Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo

Snowbird, Wasatch Front, Bear River, Logan Canyon and Beyond

Jack Wizo's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Skiing

Jack Wizo's Bio

I ski in the Winter, canoe in the Summer, and hunt in the Fall. If I can cut down some trees, or summit a peak in any season, I will.

Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on March 19, 2013

5 5

I could not ask for a better ski to use every day.
Except for a week in February when I was demoing some El Capos, and a few days when there's been enough fresh snow at the Bird to bust out my Bushy Waynes, the Helldorados have been my go to ski everyday. That's 80+ days I've had to learn just how to bend and turn them, how to make them pop just right and let them carve long, smooth turns through any kind of snow. If I could have only one ski forever, it would be the 193 Helldorado.
I love how the metal layers and full wood core dampen choppy conditions and smooth out my ride. I love the "hammerhead" and the "low rise camrock" in the tips and tail, that, with more angulation in your turn, puts you right on the rails making for roller coaster like arcs. Then, when you get them into trees or billy-goat terrain, you can make tight, nimble turns and smear them easily.
The more you put into this ski, the more you get back. The Helldos love speed and they will let you go as fast as you want.
I have mine mounted at 3cm behind center and love 'em. If you like to lean forward when you ski, then the traditional mount at 5cm behind center would be a good choice, too.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on March 18, 2013

5 5

I had the opportunity to take the El Capo out for a week at Snowbird. It was like the Helldorado crossed with the Enforcer and Girish, and I loved it. I ski the Helldorado every day that it's not deep and smooth, and ski the Bushy Wayne when it is. The El Capo really rounds out the quiver, as it is a little more on piste oriented and directional. The 185 really measures in at 189cm, but because the tail isn't totally flat, they call it a 185. I ski the Helldorado in a 193, and was a little skeptical of the El Capo in a 185, but at 6' and 160lbs, I really found it to be the perfect length for me, mounted at the traditional line with their up-turned tail.
The El Capo carves really well, and with the two layers of metal, it is damp and smooth at any speed. It's really good at high speeds. The Cap' definitely has more of an even flex than the Helldorado, but it has more pop and rebound than the Helldo, too. Nice and stiff behind the heel, so it's very responsive and makes nice, snappy turns. The more you angulate it, the more it rails, and more edge is engaged. The Capo will make tight, racer style turns, or long, smooth, high speed turns, as well. Wide enough for powder skiing, narrow enough to ski comfortably on firm and icy slopes, and damp enough to make choppy rough conditions easier to ski.
The top sheet art work is really nice, too.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on March 18, 2013

3 5

I wasn't too impressed with this ski. It's heavy and has metal, likes speed and going straight, but it just felt boring to me. I've never been much of a fan of Dynastar skis, though, and these feel like a typical Dynastar.
It may be the flat pin-tail and the tapered tip, but I just don't like how it turns. I couldn't get them to pop like I want a ski to, and couldn't play with them much either. Elias is right, though; these are easy to ski. I just think they're more white bread than artisan french baguette. Good quality construction, though.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on December 28, 2012

3 5

Not stoked on these socks.
I bought a whole bunch of these last year because they fit great, and were the perfect thickness for skiing.
So I ordered a few more pair.
When I pulled them out of the box, I immediately noticed how much thinner the socks are this year. Still, I thought I'd give them a try. When I put them on this morning, the heel of the sock crawled up my achiles. Poor fit.
My feet were cold and sloppy inside my ski boots today.
Oh, and what's up with having a right and a left sock?
On the plus side, the seam on the toe is very small, and it goes across the front of the toes, rather than over the toe nails. Seemed comfy to me.
After today, though, I will be returning them and hunting again for the perfect sock.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on December 28, 2012

3 5

I like Flylow. I am a dedicated user of Flylow. Love the pants, jackets, and the camper belt has a bottle opener- I mean, come on! Flylow rules.
That said, this years Ridge glove, and Tough Guy glove are both substandard for a Flylow product. The gloves this year are thinner, and the cuff is also much tighter, which makes for difficult off/on again-throughout-the-day use.
So no, I'm not as stoked on these gloves anymore.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on October 31, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I like this boot a whole lot. I have a pair of Flexons that are nice and light, but I like the stiffness and the added weight, and the replaceable rubber toe and heel, while maintaining the 3-piece concept of the old Flexon. The buckles are also really solid and lock my heel down well. The toe box height of the Ace of Spade is shorter than the Flexons, so popping in intuition liners instead of the stock liners- which are just fine, just heavier and not as warm- put some more pressure on the toes.
The Ace is a really good all mountain boot, without being too heavy and keeping the three piece design, plus having a lot of features that other similar boots don't have.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on October 22, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Contrary to what Wally says about this ski, I find the Patron to have excellent floatation. The Patron does have a little bit more swing weight than, say, an Armada JJ, which I have used extensively, but I find that the Patron can carve better on groomed and firm snow conditions. In fact, I find the Patron to handle any condition better than the JJ, or "similar counterparts" with rocker/camber profiles. The Patron is playful yet solid and confidence inspiring. It is a great ski. I have the Helldorado's, too, which will be more of a charging ski than the Patron, even though they have the same dimensions. The relatively light weight construction of the Patron is top notch, and I have ridden them hard, including bashing them through t North Chute last season.
A great one ski quiver that replaced my Armada JJ's.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on December 11, 2011

5 5

I've been using the 185 JJ as my work ski for the last month. The 'bird has been pretty low on snow, and where there is any, it's sugary, icy, or wind-whacked. The JJ transfers between any type of snow with resiliency and ease. It can carve on groomers, grip steep, icy slopes, and plane over chopped up powder, or settled, wind blown areas really easily. I'm 150 lbs, and 6' tall, and pretty stoked on the 185. Probably could have gone with a 195, but I feel like I may have lost some easy turning ability, and hard pack performance. The 115mm waist is perfect for a do-anything, every day ski, and the 14m turning radius makes them nimble, turn quickly, and hold an edge on super hard snow. They have a forgiving, hook-up free style in soft snow, and make slashes and slarves like nobody's business.
With all the rocks and dirt I've skied over so far in this early season, the JJ's have held up remarkably well. Edges are great, and bases are taking the sharks teeth really well. This is the third pair of JJ's I've had, and I'll probably get a fourth next year, too.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on December 10, 2011

5 5

These gloves rule. They fit really well, have great dexterity, and with wool insulation, they are warm as you'll need for most occasions. The soft backing offers a lot more flex for doing work and using your hands. I have a pair of Duke Gloves, too, and they pretty much sit in my locker or pack as a backup pair. The Forge glove is my day in, day out, don't leave home with out them glove. They're comfortable, warm, and tough. Real solid construction in the leather, but the stitching on the neoprene has worn out in one small spot on one hand from yanking it on and off several dozen times a day at work.
Also, they seem to run small compared to the Duke. I have a medium Duke, and a large Forge, and they have a comparable fit.
All in all, I would definitely recommend them, and I'd buy another pair, too.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on December 10, 2011

4 5

I'd like to give these a five star rating, but I have not worn these much, because I am always wearing the Forge glove instead. The Forge has a wool lining, which is much warmer. The Duke Glove has a solid construction, and I'll keep them for spring days, but because they are pre-articulated, they lose out for me.
Both gloves are great for work, and I think they're as good as any other high-end product.
A little bit of sno-seal goes a long way to keeping the leather dry all day. Dry them out every night, and give them a little TLC every now and then, just like all leather gloves.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on February 2, 2011

5 5

Seriously, these bindings are the best thing to happen to telemark skiing since the Hammerhead. 22 Designs delivers again! Everything about the company, or rather, the two Teton Valley homies who make them right there in TV, the awesome 6 point mounting pattern, the adjustability, the activity...all perfect. I've skied every binding out there, and nothing is as good. The free pivot makes them the only binding you'll ever need. I put aftermarket tee-nut inserts in my skis so I can ski the binding on all of my whips. Stiff springs and position 3 is all I need for unmatched performance, inbounds or out.
BD 01's are heavier, and chincier, and rip out of skis regularly. They are the only 75mm binding that could compare to the Axl, and they DON'T! Axl bindings are the best out there.
I sold my Bomber Bishops and bought these and couldn't be happier with the move. The best. Have I said that already? Because they truly are...the best.
Get some, and step up your touring and resort skiing to a whole new level.
NTN doesn't hold a candle to the Axl, so don't even consider those heavy, complicated contraptions that require new boots, and don't give you the same smooth, fluid feel that you want tele skiing.
Get them. Rip them. Love them.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on March 23, 2010

2 5

I got this tent because it was cheap, light weight, and I thought Marmot was a quality company. I had about forty or fifty nights in this tent, while working for the Utah Conservation Corps. While I was at Cedar Breaks, it got really windy and blew sand and dust up into my tent, turning my home into a bunker. Mine was the only tent that got blown over in the wind at Antelope Island, and the only tent to have a bent pole. The stakes are not the worst, but they aren't very strong either. The tent is easy to set up alone, and it is pretty roomy as well- enough to accommodate the girlfriend and myself. I wish it had two doors, though, and a better vestibule. The thing that forced me to return the tent, was when the zipper started to miss, not closing the door, but still tracking. Then, the zipper started to catch. Then one night, the zipper just ripped right off of the tent, leaving a gaping hole that I had to duct tape, then glue, and finally, give up on and just hope no black widows came in through. I returned the tent on my way back from Cedar Breaks, which was, fortunately, the last UCC project for the summer.
A lot of people like this tent, and so did I...until it broke on a camping trip, which is unacceptable in my book. I'm going to replace it with a Sierra Designs Electron, or an REI Half Dome. If I can afford it, I'll go for the MSR Hubba Hubba. I want a tent that will last for a long time, and not let me down when camping. The Limelight let me down. I thought it was great, but it just didn't hold up. I could have gotten it replaced, but I don't want to have the same thing happen again.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on January 13, 2010

5 5

This is my favorite hat. Had it for a few years now. Almost lost it a few times, and it keeps coming back. Out of the four Spacecraft beanies I have, this is the one I wear the most. I love these guys. Nice, quality, thick hats. They hold up, and are really stylie. Don't get one, though. Too many gapers and jongs wear these hats and sticker up everything. Spacecraft is supposed to be a sign that you're cool. Now, there's bitches all over the mountain, sliding on their asses, showing off their new SC belt and wallet combo. Spacecraft is soooooo hip now. Kind of pisses me off. The only thing I'll get from Spacecraft is their beanies, and shirts. Everything else is too trendy.

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Jack Wizo

Jack Wizo wrote a review of on January 13, 2010

5 5

I love this beacon. Right when you flip it on, it tells you the percentage of battery life left. The directional arrows, digital distance read-out, and audible tone give the information you need to get to your partner quickly. I wish all my buddies had this beacon, too! The special mode is great for multiple searches, and gives more accurate directions for pinpointing locations. It's the most reliable, most used, best warranted, and cheapest beacon available. They could easily charge $400 for this and sell just as many. Make sure you practice with it, and always bring extra batteries.

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