How many of you have ever fallen for a ski? Happened to me, could happen to you.
I found myself walking into my buddy Austin’s shop over and over, stealing his pair of 190 Johnny C’s by Folsom Customs. I couldn’t resist. I was hooked. I offered him 400, okay 500 bucks cash for the well used pair. No deal, not for sale.
Plan B: A few days later I get on the phone with Mike McCabe, Folsom’s lead designer, and place my order for a custom pair. Mike is a big dude like me, and knows exactly how to make a man-size charger while keeping it light for touring.
I chose a black bamboo top sheet design and prayed that he would be done in time for our trip to Japan.
He made it to Japan, and now I am sitting on a plane bound for Anchorage, AK. Yes, Johnny C is along for the ride.
Back to Japan: On the north island of Hokkaido, we dropped into nasal hair deep powder. I didn’t see my legs for the rest of the day, but Johnny performed. He was fast and light on the up track, and ripping down the hill. Repeat for the next 10 days as it snowed 24 hours a day for the rest of our trip. JC was stellar. Our love was sealed.
Back in Colorado, Johnny C has been my go-to ski for the majority of the tours that we have eked out in our thin snow year. If I can say one thing good about a 37% snowpack season, the crummy conditions have been a good testing ground to see what a ski can handle from rocks, to slop, to boiler plate to breakable. I can truly say that I have never stood on top of another pair of skis that excel in every condition like these do.
Dimensions are sitting at 135-107-122 in a 190 cm length. Mike puts a slight early rise in the front that takes care of any surprises, and keeps you afloat, while still allowing full edge contact when you lay the ski over. The tail is cut straight for better climbing skin attachment.
If you have read my other reviews, you know my biggest issue with gear is durability. If I break it out there away from civilization it’s a big problem. This ski has been the most durable I have ever been on. They’ve taken hits that I dreaded looking at, only to see little more than a dent.
Yeah, yeah. I know what you are thinking. Aren’t custom skis really expensive. Answer is, well… yes. At $1,200 a pop they certainly hurt a wallet and that’s the only even close to negative thing I can come up with for this review. The price is worth it for three reasons. One, you are getting a ski that is customized to you and your style. Two, they last. Unlike many skis out there that are done after a season or two, I can attest from the quiver in Austin’s shop, the Folsoms do not tire easily. Another friend has skied a pair for 7 seasons, half of them in the Andes where rocks don’t get sharper. And three, once you go out with Johnny C, you aren’t going to covet anything else.
I sure don’t.
Check out their website for their complete line.
Plane is landing. Time for Johnny C and me to go skiing in Alaska!
Check ya later.
(WildSnow guest blogger Jordan White was the instigator of our WildSnow Denali ski trip in 2010. He’s a committed alpinist and ski mountaineer who always keeps his eyes on the Seven Summits. Jordan blogs here.)