Archive for December, 2010

Making Sense of the Rocker Revolution

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

If you’ve been reading any ski or snowboard magazines this fall you have seen plenty of hype on rocker.  If you aren’t living in a ski town or a part of the industry you are probably asking yourself what the heck rocker is.  To put it simply, rocker is the ski/board bending out instead of traditional camber.  Rocker comes in all different shapes and forms and every company calls it something different.  Rocker was invented a few years ago to ski in powder.  The tip and tail of the skis were bent up to keep them above the snow in deep powder and this is still the main concept of rocker.  The further from the tip that the rocker starts the more the ski will be geared towards skiing in powder.  The best way to see this is to hold the press the skis together at the binding and you will see the ski bent out.  The K2 Obsethed has a lot of rocker in the tip and the tail and is primarily designed for skiing on powder days or off piste.   Some skis like the Volkl Bridge have less rocker.  Volkl refers to this ski as ELP rocker or early low profile.  When skiing this ski on a groomed run you still have a full effective edge making contact with the snow when you flex the ski as you would with a ski that has traditional camber.  I feel that this gives the rider an advantage in powder and crud without sacrificing the ability to make turns on the groomers.  Even skis for beginners such as the K2 Commanche have a little rocker in the tip.  They call this catch free rocker and the goal is to make each turn easier to skid and less likely to catch an edge.  Snowboards are also using rocker-giving the rider the ability to keep their nose up in the pow without having to set your stance back.  The Lib-Tech Skate Banana is a good example of this and can be riden anywhere from the Highland Bowl to the park at Buttermilk to Fanny Hill.  Every manufacturer is now producing equipment with rocker and K2 is not even manufacturing a ski or snowboard without some form of rocker.  Rocker isn’t just for heliskiing in Alaska anymore, I strongly recommend that you give it a try the next time you demo a ski or snowboard!

Team Incline

La Niña, Snotel, and More Terrian Opening on Aspen And Snowmass

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Colorado Snotel MapIn case you aren’t here, or haven’t been paying much attention, a very snowy November has made for a very memorable opening on Thanksgiving Day and has created some extraordinary early season conditions on Aspen and Snowmass mountains. Thanks to La Niña, we’ve seen a steady stream of storms so far this season, and there’s more snow in the forecast this weekend! Take a minute to check out this Snotel Map from the web geeks at Google that shows snow totals so far this season as measured from the National Water and Climate Center stations throughout Colorado.

We’ve just gotten word that more terrain will be opening on Aspen Mountain and Snowmass this weekend. On Aspen Mountain, look for the FIS and Ruthies Chairs to be running. There should be some good cruising to be had on Ruthie’s with an inch or two of fresh possible for Saturday morning. We’re also looking forward to getting to goods in the Dumps from the top access areas!

However, if you’re looking for the steep and deep, Snowmass might be the call this weekend. Alpine Springs and High Alpine chairs will be running. And, it’s looking like the Hanging Valley Wall & Glades, Roberto’s, Cassidy’s and Union run will be opening over the weekend as well! For more information, be sure to check out the full report.

If you’re in the process of planning your Aspen ski vacation, don’t delay, so far this season is shaping up to be a good one!

– The Incline Crew