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Russell's Passions

Running

Russell's Bio

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topomap wrote a review of on March 28, 2011

3 5

I bought this helmet in the hope of finally having a single helmet that I could use for skiing, rock climbing, river tubing, and whatever other random activities come up.

So far I've only use it for skiing. It fits well, ventilation works well (I occasionally put my hood up because my head gets cold), and seems to do a decent job of protecting my noggin.

My only complaint so far is the goggle clip, which is a total afterthought on an otherwise well-designed helmet. It doesn't hold your goggle strap in place very well and fell off during the first wreck I had. So I ordered another one and superglued it on. The second clip has held so far, but catches on stuff in my ski bag and I expect I'll break it eventually.

One trick I have found is to use the extra velcro dots that came with the helmet to help hold my ski goggle in place. They seem to be working okay so far.

I'll give it another star in a few months if the helmet holds up well to summer use.

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topomap wrote a review of on July 17, 2008

3 5

I bought one of these for my girlfriend who has bad knees and can't ski or snowboard without being in pain. It seemed like a good way for her to enjoy downhill runs in the backcountry. So far, it's been okay, but not stellar. We took it out on a couple of deep powder days near Tahoe (18" of new snow) and here's my take:
1) The Airboard itself is sturdy (thick PVC) and has heavy duty rubber on the bottom. I'm not too worried about punctures.
2) Setup is pretty easy. Pump it up and you're ready to go.
3) The pump is compact, but looks a little flimsy. I'm a little worried that the pump will get trashed in a wreck, but I'm sure we can buy another one if necessary.
4) It requires a pretty steep hill in order to get moving - steeper than I needed with my powder skis. I imagine it'll be easier to get moving in snow that's a little less deep. That said, you can always take a running start and jump on it.
5) Once it gets moving, it's a fun ride! Totally surfy feel. Bumps are great - face shots galore! Getting forward on the board helps with speed and turning. It's not as quick turning as skis or a snowboard, but you can direct it pretty well.
Aiming to take it out again next season and will update my review as we get more experience with it.

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topomap wrote a review of on September 20, 2006

3 5

I've had these skins for 1.5 seasons and they've served me okay. Definitely not great. Here are some pros/cons of the skins: GRIP: They stick really well on the uphills, but don't glide very well on the flats and downhills. ICING: They ice up, but are reasonably easy to clean and dry out. GLUE: Sticks to itself really well - you've got to be strong to get them apart. Otherwise, the glue is so-so at sticking to the skis. The skins tend to peel away from the skis after a while, but the tip and tail hardware work well to keep this from being too much of a problem. TIP/TAIL HARDWARE: Great - definitely the highlight of the skins. They stay on well and are quick and easy to put on. DURABILITY: Mediocre - They're already fraying. In comparison, a friend of mine bought her Black Diamond Guide Lite skins (the ones with the blue cow spots on them) at the same time and has done the same trips as I have. Her skins glide much better, don't ice up as much, and look as new as when she bought them. The tail attachment on the Guide Lites sucks, though. Next time, I'm buying Black Diamond skins.

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topomap wrote a review of on August 7, 2006

4 5

I'm on my second pair of these skis, and love 'em. They're lightweight, easy to turn, floaty in the powder, fun in moguls, and altogether make every day on the mountain a fun experience. I can't think of a better tree ski for west coast conditions.

Their light weight means that they get pushed around a bit in the crud, but they're still reasonably stable because of the fat waist.

Beware: The tips and tails are really soft, so you can't ski them like your normal carving skis. You really need to find that middle balance point, otherwise you'll skid your turns. That said, there are plenty of times when the soft tails have saved my ass after landing a jump and being too far in the back seat. You can actually control these skis while leaning backwards! (Not recommended, but this is probably why you see so many gapers riding Pocket Rockets).

Regarding the question of what length to buy, I ski near Lake Tahoe, CA, weigh 165 lbs, and ride the 185cm version. I've never had any trouble turning them.

The twin tips on these skis make attaching skins a bit more difficult. I'm currently using BCA skins and they've worked reasonably well. My friend uses BD skins on her 1080s and has a lot of trouble with the tail attachment coming off.

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topomap wrote a review of on August 7, 2006

4 5

The funky Salomon lacing system on these shoes works great - quick and easy to put your shoes on, and then relaiable when you're hiking - no more laces getting untied, caught on shrubs, easy to loosen/tighten up, etc. I use these shoes for hiking, and often wear them around camp with the lacing loose - unlike a regular shoe, I don't have any trailing laces to trip myself.

One other thing I like about these shoes is the big rubber toe guard - great for when you're hiking off-trail or scrambling up over rocks.

Potential Cons: The kevlar laces are held in place by a plastic speed-lace widget that could break. I've never had any problem with this, but it would really suck if this plastic thing were to break. I bet you could jerry-rig some sort of fix to get back to civilization, but it would be significantly more difficult to fix than regular laces.

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