R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner

South Lake Tahoe, Salt Lake City

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Richard's Passions

Alpine Touring
Camping
Backpacking
Snowboarding
Hiking
Alpine Skiing

Richard's Bio

Backcountry.com's Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They're passionate outdoor experts passionate on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or slope. Follow adventures and exploits.

I grew up in Lake Tahoe. Live in Salt Lake City. I travel often to follow my passion for skiing. FOLLOW ME for stories about the places I go, the people I go with, and the things I do. For anything from gear to use on a trip to the best place to go around town to grab a cheap beer I’m around to help get you what you need for your next adventure whenever I’m not on one myself.

Sun-Thurs 1.30-10pm (mst)
Ask for R.J. on chat.
Call 1.800.409.4502 ext 4563
Email rgardner@backcountry.com

R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on July 22, 2014

In the past they did a tip rocker only on the Shreditor 102, the change into the 50/50 profile in this Shreditor 120 gives it a more playful feel with less edge contact to the snow on a flat ski. That will give it a more agile feel at slower speeds, yet you still get good edge contact with the snow at higher speeds when your deeper in your turns with a high edge angle. Ultimately with the rockered tip and tail as opposed to a rockered tip only you get a ski that feels looser and a bit easier to ski with the ability to make more precise moves in a wider ski like this.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on July 22, 2014

Hi JG,

These would be a good ski for the types of conditions you are talking about getting into in general. I might depend on exactly where your skiing to narrow that down specifically for you for the best option for your needs, the snow type, terrain, stuff like that but in general these would be a good ski for a bit more exploration with terrain. If you went with this ski I would say the 179cm would be a good size to check out to give you good agility for your size, a more playful feel and good response in tighter spots. A couple others I would recommend checking out would be the Moment PB&J which would be a fairly similar to these, but a bit longer sidecut at a 23 meter in the 188cm to give you a bit longer turn profile but similar agility with the rocker profile. The Volkl Mantra would be another great one for you, rocker in the tip only to give you a more all mountain feel, but still great versatility for softer or more inconsistent snow types. Both options are slightly narrower underfoot compared to these which gives it better versatility for your style of skiing and the terrain it sounds like you would be getting into.

If you have any other questions on any of these feel free to use the live chat feature or give us a call and we can go over more specifics on these for you.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on July 22, 2014

Hi JG,

These would be a good ski for the types of conditions you are talking about getting into in general. I might depend on exactly where your skiing to narrow that down specifically for you for the best option for your needs, the snow type, terrain, stuff like that but in general these would be a good ski for a bit more exploration with terrain. If you went with this ski I would say the 181cm would be a good size to check out to give you good agility for your size, a more playful feel and good response in tighter spots. If your looking for a size that would be more stable at higher speeds you could size up from there. A couple others I would recommend checking out would be the Moment PB&J which would be a fairly similar to these, but a bit longer sidecut at a 23 meter in the 188cm to give you a bit longer turn profile but similar agility with the rocker profile. The Volkl Mantra would be another great one for you, rocker in the tip only to give you a more all mountain feel, but still great versatility for softer or more inconsistent snow types. Both options are slightly narrower underfoot compared to these which gives it better versatility for your style of skiing and the terrain it sounds like you would be getting into.

If you have any other questions on any of these feel free to use the live chat feature or give us a call and we can go over more specifics on these for you.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on May 27, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

The sound quality on these is really nice. Great passive noise cancelling you get from the snug fit, allows for movement without having to re-adjust at all. With the snug fit did come some minor discomfort for me after multiple hours of use, but like Matthew I have a pretty large head so that was expected. The inline controls on the cable work as they should, answering calls, everything you would expect, and the microphone in there was great for call quality as well.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on May 27, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Overall this speaker is a great option. The sound quality is great in it's "indoor" mode. I would say that's the environment that this speaker excels in. Took it camping and used it in the "outdoor" mode. With that the sound quality went down a bit, but the volume level was great. Would make for a great speaker for bbq's out back, hanging out in the summer on the porch, things like that. In the camping environment I was a little nervous taking it out. It performed great but doesn't seem to have the high durability and weatherproofing features you find in other speaker options in this category (the Outdoor Technology Turtle shell, or the Skullcandy Air Raid).

When it comes down to it this is a speaker I would highly recommend if your looking for high quality sound out of a speaker that you would use around the house, or outdoor parties in less than extreme environments. Gives higher priced options like the Bose soundlink a run for it's money, at a lower price.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on May 22, 2014

305mm - 365mm is the boot sole range for the size large. You'll want to check the side of your boot for that boot sole length printed probably on the heel piece, or give us a call or chat in and we can get your boot size, make and model to look up the boot sole length for you with that information.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote a review of on May 12, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had these boots for a couple seasons now, and I'd be hard pressed to say another would have done the job. First off this boot is stiff, not something for a beginner, but a very versatile boot for an aggressive or bigger skier. This is essentially the Cochise without a walk mode, making it feel stiffer and giving it a consistent flex feel. You can still swap out the soles between an alpine and tech sole block. I wouldn't recommend it for someone looking to do a lot of touring it, but the fact that you can swap those out is helpful for someone doing the occasional tour. I travel a lot so most of the time bringing more than one boot isn't an option. The lack of a walk mode doesn't make this the ideal choice for touring, but I use this boot for shorter hikes and unbuckle the upper to give some freedom of movement there. Any hikes longer than a couple hours and you'll see some blistering issues, but it's not really what this boot was built for anyway. As a daily driver it's the perfect boot. Stiff flex, supportive, and great energy transfer to the ski.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on April 23, 2014

These boots won't work with the Marker Griffon Schizo binding. They have a tech sole block which is not going to give you a secure connection with the toe piece, and since the sole block on tech blocks are curved it would cause too much pressure on the toe piece which will not allow the toe piece to release and could damage the binding. If you are looking for boots that will work with this binding I would check out a boot with replaceable sole blocks, like the Tecnica Chochise series or the Scarpa Freedom line which come in multiple options. If you already have these boots and your wanting alpine bindings I would check out something like the Marker Lord which has and adjustable toe piece, or the Salomon STH series with the WTR toe piece for height adjustment, but with those options you'll need to take the setup into a shop to do any needed adjustments to make sure they are set up properly to release.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on April 23, 2014

Hey Andrew,

Zipper length measurements aren't typically listed. Center back length is more the norm which is the measurement from the base of the hood, down the middle of the back to the bottom of the jacket. For this jacket that measurement is 32.5 inches in the medium, plus or minus an inch for each size up or down from there, making that measurement on the XL about 34.5 inches. Hope that helps!

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on February 14, 2014

The Guardians will actually work just fine with most touring soles, it just creates a need to adjust the toe height which you are going to want a shop to handle for you. The Marker options are the ones that won'e be compatible with a touring specific sole because of the way their friction plate works and the fact that you can't adjust the toe height. The guardians have an adjustable toe height and I use them as my daily driver with the technica bodacious boot with the tech soles.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on February 3, 2014

It's sort of a grey area, it's not something you can do with a binding like the marker duke, since the toe height is set, but with the Guardians the toe height is adjustable and you adjust to have your boot sole floating instead of relying on an AFD plate for proper release of the toe. Basically, it's not a definite yes or no, you want to take them into a shop so that the toe height can be properly adjusted to the sole to guarantee that they will release but it is possible.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on February 3, 2014

Yes, you could, though it won't be the ideal choice. Because of the shortened space where the skis come in contact with the "table" plus the fact that you can't use vises, it will be ok to wax on, but you would have a hard time scraping or brushing skis with this.

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R.J. Gardner

R.J. Gardner wrote an answer about on February 3, 2014

For what your main priorities are I would say that my personal preference would be the Salomon Guardians or the Marker Baron. Both have great durability, and great performance for what your trying to get into doing. The main differences between the two are going to be that the Baron you would need to take your skis off to switch between tour and alpine mode since the mechanism is under the foot. The mechanism for that on the guardian is behind the binding, so you can switch it using a pole without taking your boot out of the binding. Usually you would take your ski off to take skins off anyway, but if you want to switch on the move then the guardian is the way to go. For stand height, the baron has a 36 mm stand height compared to the 26 with the guardian. With that in mind the guardian is going to give you a lower profile and more natural downhill feel, but the difference isn't huge so it would be noticeable, but probably not something that's going to make or break the downhill performance you are looking for. Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions feel free to give us a call or use the live chat feature on our site.

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