WestSide Snow Report: Tis The Season
By Nate Bales
General Manager and Master Boot Fitter
Mountain to Sound Outfitters
Hello fellow snow sliders. If you are like me, this is the time of year I start getting really excited when the winter sport magazines start arriving in my mailbox with the latest and “greatest” new gear and gear “reviews.” These magazines are full of gear from heated socks to the best ultra-lite, nano, backcountry hybrid, all-mountain mono-skis, snowboards and the like. I am sure you’ve heard it all before, “These boots are great for wearing all day while carving on the blissful corduroy” or “This is the best all-mountain ski in the category. This ski/snowboard kills the crud, holds an edge on hard pack and can float like vanilla ice-cream in root-beer.”
Having been in the snow-sports industry for nearly two decades and a stint as a sales associate for a major ski manufacturer, I read those reviews and implicitly have a couple questions:
Will that new heated self buckling boot work with my foot shape?
I get that the new all “mountain ski of the year” is great from the parking lot, to the mountain, and everywhere in between, but can it ski moguls too?
BOTTOM LINE: With today’s equipment and the inherent technology, there is a boot, a board, a ski, a sock, and even wax for everyone out there and for what you are looking to achieve while enjoying your favorite winter activity. Maybe you are a backcountry enthusiast, a gate bashing racer, or simply enjoy blissful carving. Today’s equipment is tailored to what you enjoy while playing in the mountains. I like to think that I have not had the opportunity to meet everyone who writes the gear reviews. Therefore, how do they know what I like? Is their foot shape like mine? Do we share a similar riding or skiing style? Do they enjoy damp skis/snowboards or lively skis/snowboards?
One of the perks of my job as the winter sports buyer for Mountain to Sound Outfitters is that every year in early February, my co-workers and I get a couple days to try all next year’s equipment before I place the order for the up-coming season. The demo is also about six months before the gear reviews come out. The industry demo is basically like Christmas all over again, but only in mid-February. The demo allows us at Mountain to Sound Outfitters to buy equipment for the entire family and for all skill levels and also gives our employees first-hand experience that translates well when assisting customers in the store.
So if you are looking to get outfitted this season, come on in to your local specialty shop Mountain to Sound Outfitters, and tell us you read this article and you want to get techie or just ask for me, I’m Nate. Price, quality, service; pick any two, as you get yourself dialed in for the winter. And remember, when you use local shops, you will get taken care of with the service side, and you just need to decide price or quality. So if you have read this far, we want you to come in and talk to us about your recent travels in the mountains. After all, it is this camaraderie that keeps the winter stoke alive.
See you on the slopes.
If you would like to see more information please visit www.m2soutfitters.com for sales, rentals and tuning services for the upcoming season!
West Seattle Ski Swap is October 22nd-23rd! Buy and Sell New and Used Skis, Snowboards, Boots, Clothing, Winter accessories and more!