Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Climbing

Elias Littenberg's Bio

Yeah! Originally from Niagara Falls, NY, I graduated from SUNY Albany with degrees in Meteorology and Geography back in '02. Immediately afterwards, I moved west and started ski bumming in Tahoe. I finally ended up in Utah after seasonal stints in Montana and Jackson. I'm Buyer and Merchandiser of all things Ski and Paddle. The gear, not so much the clothes. I ski as often as I can, even over the summertime if I can find some snow. If it's not a ski day, then I'll be tagging along on road trips all over the West. Deserts, mountains, oceans...can't get enough.

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg posted an article on September 23, 2013

Ski Tuning in 8 Easy Steps

Aside from the ego-boost you’ll get from beating all your friends back down to the lift, tuning your skis to perfection can be meditative and rewarding on its own. From sharpening edges to brushing out the final coat of wax, ski buyer Eli Littenberg walked us through all the steps and gear you’ll need to give your skis a first-rate tune in this eight part video series. Part 1: Edge-Sharpening Overview Part 2: Detuning Contact Points Part 3: P-Tex Repairs Part 4: Wax Brushes Part 5: Hot Waxing Part 6: The Final Wax Part 7: Summer Storage Part 8: Tools [...]

(0)

 

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on January 9, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Once you have a pair of these (or FKS) you basically have a lifetime supply of bindings. They can take a huge beating and are the most dependable bindings I've ever used. If you do explode out of your Pivot 18 binding, then you really earned it. These will hold on tight thanks to the large amount of elastic travel. Honestly I'm not big or rowdy enough to neeeeeed these bindings, but after buying a used pair 5 years ago (old Rossi version) from a former racer who put a few hard years on his, they are still going strong. You'll wear out your skis way before you wear out your bindings. Highly recommended!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on January 7, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I can't get enough. It's just too much fun. Normally I wouldn't be too pumped to ski on something so very directional but the Cham 107 is a big exception. The unique rocker and sidecut recipe provides an unmatched combination of high speed stability and oops-watch-out agility. Much easier to ski in my opinion than the latest run of Legend series skis. Let's start with the rocker: a very low profile early rise nose (rocker starts at about the Y on the Dynastar tip logo) keeps the tips stable in variable snow while providing plenty of float for a relatively narrow 107mm waist. The rest of the ski is cambered all the way to the squared off tail. There's a relatively short running length on the edge since the tips and tails are tapered (think JJ-style) so the Cham ski is very agile for its size. The tail is super cool since it has the taper, but no rocker. This gives you that small running length for hard snow/carving since the last bit of the tail is off the snow but the whole ski is 'down' when you're running flat based or landing airs. It's awesome. Construction is classic Dynastar - hand made with a solid wood core and titanal reinforcement, thick sidewalls, and a seemingly indestructible base. Early season Snowbird can be merciless to a pair of new skis but the Chams have gotten through the autumn with nothing more than a bunch of character enhancing scrapes and scars. No core shots (despite very rocky traverses and a few direct on rock landings in thin snow) and the edges are all in place. The only negative that I can come up with is the weight, especially when paired up with the Pivot 18s. I haven't put them on a scale or anything but they are definitely hefty, probably helps with the stable ride and durability. I encourage any of you to grab a pair and point them at the most chopped up, skied out zones at your local resort and hit the gas. I think you'll be amazed at how fluid and burly the Cham 107 skis.

(3)

 

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on January 2, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Looks like these are getting around. I brought it to a SCUBA shop to see if they'd fill it up and they said 'yes' before I even finished my sentence. It takes ~hour, costs only a couple of dollars, and you're ready to go. It's a simple 2-step process to get it hooked up into the pack and will only take a few seconds. Make sure to dub check the pressure before you head out (easily read thru a window on the cylinder's sleeve inside your pack) and get to trail breaking. Have fun be safe.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on November 19, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Picked these up at the beginning of last season (only change for 12/13 is the graphic) and ended up skiing them almost every day that I wasn't touring (Snowbird passholder). I'd say that the Influence 105 is more than enough ski for all but the deepest days. These were super fun all over the mountain - especially in chutes, chopped bowls, and trees. They carve much better than I expected too. They are a bit turny for a freeride ski, but I felt that it helped keep the ski loose and fun despite it being more damp than a lot of today's rocker skis. Despite the twinned tail, the Influence 105 isn't much of a freestyle ski. The sturdy core and metal matrix make this ski more of a directional all mountain stick with kind of a limited freestyle feel. Not much jibbing on these, but plenty of pop for airs. The bases are sturdy and survived last season's lean winter in pretty good shape. However you'll want to wax these regularly. I've already gotten back on them this season and am fired up for another winter on my Influence skis.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on November 18, 2011

4 5

The footprint and rocker profile of the BD AMPerage ski is very similar to the Rossi S7. Both feature camber underfoot with rockered tip and tail and a ski width that tapers off towards the tail. You get a very easy turning, directional all mountain ski. Two things separate the AMPerage from the competition - a very light weight cap construction and a significantly longer effective edge underfoot. You'll hear lots of folks comment on how easy it is to ski on the groomed snow, but I think the longer edge (and therefore longer cambered base) makes for a great touring ski. More skin contact on the way up vs most other rockered skis and the same dynamic and playful surfing feel on the way back down. In my opinion, the AMPerage is too soft to be a daily driver at a resort. I found the light weight and soft flex was easily overpowered in chopped up snow. However, in soft snow it was a really fun ride. I'd recommend this as your quiver pow ski at the resort or your full time touring ski if you prefer big surfy turns after your hike/skin/climb.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on October 6, 2011

4 5

So, an easy-to-turn ski that doesn't chatter on hard snow and floats in pow? Bummer right? The BBR struck me as the skiing equivalent to a mellow surfing long board - it makes life easy for casual skiing all over the mountain. The sidecut easily rolls back and forth on groomed snow and the combination of a wide nose, tip rocker, and a pin tail allows you to ski nimbly thru forests and bumped out chutes without getting beat up by a dedicated big mountain ski. While it won't replace the Rocker2 on most people's wish lists, the BBR is an intriguing ski that's worth a demo and -I believe- is more of a peek into the future of ski design with it's exaggerated combo of sidecut and rocker than a quiver killer of today. Take 'em for a spin and see what you think.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on February 10, 2011

5 5

I blew my knee a few years back in a nasty fat-to-flat cliff attempt. My goal was to ski the next year w/o any braces (a lot of my friends were in Don Joy). I did, for a few months, before fracturing the same knee's kneecap. The following year I skied like a wuss until I finally gave in and picked up the Asterisk braces from a race shop in Jackson. After a few days my confidence and strength started coming back more and more. Now I won't ski resort without them. The stability and protection offered your knees in the Asterisk brace is unmatched in my experience. They are diesel. I've had dozens of wrecks over the last few years that should've sent me to the hospital with newly injured knees, but I've always gotten away with it. I had an unfortunate and scary ride thru a chute when I got tangled in my sluff. The brace broke top to bottom on the thigh and calf piece but my knees were perfectly fine. While not designed to pop like a bike helmet, it was eye opening to see how protected my expensive new ACL was during that ugly crash.

The top and bottom carbon fiber pieces are hinged independently of each other so that the brace can slide laterally a few millimeters. This is because your knee doesn't act as a straight hinge - there is a bit of a rotation there. The lateral 'give' allows your knee to move through the entire range of motion without restriction. The brace doesn't even really snug on your knee. It provides a halo around it by snugging tightly around your calf and lower thigh.

Locking out the range of motion is awesome when you are recovering from an injury since you won't be able to stress your joint by extending past your comfort zone. Now that I'm healed up and stronger I allow the brace the full range of motion.

I get asked "are they comfortable?" a lot. While I wouldn't chill on the couch with them on, I'd say they aren't as tough to wear as a ski boot can be. Generally I don't tour with them, but on any resort day I can guarantee that they are on under my pants. Cliffs, tricks, switch skiing, chop, pow...there is nothing changed about the skiing experience except for the confidence these allow.

They can chew up the top of your ski boot liners. I cut the bottom cm of hard plastic off of mine and then duct tape the now hanging foam around the cut and onto the 'shin' of the brace.

Expensive? Yes. Cheaper than surgery? Double yes. Get some.

(0)

 

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on January 14, 2011

4 5

I like the updates to the Agent 120 quite a bit. As attention getting as the 09/10 purple Agent 130 is, the orange pop on these buckles makes your cool new boots a conversation starter on even more lift rides. This is the only bummer as you quickly tire of saying, "yes...they're pretty orange, aren't they?" to everyone you meet.

The best update is the vibram added to the sole, especially at the heel. I wasn't even considering this as I zeroed in on these boots, but can't help being glad it's there when I'm walking around. The Agent 120 has just a slightly softer flex this year and feels perfect for riding around on all the rockered skis out there.

A fit tip - I pulled out the spoilers behind my calf and definitely feel like the cuff fits better without them, even though I have very skinny legs. You also get a more upright stance, again a benefit on rockered skis.

I wear Asterisk knee braces (blew out one knee, def don't want to deal with that again) and they fit perfectly on top on this boot. I've had so many boots get their liners chewed by the contact points between brace and boot, but the Agent 120 fits with my braces without tearing or warping either piece.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on January 14, 2011

5 5

Cool recipe Armada has going on here. Take the JJ nose and put it on a narrower and tapered platform, give it a boost with a bunch of camber, take the rocker out of the tail, and keep it going with the weight saving AR50 construction (blend of sidewall underfoot w capped tip and tails). The result is a directional shred stick that just begs for high speed, stay in the fall-line ripping. Despite the very light weight and big rockered nose, this is not a lazy surfy powder ski. Instead the Armada TST seems purpose built for the roughneck skiing in steep and rocky zones at the top of your local mountain. The surprisingly stiff flex is very confidence inspiring when you're straight lining out of big airs or dicey lines. Meanwhile it's so light that you can spin and butter off anything you see. Skiing switch isn't the easiest thing to do on a ski with such a big difference between nose and tail widths, but it can be done with a bit of practice.

Not that the TST isn't a great ski in pow, but despite the rockered nose and tapered shape towards the tail, I'm not reaching for it on a deep day. It's a little narrow in the waist for our classic Utah deep and I still love the really fat, fully rockered skis for storm days. I'll wait 'till the clouds blow off, the mountain is tracked, and then grab my TSTs for those send-it days before all the hits have lame traverses cutting up the landings.

Quick note on mounting, mine didn't show prescribed lines for mounting (sample?), but there is a spear graphic near where your boot would end up. My repair shop buddy and I measured between the contact points and pulled back my boot center -2 from the middle of our measured running length. We crossed referenced this with a similar sized Salomon Shogun and felt good about where the boot stood. Glad to say that it's working for me.

I'm 5'8", 140lbs and the 183cm is all I need.

(4)

 

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on November 24, 2010

5 5

Hi everybody. I'm on the Ski Buying team here at Backcountry. We got some 192cm in on Thanksgiving Eve. They sold out in ~90 minutes. We have more on the way, but I'd check back daily. I don't have a solid date for our next ship at this time.

They rule. They won't last long. And no, I won't buy any for myself. I promise. These are for you guys.

(1)

 

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on November 4, 2010

4 5

Like a lot of cambered Moment skis, these have a ton of pop. It took a few laps rallying around the Bird last spring (chop, crud, sun-beat bowls, and icy groomers) to get used to the extra stiff tail and large amount of camber. The Belafonte loves to be up on edge, especially in crud, and skis really smooth once you are moving fast. The mellow rocker on the nose means that your skis won't dive or deflect in variable snow and the tall camber helps you boost over convex bulges of rock and clear those not-quite-vertical cliff bands. I'd recommend de-tuning the edges a bit since they are going to want to grab until they're worn in some. The Belafonte is tough and has a sturdy build - specifically for rough and tumble big mountain skiing.

I'm 5'8", 140lbs, ski the Bird and was loving life on the 182cm.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on September 27, 2010

5 5

Love this helmet. Very stylish and well fitting. The helmet sits low on your head, more like a regular ballcap and less like a big dome. I've pulled out the ear pads and either wear a thin beanie or bandana underneath. There is a small gaper-gap with my Smith I/O, but that is remedied by the already mentioned under layer. I tried to wear the Watts over my goggles, but the brim would catch air when going fast and lift off my head. EPS and Hardhat cost the same, so I opted for (and would recommend) the certified, single impact EPS version. I've knocked my head around a little bit and the helmet hasn't busted so it's not a one-time-deal if you wipe out. But if you crash big, the EPS liner stands a better chance of keeping you awake. Lots of fresh colors are on the way!

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg wrote a review of on September 8, 2010

5 5

This was probably my favorite ski at the tests last year. I skied it at Winter Park on a cold, icy, and uninspiring midweek day. Perfect day to test gear (all skis feel great on the great days, give me lousy conditions). The Line Blend has a nice snappy feel that makes it extra fun to pop and press off every little bump and jump you can find. The same snappy core also helps the ski carve really well for a 100mm waist. That 100mm waist comes in handy when launching and landing your big jumps - very stable. The mellow tip and tail rocker gives the Blend an agile and loose feel in soft chop and powder. You can easily transition from skiing groomers and park to dropping into fun trees and mellow chutes. Skiing switch is so fun on these, it doesn't feel any different than skiing forward. All in all I'm really looking forward to skiing the Blend on those high pressure days in Little Cottonwood Canyon and taking them on road trips that aren't powder centered. I'm 5'9", 140lbs and skied the 183cm about 1cm forward of the freeride mounting point.

(0)