful and easy to control.’ That’s how one tester put it when recapping her outing on the Faction Ambit…”
Line Tease Overall score: 21.20
“Our female testers loved this new offering from Line. “Super responsive, carves like a race ski,” said one…”
Two 2x4s, each about 6 feet long (good for four pairs of skis) 6 feet of 3/4-inch dowel A few 3-1/2-inch drywall screws Two 4-foot lengths of Armorflex pipe insulation, to fit over dowel Latex caulk Exterior-grade paint
K2 Missdemeanor Overall score: 21.00
“The most versatile women’s twin in K2’s collection, The MissDemeanor excels in the park but is stable enough to ski the whole mountain in a variety of conditions…”
Tools Saw Drill 3/4-inch drill bit Chamfer routing bit Level Paintbrush Heavy-duty shears (to cut Armorflex) Caulk gun Bevel gauge Fine sandpaper Pencil Tape measure
Atomic Supreme Overall score: 20.60
“If you’re a lady who splits your time between skiing the park and charging around the frontside, Atomic’s Supreme is at your service…”
Prep Work Click on the slideshow below to see the supplies and tools you will need. With the 4-inch sides of the 2x4s facing you, chamfer and sand the two vertical front edges. Used on a regular drill, a chamfer routing bit creates a uniform beveled edge. Paint the wood to protect it against moisture. Drill Down Divide the length of the 2x4s by the number of skis you plan to store, and mark them with a pencil at appropriate, evenly spaced intervals. Example: If you have four pairs of skis, make a mark every 15 inches on each 2x4. If you’re only storing two pairs, cut the 2x4s in half, which will still leave ample room to create rests for two pairs of skis. “You just have to make sure there’s enough space between them that the binding on one ski won’t hit the one above it,” Abram says. Using a bevel gauge to guide the drill bit into the wood at a slight angle, drill holes for the dowels where marked (see more here). Drill 1- 1/4-inches deep with the 3/4-inch bit. Give It a Rest Cut the dowels into 6-inch lengths and sand one tip of each piece. Insert the dowel lengths (sanded side out) into the holes in the 2x4s and apply a bead of latex caulk around the base of each. Cover each dowel with Armorflex. Your skis will lie across these pegs. “The Armorflex will provide a nice, soft cushion,” says Abram. Hang ‘Em Up Choose an empty wall in your garage or basement where the skis will hang. You’ll need a spot where you can attach the 2x4s to the wall parallel to each other and far enough apart so that the dowels become shelves for the skis. You can mount them out of the way, or close to the floor for easy access. Screw the 2x4s into the wall. “In the garage, most walls are finished with drywall, so you’ll have to find two studs,” says Abram. (Studs are typically 32 or 48 inches apart.) The 2x4s should be 3 to 4 feet apart—far enough so that the dowels won’t interfere with bindings, but with plenty of clearance between the dowel “rests” and the tips of your skis. Use a level to make sure the 2x4s are hung so that the skis will rest exactly horizontally.
Snowboarding losing popularity, while skiing heats up
“While snowboarding is fading, skiing is gaining ground.”
Not anymore. Now, nearly 20 years later, those guys and gals are older with more responsibilities like jobs and families and less time to spend on the slopes. Also a problem, according to the Times: Fewer people are learning to snowboard. “In the 2003-4 season more than 42 percent of all beginners on the slopes ages 14 and younger started out on a snowboard. The percentage has steadily fallen since then, last season dropping to about 34 percent, according to the ski areas association.” Fristoe puts it like so: Snowboarding lost some of its mojo around 2005, 2006, and we’ve been running on fumes since then. … It’s like any kind of trend: It’s full of all sorts of energy ... until it isn’t. A 2004 article from CNN echoes Fristoe’s sentiments. Back then, snowboarding was on an epic upswing. Participation in the sport surged 300 percent from 1988 to 2004. Yahoo!’s search data doesn’t go to the early days of snowboarding (we’re not that old), however, we can look at snowboarding search trends from the past several years. Whether coincidence or not, the searches on “snowboarding” have tumbled steadily since 2010. Meanwhile, Yahoo! searches for “skiing” have remained relatively constant over the past several winters. According to a piece from the Los Angeles Times, skiing and snowboarding have switched places. While snowboarding is fading, skiing is gaining ground. “Sales of snowboards and snowboard equipment have slipped 21% over the last four years, while sales of skis have climbed 3% in the same period, according to SnowSports Industries America.” Part of that is due to new ski designs that make skiing easier to pick up and enjoy. Of course, snowboarding is more than just a fad. It’s in no danger of going the way of the pet rock or leg warmer. But the numbers are serious enough for industry experts to take notice and fight back. The Times explains that some resorts are installing benches at the top of chairlifts so snowboarders won’t have to roll around in the snow while they fasten their boots. And Burton, the world’s largest snowboard manufacturer, has developed new boards especially for young kids. Gotta get ‘em while they’re young, before they’re gone for good.