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John Gilmour

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John Gilmour last won the day on July 17 2019

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About John Gilmour

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  1. Well now that a binding manufacturer and good friend has no more financial interest in this, I can say something....... The best binding, is no binding at all. Not in the way we think of a binding currently. We are used to binding plates, levers, straps buckles. garbage. Dead weight. Ugh. The points of interface on the board must be minimal in size and weight and allow for easy board stacking. I , for instance liked the ability to have one pair of Catek carriages and multiple discs. But even then the discs weighed a lot. It has to be more minimal. I started riding hardboots before there were highbacks and only made the original soccer shin guard highbacks prototype NOT for myself , but for others that refused to pay for hardboots and insisted on using construction boots just to try the boards on the inevitable frozen granular and hardpack. I figured they would swap to my Koflach Valluga lite randonee boots, but some just never wanted to give up convenience cost and perceived comfort vs control . I love comfortable softboots. But I hate the clunky size, the fact that I go through 1-3 pairs a season, and the fact that they suck for kicking in steps plus most weigh a lot. Current hardboots have always annoyed me. I have used ski touring boots which are too soft for alpine because the taller calf fit of the hardboots and the restrictive flex killed my fun. So how could we get what we want? A lightweight, durable, warm, comfortable boot, that can work for both alpine freecarving and all mountain riding and well EVEN freestyle? A boot with adjustable flex without affecting fit. A boot that offers the benefit of a softboot outer wrap but without the down force pressure , a boot that fits to the riding surfaces of our feet ( which is often not just the soles of our feet BUT ALSO the edges of our feet) a boot that has a custom insole mold not just for the bottom of our feet but also for partially the tops of our feet ( this doesn't happen ENOUGH with heat molded liners BTW which are not under enough pressure ) Back in the 1980's Damian Saunders tore it up in freestyle in Koflach Albonas ( a slightly firmer hard shell randonee boot I rode for many years) and those are more than twice as heavy as today's lightweight touring boots. They were slightly heavier than the older soft boots. Tom Burt ABSILUTELY killed it in Back country powder in hard boots. I think these riders would not have the performance they had in the soft boots of the day. I do think that some of today's soft boots are firmer than the hard boots they rode back then . Well the good News is a plastic boot can be nearly as light as a pair of old air Jordan's. certainly 1/2 the weight of most current stiffer soft boots and almost 1/4 the weight of a set of Raichles. Also I believe the attachment interface should not be on the board but on/in the boot. I envisioned a smart interface , so you can snap into snow shoes, or crampons, go telemark mode, snowboard or ski and the thing you step into and the attachment points dictate release or non release. Certainly you want release of boards and skis when you pull your avalanche bag rip cord. But you probably don't want that to happen if you are wearing crampons in a slide which you might need to get out of where you end up in a slide. Yes molds are VERY expensive. But some parts can be 3D printed, some could even be CNC machined. I thought you might be able to 3D print a mold and then sputter coat it with metal internally to cut down on cost for small production runs. To make molds more cheaply and experim not more cheaply . I even looked into how sail makers create curved sails out of flat materials to see if we could,design a boot with flat strips and ultrasonically weld those into 3D prototypes. I also think dedicated snowboard only boots should be partially asymmetrical for goofy and regular footers. This should be adjustable for your binding angles. I never cared for the way the intec heels rode. I preferred regular lever plates. In part because I don't think the attachment pints should be symmetrical . I think they should work with the way we exert forces on the board and the way our feet pivot naturally within our boots. I think there of an axis of longitudinal rotation within our boots which may not be exactly longitudinal .and I think it is offset relative to the typical longitudinal axis of the heel. Burtons new step on has it in the center of the heel, which IMHO feels better than the inter or fintec, but I still am not feeling like it is optimal right down the center. i also believe that the padding in the boots should not be uniform and should use durometers more suited to forces brought to bear. too late to type more. Zzzzz
  2. Well let's hope we aren't forced into simulators from global warming...I'm just hoping it advances skill level
  3. I am for the most part self taught. But the few times I took lessons even after having riding for 3-4 years were helpful to have a few tricks passed along. I do feel many alpine carvers tend to plateau and get stuck, often thinking that that is the limit of their talent...and over the years as they age thinking that they can never get to be as good as they once were, "if only I was 30 again". But the reality is when someone is dialed in better and told what to look for and how to "flow" after into or even attack a turn then" flow" they get better than they were even when they were younger, stronger , with better reflexes. I'm not unlike so many others in that I like to stick with what works, but I still try new things and trends. There was a time when a 18" stance was considered really too "wide". One thing I wanted to develop in the 1990s was a feedback system through the board that let you know what direction and speed to pressure the board for top performance. It's possible to measure edge pressure , velocity, Decamber, G-force and slope inclination ...and to give feedback to riders. Also it's possible to record a professional riders inputs and then try to emulate that rider or say a few riders that have a similar body build and flexibility to your own- by playing back that ride. The pro riders might have to stay closer to the middle of the run and the person emulating might be able to err to say anywhere in the middle 3 fifths of the run. That's sorta cool. So let's say you found yourself on upper walking boss at Loon on the East coast, or Gondolier at Stowe, white caps at Waterville Valley, Ruthies run in Aspen, Centennial at Beaver Creek, Sneakys at Snowmass, on a decent packed powder day. Ahem of course the snow isn't exactly the same day to day or even run to run , the board and bindings and boots wouldn't be identical or even buckled the same... but you would still get closer than with no feedback at all. At the Reebok Sports Club in NYC in the 1990s I rode the largest snowboard simulator ... it wasn't just a rolling carpet, it moved in all directions, pitched, yawed and tilted... In the simulation I rode behind Kevin Delaney in Aspen. With the giant screen it felt pretty good. And after riding with Kevin in Aspen... it felt pretty close. maybe we are all in a simulation...or that's the future of Alpine.
  4. Super annoyed at the whole deal. So I debate what to do each year. This year instead of Full Epic The only reason to do that is to not have holiday blackouts and be able to have beaver creek call for less than $1000. And ski less at Aspen. Instead I feel pressure to get the Aspen pass at $2600. Ugh again! No "f,n" way after the way they handled this. The Crowns , I expected something smarter and more accommodating from them. They have so many good ideas.... but disaster mitigation isn't in line with their luxury thinking. $2600 again is "fricking " ridiculous. Consider THAT Aspen has one of the shortest seasons in Colorado, high food costs (Beaver Creek is almost worse, but amazing Grand Hyatt breakfast that allows a bit of take out so,it's almost like 2 great meals for the $36 buffett price). Supercharging at Beaver isn't possible , so you end up slow charging 8kw/hr at Vail. But Vail has a youthful bar scene. The Really get to bogie in down with fun loving skiers taking a year off before college. Yet Aspen has the raging on slope après ski.no,walking or reporting required and Vail's parking is frankly a colossal shit show of EPIC proportions ...designed to suck the fun out of you ski vacation while you either get raped by ridiculous parking charges or have to take the COVID-19 and influenza buses . Beaver Creek has a few free spaces but still you are doing the shuttle bus dance. Here is my Beaver Creek shuttle Frusteation. 1. Drive up to the skier drop off zone. 7:00 am Unload 65 -80 pounds of boards boots bindings onto the racks near the Chondola to avoid the 400 yard slog through the artificial ski mall of shops that offer nothing of interest. Patagonia store?... mail order, The only shop worth a lick isn't in BeVer Creek it's Buzzs boards in Vail... nice guys there. 2. Circle the car back around . Drive up the the Grand Hyatt with snowboard boots and helmet in knapsack ( if they see ski gear they charge you a $70 valet fee - oh so pleasant) . Declare you are here for the Buffet Breakfast... check in and eat until 7:45 giving yourself 15 minutes to digest. Mention you have to get something and leave your check open. Ride until 10:30 and cone back for your early lunch. 3.pick up your car from Valet and drive to free parking in town way down hill. Gives you a bit of time to digest. 4. Board uncrowded shuttle ( not needing to carry a board) back up the hill- maybe dump a layer, grab a snack for later. You swung by the rack to grab alpine boards on way down so you aren't worry about them getting ripped off, or getting knocked over on the rack . Soft boot board is in the rack up top because you brought it up first run ( The boards are much less likely to get stolen on top of the mountain at the base) . 5. Ride until 3-4pm if you après at Beaver you get two hours free parking in their lot - worth it to do it as shuttles down are frequent and you'll end up eating late après or doing dinner in Vail anyhow because you gave to charge there in the lot which is only free 3 pm to 3am. 6 . Charge until full. Drive back to Beaver Creek free parking . If not full charge elsewhere. 7. Starbucks... then repeat. -------- Aspen's parking Dance. 1. Snowmass many charging options. But all of them are slow. 2. Buttermilk has superchargers close to lifts. Plug in - take three runs and you are full. 3. Aspen park close to lifts- it's the best . Slow charging and very limited ... you'll end up at Buttermilk. Valets hook me up with free charging . 4. Highlands , either leave car in Aspen and take the bus ...or park in the lot and wait until after 4 pm to leave through employee pass. No charging options at Highlands except for the Ritz. Aspen Sundeck food on mountain is better than most in town dining options and you get a 25% discount with Aspen premier pass before 12 or after 2 pm. Back to the oasis quandry. However the only saving grace to the $2600 Aspen/baseIKON pass is when Aspen starts to melt out mid March - April 15 ... you can use the attached Base Ikon pass to go to Mammoth (tons of Late march snow and colder temps and less wind as you get into April ...less wind just means you aren't pelted with ice balls in the parking lot ( like you are the last one left on your outnumbered paintball team) . ...and you can also do early season...possibly at SoCals Snow Summit. This is only worth it if you do a looooooong season from late Oct. to May. We have a good chance of a short season either from less snow as can happen every 4 years... or if Hong Kong keeps rioting .... oddly another NEW pandemic might start again... not kidding even the tiniest little bit. ----- cost breakdown. Per day ridden . So this year, the season started late Dec 13th first day on snow, and one IKON day at Winter Park ( which was like skiing in Mt. Tremblant in January.) one IKON day at Steamboat (also iceberg city) and zero days at Mammoth. Thanks Fauci for making us pay for the virus by funding Wuhan with 7.4 Million to play with Bat corona virus and doing "gain of function " research to ASSIST with having it jump species to humans . This is not political because he worked for both administrations, he is just so " turdly". Season ended a la covid-19 on March 13. 90 days for me Dec-March ....of which I worked running Winter x games snowmobiles for (14) , went to California to avoid Holiday crowds Dec 23- Jan 10 (19 days lost ) Some days (7) were shitty no visibility foggy "1 run annnnnd done days" . And some early season days were like just a few runs to get the legs back (5). So really averaging about $57 a day... pretty awful might be an all time worst season pass day rate. In contrast had I done FULL EPIC at Beaver Creek $979 ... I would have still been able to ski aspen for 34 days ( I get 20 comp passes for working and get to ride during those 14 days) and my price would have dropped to about $21 a day Plus I could have ridden Beaver Creek for 11 of those days. Way better.... Clearly The Aspen/Ikon pass is not worth it at all. When facing a foreshortened season with possible "rolling black out " like shut downs due to outbreaks. And if these outbreaks happen within the season, according to the season pass insurance you won't get any refund. "F'd " again I won't even consider buying Aspens $2600 premier pass this coming year. I'll still run the Sleds shuttling the Winter X athletes , and my friends give me their free passes (4) , and early season $69 passes (4) and I get about 2 more freebies . So that's still 30 days at Aspen . Which if you pick the right batches of days ( chunks of clear days) is enough. I'll still ride with my Aspen peeps and help out the ones who want to carve there and with Epic peeps , but I won't be able to ride at any IKON resort other than Aspen with the IKONITES people who pay $150 for the pass upgrade ( it's another Crown Affair?.. but I have to say ...they had to do something to limit the IKON impact on holiday weekends which kinda killed Aspen's normally uncrowded slopes and on some days made it feel like Vail.) The on,y drawback of no IKON is that I like Mount BACHELOR ski resort quite a bit, and I haven't been to Jackson hole yet, (Grand Targhee is the powder gem there anyhow ) Steamboat didn't have a very challenging trails for carving and I'll miss out on Sun Valley for the first time yet again. Plus no Zermatt , which sucks as I have use of the Van Clef and Arpels ski chalet there for free. ( Got that from a dog and turtle sitting gig , not some fancy Aspen party ) . But seeing as there is nothing stopping these weasel mountain conglomerate penny pinching accountant scum sucking bastards ( and I say that with restraint) from screwing us all over again next year ..... it's the only viable " PAYING for a pass" strategy . However... I still lose Snow Summit early season which is good for "SoCal early season soreness hit and run day trips". ...and I lose Mammoth Late season... and because A- basin isn't in the mix on EPIC anymore I can't rely on that either ( that early season ribbon of death is a slaughterhouse designed to feed EMTs) . Maybe with all the money I save I could do June in NZ. Mammoth late season can be hit by rain intermittently so sometimes I bid a hasty retreat to SoCal and dive for lobsters to bring back up to the slopes until the snow returns after 2 storms. BUT without IKON the lobsters for lifties program I donis dead for Mammoth. ( I cook lobsters for Aspen lifties birthdays at the chair lifts if they get stuck working on their birthdays ) So that strategy of no late season Mammoth ain't so good either. But when faced with a possibility of a season cut " virus short" ...buying the Aspen Pass is just a crappy idea. The alternative is going back to race dept. Which is in the cards and not paying anything. Because it wouldn't have cost the mountains much do do smoothing nice for all of us. And if it's going to be a short season... at least it's free Aspen . What ELSE could thay have done? To make this easier for all the season pass holders in the USA who were "F'd" this year? God help you if you got this far..... here is the reward. Here's the "Gilmour everyone wins plan". Or why I should work for marketing for one of these companies.... Well at ZERO COST Epic and Ikon could have gotten together ( "WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER" ...except EPIC AND ALTERRA who are out for themselves) and traded days ... yes cooperated! Just for one little possibly foreshortened season... .....and offered skiers who bought EPIC or IKON pass 30 days at EACH OTHERS resorts ( Aspen days limited to 5 unless you pay an extra $150 and get 10 more) the same deal works the other way for Beaver Creek . Maybe even Mountain Collective could have jumped in . How does this help? Now that we'd get the airline industry going again , hotels would flow with cash, and for everyone could ski together instead of being divided by Epic and Ikon. We would truly be " ALL IN THIS TOGETHER ". No snow in EITHER your EPIC or IKON network this year ??? ... no big deal, you could go almost anywhere. The mountains could have put a smile on our last season horrified ripped off faces...for really No cost at all.... fricking nothing, in fact they could have written that "gift" off as a loss and made more money by " pretending to purchase days from their competitors to do this ( instead of bartering) . Could have had a nice fat tax write off when they needed it most. By pretending to buy the passes at single day rates .. some day rates are $229! That's a instant write off. Instead they pushed their customers off a cliff into the rocks below, without giving it a moments thought. Typical corporate short sightedness. That last plan should be the post of the decade for ski comglomerates.
  5. I was thinking about going up with a friend of mine - separate cars etc. I went for an antibody test yesterday and found I have antibodies but not enough for full immunity yet. But not COVID -19 contagious So I probably got through THE INFECTION while in quarantine in my car in March. But that would have had to be the case I was infected just before leaving aspen. What is more likely is the Aussie girl brought it with her infected Aspen and I got it in Early February. I have some flu now, and the sore throats is much worse and linger lasting than what might have been covid-19.
  6. As the First Sims rep. on the East Coast I got sent an early Sims video which showed TK in a halfpipe. a natural pipe on his round tail. I thought--- oh shit here it comes again. Sims didn't so much lead the charge, He was a surf influenced skateboarder to the core. I saw him race on a long Sims Taperkick in Nassau Coliseum https://www.nytimes.com/1976/06/19/archives/whoosh-skateboards-zip-back-into-big-time.html And the tail of his skateboard was so long it was hitting all the Slalom Cones. Henry Hester won that race. I later raced with Henry and Chris Yandall. Tom saw freestyle and personally he liked longboards that felt like surfing. But Tom also saw the writing on the wall. Tom did continue to make Alpine boards. He held a race st Soda Springs (a mountain that did not allow snowboarding so there was no locals advantge) if you could beat Tom you won one of his boards (he also set the course) no one beat Tom. At the Time Mark Heingartner and Andy Coghlan were at Stratton and we had to take tests to ride the "upper mountain " and get your certification card. They were defeinitely into racing- but then again so was Palmer . Palmer Brushie and Kelly all raced before some for Cross M. But at the time I would say Coughlan and Heingartner were more well known. Palmer and Kelly didn't figure in until teh Sims Switchblade era, after the Sims 1710 blade which was the first vertical laminate CAMBERED board. (of course there was Avalanche boards before that, but they were tiny at the time. the 1710 Blade had wooden sidewalls as in no side walls - so you had to revarnish them after every sharpening . I broke mine in a season and got a SIms X-2000 which was the board Kelly won the open on and then swapped to Burton. Yes the VT guys were all about racing, but freestyle didn't take off overnight. Transworld Snowboarding IMHO was the real impetus for that. They sent me about 40 issues which I wish I still had. From the first issue it had a feel that you could see was going to do the same thing that Vert skating in Skateboarder did to the sport. Magazines survive off of advertising revenue. In the early days of slalom skateboarding and downhill Di Dootson used to publish a little list of race results at La Costa, I was at the Viva La Costa reunion this year with Henry Hester , Laura Thornhill, Steve Evans, Ritchie Carasco et all. When You have a racing based sport there emerge 2-3 "main players corporate teams" with a few smaller race teams winning about 15% of the time. Unless the product is expensive and needs constant replacement it is very difficult for an action sports magazine (not a mainstream magazine) to survive off of advertising revenue of just 3-5 sponsors that sell the majority of the product. Often the esoteric brands which are harder to produce have smaller production runs and so have no budget for advertising. In judged sports with freestyle- its more about marketing and hiring of athletes and distribution than it is about pure race times. In racing the money shot photo is the racer crossing the line- it's a hard shot to get (particularly in the 1970-1980s , you only get one chance and high frame rate video screen grabs aren't possible like today . In freestyle you have a zillion takes, tons of time alone with pros, endless marketing opportunities. It's easy to bracket your exposure to get the perfect shot- even if you are a hack, if you can compose the shot , bracket it and have the athlete do the same thing over and over, eventually you will get a magazine worthy shot. It also supports more athletes- more money paying interior shots that the athlete gets paid for not just the cover shot, or end covers. No one really cares about the 18th place skater in a race unless he is dressed cool. But freecarving is not racing.. ...whew thank goodness for that, because you could support a couple of freecarving shots, but again..we got an Alpin Punk article and that was about it. -but in part because a magazine has publishing costs, minimum distribution, minimum runs etc. to be profitable and relevant. This is not true of costs for online publishing ...again. ...whew So - I had a talk with Michael Brooke, I had just won the 2002 Longboard skateboarding world championships... we were at some cool skateboard vert meet up - at I think the wooden hangar bowl in South Carolina. We were talking about another fringe sport- longboarding , online of course existed then, and I talked to Michael about the feeling of holding a magazine in your hand, and being able to leave it on a coffee table for friends to look at. Something- which is aspirational and inspirational. And that a Sport without a Magazine isn't really a sport at all. Now- if anyone is thinking, Gilmour is full of shit... he couldn't have any influence on this... Just call Michael Brooke ask him yourself. HE will never forget those sort of conversations its his duty to remember and report this sort of stuff. Well Micheal IMHO had a very good run of it. Publishing International Longbaord Magazine and later The Concrete Wave after a bit. With great photgraphy somewhat reminiscent of the earlier skateboarder Magazine, but representing skating from all over. He felt he should represent more than just a single facet of the sport- and that the GEOGRAPHIC stranglehold that Dana Point had on skateboarding should not limit its scope of coverage so he made it TRULY INTERNATIONAL. Canada is pretty far from Dana Point... which ironically is where I am typing this article- from a great hill to skate on- that ends near Hobie Alter's bronze full size Hobie Cat Statue .... Ironic. The issue I see is that the images are not consolidated anywhere. and there is no anticipation of an issue coming out. I'd like to see a curated magazine of images that comes out only once a month or realistically just 3-5 months a year. and if you like it- you order it on Amazon... and you can even pick the binding quality of the book and cover quality. When You buy one Mag its a singles price ... yor ou can spend double and get 3 issues (and you don't have to select them all at once). You have say 6 sequential issues to select which ones you want. Or if you buy a 3 pack maybe one of them could be a giant size format. Like some bitching Atlas size. and then ---- place MAG(s) on your coffee table. So when people come in your house - and see your boards (where ever they are) you can show people what those boards mean to you. That helps Alpine future.
  7. After going to Japan yo ride two seasons ago - there was a lot of carving there. Japan has the ability to start trends... look at how popular face masks are now when we used to think Japanese wearing face masks do not to infect others was silly. Jk but really - At Niseko United resorts in Hokkaido I would hardly say the snow was good for carving, a bit better at Rusutsu but not by much. Japan’s Gentem Stick Snowboard company has a way of looking at snowboarding on Japan’s relatively mellow inclines compared to the Rocky Mountains in Alaska as surfing on the snow. Which is something that should not be stopped it is a continuous motion from top to bottom. They try to emulate surfing styles. So the carving features more surf influenced moves and surf influenced cars, though no very aggressive backslash is certainly they like to hold the rail for a long time. You could see some of this in evidence while I was driving snowmobile and running the riders up to the knuckle hack at aspens Winter X games this year. While waiting to pick up the riders at the bottom of the chute I got a near front row ticket to seeing all the carving antics after they had landed their tricks. The Japanese were keen to try to outdo each other in carving ability at the bottom of the hill and not just do a slide to a stop. The speeds They didn’t want to looked rushed by doing For instance a high-speed butter and make it look like they were just trying to recover their balance after a sloppy landing or detract from the trick so they want to enhance it by throwing in a very stylish carving move at the bottom. For instance a high-speed butter and make it look like they were just trying to recover their balance after a sloppy landing or detract from the trick so they want to enhance it by throwing in a very stylish carving move at the bottom. Some Americans did try to emulate this. Sen Powell and I chatted on the ride up as I used to coach at Stratton where he went , but he wasn’t going to put carve the Japanese .. I also took some of the Japanese riders up and tried to encourage them “ that carve was sick” . But they were going to carve without any encouragement at the bottom anyhow. Four years in Aspen I leave my signature tracks on certain parts of the hill, just like softsurfer likes to leave his signature high line carve track close to where the Ajax express lift just crosses Silver Bell. I like to leave some harder to duplicate track coming over a plateau just under the same lift. so pretty much going up the Ajax express left we’re always curious to see who is here and look for people signature tracks but this year I’ve seen a lot more quality deeper trenching softboot carves and they aren’t attributable to any one person or group of people. this year early season I saw Angie and her Husband , and then later Daniel Ziv, and only about 2-5 other hardbooters all last year ( missed holiday riding so missed Lance and others) but to say during non-holiday periods hard boot carving was certainly not very visible. On Ajax. Ziv I saw at highlands . It was the least alpine snowboarding I have ever seen in a season. But I do think some of the splitboarders in touring boots might be getting the skills for deep trenching .
  8. I'll go with SoftbootSurfers observation about people going back to skiing. Used to be Alpine boards delivered a carving experience that was far superior to skiing. Now ...not such a huge gap. Again skiings versality in carved shapes, tech derived from snowboards , skis that carve well, skis that handle powder with as much surface area as similar length snowboards , and terrain versatility.... skiing is back in vogue. This past year I even felt like getting on some Palmer P02 skis just for the heck of it. But it's not just a wild guess, it's an observation, I get on lifts with people on skis that told me they used to carve on alpine and went back to Skiing. The only thing I see to help alpine is Splitboarding- the fastest growing niche. Because these guys are trying to innovate and not just accept a mediocre status quo. In 1985 I helps a friend write his MIT thesis for Mechanical Engineering, he won the MIT prize that year and cited me, and split the prize money with me. His thesis was making a releasable snowboard binding. We had two designs a sequential release and a simultaneous coupled release. Only now do I see a real world application for split boarding in avalanche areas, coupled to an Avalanche bag rip cord. These guys need a releasable lightweight binding and hardboots. No one wants to be permanently strapped into a split board while skinning and caught in an slide. If I could get a comfortable lightweight set of boots for alpine that didn't give me shin bang, heel pain, sixth toe pain... that would be nice. When you rail at high angles, it's not like there is so much pressure on the bottom on your foot as on the side, and the padding in some boots just is not sufficient to prevent pain while pulling g-s and loading that part of your foot. A soft boot gives some, plus they are replaced frequently enough that they don't get packed out. But softboots don't work well for splitting on double fall line terrain. I want a hard boot that is in the same weight range as the randonee boots, one that is versatile. I started working on one this year, contacted one of the guys who worked on the flexor comp , and I want to make a better lighter more versatile binding. That would make me so much happier to be on hardboots and alpine again. I park very close to the lifts. Sometimes I wear a set of Ugg boots, carry softboots inside my pack, strap another pair of hardboots on the outside of my pack, carry an alpine board and a Jones Hovercraft ... and ride Alpine in the Morning, and swap to soft when it gets clumpy. Did that 2 seasons ago. But three sets of boots? Because nothing walks easily so I go with Uggs- sometimes in loose soft boots. But still swapping boots (and insoles) and socks, when I want to swap boards is annoying. I don't want to ride hardboots all day- I used to in the Northeast because the snow can be bullet proof all day and never get very clumpy, but in the West ...nope. But I look at split borders and randonee skiers happily walking in their lightweight boots. That makes sense to me. I was at Fin Doyles place in spring of 2019, looking at his cool solar tracking device he was developing, and we were talking about split boarding and he also believes that the boots we rode were too heavy and too stiff and that he rides better on his lightweight hardboots for splitting than he ever did in traditional hardboots. That's in part why I favored my Nordica TR-9 randonee boots while I was on the East coast. So I think split boarding with lightweight plastic and CF touring boots with lighter bindings will be the only thing to bring back alpine. Because it will introduce lightweight hardboots that aren't overly stiff (if you cut them) to snowboarders who swore by softboots and now see the advantages of a hard boot when asked to do multiple disciplines... like Crampons. IF people who liked softboots try those hard boots, IF their carving improves on them and maybe IF on harder days they decide to use those boots on an Alpine deck with plate bindings ...we might have a resurgence , but that is a lot of "IFs". If I could have one set of boots that worked for both, and maybe skiing too..and boards that were just as light as naked boards without bindings... I'd happily carry 2 or 3 boards (heck maybe skis once in a while) to the hill and ride Alpine every morning... and seriously I walk only about 100 feet to the gondola...plus there is almost zero board theft at aspen so I don't bother locking anything. But carrying 3 boards with bindings sucks no matter how short the distance. I was so happy when Catek came out with the disc system... that made it a lot easier..but still the binding overhang could vary from board to board as the angles changed and width under foot. I want the binding to be integrated mostly into the boot. I want boots that know what they they are being clipped into and adjust release settings automatically to what you ahem them in, crampons (no release) Snowshoes (release) Skis (release) snowboard (probably not releasing except in some conditions). A multi purpose hard boot like that....well that might even attract some skiers to try Alpine. So for me, its the hardboot's situation weight, comfort , short time to packing out liners (My Head Stratos packed out in 15 days) , shin bang, little availability, little selection, difficulty to get a good custom fit , and low traction in ice .... thats what you have to fix for Alpine to get any growth . As pessimistic as it sounds, I'm trying to get Alpine noticed. I raced the last 3 GS races in Aspen this year. And a few said they would race next year...a few threatened to race this year but did not.... because the skier courses weren't very conducive to snowboarding. But at last I got a few people thinking about it. I won more points for my team than any of the skiers. And that got the people who do both to start thinking about points. (which is why I might ski a bit, but I don't think I'll be competitive in that) . The other side of the coin... Throw Alpine races and have REAL Prize money..... that would be huge help. If someone sees $5000 or $10,000 as a prize, it gets people to consider it. But unless Jeff Bezos starts snowboarding ..... IMHO It's up to splitboard boots and bindings. And the current split board bindings don't allow for high stance angles...and they have heel cups that aren't good for high lean angles either...sigh..... Stay safe
  9. I wouldn't believe it either except it happened to me. Brian Hipona, a coach at the winter X games can verify this stuff he was a customer of mine in 1988. he saw all the media, and stuff that I had done before the first color magazine format for snowboarding even came out. Some people don't believe that I ever rode hard boots. Believe what ever you think is right in your gut instead of actual facts and stuff that people actually did. Feel free to make up your own history...like some old mustached German guy in the 1940's. I'm dealing with a downhiller, talking smack about me, who would like to re-write history in a podcast- despite the fact that every competitor who was there conflicts with his story. But people might believe him in their gut. How about some other "firsts"? I spec'd biased FORWARD camber on the Madd Boards. That was the first time people messed with camber profiles. I also applied Hi-fi principles to control vibration from turntables to snowboards. I also put rubber sheeting to absorb vibration in the boards , I spec'd alternating the types of wood in the core to reduce vibration across the board. We raised the resonant frequency of the board so it wouldn't hop and chop out in a turn, I fixed all the delamination issues of having aluminum, steel fiberglass, rubber sheeting, and carbon all coming together in less than inch. I even applied "anti-skate" turntable methods to my riding. But don't believe me. Make something up instead. Sorry just a bit annoyed right now without snow.
  10. Alpine, as in Hardboots that are heavy and Plate Bindings that weigh a ton a $$$ board that is limited to early morning groom or race courses by its flex.... well that is pretty much deader than dead. I don't see it as a growing market segment, no matter how much people tell me. Now I have been SUPER wrong before. Like when Jeff Grell of Sims and I talked on the phone in 1983 about the future of snowboarding and whether I should patent the highbak I made from soccer shin guards and I decided so few people would subject themselves to the frozen granular beating most take in the Northeast.At the time Sims was making about 70-150 boards. We thought sales of snowboards for Sims might be limited to a few hundred boards a year, and maybe double that for Burton. hahaha I was way off. But This time I lived through Alpines multiple attempts at resurgence. And PGS well I think that is so much less interesting that a real GS or Super G. I think that killed it a bit more. BX courses with those drop starts... that would kill Alpine by its flex pattern even if you have a rounded tail with hardboots. The courses banked turns no longer- so less advantage for Alpine - the jumps got hairier. I was the first person to convert his Sims pre-highbak bindings to Hardboots on the East coast. I had to become a Koflach dealer to order the Koflach Valluga 4000 lite randonee boots because there were none in the USA. So I initially started hard booting in what was a Sims 1500 FE swallowtail. There were ZERO racing boards at the time. It was All Softboots with no hardbooters. The only Hardbooter to make it look cool (and he did an amazing job) was Damian Saunders of Avalanche who rode a pair of the Koflach Valluga Lite early on with Avalanche Plate "uni Bindings" and mostly later in the Yellow and white Koflach Albona boot which I also switched to. (See Snowboarders in Exile Movie) . So much for "influencers". He was doing multiple backflips on hardboots when no one else was doing a double back flip, he was super funny, very cool, covered in hot chicks, married a Penthouse model, owned a nightclub full of rubber and pimp and hoe nights.... Where were the people lined up for hardboots? Sure that was later.... so let's go back in time to before hardboots again. I started the Worlds first snowboard camp in Tignes Val D'Isere and advertised in International Snowboard Magazine (so small in circulation it was on newsprint ) I started a company called JASBAR sport which stood for John (Gilmour) and Steve (Day, a friend from MIT) Bogue All Retailers - just because we wanted to buy skis and snowboards for ourselves at wholesale prices and sell a bunch to cover our snow habit without having a brick and mortar store. Jeff Grell agreed to teach at the snowboard camp , but I had fewer than 10 people sign up- most were skiers who liked the good deal. A two week trip $714 for airfare from Boston, all lifts , airport transfers lodging and breakfasts - so sadly, I had to tell Jeff I couldn't cover his costs. I couldn't do a halfpipe in the USA because of liability- they wouldn't even allow kickers! Over a phone conversation , Jeff and I discussed the design of the worlds first half pipe, Jeff sketched it and sent the drawing to me which showed we were pretty much on the same page. It had low walls and a lot of flat bottom space at the top and as you went down it got closer together and blew out into a huge bowl with lots of vert at the bottom. The reason I wanted a bowl at the end was to make it look like pool riding, and It was influenced by Campo Grande skateboard park in Brazil where I used to ride about 5 years earlier. Again, I thought the halfpipe thing was an even smaller oddity. Too hard and expensive to maintain. And so few people would have the skills to do it, and enough days on the hill to master it that it was just a novelty. HA ha ha. SOOOOO Wrong I was. But that was predicting a future with no past of the same sport. Now we have a past to refer to. I tried to push hard boots on people when they were riding in construction boots in 1983. AND STILL I couldn't get people to give up the "comfort" (sarcastically) of riding in soft boots- I rode with LL Bean boots when I started and so the switch happened rafter only 4 days of LL bean boots because of the pain on top of my foot from the fastex buckles (The SIMS binding bails weren't made until high-baks came out). The heel of the Valluga fit perfectly into the heel cup of the soft boots- no need for a high-bak. I only made the high-bak so my friends could try snowboarding in their winter boots. I thought they would buy hardboots after getting hooked, But they were not interested in going back to a cold , heavy, stiff flexing plastic boot that they identified with skiing and not surfing. Plus there is the cost of the gear. A good Alpine board isn't cheap- a Donek Madd Killer runs about a grand without $600 boots and expensive bindings and you could buy a pretty good complete Softboot set up for under a grand. Getting a skier who is accomplished at racing and trying to get them into Alpine snowboard carving is a lot like taking a guy out of top Ferrari that also has the ability to run in bumps and putting them in a slammed to ground Honda Civic with nitrous that is limited to a few trails and really is at its best in the morning. Getting kids into it is hard as they look at their other friends riding together on softboots and feel excluded on their hardboots- or worse ...weird. Kids don't like to feel weird- too much peer pressure. I can't even get my Godson's dad to let me put his son in hardboots because he doesn't want him to get distracted from freestyle . It might as well be ballet skiing. Now those ARE perceptions. I personally don't care what people think. Or that I look odd being the only one on the mountain in hardboots. I know I can ride well in hardboots. So why am I not on hardboots more? I used to ride in soft boots for less than 5 days a year, now it has flip flopped even worse with only 10,000 vertical feet last year. I feel that the current flex patterns of good softboots in good bindings on an above average board are good enough to allow for performance riding, carving and fun. This was not often the case 12 years ago. But the comfort factor in softboots and additional support, improved internal heel retention , heat moldable liners, ankle donuts, made in the last 4 years is , well... insanely good. You can release BOAS like Hardboot buckles to give your feet some blood on the way up the chairlift. Plus you can rail on softboots comfortably in anything remotely resembling packed powder... on frozen granular... things favor Hardboots. and in soft snow like after a dump, the softboots and softer flexing non submarining non alpine boards are a better choice. Softboots are warmer. Easier to walk in, and easier to get a "custom fit" in. Now, I don my hard boots or soft boots on the gondola ride up, and doff them on the gondola ride down. I rarely walk around town in either. But even so... I prefer the softboots for walking around in the lodge even if its just a few steps. And because of these things..... I rode my hardboots in (3) GS races this year and ZERO runs on the slope free riding. If I had more days on snow- or days on firmer snow, I would have ridden alpine. It takes me a few days on snow in softboots to ease into hardboots every season. I rode Alpine because some of the ski race courses in Aspen would have not been possible in softboots, which is why Zero softbooters entered. I did do one of my two race runs on a GS in softboots on a powder board at thunder bowl at Aspen Highlands this year, and it was a struggle to survive the course, and that the only reason I swapped to Alpine on the next run. Alpine snowboarding is BY FAR the SUPERIOR workout. You want leg strength? Alpine builds it faster than anything else but you will feel a lot of fatigue ripping 40+ mph turns all day on groomers. Plus hard snow or injected courses pretty much demand it. The reality is, soft boot snowboarding now can deliver enough carving pleasure and thrill that you don't have to buy an Alpine set up anymore to have fun carving. And that is why Alpine will probably never recover. I ran snowmobiles for ESPN Winter X games this year, I brought the top riders to top of the halfpipe , to the big air, and the knuckle huck this year. I brought SEB up (SMS graduate) who win the knuckle huck , also the top Japanese riders (Who consistently ripped gorgeous carves after their landings) and saw more soft boot carving than ever by athletes... but again I doubt this will translate into hardboot and Alpine board sales. However, if a person learns to carve at a high level on softboots in good snow, and lives in an area with very hard snow for most of the days of the year ( Vermont , Maine, Montreal area)...I could see that feed into sales. but again marginal sales as it simply is more fun to ride on good snow than frozen granular I tend to wait for packed powder and avoid days which have had no snow for the previous 2 weeks. But hell. I love Alpine. I am even thinking about how I would design the next Alpine board and the slopes have been closed for a month.
  11. Oh Jack, Laguna Beach currently has test results with the highest per capita rate in Orange County positive COVID-19 rate in part because a higher percentage of people were tested, and tests were free. I called one place at Caldeus 333 Thalia Laguna Beach at a time when there were only 17 cases in OC. I explained I could not stay in Aspenany longer and was returning to Orange Country (6th most populated county in the USA) from a Colorado Cluster Area and was going to stay away from housemates for 7 more days but wanted to know if I should take more extreme measures if I were tested Positive (like not going out at all- having others shop for food for me etc. ) . With Orange County wanting to do as much as they could to identify positive cases and quarantine (this was well before Shelter in place) they also felt it was worth testing me as the Aspen Cluster was the biggest in Colorado. I also wore masks starting on March 13th and people looked at me like I was nuts and continued to wear them after March 20 even though I was Negative . Now everyone wears masks. BTW- this is a ridiculous small sample size- normally if results were mixed I'd disregard it entirely... however all the results skew one way and by a good amount. Again just looking at the fate of the National Brotherhood of Skiers.In that most were shorter domestic flights but again, these flights are pressurized to 5000-8000 feet more to the high end. https://www.powder.com/stories/news/are-ski-areas-responsible-for-the-spread-of-covid-19/ As if March 19 40% of Norways cases can be traced to this resort" (Ischgl) a high one well over 14,000 feet. So you fly in pressurized to 8000 feet and then ski over 14,231 feet. That would completely destroy my ability to breathe without slow acclimatization ...whcih is why I find Aspen's 4 separate areas manageable incrementally. For me arriving in Aspen I ski Buttermilk the first day 9,900 feet , then Aspen AJAX 11,212 for a week or more before considering Aspen Highlands 11,675 chair access ...top of bowl 12,392 feet and lastly Snowmass at over 14,098 feet. It might not seem like huge difference but physiologically it is. For me its the difference between staying in Aspen or taking the next direct flight to Phoenix or LAX to stop my altitude sickness from becoming HAPE. You pass a threshold and suffer. I think Covid-19 likes what altitude does to a non acclimatized person and people with genetics that react to altitude differently. I'm not going to blame it all on ski resorts, but you might think that those with larger capacity Gondolas might have more transmission but Sun Valleys gondola is not bigger than Aspens. However Ischgl has a much bigger gondola like Squaw Valleys. Just saying that non acclimatized people under altitude duress even if mild might be more likely to contract and suffer from Covid-19 which will infect a weaker immune system (yes we have no immunity for this, but likely there is a viral load threshold for infection that could be lower for those under altitude duress ) and possibly propagate faster and shed more virus as a result. Drinking isn't likely to help as AMS and HAPE are easier to get if you drink, and the prevalence of smoking in European resorts with deep inhalation probably kicked it up a notch .Lots of smoking in many Asian countries too. Smoking and drinking go hand in hand. My concern is: IF high altitude ski resorts do prove to have more transmission....and COVID-19 (which apparently has already mutated) is something you can get next year in a new strain.... oh shit.
  12. To answer that, at first I didn't believe it affected people at altitude like I do now. I also thought at ski resorts where you could ride alone on lifts WITHOUT gondolas you would be as safe as playing golf. I was still going to self quarantine in my car for 5 days before sharing any space as I had already self quarantined several days in my car in Aspen . I was looking for just 1-2 other people to join my GF and her son (they aren't car campers) who had already quarantined for 10 days . And we didn't know the high asymptomatic rate at that time. I self quarantined for an additional 7 days in my car when I arrived back in the Orange County and got tested as soon as they could take me a few hours after I woke up. I did not end my quarantine until I got a negative test result- just stayed in the driveway, not fun. My exposure in Colorado was almost zero because my turtles were banned this year from Apres ski. I was living in my car for every single night in Colorado and did not eat in any restaurants in town (very low budget this season-camping stoves etc.) and only ate a single dinner at a friends house . SO compared to other snowboarders in Aspen my exposure was about the least possible. But I still don't take chances. I even bag my footwear in the car and spray it. Having the typical western 50-200 feet between skiers in the open air, while you ski with a Ski face mask (maybe a mask under that) and goggles and gloves and you wipe down everything with sanitizer before you go in your car IMHO, probably not that risky. Watch out for kids wiping snot on the chairlift bar. Being on third? Not even close... behind in EVERY possible bill like the rest of America...COVID-19 totally screwed me including my off season income.
  13. I never implied ideas were practical.... haha. I'm saying for those travelers who COVID-19 at high altitudes- they should probably return to sea Level ASAP to increase the O2 for their lungs . It isn't practical to use byperbaric chambers or submarines for a number of reasons like quick access by medical personnel. Though in some cases, it might be a better alternative. And I'm not saying everyone should go on Nuclear submarines with medical crews- and if you want to stay under for weeks at a time. haha. But they do make some pressure bags, that they use for people that need a portable hyperbaric chamber for AMS. Covid-19 is a weird disease that might need unconventional treatment for a minority of some of threatened 02 compromised patients to have better outcomes since ARDSnet isn't working out so well for a lot of the patients. Different therapies for different patients who present with different symptoms , not one size fits all. I could say if a hyperbaric bag were an option and I could avoid a vent, I'd probably go for the bag.. less chance to damage alveoli . Plus you have the benefit of being able to move a patient around without infection to others, as you can control and filter provided that the patient looks stable . http://hbot-therapy.com/durable-easy-to-set-up-compact-hbot-chambers-by-oxyhealth-llc/ https://www.chinookmed.com/06001/gamow-bag-hyperbaric-chamber-civilian-model.html
  14. https://www.the-hospitalist.org/hospitalist/article/220301/coronavirus-updates/protocol-driven-covid-19-respiratory-therapy-doing I didn't go to medical school I was just pre-med at Boston University. I'm no respiratory therapist either. But I bet when this shakes out for some patients the body thinks it's at altitude when you get the virus and actually being at high altitude in addition doesn't help. Not for all covid-19 cases but for those that can breathe well and have low 02. And for those of carvers either on long haul flights to ski areas or even driving to ski areas quickly changing altitude over 8000 ft it might change our infection suceptibilty . My ER friends on the east coast think there might be something to my theory. So whats your take on it? I'll take your skilled opinion or Poloturbo over mine . Have you treated many COVID-19 cases? If so thanks. Here's the interview of several people treating COVID-19 that made me think it was HAPE. https://rebelem.com/rebel-cast-ep79-covid-19-trying-not-to-intubate-early-why-ardsnet-may-be-the-wrong-ventilator-paradigm/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rebel-cast-ep79-covid-19-trying-not-to-intubate-early-why-ardsnet-may-be-the-wrong-ventilator-paradigm
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