PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro

Northern Vermont

PJ Santoro's Passions

Running
Biking
Skiing

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on February 4, 2010

Love them
5 5

I finally pulled the trigger on this ski after drooling over it for most of the early season. I am 6'3 220+ and ski mostly in Northern Vermont, with a week or two out west a year. After reading the reviews here and some other spots on the interwebs I decided to mount these +2 cm from boot center. The first day I took these out it was classic New England hardpack (a few weeks back before we started getting it good again). Actually I snapped one of my K2 PE's and I had these in the car so I wasn't really intending to take them out. My first impression was that this ski was not built for hardpack (which is obvious) as they were chattering a bit at speed and I was having trouble carving. I also initially thought this wouldn't be a good ski for the woods because of its size and weight. Luckily in the days since I've really figured out how to ski this thing. It was my first ski larger than 92 underfoot so it took me a few days to really dial this one, but this ski totally rips. I've taken it through the glades @ Jay Peak, some tight sidecountry lines on Mount Mansfield, day old cruddy pow remnants, bump runs and groomers and it eats it all up. Obviously this thing is not going to rip GS turns like my Superstar All Stars, but it can rip groomers. Once you get use to the rocker and how to turn this ski in variable conditions it will surprise you with it's quickness. It really does ski like a shorter ski without compromising it's burliness. I've alternated runs plowing through crud that others consider bulletproof with skiing really tight tree lines in powder. Considering that my initial impression of the ski as not really a "do-it-all" the versatility the ski has demonstrated really shocked me. With that being said I don't see this as my everyday ski. I'm luckily enough to have a decent ski quiver so this is reserved for days where there is snow, or will be some fresh snow in the woods. With the variable conditions we have to endure on the east coast it's sort of a reality that you can't ski 106's everyday. But this thing definitely rips once you get used to skiing it and don't give up on it after a few runs...it took me longer than usual to dial in to this one, but once I did it made it all worthwhile!

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on January 5, 2010

4 5

I need an XL so options are limited! This is a very basic helmet, but keeps my head warm and adjusts easily in the back to get a snug fit. You can remove some parts of the liner to open up some venting in the Helmet, but I usually don't use this until spring time. I've been using the G9 for ~4 years now and just got a new one as the "snugging" mechanism on my old one broke. There are still some minor issues with the construction here, but I ski ~60 days/year so am probably pushing this a bit harder than average. My older G9 held up very well over 2+ years and I am a fan of the ever so slight redesign of this model (mainly the logo on the front).

(1)

 

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on January 5, 2010

5 5

These are the best base layers, hands down. Merino outperforms and can take much more of a beating than any synthetic I've ever worn. The orange color is great, very stylish which is quite different than the standard SW baselayers of the past. I'm 6'3 220 and wear a large. The fit is snug and the length is sufficient (length is my biggest complaint with the older SW baselayer tops, but this seems to have been resolved across the board)

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on January 5, 2010

5 5

I'm a fairly biased smartwool lover...as you can tell from a lot of my other reviews. This certainly isn't the cheapest hat you can find, but the quality is excellent and it is a lot warmer than it looks. This has become my goto winter hat up here in Northern Vermont. I also recently bought one for all of my immediate family (Christmas presents) and everyone loves it!

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on December 14, 2009

5 5

Just picked up a set of these last week. The past few season I've been skiing in Technica Diablo 130 Race Boots. I'm 6'3 220lbs very athletic and an aggressive all mountain skier. I loved my Diablos, but after ~120-150 days over 2.5 seasons they were just fried. Technica has really upped their game with these new Dragon's. The stance is a bit more upright than my Diablo 130's, which, oddly enough I feel helps me stay more forward on steeps as I am not trying to overcompensate for being pushed forward. For the terrain I ski (bumps, trees, powder, out of bounds) the upright stance helps me to be more dynamic than the more aggressive forward stance which is best for racing. Flex rating a bit lower, but I don't notice a difference. I don't put much stock in the actual "rating" as I tried on most of the 120-130 flex boots out there. Some felt very loose and I didn't find 1 that I thought was too stiff...maybe I am too big. The flex on these is great. The boot has a nice rebound so the flex is more spring-like (i.e. easier to flex at the top, harder as you continue to flex it. Some boots I have found to not be quite as dynamic). Anyway, I think the goal of this boot was to cater to skiers like myself...big aggressive all mountain riders who otherwise would end up in a race stock boot. I'm impressed so far with the upgrades. The buckles are nice as well...Carbon upgrade from Magnesium so they maintain a lower profile and are stronger. I've only got 3 days on them so far, but the fit is great for my feet and the performance is outstanding! Excited to continue breaking these in!

(3)

 

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on April 2, 2009

4 5

This things is pretty cool. Installed it on my Subaru WRX Wagon directly onto the factory rack. Each side holds 2 pairs of modern mid-fat skis or 2 snowboards, so I am pretty much set for a 4-person trip in the Subaru Wagon and this rack makes it pretty comfortable with all the gear stored above. Have not had any problems so far and have been using it all year. I would've given it 5-stars, but I still have to lift the skis up there myself ;) But seriously....this is the best ski rack I've ever owned!

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on April 2, 2009

4 5

This is definitely a great bag. Most ski bags I've owned would get 2-stars just based on durability as they tend to come apart quickly. This one is pretty heavy duty and I've flown with it more than a handful of times and the bag looks the same as the day I bought it. The only problem is that it is just massive and heavy. When I load this with 2 pr skis and poles I can really only put a few other things in it before it is at the 50 lb weight limit for most airlines. Knowing that I have traveled with this thing on several airlines and since I've kept it under 50 lbs the size hasn't been a problem, but I can see and have heard of airline employees calling this bag out and charging extra purely based on the size of it. If you are looking for a massive bag to store your gear this is probably the only ski bag I know of that can easily hold 2 pr skis with boots and a bunch of other stuff. I'm going to try the Fall Line Double out on my next plane trip later this month...despite the fact that it doesn't have the same tie downs as this bag I think it might be a better "airline" bag.

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on March 16, 2009

4 5

Got them for a steal on Tramdock! (White/Ignitor) Have worn them a few times on Sunny days and they work great. Extra yellow lens was included, which is a big plus for low light days, but luckily haven't had to use it yet. No trouble with fogging or anything like that...fogging is usually due to operator error IMHO (i.e. wearing a facemask and breathing into the goggle, or otherwise getting the inside of the lens wet). Fits well with my helmet.

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on March 16, 2009

5 5

These are awesome. I'm been wearing them all season (~50 days on my way to 60). They keep me warm in subzero temps but also don't get too warm when it is Sunny and 45! I have vents in my ski pants, but I am pretty use to sweating on Sunny spring days and these have been great. Wear very well and look like they will go into next season without any issue. I have had issues with the "microweight" smartwool pants as they will rip easily because the materials is a lot thinner. Merino wool is the way to go!

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on March 16, 2009

5 5

I've been using this bag for 2 years. Don't wear it everyday, but it is super useful for accessing inbounds backcountry (i.e. hiking relatively short distances with your skis) and also short day trips (Tuckerman's Ravine). I use the integrated hydration system pretty often as well, but days that I am at smaller resorts I typically use a Camelbak Zoid instead to minimize bulk. This thing has taken a beating though and has held up incredibly well. I've taken it on 4/5 trips out West (I'm an EC skier) and have skied 50+ days with it in the past 2 years and all the functional components of the bag work as they did on day 1 (although it could probably use a wash!).

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on March 16, 2009

4 5

These have done me very well. I have Look PX12 Jibs on 2 pairs of skis (Volkl Bridge and K2 PE). I broke one of them skiing in the backcountry. Might have been a rock that I hit, but I think the race or pro version (PX14) would have held up. Switching to those now, but these are super solid and have went 40+ aggressive days before the incident.

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on March 16, 2009

4 5

These are very difficult to bend without a torch. Nice replacement for the brake I had on my Look PX12 Jib bindings. Screwed in flush and work great. Have them on my Volkl Bridge 92 underfoot. 100 seems to work well as the brake pulls itself in a bit when engaged by the boot. A shop tech put a pair of 120 width brakes on my skis after I needed some more serious binding repair (grr!) and those were WAY too wide...they were catching each other during turns. Have had no problem at all with these!

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on March 2, 2009

5 5

For the price, you really can't beat these gloves. On the backcountry network of sites you see a good deal of gloves around this price point, but these are the best value I've found so far. They are a really warm glove and suitable for most days I ski on the East Coast. Probably a bit too warm for spring days (35+), but otherwise works well down into the teens for me!

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on February 11, 2009

5 5

I bought the 177 Bridge at the end of last season. I am 6'3 220lbs and a very aggressive skier (50-60 days per year). Originally thought I would use this ski for park and powder, but it has become my all-around goto this season. I ski mainly glades and backcountry soft snow, but this ski rocks all across the mountain. I ski moguls with it frequently (even icy bumps!). I have them center mounted with Look PX12 bindings and they have just been awesome. I've got about 25-30 days on them so far and just returned from 4 days in Whistler and this ski rocked the groomers, bumps, park and 1 big powder day!! I highly recommend this ski for current and aspiring all-mountain rippers, even if you don't ski park at all.

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PJ Santoro

PJ Santoro wrote a review of on December 3, 2008

5 5

Contrary to the other reviewers I think these socks are great. I did not buy them to keep my feet extra warm. I am a very aggressive skier, so bought them mainly for comfort and the reinforced shin padding.

Before these socks I use to feel a decent amount of shin soreness following a full day of skiing, but these socks seemed to have fixed that issue completely.

I should state I have a strong smartwool bias and use only smartwool socks to ski and run and if it wasn't so cost-prohibitive I would replace every sock I own with the smartwool version.

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