THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO

Denver, CO

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THOMAS's Passions

Hiking & Camping

THOMAS's Bio

"If you're not living close to the edge, then you're taking up too much space."

THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO wrote an answer about on October 9, 2012

I have Dynafits mounted on the Jags at the suggested position and think they're perfect there for a fixed heeler. I also ski while pressing the tips hard. With that said, I imagine 1-2cm behind the line will work best for a tele setup.

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THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO wrote a review of on December 13, 2011

5 5

I was fortunate to spend the majority of the 2010/2011 ski season on the 182cm Jaguar Shark. My intended use for these was for the backcountry and with my prior bc setup being the 190 Bibby, I wanted something shorter with a flatter tail: enter the Jag Shark.

For their maiden voyage, I took the Jags down a 45-degree couloir with snow ranging from head-high blower to cream cheese recycled pow to a super rippable apron at the bottom. The learning curve on these was incredibly short and was able to fully understand the ski immediately. Compared to the Bibby, the Jags like to turn more which shouldn't be a surprise with the lower turn radius. Once I got these in deep snow, I easily fell in love. Yes, the Bibby Pro slays it in powder, but the Jags are slightly softer and plane far quicker at slower speeds. Once conditions get tracked out, the Jags still hold their own and for someone at 170lbs., the 182cm length was a solid fit. However, if I needed a inbounds-only ski, I would likely opt for the 192cm length.

Aside from a season spent almost entirely in deep snow, I had more than a handful days on firmer, steep snow and the Jags held an edge with the best of them. Yes, 116mm in the waist is likely too wide for most mountaineering types, but I had no complaints especially with the ability to slarve your way down sideways. At 9.0 lbs., these are likely far lighter than every other comparable ski on the market within the price range, something to consider when making a choice for a backcountry ski where tip rocker, camber underfoot, and a flat tail for anchoring is ideal.

As far as durability goes, I put in a good 40 days on the Jaguar Shark and they show no sign of use or abuse. The topsheets are in great condition, edges like new, and the bases lacking any core shots.

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THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO wrote a review of on December 8, 2011

5 5

"How would you describe the Bibby Special in one word"?
Confidence-inspring.

As someone whose everyday ski for the past 2+ seasons has been the 190 Bibby, I was beyond stoked to hear of this new design since it's pretty much everything I've ever wanted in a ski that no one has yet to make. After 12 days of slaying groomers at Breckenridge and Keystone, and after a powder day at Vail with 9" of overnight snow, I'm convinced this will be my everyday driver for the life of the ski.

"What makes this ski so awesome?"
The Bibby Special will push you. It will make you a better skier.

Not once have I found a speed limit. The Bibby Special loves speed. It thirsts for it. And it will reward you handsomely for driving it as hard as possible. Unlike the 190 Bibby which I understood after only a few turns, it wasn't until after a few runs did I fully understand how the unusual sidecut on the Special functions: half the ski wants to turn, the other half wants to go straight. But once you allow the ski to travel on its predetermined arc and not force it beyond its capabilities, I feel most skiers will be amazed with how well the Special handles firm conditions.

"How does this ski handle soft snow?"
Simply put, the Bibby Special is a powder destroyer.

The key to powder skiing on the Special is to keep a more neutral stance. I found that when driving the tips hard into the snow, the ski was not reacting favorably. But once I remained centered and allowed the ski to do the work for me, I could not have been happier with its performance. Immediately, I began searching for anything and everything I could jump off of, and once I did, I was amazed by how well the Special stomps. Never before have I been more confident flying off cliffs and expecting to land each and every time regardless of how smooth or sketchy the impact may be.

"But what happens once the mountain gets tracked-out?"
I dare you to find a better powder ski that can bust through crud this well.

While the statement above may seem over-zealous for a few, I have not been on a ski this shape before that sliced through crud so easily and effortlessly. Towards the end of that lone powder day at Vail, I was cruising through chop at unsafe speeds without any hesitation. At one point, I tried my best to point the tips straight downhill through a long mogul field hoping to yard sale and prove a point that the Bibby Special has a flaw. I failed. There are no flaws. In the end, the Bibby Special will elevate your skiing. For those that desire a stiff powder ski that can be used anywhere on the mountain, that can handle any condition, and that will give you incredible assurance in the air and on snow, check out the Bibby Special.

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THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO wrote an answer about on November 1, 2011

The 184 will be plenty good in tight spots. I skied the 190 for a few seasons and never had any trouble in the trees. At your size/aggressiveness, I would go for the 184 instead of the 174.

For what it's worth, I'm 5'10", 170# and like to go fast.

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THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO wrote an answer about on October 14, 2011

The Bibby Pro is truly a one-ski quiver. The 190 length was my everyday ski for all of the '08, '09, and '10 seasons here in Colorado. Not only does it charge hard in firm conditions, but it's still plenty playful in the trees and tight spots. Since owning the Bibby, I've tried other skis more specialized to firm conditions, and in the end, I ended up ditching them because the Bibby does it all.



Here's a video I put together a couple years back showcasing how good this ski is:

http://vimeo.com/4056083

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THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO wrote a review of on February 15, 2011

The last insulated jacket I buy.
5 5

So this review is for the 2011 Flow FX. First impression, love the denim feel/look (currently have the Absynthe color). It's rated at 820 eVent which is a measure of thickness, and I feel more comfortable skiing/skinning through trees without worrying about any rips or tares than I have in any other gear. At a hair over 4 lbs, the Flow FX is indeed on the heavy side but the plush Polartec interior will leave you forgetting that when it's super cold outside.

Second impression, DEEP pockets all around. The Flow FX has two large chest pockets with seamless zippers that are actually a bit hidden for a lack of a better description. The two hand pockets are also voluminous, and Westcomb designed a sleek look with the addition of a single snap button to keep the pockets more streamlined.

Back to the interior - again, plush is how to best word the feel of the material. You definitely sense right away that you get what you pay for. This is a very warm but also very breathable jacket as eVent is superior to anything out there right now. Pit zips are long and again, seamless and waterproof. I'm 5'10", 180 lbs and the large fits roomy but not excessively baggy. I probably could have fit into a medium but opted for a more freeride look.

Overall, I'm very impressed by the warmth, feel, durability, breathability, and waterproofing of the Flow FX. I recently spent a weekend that dropped over 30" of snow in Colorado and was surprised to end the day as dry as I did. Lastly, you can feel good buying from Westcomb knowing they make all their garments in Canada.

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THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO wrote an answer about on January 28, 2011

The Bibby Pro handles tight spots very well because of the shortened effective edge (around 120cm) from having a healthy amount of tip and tail rocker. Even with a flex that's stiffer than most skis of similar design and function, you can smear it and shut down speed with the best of them.

For east coast, go with the 184cm length ... you won't regret it.

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THOMAS ARMENTO

THOMAS ARMENTO wrote an answer about on January 28, 2011

You don't need early rise on the Ruby. I used to ski the 190cm version before the Bibby Pro was created and had no trouble with float in conditions of up to 16" of new snow.

That aside, the Ruby will not be offered in 2011/2012. Instead, there will be a ski 116mm in the waist with a flat tail and tip rocker in a medium flex.

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