Ninja-Style Staff Pick
Get first-hand knowledge from people who deal with ski and snowboard product all day long but still manage to get to the mountain more than the rest of us.
This week’s staff pick comes from super-skier, master COD’er, and evo Seattle assistant store manager, Tom. As you can tell by this preying mantis pose- this guy means business. For being a young buck, Tom has quite a few years of skiing and ski-knowledge under his belt. Check out his picks for this year below and then imagine Chuck Norris and Tom battling in the Octagon.
My favorite tool 90% of the time. I’m usually on a mission trying to find soft, fluffy untouched pow and this is my weapon of choice. Although it’s built as a freestyle powder ski, it still lays down a quick turn on the hard pack. If there’s more than 2 inches of fresh and it’s not frozen underneath this ski is strapped to my feet.
One of the best bindings on the market today. The STH series featuring the Driver toe allows you to dial-in the toe height and width for a very consistent, secure fit with your boot. I come out when I need to and not when I don’t.
Two-buckles doesn’t mean freestyle. It just means easier. One of my favorite features of the Ghost is the textured rubber bottom that helps keep you steady even on the slipperiest of surfaces. The current iteration of the Ghost has a little invention called Custom Shell technology. The Custom Shell technology allows my C-D width feet to fit comfortably within a boot normally reserved for an A width. Salomon uses this technology in nearly all their 98mm lasted shells (known as the Falcon last) for 2011 and can also be found in the Impact/Idol series as well. Unfortunately you can only find the Custom Shell versions in brick-and-mortar retail stores like evo Seattle.
Three layers of foul weather blocking. With a Toray membrane, 20k breathability and waterproofing keep me dry and cozy all day long. In the PNW our days range from wet and warm to frigid and windy. The Primed jacket has a slightly longer cut that helps keep the snow off my back and the hand gaiters help keep the snow out of my sleeves. I have to admit I sacrificed style for function with these Oakley Corked pants, I am so glad I did. Usually any insulation in outerwear sends me running the other direction but I really wanted the turquoise color to match up with my black jacket, sad I know. While the extra weight of the insulation feels heavy at times, my legs keep nice and toasty helping me get the most out of my day at the hill. I’m also a big fan of ski bibs but we’ll leave those for a more in-depth post about ski & snowboard bibs in the future.
The Crowbar has been my eye-shield of choice for 4 years now. Oakley provides excellent precision optics with their lenses and the Crowbar frame can be taken apart and put back together to create custom color ways. I’ve collected several pairs over the years and it’s fun to be able to customize your eyewear.
Lightweight, durable aluminum paired with a minimalistic grip that lets me get on top of the pole quickly for skating through the flats. I also love the over sized wrist straps, they easily let me twirl them above my head like a helicopter when I need to get someone’s attention.
People love to give me flak for wearing a “snowboard brand’s baselayer”. I ski, you snowboard, we both love sliding on snow so get over it. I’ve had mine for the past 4 years and it’s blown all other first layers I’ve ever used out of the water. Using the restroom can be tricky with my old U-shaped zipper but the wonder-minds over at Airblaster figured out that an easy Pac-man style rear zipper makes a visit to the latrine a relief rather than a work out. When I’m riding, I never get snow on my back which always makes me colder. On the really nippy days I throw up the hood for full protection from shurikens, sai’s, and even snow too. If you don’t have one you need one.
Plenty of warmth in a thin shroud. I like my boots tight and the thinner my socks are, the better my boots feel. If it’s below 10 I’ll switch to the Ski Light which provides a tiny bit more insulation without a lot of bulk.