I receive the weekly emails from seniorsskiing.com and Real skis.com triggers both memories and ideas for this column. I have to admit that I have joined the senior community.
No, that does not mean that I am no longer able to drive the entire mountain. It means that I am no longer looking for the most demanding terrain and The I am happy with cruising groomed runs Long–radius makes it almost effortless on today's skis.
My only problem is when I go to Shawnee summit I meet friends who are very good skiers and always invite me to join them.
One I don't know if I will see her this season is Bruce Cole. When it comes to skiing. Bruce did everything. In the early years, he started in freestyle, trained freestyle and taught in the west, returned to Bridgton and trained high school skiers. For the past few seasons, he has spent most of the week at Shawnee Peak.
At the end of last season, Bruce surprised us all when he bought a spot at Jay Peak in Vermont. So I don't know if we'll see him this season. Besides that. I I am always open to an invitation to Jay Peak, one of the better ski mountains in New England. I have to send this column to Bruce to see if he gets the clue.
OBSERVE YOUR BINDINGS
An article in the latest edition of senior skiing.com caught my attention. The site works with realskiers.com to get answers to questions from Jackson Hogen, probably the one Mon.st Good-known Equipment writer in the country.
A skier asked if it was Öokay to mount old bindings on new skis. and Jackson's quick answer was no. He cited several reasons, most notably that businesses cannot work on bonds that are older than a certain age. I rarely wrote about bonds. Except for the recommendation to bring your skis to the store to have them checked out at the beginning of each season.
Today's ties are so much more sophisticated than the ones we started with that we can't even compare them
My first good skis had cable bindings in which the tip of the shoe was pushed into a piece of metal toe The it was completely caught. release … WHat release? When the released bindings replaced them, the skiers had to wear safety belts. They were incorrectly called "seat belts".“But when a ski was released from the shoe but remained tied to the skier, bad things often happened.
When I started patrolling. These straps were still in use and were needed by most ski areas. There was one group that absolutely refused to use the straps: Racers. It doesn't take much imagination to see what can happen if a downhill racer crashes and the skis still attached to his feet come with him. The racers wanted the skis removed as far as possible.
I remember an incident in Sugar Loaf Mountain during a downhill run. On the big curve below the Gauge Headwall. A snow fence was lined up on the side of the slope. The natural slide on the right aimed skiers and equipment at this fence. Racers who were still on skis at the bottom of the head wall turned from the crowd behind the fence. Loose skis obviously didn't turn.
That day, a ski came loose when a racing driver crashed into the slide. This 210-225 cm long downhill ski detached itself from the head wall as quickly as it could have done if still on the foot the racer, maybe 60 miles an hour. It went through that fence as if it weren't there and pulled out one of the spectators who thought the ski was being stopped by the fence.
I was on the other side of the track talking to the owner of this ski, a young Canadian racing driver, Wende Lunde. Years later. I had dinner with a family in Calgary who knew this young lady. I think I sent them the photo I took of her when she was sitting on the hay bale down on the head wall.
Incidents like this and the possibility of using them on leisure routes led to the development of the ski brake. and it only took a few years for them to be an integral part of every bond. A brake on this DH ski would have dropped it instead of sliding directly on the fence.
today. Bonds are a matter of course for us. and the technology is such that I'm happy with every binding that comes with the ski. Because of equipment consolidation. Certain skis have specific bindings. You can find markers on Volkl, Blizzard and K2; Atomics (the old ESS bond) on Atomics, Solomon on Solomon; Rosignol or Watching Rosignols and Dynastars; and Tyrolias on heads. Some are part of systems designed for the performance of the ski.
Years ago, assembling bindings meant using a template and drilling holes for the screws in the ski. This is still required for skis that are sold without bindings. but many are sold as packages and rails are pre-assembled on the skis. The whole shop mechanic need To do this, slide the bindings onto these rails, adjust them to the length of the shoe sole and set the DIN (rattitude).
I can do that in my basement. but I still take her to a workshop mechanic to make sure I have the correct form.
This is a case in which the rental technology has been adapted to regular bindings. Rental units, of course have to can be set quickly and easily. The bindings on my skis can be easily adjusted with a screwdriver to the exact length of the shoe sole, just like with rental equipment. You can see them in action on every demo day.
The last time I changed from Boots I switched from a 320mm sole to a 315. The setting took only a few minutes. Today's bindings are one of the great improvements in skiing. Take care of them and they will take care of you.
We'll see you on the slopes.
Dave Irons is a freelance writer and columnist from Westbrook. He has worked for the Sun Journal for many years and is one of the most respected ski exhibitors in the northeast. He is too a member of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. Write to [email protected]
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