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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenberg

Employee

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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote a review of on April 29, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I've got the darker gray version with the neon hits. I love the mellow and muted look of the shoes and had no intentions of using them for sport. They are a clean and simple design and are very comfy. The sole is very grippy, you'll track whatever you step on into the house for sure. So much rock salt this winter....

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote a review of on April 29, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm that guy. I'll spend every night leading up to a weekend family trip making sure all is ready for a lightning quick escape from the burbs on Friday apres work. Food/water/shelter, backup contact lenses and first aid kits, headlamps, firewood, kid snacks and fancy wine. Get to a neat place to camp and ... rats! Dad's sitting on a rock again. Not anymore. Now I'm the proud owner of the Crazy Creek Crazy Legs Quad Beach/Festival Chair. Tie Dye edition (totally worth the $2). The space age mesh back allows me to 'air out' after hauling a kid carrier thru slot canyons all day while the definitely probably NASA engineered frame makes it easy for my 5 yr old to unpack from the car and set up before I say something like, "Hey! Outta my chair.". When deployed, the Crazy Creek Crazy Legs Quad Beach/Festival Chair sits only a few inches off of the ground making it easier to perform Man Yoga (Myoga). Gently press your heels into Earth Mother and extend your legs slowly, not quite locking out your knees. Exhale. Feel the balance of nature expressed in the relaxed stance of your chair's two points of contact. Reach for your cup of wine from the....oh. No cup holder. Okay fine, 4 stars.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote a review of on February 2, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was looking to add a light weight, park inspired, kinda-fat ski to my quiver for those days at the resort where you'd rather goof around than ski full throttle all day. I settled on the Sir Francis Bacon after test driving the Sick Day series and their 'cloud core'. The Bacon is remarkably light for it's size, super soft in the nose and very tip of the tail with just enough stiffness under foot to feel bouncy and solid on small and mid sized airs. I find it a bit too soft to really push it in difficult snow or to hold an edge on icy groomers, hence the 4 of 5 star review. However the Bacon excels at the edge of the trail where the snow gets pushed around into natural jumps. Hips, side-hits, rollers, wind lips, kickers...that's where you want to be with the Bacon. It feels weightless on jumps and has a pretty good pop to it. It is wide enough to feel sure footed on natural transitions and landings. The mellow rocker on the tips and tails obviously help in soft snow but also inspire you to get creative with presses and butters. That being said, the light weight construction and forgiving ride make me think that after a year or two at Snowbird, my Sir Francis Bacon is going to end up with some AT bindings on them. They would make for an ideal freeride-y touring ski. I'm 5'9" 145lbs and ski the 184cm mounted ~2cm forward of the recommended line.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote a review of on February 2, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've owned several Maze Helmets over the years. I still love the low profile look, super light weight, and seamless fit with Smith's goggles. While not a specific multi-impact helmet, it can take a few dings without damaging the liner. I did compress the foam on one pretty wild crash, but suffered no injury or loss of consciousness. The Maze did it's job. The low cost and high quality made it a cinch that I'd replace that helmet with a new Maze. Highly recommended.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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!

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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Elias Littenberg

Elias Littenbergwrote 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.

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