Archive for the ‘Ski’ Category

Kevin Pearce rides again, thanks to family

Friday, January 6th, 2012
The Daily Nightly
Kevin Tibbles writes

LUDLOW, VT. – The first time I met Kevin Pearce he was flying high. It was the run-up to the Vancouver Olympics and this young kid from Vermont was poised to take the podium on snowboarding’s half pipe for the U.S. Olympic team.

He was a good looking, quiet young man who seemed to have his head screwed on straight. One of the most memorable things he told me was that his strong family bonds helped him keep his feet on the ground in spite of all the publicity and promotion that comes with being a world-class athlete.

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Then things went terribly wrong.

During a training run on Dec. 31, 2009 in Park City, Utah Kevin missed a new maneuver called the “Double Cork” – he slammed his head into the side of the icy course and was left in critical condition. The impact was so severe he even cracked his helmet.

Suffering from traumatic brain injury, doctors placed Kevin in a medically induced coma so his brain could heal. After about a month in critical care, he was moved to Craig Hospital in Denver, a world renowned rehabilitation center that specializes in treating traumatic brain injuries. He suffered severe memory loss, impaired vision and had to learn to walk again.

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US Freeskiing names ski pipe roster

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

By Devon O’Neil
ESPN Action Sports

January 5, 2012

The road to the inaugural Olympic halfpipe skiing gold medal rounded another corner Wednesday, as U.S. Freeskiing — the newly formed arm of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association — named nine athletes to its first Pro Halfpipe Team. This comes on the heels of the IOC’s decision in April to add ski halfpipe to the Olympic program for 2014.

Winter X Games champions Simon Dumont and Jen Hudak headlined the team, which was selected based on competition results from last winter. They are joined by David Wise, Torin Yater-Wallace, Gus Kenworthy, Tucker Perkins, Devin Logan, Jess Cumming and Brita Sigourney. Mike Jankowski, the halfpipe coach for the U.S. Snowboard Team, is working in a similar capacity with skiers until more funding allows the organization to name a coach.

“At this point, my role is to be a leader,” Jankowski said, noting some of the skiers have their own technical coaches. “I’m here to get this group together and create a team environment of success similar to what we have in snowboarding.”

The U.S. isn’t the first country to form an official national ski halfpipe team. France’s includes Winter X athletes Xavier Bertoni, Kevin Rolland, Thomas Krief and Benoit Valentin and Canada recently announced the members of the Canadian Ski Halfpipe Team.

The U.S. skiers attended an orientation camp this week at USSA headquarters in Park City, Utah. Among other activities, the athletes had blood drawn to “make sure everyone’s operating at an optimal level,” Jankowski said. They also were tested for fitness on a stationary bike and for strength, power and mobility by the sports science staff at the team’s Center of Excellence. Members of the USSA’s high-performance staff will analyze the results and come up with individual programs to optimize each athlete’s performance next winter, Jankowski said.

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Burton launches Burton Mountain Festival tour

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

January 3, 2012

All New Burton Mountain Festival Coming Soon to a Resort Near You

BURLINGTON, Vt. (December 22, 2011) For the first time ever, Burton is launching the Burton Mountain Festival tour, a completely new experience that offers riders a full day of FREE on-snow entertainment, including Burton 2012 product demos, live music, sponsor giveaways, mini parks for the smallest snowboarders and amateur snowboard contests at select stops.

Presented by MINI, the Burton Mountain Festival kicks off on December 30th at Copper Mountain and then will travel on to nine additional resorts around the US, which are all listed below.

Dates Location

Dec 30–Jan 1 Copper Mountain, CO*

Jan 6–8 Mammoth Mountain, CA*

Jan 14–16 Mt. Hood Meadows, OR*

Jan 20–22 Park City Mountain Resort, UT

Feb 3–5 Northstar, CA*

Feb 10–12 Keystone, CO

Feb 18–20 Boyne Highlands, MI

Feb 24–26 Waterville Valley, NH*

Mar 2–4 Killington, VT*

Mar 16–18 Mountain Creek, NJ

*Features a Burton Pro-Test amateur snowboard competition.

Burton Mountain Festival stops will include up to four key elements: Burton Test Ride, Riglet Parks, Pro-Test and live music for an entire day of good times. And while each festival stop will be unique, the foundation of the festival is the Burton Test Ride program, which will be at all 10 stops.

Test Ride is where virtually the entire 2012 Burton hardgoods line will be on tap for riders to test at absolutely no charge. Riders can try out a variety of boards, boots and bindings to get a feel for their ultimate set-up.

In addition to Test Ride, six of the Burton Mountain Festival stops (noted with an asterisk above) will have a Pro-Test event, which is an amateur snowboard competition for men and women featuring halfpipe and slopestyle contests that will award a total of $7000 at each stop.

At every Burton Pro-Test event, riders can also win four wildcard spots to compete in the US Open pre-qualifiers, and all Pro-Test events are 4Star TTR World Snowboard Tour events. A few of the Pro-Test competitions will be extra amazing, including the stops at Killington and Northstar where the contest will run through the Burton Stash parks.

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How-To Tuesday

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

By: hondo, TransWorld SNOWboarding
January 3, 2012

How To: Alley-Oop Backside Rodeo to Fakie With JJ Thomas

Time to take your pipe tricks to the next level. Let JJ Thomas teach you this rad trick. If you can get this one, your buddies will be so jealous.

How To: Is Presented by NIKE

How To: Alley-Oop Backside Rodeo to Fakie With JJ Thomas

For More How To’s check out TransWorld SNOWboarding’s 20 Tricks at your local shop or on iTunes right HERE

How cool would it be to travel gear bag-free but still get to ride your own setup?

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

January 2, 2012

Ship Your Gear

Navigating the airport with all your stuff, craning your neck to see if it makes it up the conveyor belt to the plane, and waiting for it to come down the “Special” luggage chute at your destination are never fun. How cool would it be to travel gear bag-free but still get to ride your own setup? Save time, money and worry—Ship Your Gear.

Last year, FedEx® introduced the Ship Your Gear program to help you avoid baggage fees and the hassle. As baggage charges from airlines increase, it’s now more expensive to fly with your gear than ever.

SIA Special discount

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) has negotiated a consumer discount on shipping of up to 16% off select FedEx Express® services, up to 8% off select FedEx Ground® services and up to 15% FedEx Ground service to Canada processed through FedEx Ship Manager® at or FedEx Ship Manager® Software. This program is open to consumers eligible for a U.S. based FedEx account. To enroll, visit You can also ask your local shop if they participate in the program. They can help pack up, fill out the paperwork and take payment from you right there.

*Some airlines do not charge for a first bag and 3-5 checked bag can be as high as $125 depending on the airline.

FedEx Ground Sample List Rates

All sample rates* are based on a standard ski/snowboard bag (72″ x 12″ x 8″, 25 lbs and may change at ship date. Rates may changes due to surcharges and other fees.

FedEx Rates - Snowlink

It’s Officially Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month!

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

January 2, 2012

Learn To Ski & Snowboard Month, January 2012

Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate!
January 2012 is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Ski areas and resorts in 34 states are celebrating with special offers to get children and adults out on the snow and taking lessons from a professional instructor.

A new Web site provides a listing of states with locations where learning programs are taking place. The site helps those new to snow sports with practical information on getting started and also includes tips for those who want to improve.

Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month is an industry initiative organized by the National Ski Areas Association, the Professional Ski Instructors of America-American/Association of Snowboard Instructors, the National Ski Patrol, SnowSports Industries America, numerous state and regional resort associations, industry partners and the snow sports media.

Visit Learn To Ski & Snowboard Month.

Here is a list of retailers participating

Ligety Skis to Victory, With Party Included

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

By Brian Pinelli
Published: December 23, 2011

ANDALO, Italy — With the towering and jagged limestone peaks of Italy’s western Dolomites as a spectacular backdrop, the bottom of the race course at Paganella Ski Area quickly morphed into a high energy rock concert on Friday. It was a festive yet slightly chaotic atmosphere in a typically serene region of natural wonder.

Less than an hour before, Ted Ligety had demonstrated that he was the master of the giant slalom, carving near perfect turns en route to a thrilling victory at the VPAY Alpine Rockfest. Ligety was the fastest of five skiers in the final round of this unusual race, which consists of five elimination rounds on a 400-meter sprint giant slalom course.

Ligety’s winning time of 34.73 seconds was only one-hundredth better than that of the young Italian Giovanni Borsotti.

“To come down and see yourself one-hundredth ahead, it was a relief for sure,” Ligety said. “Standing in the start gate, there is a lot of pressure knowing how fast you’ve already been and being the favorite also,” he said, referring to the semifinal, when he was more than five-tenths quicker than his nearest challenger, Borsotti.

Ligety, a 27-year-old from Park City, Utah, was awarded a check for 60,000 euros — a winner-take-all grand prize of more than $78,000 — as the Italian rock band Radiottanta played. Read More

686 Reclaim Project Needs Designers

Friday, December 9th, 2011

By: The Editors of 686

December 9, 2011

The RECLAIM Project: 2011 Process from 686 Technical Apparel on Vimeo.

686 is looking for a few good designers for this year’s Reclaim Project.

Have you always dreamed about being a designer? Do you live for snowboarding fashion? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we want YOU to enter the second annual RECLAIM PROJECT, being held this year in the US and Europe at two separate and well-known tradeshows.

The three winning designers will win a trip to the SIA Show to compete on the show floor by creating a jacket out of reclaimed materials from the 686 factory. Click here for all the details or follow the jump for more.The RECLAIM Project is back and we’re looking for talented designers around the world to show us the next big thing in outerwear design! Have you always dreamed about being a designer? Do you live for snowboarding fashion? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we want YOU to enter the second annual RECLAIM PROJECT, being held this year in the US and Europe at two separate and well-known tradeshows.

In the US and Canada, join the SIA Snow Show, 686 and from January 26-29 in Denver, Colorado, for the environmental design contest for emerging outerwear designers. Be one of THREE FINALISTS selected and you win a trip to the SIA Show to compete on the show floor to create a one-of-a-kind jacket design in 3 days!

For those interested participants living in Europe or Asia, join ISPO and 686 from January 29 ˆ February 1 for the design competition!

This contest will give three designers the opportunity to make an original outerwear garment from reclaimed materials, trims, and left over items from the 686 production facility. The contest will begin the opening morning of both shows but first, we have to find THREE qualified designers who can come show their stuff on the show floor.

So, the big questions is, do you think you have what it takes to be one of the finalists? If you think you can handle the pressure and have ideas bursting from your dome, all you have to do is send us your best idea for a jacket design.

We’re not talking about a crayon drawing or a stick figure. We’re talking about a legit design that you’ve thought about for years while riding the lift or sitting behind a desk. We want to be able to see your inspiration and passion for design and outerwear. Make it techy, make it innovative, make it cute, but make it YOURS.

Show us what you’ve got. If you’re chosen as one of the Finalists, you’ll be flown to SIA in Denver, Colorado from January 26 ˆ January 29 or to ISPO in Munich, Germany from January 29 ˆ February 1 to create your own masterpiece using RECLAIMED 686 trims, fabrics and materials. We’ll supply the sewing machines and all you need.

On your mark, get set… DESIGN!

Submit your entry to NO LATER THAN JANUARY 9, 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!

Attachments will be accepted and a jacket CAD is available for those who need it. Please email to have one sent to you.

Winners of the online contest that are chosen to compete in Denver or Munich will receive their materials and have three days to complete their garment in their workstation at the RECLAIM booth. The winner will be announced Saturday, January 28 at 5 p.m in Denver and Tuesday, January 30th at 5pm in Munich. The winning contestants from both shows will receive an internship at 686 as well as many other great prizes.

Is America the New Austria?

Thursday, December 8th, 2011
As U.S. Skiers Win Races and Ink Deals, the Sport’s Royal Power Frets; ‘All the Kids Love Bode’


The Wall Street Journal

Something strange is happening up in the snow-crusted mountains of Europe and North America. A group of U.S. skiers is trying to execute a takeover of Austria’s national sport.

After hauling in two gold, three silver and three bronze medals in Vancouver last year, the U.S. Alpine ski team has continued to make the Austrians, the sport’s still-reigning superpower, look about as dangerous as two cups of spätzle.

American Ted Ligety won his second World Cup race of the season Tuesday, beating Austrian Marcel Hirscher in the giant slalom at Beaver Creek, Colo., by a hefty margin of 0.69 seconds. Wednesday, when three-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn races, she’ll be attempting to win her fourth straight Alpine event.

[VonnIllo] In a photo illustration, three-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn is depicted in a traditional dirndl. Vonn attempts to win her fourth straight Alpine race Wednesday. 

The wins have moved the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association considerably closer to a goal that, when first set in 1997, seemed like a fairy tale: to produce the best Alpine team in the world. “I don’t know that I ever expected us to be this good,” said Luke Bodensteiner, vice president for athletics at the USSA, who has been with the organization for 14 years.

“You train with them and compare times and if you’ve come out ahead you know you’re in good shape,” Mathias Berthold, coach of the Austrian men’s team said of the U.S. skiers. “They’re coming on strong.”

Last weekend at an event in Lake Louise, Alberta, Vonn raced as though the rest of the field had waxed its skis with peanut butter. Vonn, who recently announced she will divorce her husband and longtime coach, Thomas Vonn, skied as though she had not a care in the world, winning her downhill races by an absurd 1.95 seconds Friday and 1.68 seconds Saturday—the equivalent of about 40-50 meters. Then she took the Super G race Sunday by 0.19 seconds.

“The U.S. has always had Olympic champions but not skiers that have won consistently as they do now,” said Herbert Mandl, who coaches the Austrian women’s Alpine team. “They have made the big effort.”

Alexandra Meissnitzer, a former Austrian World Cup champion said Austrians now envy the less-rigid U.S. approach. “We see them as super-cool because they look like they’re having so much fun,” Meissnitzer said. “With the Americans, it comes from the heart.”

The U.S. has produced world class skiers before, but never has it produced so many skiers who consistently land on the podiums at World Cup events. There’s also a pipeline in place with a group of young skiers who are on the verge of breaking into the sport’s top tier in the coming years. “It becomes easier to reach a higher level when you already have a road map to get there,” said Ligety, who is the defending World Cup giant slalom champion.

It should be noted that the Austrian and the Swiss teams have a depth that the U.S. hasn’t been able to match—but that, too, seems to be changing.

You’ve likely heard of Vonn and Ligety, as well as three-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso and, of course, Bode Miller, the winner of 33 World Cup races. The U.S. team also now includes emerging talents like Nolan Kasper, 22, who became the first American since 1989 to win a title in the Europa Cup, ski racing’s second tier. Another American, 16-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin is already ranked higher than Vonn and Mancuso were at her age.

The evolution of the U.S. success—and the fading hegemony of Europe—is as much about culture as results. American skiers are becoming viewed, by many, as the marquee faces of the sport.

A promotional poster for the season’s opening event in Soelden, Austria, for instance, featured the mug of a single skier, Bode Miller. “All the kids love Bode—he’s a little different,” Berthold said of Miller, the sport’s risk-taking iconoclast.

In another surprise, the U.S team recently signed a sponsorship deal with the tourism bureau of the Otzal Valley in the heart of Austrian ski country. The multi-year deal, which according to USSA chief revenue and marketing officer Andrew Judelson includes a “significant cash component,” gives the team a winter home that includes housing, training facilities and easy access to top World Cup tour stops. Several top European consumer brands, most notably Audi, have signed as sponsors.

Investment in facilities is also helping move the sport’s center of gravity closer to the U.S.

Earlier this year, the top European skiers descended on Copper Mountain in Colorado, where the U.S. team recently opened a $4.3 million speed skiing training center. The facility offers the only slope of its caliber nearly guaranteed to have quality snow so early in the season.

Of course, the U.S. team has gotten plenty of help from the old empire. “They hired all our coaches,” Mandl said with a laugh. Indeed, Austrian Patrick Rimi, is U.S. skiing’s Alpine director. Austrian Alex Hoedlmoser is the women’s head coach. Austrian Roland Pfeifer is the women’s technical expert.

Money has helped, too. The USSA raised $60 million during the past decade to build its training center in Park City, Utah. Thanks to a 70-member board of trustees that includes some of the country’s wealthiest citizens, the organization has an endowment that has grown by about $10 million the past five years to nearly $40 million. Since 1997 the USSA has added about 17 full-time conditioning coaches, physiologists, nutritionists and psychologists, developed a training plan it shares with hundreds of junior clubs and started concentrating its spending on the top performers.

Mancuso said she feels the U.S. skiers are already the best in the world technically. “I feel like having five of the top 10 skiers in the world is definitely possible for this team,” she said. “It’s all confidence at this level, and sometimes with the European skiers they just have another gear that some of our skiers may not have yet.”

Sports Equipment Drive | Do Something

Monday, October 10th, 2011

You have 10 days left to donate your old gear! Here’s how:

  • SIGN UP to participate and download materials
  • POST PICTURES showing your awesome collection drive
  • DROP OFF all the gear you collected at your local Boys & Girls Club
  • REPORT BACK about your drive and get a FREE sports equipment drive water bottle and be entered for tons of other great prizes and scholarships!