Johnny C – Jordan’s Crush

Post by blogger | May 21, 2012      

Jordan White

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.

Jordan getting intimate in Japan with Folsom's Johnny C

Jordan getting intimate with Johnny C in Japan. Photo by Caleb Wray

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.

Touring the Japanese side-country

Touring the Japanese side-country. Photo by Caleb Wray.

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.)


13 Responses to “Johnny C – Jordan’s Crush”

  1. Danno May 21st, 2012 9:00 am

    I have a pair of 3 or 4 year old Folsom Givers (mine were only semi-custom, offered in a special pre-season sale a few years ago) and I couldn’t agree more. The skis perform in every condition, and the durability is off the charts. Have not put a single shot in the bases. Jordan and Mike know what they are doing.

    I recall walking in to their factory to talk to Jordan about my skis (after I had received them and skied them a few times) and Mike, who I had never met, walked in, looked at my skis for a moment, looked at me and said “Dan?” Handmade skis that the builders know so well they know who I am without knowing who I am. That is cool.

  2. skeptic May 21st, 2012 12:39 pm

    Nice ad for Folsom.

    $1200 custom skis are awesome-o? That is some news right there.

    does a wildsnow writeup equal a swanky deal on those planks? That is worth knowing.

  3. Lou May 21st, 2012 12:45 pm

    Skep, Jordan likes the skis. Sorry about that. He might have gotten some kind of deal as he does work as a guide, but I doubt he got a deal base on his writing. But no doubt he made some good will one the part of the company as folks do like being covered here. If he’d published this same review, only changed name of ski to what you’re on, would you feel the same way?

  4. Jordan May 21st, 2012 2:52 pm

    Hey Skep,
    I paid for the skis. I wasn’t even asked to review them. I sent Lou the review because I loved the ski and wanted to see the small company who is making bomber skis promoted.


  5. Lou May 21st, 2012 3:20 pm

    Thanks for chiming in Jordan. Always interesting to me how people distrust it when we’re positive about something. Shucks.

  6. phil May 21st, 2012 3:26 pm

    what sort of weight are they? i couldn’t find mention on their web site. they also offer semi custom for $850 I’m guessing that this is same construction/durability?

  7. Caleb Wray May 21st, 2012 6:02 pm

    Jordan definitely paid for these sticks, and he loves them. They actually made him look like he could ski :).

    I have always thought that Lou has done a very good job of being fairly neutral in a game that makes that difficult. I know this because I have seen the whole process from beginning to end. I can understand the distrust though, I often have those thoughts when viewing sites of people I don’t know.

    Still, $1200 is what I am willing to pay for 4 pairs of skis. Skis are like trucks in my mind. Just a mode of transport that is gonna get beat up if used as intended.

  8. Lou May 21st, 2012 6:12 pm

    My mistake as an editor was that I didn’t hassle Jordan for the weight. And yes, I’ve seen in the photos that he’s just about ready for TGR (grin).

  9. Shredgar May 21st, 2012 10:13 pm

    Thanks for the write up, good stuff.

    Lou, will the Folsom Johnny C be included in the long promised Ultimate Quiver article?


  10. David B May 21st, 2012 11:30 pm

    The Folsom skis look good but reviewing the construction of the skis, why wouldn’t you go for the DPS Pure Carbon at the price point. Much better value and durability or get the same construction ie glass and carbon fibre in the DPS Hybrid for around $800.

    They seem to have similar side cut and rocker combos available.

  11. Phil May 21st, 2012 11:54 pm

    ahh the legend of the ultimate quiver, apparently somewhere in blogsphere on the weird wonderful web exsists a review of the best touring skis ever to be asembled. Some say it a myth, others say it real, few have seen it and lived to tell the tale. I don’t think the legend of the ultimate quiver will be confirmed in our lifetime

  12. Lou May 22nd, 2012 4:29 am

    Phil, LOL! I deserve it. Ultimate Quiver did get delayed by our crumby season and the extra traveling I ended up doing. But it turned out that the best way to do our ski review was to give it time, anyway, as we’re in no hurry to copy ski magazines and rush to print in time for Christmas shopping after skiing prototypes for a few hours and writing a paragraph about them. Instead, even next year we’ll publish Ultimate Quiver at end of season. And yeah, the myth is reality and publication is soon.

    As for what we included in Ultimate Quiver, it’s a review of what we liked and what we could get on loan for long-term testing, as well as skis we just plain favor and have acquired. Also, the way I did the Ultimate Quiver review is truly intended to be a sort of over-the-top quiver of skis, but still, a quiver, not a huge review of every ski out there. It’s sort of like, if I was a billionaire living in Whistler, was a billionaire because I was smart and didn’t necessarily go for expensive skis but liked have a large variety of skis, had a huge garage and a personal ski mechanic, what perhaps would my garage ski rack look like? Johnny C could have probably been in there, but it’s not. That particular day our billionaire was hosting a birthday dinner for his daughter at Trattoria Di Umberto (is that still there?) and had invited 80 people. He used up his cash for that week, and after that lost interest in ski shopping. Many other excellent skis are not in our review. Even so, I think you guys will enjoy it and find it useful. And I’m sure you’ll all be able to chime in with your favorites, which will complete the review.

  13. Phil May 22nd, 2012 2:39 pm

    i’m just jealous I have to make do with less skis and no euro ski holidays

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  Your Comments

  • atfred: Kristian, re sticky skins, fresh ski wax job helped much. Thanks!...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Marcus I'd call them similar. In fact, Ultimate was clearly designed to com...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Jeremy, I'm thinking of boots such as TLT7 that weight just under a kilo, a...
  • Steeplechase: Three questions for the review(s): 1) Setting weight aside, how well do ...
  • Jeremy C: A slight inconsistency in your weight requirements. The Hawx Ultra XTD 130...
  • Marcus: Could you compare the backland ultimate to a Dynafit PDG boot in stiffness?...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks Ross, that's probably a typo. Good eye! They're 27/27.5, I'll edit....
  • Ross: If your Ultra XTD's have a 312mm BSL they are probably size 27/27.5, not 28...
  • Taylor: Great write up. I agree with everything said. With regard to quick turn...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Jay, not at all. There might be another Arcteryx or Salomon boot they're si...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Matus, yeah, that's the issue with most good skiers in terms of whether a t...
  • jay: These backland carbon/ultimate boots are the same boots as the procline rig...
  • Matus: I just set both values a bit higher than I think I need and leave it as it ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Rudi and Matus, it's possible the lobes on binding heels such as MTN could ...
  • Matus: Re polls: Filtering is a good thing if you want it. And re manipulation - d...
  • Rudi: I have been skiing on a U spring binding all season. The only releases I've...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Matus, indeed, I've stated many times that if tech bindings were as bad as ...
  • Matus: I am 82 Kg / 181 cm (naked:) and have all binding set to 7-8 (whatever this...
  • Lou Dawson 2: The Backland-MTN U springs have a cap on the end that's easy to remove, and...
  • Werner Koch: Jim: Thanks, seems you are doing everything right already ; ) www.contours...
  • XXX_er: When losing is not an option different boots for different disciplines, dif...
  • trollanski: Matus. The information on the binding is fairly cryptic at this point becau...
  • Jim Milstein: Back to those tasty skins. Werner, I got the Contour Hybrids early fall...
  • Terrance: aemono,
  • Kristian: " Perhaps I can get a scientist to write a blog post to get it started." ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I think we're getting close to this post thread getting hijacked, since we'...
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  • aemono: Hey Terrance, you did put together some nice 'articles' for Bruno. That was...
  • Werner Koch: Hi, thanks, glad to hear. Regarding water, just get used to wipe off the ba...
  • Jim Milstein: Hi Werner, I like the Contour Hybrid skins a lot. Good glide, good grip. Ea...

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