Operation West Coast Expansion is a Go

Is this thing on?!?

It’s official, we are now live from the West Coast.  The recession has meant challenges for everyone here at Apres (the most painful of which was undoubtedly the grounding of the Apres jet) and for me it has meant an increase in workload. Seven Dark & Stormies into our first annual “Irene is a little bitch” hurricane party the CEO informed me that I was being relocated to Northern California to run West Coast BD, report live from the mountains, and continue all fashion related duties.  My range will now consist of everything West of the Wasatch and South of the Tetons.  As the season gets closer look for cutting edge reports from Squaw, Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, etc. with the occasional trip to Alta and possibly Whistler in the mix as well.

First order of business: a recon trip to the Western edge of the Sierra Nevada’s to chase wild rainbows and browns on dry flies.  I’m heading out later today and will report on what I find.  I know I know, this schedule is grueling.

Second order of business – I need some new daily drivers for the Tahoe region.  My quiver has a serious right coast bias, and I need to fatten up.  I really like the look of the new Blizzard Bonafides.

135 / 98 / 118 mm, 21m radius @180

These things have the new “flipcore” technology that Blizzard has introduced this year.  Yeah its a little bit of marketing, but these do have the mustache profile that I’m looking for (early rise tip and tail with traditional camber underfoot).  Now before everyone starts chirping about how 98mm underfoot is too skinny for out here keep in mind four things: 1) I’m coming off a season where my hard snow daily drivers were FIS compliant slalom sticks – a whopping 65mm under foot with an 11m turn radius.  I like quick skis and smaller turns.  I also like something that I can wail on without it getting all noodley at speed (Rossi S3’s I’m looking at you here).  2) I’m only about a buck fifty five, so even a mid-waisted ski should still provide plenty of float.  3) Due to my work requirements I will pretty much be a weekend warrior this winter (after back to back winters of 35+ midweek days).  This means that I need a ski that will still be fun on the non new snow days.  4) I love bumps and don’t want a ski that makes them no fun.

The other option I’m considering is sucking it up and pulling the trigger on some DPS Wailer 112RPs.

141 / 112 / 128, 16m radius @ 178

These are true 5-point sidecut skis, which allows them to have a such a tight turn radius with a relatively fatter waist.  I haven’t personally been on these but I hear that they are pretty amazing.  My only issue is that they may just not have the edge to edge quickness that I’m looking for.  Also, I’ve heard that while they make almost every condition fun they can be a handful in the bumps.  Lastly, they are wildly expensive for the full carbon version (and the Apres expense account isn’t exactly what it used to be…).

Decisions decisions.  Obviously get back to me with thoughts on either of these two skis or anything else I should be looking at.  I have sort of sworn off Gotoma’s after they went to the extended tip rise shape of last year (although I do love the stiffness of Volkls in general).  I heard that 2011/12 model is completely different and may even be closer to the goats of 2007/2008 vintage, but that is unsubstantiated.  I do plan on demoing extensively before I pull the trigger on anything, so I’ll fill these out with more informed reviews as the season starts.

The trout await.



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