Back to the Dark Side

Home after four days at Stratton. I started off well enough, spending the first day boarding. It was on the second day that I fell into sin. I hadn’t skied in years, and this year for my seventieth birthday, my son presented me with a set of Head Liquid Metal, short, 163cm. parabolic skis. So it really wasn’t my fault.

Subjecting myself once again to the torture of hard-shell ski boots, I snapped into the new skis, riding a quad to the top of a Blue cruiser. A shaky start. these buggers are fast, very fast. As advertised, the new, shaped skis turn without effort, but the reduced edge length puts less metal on the snow surface. When you edge to control your speed coming out of a turn, it’s as if nothing really happens. I found myself zooming at frightening speeds before regaining control. My last outing on skis had been on straight, 185cm. The new skis were rather like moving from a Buick Regal to a Honda CBR 600.

My second day on skis was at Okemo, again staying on the Blues. However, with temperatures in the low teens and howling winds scouring the snow off the exposed surfaces, I was skiing on hard-pack boilerplate. To my surprise, the new skis performed better than I remember any in my over forty years of doing this stuff.

After two days on the skis, I snuck back to the cool side, to boarding. Whether it was the change of pace or what, my riding on after two days of skiing was about the best I’ve ever experienced. I felt on top of my game, pulling out the stops and going until something like adrenaline depletion forced me to call it a day. Can’t wait to get back out. It will be a tough decision; ski, board, ski, board? Stay tuned.

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