Posts Tagged ‘ski’

Sizing Up Ski Season: How To Prepare Your Kids

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

By: Lindsey R. McKissick
5280 Magazine 
September 9, 2014

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Last year, Loveland Ski Area opened for the season on October 17. That’s only about six weeks away, folks. While experienced skiers can usually get away with merely dusting off old boards and skis for their first day on the slopes (although, we’d recommend a bit of pre-season conditioning to prevent that dreaded calf burn after your first run), that’s not the case with kids. Frank Bulkley III, owner of Eskimo Ski & Board Shop in Centennial, gave us the lowdown on what parents should know before the snow starts falling.

5280: When should kids start skiing or snowboarding?
Frank Bulkley: The key is for kids to be 30 pounds. Ski bindings won’t release under 30 pounds, so we won’t rent until children hit that weight.

What about age?
That’s really a decision based on the child’s personality. Through talking to customers and dealing with my own kids, four seems to be a good age. For kids to enjoy getting out on the mountain, they need an attention span—and it has to be perfect conditions. You want it to be warm.

Is it important to get a specific brand of board or skis for kids?
For beginners and intermediate skiers, rental gear will cut it. The most important thing is to actually bring the child with you. Don’t guess on boot sizes because a fitted boot is the most important part.

Cold kids on the mountain can make for a long day. What’s important about the accessory gear?
Clothing is very important. There is a huge difference between ski gear and a winter coat; ski jackets need to be waterproof, have cuffs, and insulation. Secondly, buy a helmet that fits. If you get it too big, it won’t cover their ears and they’ll get cold. Also, I always suggest goggles over sunglasses to stay warmer.

The age-old question: gloves or mittens?
The warmest glove is called a mitten.

We all know children grow fast. What’s the best option for your dollar in terms of gear?
Eskimo has three options: You can rent gear for the season from $99. You can purchase gear each year through a trade-in program ($50 trade voucher each season to Eskimo), or you can rent for the day from $15. Your decisions should be based on the child’s age and ability levels. [Editor's Note: These are fairly common deals that parents can find at ski and snowboard shops along the Front Range.]

What’s your one main piece of advice for a happy ski season?
Kids don’t like their parents to teach them. Stick them in ski school.

Follow assistant editor Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.

Snowlink.com Gets Make-Over

Friday, December 14th, 2012

By: SIA
December 14, 2012

Adds Fresh Content for 2012/13 Season

Snowlink.com

SnowSports Industries America (SIA)’s consumer website Snowlink.com, which re-launched this week, arrived just in time for the 2012/2013Winter Season.  The site features a fresh look with a new logo, bluebird skies and dynamic easy-to-use homepage. Snowlink visitors will also have a variety of content at their fingertips including featured articles and helpful tips on fashion, gear, safety, instructional advice, a snow sports – specific blog feed, plus links to Resort, Retail and Ski/Snowboard Club finders in their region.

Snowlink.com

Here are just some of the new features consumers will find on Snowlink.com:

Women on the Snow:
Snowlink’s universal women’s section provides the lowdown on girls’ getaways, fitness tips from SBC Women and fashion feeds from SNOW Magazine.

Fitness, Health and Well-Being:
Includes fun calorie stats, recipes and discusses the peace of mind snow sports can bring.

Gear & Styles:
Snowlink’s most popular page the Gear and Styles in the Snow is back and features a long list of trends for the 2013 season, brand gallery, and complete with videos from fashion forecasters Stylesight to help you look your best on the mountain.

Tech & Trick Tips:

The new Tech & Trick Tips page in the Snowboarding section was provided by TransWorld Snowboardingwith great advice on choosing a snowboard, setting up your stance and tips for pulling off some classic tricks. Over on the Freeski pages, Freeskier Magazine has provided videos of top athletes.

Tips from the Pros — Instructional Advice:
Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) have created the Tips from the Pros video section to help you move on to the next skill level.

Safety Videos from National Ski Patrol (NSP):
Safety first – check out these videos to remember the rules of staying safe on the slopes.

Buyer’s Guides Ski, Snowboard, Cross Country, Snowshoe
Check out the season’s best consumer buying guides – great for researching trends or finding the perfect skis or snowboard. For skiers, check out Snowlink’s section of Buyers’ Guides including SKI, Skiing Magazine, Freeskier, Powder Magazine, SBC Skier Magazine and Backcountry Magazine. For snowboarders, there’s TransWorld Snowboarding, Snowboard Magazine and Canada Snowboard Magazines Gear Guides. For cross country skiers and snowshoers, there’s Cross Country Skier, SkiTrax and Snowshoe Magazine.

Burton launches Burton Mountain Festival tour

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

By: PRESS RELEASE
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.

Read More

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 www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org 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

U.S. Freeskiing National Team Announced

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

PARK CITY, UT (June 15) – A first ever U.S. Freeskiing national team is being formed by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). The formal plans were announced this week to nine invited athletes during a dryland training camp at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City. The announcement comes on the heels of a decision by the International Olympic Committee to add halfpipe skiing to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Athletes invited to the first U.S. Freeskiing Pro Halfpipe Team for the 2011-12 season include some of America’s greatest stars of the newest Olympic sport including X Games champions Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City) and Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME). Nine athletes were invited based on competition results from the past season. The selection process for the inaugural Olympic team will be determined over the next two years with that team being named just prior to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“These are the best American athletes competing in the sport today,” said U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing Director Jeremy Forster. “They have played a key role in the formation of their sport and helped influence the IOC decision to include halfpipe skiing through their skills as athletes.”

Under the new Pro Team program, U.S. Freeskiing will provide support for the athletes at both dryland and on-snow camps, plus competition programs including the U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix, X Games and other events. Athletes will also have access for training at the USSA Center of Excellence.

In addition USSA also announced the veteran Head Halfpipe Coach Mike Jankowski (Portland, OR) will provide support for U.S. Freeskiing halfpipe athletes just as he does for the U.S. Snowboarding Pro Team.

“Mike is one of the most knowledgeable halfpipe coaches in the sport and has a long track record of athletic success,” said Forster. “His knowledge and leadership will be an asset for our U.S. Freeskiing Pro Team athletes as an adjunct to the programs some of them already have in place on their own.”

The U.S. Freeskiing sport program and brand was strategically developed over the past two years with anticipation of the IOC decision to include halfpipe skiing and slopestyle skiing (decision pending) in the Winter Olympics. The program was announced in concept in January, with the IOC selecting halfpipe skiing in April.

“Freeskiing is a rapidly growing segment of the skiing market worldwide,” said USSA’s Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson. “It provides us an opportunity to build further scale in our sport to attract partners to support athletes and to grow the overall base of skiers in America, as well.”

The USSA has already announced a series of major partners with the new U.S. Freeskiing brand, including The North Face, Delta Air Lines and High Sierra. The North Face will play a major role leading up to 2014 as official uniform supplier for the U.S. Freeskiing Olympic Team.

The Pro Team nominations were announced during the first dryland camp at the USSA Center of Excellence. Athletes underwent physical training and testing sessions, as well as trampoline work and an orientation to the USSA.

The season will kick off with the U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix this December at Copper Mountain, CO. 

2011-12 Nominated U.S. Freeskiing Halfpipe Pro Team: 

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USSA Announces Launch of US Freeskiing Brand

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

On the heels of the IOC’s April 6 announcement that skiing halfpipe would be admitted to the Olympics, the USSA announced today the creation of the US Freeskiing brand.

For years, the chance to compete in the Olympic Games has been a dream for many competitive freeskiers; that yearning transcended to families, friends, coaches, sponsors, manufacturers, and fans. Just last month, the IOC announced to the world that halfpipe skiing would indeed be added to the event roster at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, and those dreams quickly became a reality. Here in the US, the question for athletes quickly became, “how do we proceed?” And the creation of US Freeskiing is the answer.

Currently, the USSA is comprised of alpine, freestyle, cross country, jumping/nordic, adaptive, snowboarding, and masters teams. Needless to say, halfpipe, slopestyle, and skiercross don’t exactly fit into the mix. The natural course was to create something new, but what exactly?

As excited as many people were when halfpipe skiing was admitted to the Olympics, many others feared for our sport; freeskiing has never been about rules and regulations, and joining the Olympics seemingly poses a threat to our individuality. Eager to find a solution, and in an effort to tread the fine line, the US Freeskiing brand was born.

Established to support US Freeskiing athletes in their pursuit of excellence, and also to help build a solid foundation on which the sport can continue to grow, this brand has been constructed carefully, and thoughtfully. To ensure US Freeskiing gains traction, backing, and momentum, the USSA hired a third party group, DraftFCB, to assist in the building of the brand identity. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, athletes have been involved from the get-go. From brand design and development, to talks about a potential team program, the athletes have been instrumental in bringing this idea to fruition. Amongst some of the most influential have been Jen Hudak, and Simon Dumont, two the most accomplished competitors within the sport.

To help spread the word about the launch of US Freeskiing, and the inclusion of halfpipe skiing in the Olympic Games, the two of them are currently traveling with USSA representatives on a media tour; they’re making stops at major media outlets including ESPN and The Wall Street Journal, working to spread the word about the brand launch, and the addition of halfpipe skiing to the olympics. W

e caught up with Jen Hudak over the weekend, and she had this to say about the creation of US Freeskiing: “It was important to us athletes that an establishment didn’t take over our sport, but that we the athletes could direct the establishment. U.S. Freeskiing is embracing those core values and giving us a boost onto the main stage. The world now has an opportunity to see what we are doing on skis. We’re no longer going to be Shaun-White-on-skis, we can be us.” Hudak poured blood, sweat and tears into this effort, and to see the culmination instills a sense of pride that words simply cannot express.

We also spoke on the phone this morning with Simon Dumont. Fresh out of an interview, and on his way to another, Dumont took a few minutes to share his thoughts: “On the one hand, I’m happy that we are being considered olympic caliber athletes. There’s also a lot of speculation that [our inclusion in the Games] is going to screw with the integrity of our sport, but since the US Freeskiing brand is represented by the athletes, hopefully we’ll create a partnership that’s beneficial to us both. We’ll grow the sport, bring something new to the USSA, and bring back the cool factor in skiing. We’ll let people know that it’s something special to be on a US team, and to win an olympic medal for your country. When people see that, it’s a great opportunity to attract a young, fresh demographic.

We’re on the tour now, just got done with ESPN, and now heading over to the Wall Street Journal. Basically, we’re doing this tour to start the conversation, and let people know we’re here, we’re excited, and we’re a part of the olympics. It’s pretty exciting to be doing this in May, when normally the buzz around skiing is absent. This message will continue to grow thanks to lots of media exposure, and reach a broader audience. By the time next winter rolls around, we hope to have lots of people involved; new skiers, new sponsors, more people jumping on the bandwagon. It’s fun to be a part of.”

The brand design was unveiled this morning at the New York offices of DraftFCB. We spoke with USSA Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer, Andrew Judelson, who gave credit to the firm, and expressed how excited he was to have collaborated with DraftFCB on the creative process, together with sport stakeholders. Judelson also shared his perspective on what the launch of this brand means for the USSA:

“From a strategic business perspective, the viewing and packaging of ski halfpipe, slopestyle, and skiercross is an opportunity for us to delineate those disciplines, because they are unique and different; clearly, they attract different demographics, fans, etc. We have a portfolio of brands that all need to work together, while maintaining their own clear definition. It’s important for us to capitalize on the point of difference, and subsequently monetize each for better funding of our athletes.

The process we went through was the right, pragmatic approach; the building of a brand by the athletes for the athletes. We’ve learned from collaboration, we wanted to do this the right way, and that was to pay a third party agency. We wanted to go through a comprehensive set of analytics and focus groups and research to enlist industry stake holders, athletes, agents, suppliers, corporate partners, media, and to have them all be involved in defining what became US Freeskiing, what it stands for, what’s authentic and real.

What we’re especially excited about is the scalability of this brand; the ability to reach and impact the recreational participant, but also to supply the suppliers with a scalable brand that resonates with a lot more people. We are quite excited, we’re doing things differently here now, and this launch is an example of that. And who’s talking about skiing in May? The USSA is. We’re getting the attention of the media, we’re getting recognized, and it’s awesome for everybody involved; that’s not always the case in a non-Olympic year. So, it’s early on, but so far so good. The market place is reacting accordingly.”

Years ago, the sport of freeskiing was born of sheer rebellion. Freeskier has been there from the get-go, and through the support of what is now “freeskiing,” through the creation of AFP, and now with our the partnership with USSA, we couldn’t be more excited to see the direction things are moving in. The breach from the norm is what continues to define our sport; the very idea keeps things young, progressive, and ever-changing.

You’ve heard it from the athletes, you’ve heard it from the USSA, and now, you’ll hear it from us: the creation of US Freeskiing is a promising step towards the continued growth of freeskiing. What lays ahead remains uncertain, but it seems all the appropriate steps have been taken to ensure we’re on the right track. So feel free to wear your sunglasses inside today, friends, because the future is looking mighty bright.