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Old 01-24-2011   #1
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
How my new rockered skis almost killed me

So I just got my first pair of rockered skis.

I got the Blue House Maesrto in a 189. They are 118 under foot with early rise tip and tail and traditional camber in the center. I managed to ski 7 out of the last 9 days on them, with all but one day in decent to great powder. The float is amazing; they have no tendency to dive, like my ’08 goats that I otherwise liked so much.

They handle great at high speeds even in harder snow, but one of their best attributes is how easily they initiate turns in tighter terrain. I feel much more confident in my ability to turn safely in tighter trees, both at speed but just as importantly before coming up to speed I can whip them around to get started in trees that were previously too tight on the stiffer, all cambered skis.

So in a nut shell, I’ve been skiing a lot faster, both in the trees and in open bowls. We got out into some great snow on the back side of Copper Sunday and got fresh tracks off the West ridge. It was great watching Riley really digging the powder and launching off of small rocks and generally ripping hard for a 9 year old. Skiing with another good adlut, we take turns leading and sweeping with each adult skiing twice as far as each of his turns. I had just gotten done carefully explaining what drops were safe for him and how not to drop into a blind zone that might land on rocks.

I’d been scoping out a line through some little trees in a cliff band that is only visible from the chair. The second lap i thought i had my line picked well with marker rocks and trees to either just drop off a small convexity or maybe up to an 8 foot rock into open space. I went third and blew by Craw and Riley in to the desired zone at what for me is about full speed. As I approached the horizon, I could tell I was not where I had intended, but above a much bigger drop. This was a drop I had every intention of avoiding, but thought it should go if it was hit right. The drop ended up being an estimated 20+ feet with mandatory rocks to clear of at least 30’ out. I committed and sailed over a horrible looking boulder garden and landed just a little back seat in deep soft snow. Even with the Barrons maxed out on DIN 12, they double ejected and sent me auguring in deep. I immediately sensed that I was mostly ok, but had hurt my shoulder.

I guess the adrenaline of the launch and crash allowed me to kid myself that it was not dislocated for a few moments. I had Craw feel my shoulders, and he was inconclusive. By the lift line I was in a lot of pain. I went in and talked to ski patrol at the summit who confirmed the obvious, but was not allowed to help try to reduce. Marty and I gave a quick go at it but could not get it in.

After a painful mile of groomers to the bottom, the fine folks at the St. Anthony’s had it back in with minimal delays.

While I had no intention of ever launching the spot that I did, I really got off pretty easy with just a shoulder injury.

If Riley got a good lesson out of the deal, it may almost be justifiable.


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Old 01-24-2011   #2
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Atta boy Dave how'd that airtime feel? Gotta love those blind horizons

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Old 01-24-2011   #3
Toni's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 169
I am sorry to have missed capturing the great flight on film, though probably best that I didn't see it.

I do think it made an impression on Riley, he has asked lots of questions and has been very attentive to Dad's needs...even made breakfast this morning! I think showing your kids that you make mistakes and can learn from them is far more beneficial than having them think you're perfect, or that they need to be.

I must say, however, while all that was happening, I hiked a bit farther and got the best run of my life!

You'll heal quickly
Toni Frank
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Old 01-24-2011   #4
Chief Niwot's Avatar
West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 643
Dave, you are a hard charger on those new skis! We might have to take those skis away from you to slow you down.

We had a banner day at Eldo on Saturday, deep pow in all of our favorite areas all day long. I had a kid just miss me in moose at high speed, he went right over the back of my skis and flew in the air into a pretty stout tree and fell to the ground. I was amazed he was not hurt and darn glad he did not hit me.
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Old 01-24-2011   #5
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
If i was riley I probably would've pissed myself if my pops tried being a bird.. id crack up if someone went over my shit straight into a stout tree. That's funny obviously he was not in control
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Old 01-24-2011   #6
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
Great story! I hope that never happens to me.

I have a question though. Why are these new fat skis and rockered skis so great? I hear they ski more like a snowboard and "float" better, but I don't understand why that is desirable. It seems like a foot of fresh would ski the same as 2 or 3 feet on these fatties, whereas with old skinny skis the difference between a foot and three is night and day: a foot is a good time and three is epic. I love digging in deep pow and going blind and inhaling snow every turn. It seems like fat skis eliminate the need for a snorkel. What am I missing?
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Old 01-24-2011   #7
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Gee Dave, someone definitely should have snapped a picture. Sorry to hear about the injury but glad it wasn't worse. What's the word on the shoulder? Is it going to be paddling worthy by spring?
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Old 01-24-2011   #8
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Josh, you're welcome to a test drive if your boots are under 320 mm. Float is good.

Kev, I sure hope so. It sure hurts today; x-rays are good, but not yet sure if anything was torn.

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Old 01-24-2011   #9
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 179
I LOVE my Maestro"s and I understand the HERO feeling they give you. Those skis fuckin rock!
I peed in your pool. Yayyyyy!
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Old 01-24-2011   #10
Roy's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 682
Bummer about the shoulder Dave. Rehab if at all possible, shoulder surgery sucks. Good luck!

I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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