An Insider’s Guide to Ski Leases: Tips and Advice

apres-ski-club     heavenly-condo-rental

Ski Leases. The Ins and Outs of Getting Into One. I’d like to talk to you about ski leases. Not the kind to lease ski equipment, but condo and cabin rentals for an entire ski season for ski addicts like us. I had never heard of one until the end of last season. After I learned about them, they seemed so intriguing and beneficial to my situation that I had to learn more. I finally got into one and would like to tell you about my experience with my first ski lease. By doing so, I hope that you will gain some insight into them and learn about what they are and how you too can get into one. I’ll start with my story and then provide a general description of a ski lease and then some tips from people that have lots of experience with them. Hopefully this will help you into your very own ski lease.

So, I discovered ski leases I saw them as a great ski housing opportunity for me and my family. You see, I’ve come back to skiing full tilt after almost 20 years of hiatus. Back in the day, I skied every opportunity I could get and being young and without responsibilities, never had an issue finding a place to crash when up in Tahoe. Back then, the freedom of being able to drive up to Tahoe, bum around, ski lots and have really no worries about a place to stay was taken for granted.

Flash forward twenty some-odd years and is it still that way? We all know that answer to that. Marriage and kids have become the major parts of the equation. Since the kids are now old enough to ski all day without a meltdown, we can go up a lot. However now when we go its not just me and my buds anymore. Can you imagine going up to Tahoe with my wife and three kids to just show up at someone’s place ready to crash there? It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

What is a family to do? Buying a ski house is out of the question right now. We could book a hotel stay, but that gets very expensive especially for those of us with a ski season pass with the goal of getting in as many ski days as possible. How about day trips? We gave had to go that route towards the end of last season because we were spending an ungodly amount of money on hotel stays. I’m sure I’m in a similar boat to many of you out there. The solution for someone like us was the seasonal ski lease.

What is it? Basically it is a rental of a condo or cabin in Tahoe for the ski season. If you know you’re going to Tahoe often for skiing then renting a condo/cabin for the ski season is a great alternative to paying for hotels/other lodging each time you go up. It can be more cost effective but also more convenient because you can leave your ski gear and clothing at your ski lease cabin and not worry about having a place to stay and the chore of having to pack for every ski trip. Combined with a season pass to your favorite ski resort, the major expenses are covered and you’ll only have the cost of meals and gas to worry about. If you’re a ski nut like me and aren’t yet in a similar situation, I can’t express how priceless it is to have peace of mind, comfort, and the convenience of having a ski season pass and a place to stay anytime during the season taken care of.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into a ski lease, how do you get into one of these great deals? Through my research, I’ve discovered three ways.

1- you can deal directly with the owner of a property and lease the place for you and your family for the season. If that is too costly, then you could ask families that you know if they’d want to go in with you and share the cost of the lease.

2 – you could contact a local professional that brokers these kinds of deals. I haven’t had much luck finding these professionals though. From what I’ve heard and if you can find one, they can put you in touch with owners that are looking to rent out their property. Once in touch with the owner, you could do the lease yourself or put together a group of members to split the cost. A good resource for Lake Tahoe area ski lease membership offerings is listed on Snowpals.

3 – you could go to online resources and search for individuals that already have a deal in place with the owner of the property and are looking for additional “members”. For those of you that are new to this, this route is probably the easiest way to enter the ski lease world. Snowpals is a great resource for Tahoe ski leases and has an entire section dedicated to available Tahoe area ski lease opportunities. For those of you looking for ski leases in areas outside of Tahoe, you could check TGR, Epicski forums or Craigslist for postings.

The cost per membership varies and there are so many options out there. I’ve seen listings on Snowpals for full season(typically December to April) ski lease membership for one person from $600 all the way to $2000. If you’re single and can spend just $600 for lodging for an entire season–that’s an amazing deal; let’s say you stay at the ski lease for a total of 30 nights, your cost per night would be $20 per night. Naturally, the more nights you stay, the more value you get from the ski lease. Signing up for ski lease membership is a great way to maximize your ski season pass since it encourages you to go up to Tahoe the night before and be close to the ski resort and can take advantage of a good night’s rest and skiing/riding fresh tracks/powder when resorts open. Also, the value of beating the crowds and traffic to the resort is priceless. In addition, getting into a ski lease gives you the chance to expand your social circle and make new friends.

So, how did I find my ski lease? I got into mine by letting everyone I knew know that I wanted to learn about ski leases and my desire of joining one. Within a short period of time, a friend contacted me to ask if my wife and I would be willing to go in with them on a ski lease. He knew the owners of a great place in Truckee and they mentioned to him that they wanted to rent the place for the ski season. I told him absolutely and that we should jump on that. We brought our families together along with one other family and now we have a great house to stay in any time we want from Dec 14 to May 15. Each “member” in our group is each family. We each paid an equal lump sum on November 1, have no guest fees and our lump sum cost includes all utilities and snow removal. It is such a great deal. Of course, if another family is up there when we go up, we must share the space with them, but since we all know each other and our kids are all friends, other members being up there makes our stay more fun. Also a great benefit is that we take turns watching the kids so each set of parents get some down time. We also rotate turns cooking so that gives us more quality time to enjoy our time together.

So what are some of the pitfalls? There have to be some, right? From my research, most pitfalls come from a misunderstanding of the rules of use when in a group ski lease. If you leased the place on your own, then the rules are yours and yours alone. However, if you are going into a ski lease as part of a group, then it is important to understand the rules otherwise there could be trouble. Of course it is important to click with the other members and if you do then it is important to nail down whatever rules all the members of the ski lease decide on. Here are some things to consider from my wise and experienced ski lease mates, Eric and Andy:

  • What does your membership cost include? Make sure you know up front what your membership cost includes and what other expenses (if any) you’ll be responsible for at the end of the lease (e.g. utilities, firewood, hot tub maintenance, snow removal, house cleaning services, etc.)
  • Guest fees. Some ski leases charge “guest fees” for non-members to stay overnight to cover any additional expenses for lease. Make sure you are clear about guest fees in your ski lease and the rules for them
  • Parking. What are rules for parking? Last thing you want is to go up late Friday night and not have a parking space or at least be prepared for no parking space. Consider the option to carpool or ride share to your ski cabin if you don’t have alot of people in your family and empty seats in the van/SUV.
  • Storage of your stuff. Can you store stuff at the ski cabin/ski lease and if so what are the rules and where do you store your stuff?
  • Priority for bedrooms. If it is important for you to be in a bedroom, then what are the chances that you might not get one if everyone in the membership happens to be up at the same time. Some ski leases have agreements to allocate a dedicated bedroom where it is solely yours for the entire season which is very beneficial to bringing your own bedding and store your winter clothing and gear in the closet for convenience and easy access.

So, if you go up to Tahoe a lot and need the convenience of your own home without the financial commitment, but want a more cost effective solution than hotels/motels, a ski lease is the way to go. There are so many different options available out there. A great place to start is our very own snowpals.org ski lease section of the website. If you’re in a different area than Tahoe, you can also try craigslist, TGR, epicski, snowheads forum and other places online in your search to join a ski lease.

Many thanks to Eric and Andy, my ski lease mates who share their many years of experience and useful advice on how best to get into a ski lease and reap the benefits of maximizing our ski season pass, lodging cost savings and most of all, deepening our friendship with shared experiences. Also many thanks to those of you who provided me with some great stories and advice.

Read more about ski leases and/or list yours

Take care and enjoy!

Joe Woo is Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. He lives with his family in the North Bay.

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Top Pick for Bay Area Ski Shop

Snowpals’ Top Pick for Bay Area Ski Shop goes to California Ski Company 

 

 

California Ski Company is a premier San Francisco Bay Area’s ski equipment shop specializing in:

  • alpine skiing(aka downhill skiing)
  • backcountry – the only SF Bay Area ski shop specializing in backountry
  • expert custom boot fitting
  • professional ski tuning
  • high-performance ski rentals

What is most important to you when you’re looking to buy or get your gear serviced? California Ski Company provides stellar customer service and has an experienced,  knowledgeable and capable staff with insightful answers to your product and gear questions. Most importantly, they care about your snow riding experience and have the track record to prove it — thousands of loyal customers.

“For more than 16 years, California Ski Company has been the Bay Area leader in specialty alpine ski sales, offering knowledge, expertise and experience that few volume retailers can. Our staff is what makes our store unique. We are a group of ski enthusiasts drawn together by the desire to work in a SKI ONLY environment where skiers come to learn about the latest and best products from people who spend every available moment using those products.”

Exclusive promotional offer 

Receive a free beanie or cap with any purchase of $50 or more; just mention that you saw this video on the Snowpals website to get in on this promo.

“Please click on the thumbs up ‘like’ button if you find our Youtube video informative. Thanks!”

 

 

 

 

 

California Ski Company | 843-A Gilman Street, Berkeley CA 94710 | 510-527-6411

Website: http://www.californiaskicompany.com

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How to join SnowPals

Life is about the friendships we cultivate, the places we visit, and the memorable experiences we share; SnowPals invite you to join us to share skiing and snowboarding experiences that will contribute to your collection of life’s treasured memories. Join us to connect with skiers and snowboarders of all levels for trips to Tahoe and to snow destinations beyond.

You know the story, after college, once settled in with a professional career, our circle of friends and activity partners become smaller by each passing year unless effort is made to reach out and connect with people who share common interests; well, here’s your chance. 😉

“Create ski and snowboarding memories today so when you’ll look back through the years, those are the moments that will be most vivid and will likely to triggered joyful smiles.”- Snowpals

What adventure(s) have you checked off your bucket list this year?

How do I join? Is there a membership fee?

We have a one-time membership fee of $20. This one-time fee helps us pay for web hosting, technical website services, group management and various operations such as facilitating Bay Area-Tahoe ride shares and organizing social events. Our aim is to help you connect with like-minded folks whose interest is snow-sports, network with other Bay Area professionals, and generally, grow your circle of friends. Our activities include pre-snow season ski-and-ride movie screenings, social events, and ski season parties. SnowPals is a dynamic, fun, friendly and engaging alternative to traditional ski and snowboard clubs for busy Bay Area professionals. Members range from newbies to experts in snow sports. Members ages vary from 18 to well into the 70s (single people and married couples with and without kids).

Membership perks include:

✔ Access to our Tahoe ridesharing members network of 8,025 members as of March 2017 (a free alternative to fee-based Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services)
✔ 10% off selected social events
✔ Swag and lift tickets raffle giveaway at our events
✔ In the off-season, we often facilitate connections for outdoors activities such as hiking, road cycling, mountain biking, wakeboarding, surfing, etc. to encourage an active lifestyle.

Founded in 1999 by a small group of friends; as of April 1, 2017, we have grown to 8,025 members. Join us to celebrate 18 years of snow sports activities and connect with members for Tahoe trips. Read some feedback from folks who’ve joined.

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* Please note: the group’s name was changed from Ski Pals to Snow Pals to include all snow sports (ski, snowboard, cross-country, telemark, back-country, and snowshoe).

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Kirkwood Under New Management: Oh, By The Way — Part 2 of 2

24 December 2012 

By Vicki Olds, aka Shibumi – “Snowpals Reporter At-Large”

Last week we asked some “locals” how they felt about the new management at Kirkwood. This week we’re highlighting a few dining destinations, and one historic B&B, along the way, and in Kirkwood Valley.

Let’s face it: Kirkwood is Big Mountain Fun—so close to the San Francisco Bay Area, you can practically smell it in the tule fog that makes your passage through the Central Valley, at times, harrowingly poetic. Yet getting from here to THERE can be a long haul, chomping 6-8 hours of your waking life in the to-and-fro, and that’s not accounting for a traffic accident (drive safely, always!) on two-lane Hwy 88. Boo. Goodness gracious, aren’t we lucky to have SnowPals to ride with to make the time fly?

Certainly, hitting the road in the pre-dawn to make the slopes and back by 9pm in a whirlwind, mission-from-God-type, herculean effort, is something many of us have done because, like, there’s no good reason to dally in the valley? Are you one of those people who feels lost if your smart phone can’t find a Starbucks near? Do you race along the byways of the Sacramento River delta, determined to put as many miles behind you as your gas tank and bladder will allow with no favorite pit stop?

LOCKEFORD, CA

On Hwy 88, and about fifteen miles northeast of Stockton, you will find the hamlet of Lockeford, home of the COUNTRY CAFÉ that opens every day at 5:30am. This is the place you bring your big appetite, to leave it behind. Breakfast burritos ($7), chicken fried steak and eggs ($9), and the Combo Special of waffles plus 3 eggs plus 3 sausages ($8.50) are eye openers. Fish & chips, homemade salsas and generous Mexican dinners, such as Chili Verde Steak with rice & beans ($10.29), are served until 8pm—except on Tuesday when the cafe closes at 2pm. Have a beer and try the Gnarley Head house wines, locally-produced by Oak Ridge Winery in nearby Lodi CA.

THE INN AT LOCKE HOUSE is a beautifully restored bed and breakfast operation on property listed on the National Register of Historic Places, about 1,000 feet north from town center on Elliot Road. Proprietors, Lani and Richard Eklund bought the original estate of Dr. Dean J. Locke, founder of Lockeford, twenty years ago; fixed it up with love of finer things for six years, and now offer guest rooms with private baths—some with their own fireplace—all with views of English gardens. They’ll make you an Early Bird breakfast to-go if you want to hit the road before breakfasts are served between 7-9:30am. (209) 727-5715 http://www.theinnatlockehouse.com

JACKSON and PLYMOUTH, CA

Hwy 88 takes a dogleg in Jackson, to merge, briefly, with Hwy 49 in Gold Country. You’ll pass lots of eateries and hotels here. If you want sushi, OKO SUSHI is a gem for tempura lovers. It’s by the Safeway and other fast food joints at the north end of town on Hwy 49. If you keep going north just 12 miles, the town of Plymouth is the unlikely home of Zagat’s “#1” rated restaurant in the whole Sacramento Region, TASTE. Dinner entrees range from $31 to $50; yet we have filled-up on an array of appetizers … and wines! Plymouth calls itself the gateway to famous Amador Wine Country, and Taste is a five-time winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. But it’s not fussy. And you can’t miss it as it seems the only bustle on Main Street. (Gee, I just can’t say enough about this place, so I won’t.) Try it, someday.

KIRKWOOD, CA

You’re here! Before you buckled your boots, there are several hot BREAKFAST options to hold out for. MONTE WOLFE’S MOUNTAIN KITCHEN is to the left of the Kirkwood tickets office, off the main Mountain Village plaza. Daily, from 8a-4:30p, Starbucks coffee is served alongside pastries, eggs, salads, sandwiches and soups. Say hello to Chef “Daddy Wolfe” (he’s a burner) who makes a mean Wolfe Burger with chipotle aioli, cheese, bacon, and sautéed onions—totally non-fattening! There’s a “baked potato” bar and the full-service THUNDER SADDLE BAR here to hoot in, too. Or, slide into the Red Cliffs lodge where the KIRKWOOD GENERAL STORE offers “the best breakfast sandwich on the hill,” with a full service espresso bar, at their deli, as well as other sundry comforts, 7:30a-6p. SNOWSHOE THOMPSONS at Timber Creek, Chair 7, has hot pastries, burgers and pizza—no wonder the kids love it! Open 10a-4:30p, 7 days a week.

Did you know the KIRKWOOD INN & SALOON offers a Saturday Night Prime Rib Dinner ($26.95), and $2 tacos during Happy Hour, Monday through Friday 3-5p? BUB’S PUB (nee Cornice Grill) with nine beers on tap, and veggie and casual menu options served in the glow of big-screen TVs, is everyone’s favorite sports bar. It’s been getting a facelift lately, yet when Bub’s reopens they’ll be serving Pizza & A Pint ($7.25) and Dirty Blonde Ale pints for $4 from 11a-9p. Dinner reservations are required at OFF THE WALL BAR & GRILL but you can enjoy their primo location, and upscale wine and bar choices Sunday through Thursday, with a lunch menu on Friday and Saturday only, from 11a-5p. 209-258-7365

For a full list of Kirkwood noshes, please visit http://winter.kirkwood.com/site/resort-services/resort-dining.

Why not enjoy the ride, on and off the hill?

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Kirkwood Under New Management: What Does It Mean For Us Locals? — Part 1 of 2

17 December 2012 

By Vicki Olds, aka Shibumi – “Snowpals Reporter At-Large”

What does this mean for us Bay Area Snowpals, and the local Kirkwood crews who have faithfully served us for years–some of us for decades? Find out in this exclusive, two-part Snowpals report.

When Vail Resorts, a premier mountain resort development company based out of Colorado, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort, announced in March 2012 that they were joining forces, some fans of the Kirkwood resort community in California braced, defensively, for big changes; others took a big sigh … of relief.

Kirkwood is a four-season township and recreational services development, located just 11 miles south (as the crow flies) of the Lake Tahoe basin and a 35-mile drive from the city of South Lake Tahoe, on Hwy 88 in California. In the winter, Kirkwood Mountain Resort focuses on skiing and snowboarding, and hiking and mountain-biking activities in the summer. A long-time favorite of San Francisco Bay Area snow riders in-the-know, Kirkwood is famous for its epic vistas (more reminiscent of European valley ski experiences), deep snow, and challenging stacks of terrain. Now, Kirkwood is Vail Resorts’ most western and southern star for this corporation whose mission is the “experience of a lifetime” for luxury, destination-based travelers and property owners.

WHAT’S UP WITH NEW MANAGEMENT

Kirkwood opened their 2012-2013 ski season with all ski lifts operating on Friday, December 7, 2012. It was a shake-down week; a trial run for newbies and employee associates that had stuck around after the Vail Resorts buyout. We spoke with some “olde timers” who have lived, and worked, on the mountain … trying to ascertain the local’s zeitgeist in the valley.

“A lot of people wanted to leave when the new management came in. They’re really liability-minded. I mean, Kirkwood (old management) used to be ‘OK, whatever, make it work,’ and now there are all these rules and regulations. But it’s probably for good … I mean, Kirkwood was losing its ass; up to here in a lot of debt and big ideas. They had a vision for development of the valley that just didn’t fulfill as fast as it could … all these time-shares, condominiums. I blame it on global-warming.”

— 4-yr Kirkwood Maintenance Associate

“Whatever everyone says, I love it. They’re coming professional and we’re in it for the long haul. Now we don’t have to worry about the Big Picture. Vail knows what’s it’s doing. This place is going to be more beautiful than ever.

— Kirkwood Meadows homeowner, since 2002

“A lot of my friends are all ‘no’ … but they just don’t know what’s going to happen. Personally, I think things will get better because if VR hadn’t bought us, no one would be skiing Kirkwood this season. It was that bad. Now we’ll be able to do the right thing for the valley (environmental) development and us skiers. You may not notice it but by this time next year you’re going to see some changes!”

— 3-yr. Kirkwood Ski Rentals Dude

Vail Resorts also owns the venerable California mountain ski resorts of Northstar at Tahoe and Heavenly (aka The Heave) which spans Kingsbury Grade in Nevada to the east, and Ski Run Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe, California to the west. All three resorts are recognized world-class snow riding destinations, with Northstar being more “chic; family-oriented”; Heavenly serving “the masses”; and Kirkwood having a higher concentration of locals saying, “WTF! Let’s ride!” … IMHO.

So, expect Kirkwood to be spruced-up a bit; the facility equipment better maintained (not left out overnight); the walkways and byways around the Mountain Lodge ‘chopped & trimmed’; and signage for services, escapes and splurges a bit more defined. Around Kirkwood Valley, Caples Resort is under new management, and valley restaurants, and the venerable Red Cliffs Lodge, are having face-lifts, too (more on this in Part II of this report).

Safety and guest service considerations are paramount for the sugar daddy, Vail Resorts, whose affiliate, Rock Resorts, is a hotel development concern with operations in the U.S., Caribbean and Jamaica. I couldn’t find much on Vail or Rock Resorts environmental track records, operating in some of the world’s most pristine environments as they do. Yet, the slick “Echo” program video at http://www.vailresortsecho.com/ indicates a long-term, “local ecology”, marketing savvy.

Let’s hope the new mountain resort management comes through for the locals and the communities around NorthStar and Heavenly … and now, Kirkwood, in California—good for us who have been patronizing this year-around, off-the-beaten-path, treasure, and for all who care about preserving the unique environmental resources of Kirkwood Valley, Caples Creek and Silver Lake wilderness areas—and, HECK, the whole Lake Tahoe Basin, in general!

NEXT WEEK:

Kirkwood Under New Management:

What FUN! — Part 2 of 2

+++

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkwood_Mountain_Resort

Kirkwood Mountain Resort opened its ski lifts in 1973. Now Kirkwood is a year-round resort, headquartered in the hamlet of Kirkwood, California, 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive, Kirkwood, CA 95646, 209-258-6000.

Kirkwood has 2,300 skiable acres, 12 lifts, and 65 trails. With lodge accommodations in the valley (tel. 800/967-7500), and dining options, this is a great year-round destination. The shuttle service to downtown/State Line, South Lake Taho, is $5 each way.

Kirkwood Tickets, Passes, Frequent Flyer Programs

http://summer.kirkwood.com/site/tickets-passes

Vail Resorts, management company

http://www.vailresorts.com/Corp/index.aspx 

Vail Resorts, resort sales & information

http://www.snow.com/

Kirkwood Mountain FaceBook Friends (please “like” on Facebook: it’s good for the locals and will prompt Vaile Resorts to pour more money in to Kirkwood Valley’s future)

https://www.facebook.com/KirkwoodMtn

Map of Kirkwood Valley:

Kirkwood-vallley-map

Gear Review: Praxis MVP Skis

 

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Praxis MVP Skis Skill Level: for intermediate to free ski professionals. Currently the ski for Drew Tabke – freeride world tour champion.

Price when purchased: $689 for stock version. $879 for custom version with carbon layup.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Category: All mountain ski

Dimensions (mm): 133-110-126

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 183cm

Sidecut Radius: 24 meters

Measured Weight Per Ski: 2,119 grams

Boots/Bindings: ie.. Lange RS 130/ Look pivot 18

Mount Location: -4 cm from Recommended Line

FLOTATION/SURFABILITY: EXCELLENT

STABILITY AT SPEED: EXCELLENT

QUICKNESS/BUMPS: GOOD

FORGIVENESS/FUN: GOOD

CRUD PERFORMANCE: EXCELLENT

HARD SNOW INTEGRITY: ACCEPTABLE

Test Location: Squaw Valley USA, North Lake Tahoe, CA

Days Skied: 6

Parting thoughts: Great all around ski. Can be a quiver of one ski.

What follows is a gear review of the Praxis MVP skis from your everyday working man who’s passionate about that sensation of floating on untracked powder: 

I just finished three days on my new MVP’s and thought I’d tell you about them since there doesn’t seem to be much out there about them. I’ll start by telling you a bit about me so that you can determine if you want to take what I say with a grain of salt or decide that maybe this may be helpful to you. then I’ll describe my observations with this ski and you can do what you want with the info. My hope is that you will gain some sort of insight (good or bad) about this ski if you are in the process of pulling the trigger or not.

So, I am a early 40’s guy, 6’0, 205 lbs (athletic, gold medal at SF tri last year, scratch golfer that wins amateur tournaments), that is now able to ski again because my kids are now old enough to enjoy time on the mountain. I used to ski lots in high school and college and was considered an expert. Zipper lining was my favorite past-time. the bigger the bumps the better. I would also huck cliffs and anything else that would impress my friends and girls because I was fearless. They tried to get me to race in Nastar stuff, but I just wanted to rip around with my buds.

So, fast forward many years, three kids later and a great career. I’m back to skiing again and its like riding a bike. You never forget how to although it seems like “carving” is all the rage these days. When I learned, I was taught to ski as fast as you can in as strait a line as you can, keep your upper body pointed downhill and only pivot your skis to control your speed. I skidded my turns to control speed.

With this “carving” thing all the rage, my trusty 195 K2 5500’s weren’t going to cut it anymore so I bought some used Atomic Slalom skis and skied them all last season. They are pretty awesome skis and you can turn so quick in them. They are stiff as boards too.

Then all I kept hearing about last season is “rocker” and wide skis. So this year I bought a pair on a leap of faith without trying any. I orignally ordered Praxis Pist Jibs. Keith then recommended that I go with MVP’s and that’s what I did. Praxis MVP, 184’s, Medium/Stiff with Carbon/glass layup. Bindings mounted on boot center on dot indented on left side of ski. They are not nearly as stiff as my Atomics.

I skied them for the first time on Friday at Squaw. Basically all on groomers, the steepest terain being Siberia Bowl, but mostly on the runs off Shirley Express. I love moguls so was happy to see little bumps form. Anyhow, on Friday the skis felt very “spinny” or pivoty. They wanted to pivot at the slightest movement. I’m guessing my first experience with rocker?

The tails kept washing out on me and the tail tips would cross a lot. I also felt very forward on this setup and noticed that the bindings looked too centered on the skis. When the speed increased the tails seemed to behave a lot better and so I started seeing how fast I could go until I felt unsafe on them. At higher speeds, they would start twisting around on me. Its like there is some sort of speed sweet spot on these. Not enough speed and the tails misbehaved and too much speed and they start being thrown all over the place. I was not happy on Friday. I hated these skis. I wanted my Atomics back.

So after Friday I needed to do something about these skis since I dropped a boatload on them. I took the skis to the Squaw shop and asked them to remount them for me. The centeredness of the bindings bothered me so I eyeballed the binding position that looked right to me and asked the guys in the shop to remount them there. That ended up mounting the bindings with the boot center mark 4 cm behind the mark on the left side of the skis.

What a difference that made!! It is like a totally difference ski. Not sure of the technicalities of moving the mount position but it looks right now. Better for my old style of skiing? Don’t know.

By today, I’ve got them so dialed in and I feel I have total control over them. Not one crossed tip or tail, zip through bumps, great skidded turning and sometimes I would even get on the edges and carve some nice turns that felt locked into the snow and solid. I had lots of fun Saturday and today. I don’t feel a speed limit anymore and they are now stable at high speeds. I did plenty of beginner slopes too, teaching my kids skiing and these skis are much better when going faster.

Anyways, that’s what I have to say about these so far. Again only three days on these and all on piste. I feel like I have the control like my Atomic slalom skis with solid edges that I can lock into the snow, but also with the rocker for deeper snow that hopefully I’ll be able to experience soon.

I totally love them now and have confidence to do anything on them now. I have the feel of my Atomics in a modern form factor that will add to the terrain I can ski with them. I want to try the 187 to see if I can control them as well as I can mine at 184.

Those are my thoughts on these. Hope this review helps someone in the purchasing decision process . Take care!

Gear review by Joe Woo who mainly ski Squaw and Alpine; he’s based out of the North Bay.

Snowpals is looking for snowboard, related snow gear and apparel review contributors; if you have a unique writing style that engages the reader, to share a writing sample.  

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Interest polls – what’s your two cents?

 

Share your preferences via our polls

 

INTEREST POLL 1

Would an engaging themed ski bus trip interest you?

Please reply to this poll if you're interested: we're planning to offer a regular ski bus and a 'singles' themed ski bus from the Bay Area to Tahoe resorts for the 2012-13 winter season and would like to gauge interest. You can select multiple options below. (Your email will not be shared).
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→ INTEREST POLL 2

On-mountain meetup

For the 2012-13 winter season, we'll help facilitate at the resort 1:00 PM lunch break meetups; connect with folks to ski and ride with and for apres ski & ride dining and happy hour. If you are interested, reply to this poll to get on the contact list. You can select more than one choices below.
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→ POLL QUESTION 2

What's your Skiing / Snowboarding Experience?

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→ POLL QUESTION 3

Which Tahoe resort do you ski / ride at most often?

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Did you know we’re having one final POWder party on WED, DEC 5 at 6:30 PM, view event details and RSVP

 

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FREE TICKETS to Snowbomb’s Ski & Snowboard Festival

 

 

 

 

Gather family and friends to attend the 2012 Snowbomb’s Ski & Snowboard Festival aka Ski and Board Fest.

2012 SILICON VALLEY SKI & SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL ON SAT & SUN 11/17-18 AT THE SAN JOSE FAIRGROUND 

 

FREE GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS

 

Use our ‘ snowpal ‘ discount code to receive ONE FREE general admission; one ticket per person(1,000 tickets will be given away; when the code doesn’t work any longer, it means all the free tickets have been given out). If you appreciate these free tickets, like us on our facebook page to get connected for future promos and giveaways.

HALF OFF VIP WINE AND BEER TASTING TICKETS, now $20, was $40

 

For those who’d like to enjoy unlimited wine and beer tastings, buy the VIP ticket; use our ‘ snowpal ‘ discount promo code to get 50% off VIP wine and beer tasting tickets for $20(regular $40). VIP tickets also include free two nights hotel stay at The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada. The closest ski resort is Mt Rose which is only a 35 minutes drive away.

General admission and VIP event tickets include two free lift tickets(see below for details and restrictions).

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Saturday, November 17, 2012 starts at 11:00 AM – ends on Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 6:00 PM (PST) at the Santa Clara County Fairground 344 Tully Rd San Jose, CA 95111 – map and directions:


View Larger Map

This event is open to all ages. The ski & snowboard show will have lots of games for adults and kids where you can win lift tickets, season passes from resorts and prizes for playing; your event ticket might pay for itself if you win a lift ticket or a season pass. One price structure: admission tickets are for all ages(adults, children, seniors).

ID check for those who’d like to enjoy the libations – VIP tickets for wine and beer tastings are for 21 and older.

If you’d like a special ski show expo only discounted pricing on a Season Pass(regular, college pass, seniors, etc) to your favorite Tahoe resort, attend to get in on discounted season pass offerings.

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What are the available ticketing options?

General Admission Tickets (regular price of $20). Includes 2 FREE LIFT TICKETS: China Peak & Dodge Ridge – *some restrictions apply, see below.

OR

VIP Admission Tickets (Discounted $10.00 with ‘ snowpal ‘ discount code; the discount represents a 25% off regular price of $40)

VIP tickets include all benefits of Gen Admission Ticket PLUS free commemorative wine or beer glass and unlimited beer or wine tasting for 4 hours & a free two night stay at The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino (See below for restrictions*)
 

Event Hours:

Saturday @ 11AM – 8PM

Sunday @11AM – 6PM
Ticket is good for (1) day only – either Saturday OR Sunday.

VIP TICKETS DISCOUNT: Use ‘snowpal’ discount promo code to get 50% off VIP tickets 

 
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SATURDAY WINE TASTING
  • Over 50 Wineries
  • Starts at 1pm
  • Ends at 6pm
SPEND THE DAY SIPPING YOUR FAVORITE WINES, TRYING NEW LABELS ALL WHILE GEARING UP FOR THE 2012/13 WINTER SEASON.

THE WINE EXPO PORTION PRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WINE, ITS PRODUCTION AND ITS MANY COMPLEXITIES IN A FUN, RELAXED ATMOSPHERE.

 

SUNDAY BEER TASTING

  • Over 30 Breweries
  • Starts at Noon
  • Ends at 5pm

REGARDLESS IF YOU PREFER A PILSNER, STOUT OR AN AMBER ALE, THE BREW EXPO COMPONENT OF THE FESTIVAL HAS YOU COVERED.

SAMPLE MICRO-BREWS FROM AROUND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AND TALK TO BREW MASTERS ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT SEASONALS ARE CREATED. 

 
 
 
Event Details:
 

FREE LIFT TICKETS: EVERYONE receives TWO FREE LIFT TICKETS for attending!

TWO free nights at Grand Sierra Resort with VIP tickets
Restrictions: Valid Sun-Thurs Nov 1st – Jan 31st Based Upon Availability

 

* ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO SKI OR TRANSWORLD SNOWBOARD MAGAZINE WITH ADMISSIONWith admission, receive a subscription to your choice of either SKI or Transworld Snowboarding Magazine ($5 value).

 

* Free Lift Tickets Restrictions:

+ China Peak
Valid Sunday-Friday
Black out days: December 23-31, 2012 / January 1-4, 2013 / January 20-21, 2013 / February 17-18, 2013.

+ Dodge Ridge
Ticket will be valid everyday through December 25th, 2012.
Ticket will also be valid Monday – Friday January 7 – 17, 2013 & Monday – Friday March 4 – Closing Day, 2013.

+ Sierra at Tahoe
2 for 1 Lift Ticket Deal
Restrictions Coming Soon

OFFICIAL EVENT WEBSITE: www.skiandboardfest.com

WINE/BEER TASTING: Festival features wines and beer tasting from over 100 top wineries and breweries. Four hours of UNLIMITED tasting and commemorative glass with VIP ticket. Check event website for participating wineries and breweries.

SKI/SNOWBOARD SALE EXPO SHOW: Hosted by Lombardi Sports we’ll have over $1 Million dollars in goods from top brands such as Burton, K2, Atomic, Rossignol and many, many more… ALL AT UP TO 80% OFF!!!

**PARKING IS LIMITED: Public transit, walking & biking is encourage as parking is limited at the venue.  Additional parking is available at Marina Green on a first come basis.

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Completed:

 

(1) Saturday, November 10, 2012 starts at 11:00 AM – ends Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM (PST) at the Cal Expo Center 1600 Exposition Blvd Sacramento, CA 95815

Get 1/2 off general admission or 1/4 off VIP tickets 2012 SACRAMENTO SKI & SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL

(2) Nov 3-4, 2012: Get 1/2 off general admission or 1/4 off VIP tickets 2012 SF SKI & SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL

Saturday, November 3, 2012 starts at 11:00 AM – ends Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 6:00 PM (PDT) at the Fort Mason Center Marina Blvd. & Buchanan St. San Francisco, 94123 |  View Map and Get Directions 

Resort Exhibitors: