Atomic Ski Boot Flex Testing Machine

By Lou Dawson  
Atomic boot flex testing machinery. We need a name for this rig.

Atomic boot flex testing machinery. We need a name for this rig. I propose “Atomic BS Detector.”

I recently enjoyed visiting Atomic headquarters in Austria, lots to write about. For now, in my opinion one of the reasons Atomic usually has ski racers on World Cup podiums is they have a highly technical corporate culture. While doing things by “feel” can be valid, one area where I’d like to to see more documented measurement is in the area of boot flex. The industry throws numbers around (130!) like a coach throwing soccer balls at a grade school field practice. My understanding is quite a bit of that is simply done by employees buckling into the boots and essentially sticking a number on what they feel, most often related to other boots in the same brand rather than an industry-wide standard.

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Posted by Lou Dawson on February 24, 2017 | Filed Under Backcountry Skiing ,    Boot Fitting ,    Boot Reviews

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ISPO 2017 — Zerogear Air Insulated Emergency Clothing Layer

By Lou Dawson  

When I’ve got an hour I always head to the ISPO New section of the show. I look for one thing there that deserves a blog post of its own. Found it. Zerogear. Just the name makes this core weight weenie want one!

(NOTE: We’re not certain this product is actually in retail, attempts to contact the company have been unsuccessful and their shopping cart appears to be a lash-up, so I’ll publish this post assuming you can purchase the product — though that may not be the case…)

We've seen air insulated clothing before, but I can't remember anything purposed for emergency use.

We’ve seen air insulated clothing before, but I can’t remember anything clearly purposed for emergency use. Launched at this winter’s Outdoor Retailer and ISPO, Xerogear vest weighs 57 grams. It’s designed to go where you go, no matter what.

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Posted by Lou Dawson on February 23, 2017 | Filed Under Backcountry Skiing ,    Budget Gear - Backcountry ,    lightweight gear ,    Misc Gear Reviews ,    Skimo Racing

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ISPO 2017 — Scarpa, Trab and More

By Lou Dawson  
Your friendly blogger at Marker Volkle chatting with Stian Hagen.  I wasn't covering skis at ISPO so I won't go into happenings at Volkl, though all their happenings are good happenings.

Your friendly blogger at Marker Volkl chatting with Stian Hagen. He’s always got a take. I wasn’t covering skis at ISPO so I won’t go into happenings at Volkl, though all their happenings are good happenings (including the beer bar at their booth which is apparently open 12 hours a day). I found it much more interesting hearing about Stian’s impressive attempt to ski the whole Jotunheimen traverse in one push (frozen hydration system), his opinions about airbag packs (heavy and perhaps over rated in terms of how my safety they offer), and the fact that yes Marker had to remove the boot locator tabs from the toe unit of the Kingpin.

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Posted by Lou Dawson on February 22, 2017 | Filed Under Backcountry Skiing ,    Misc Gear Reviews

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