Riley Boone Featured In Ski Magazine!
Riley Boone Featured in Ski Magazine!
Riley Boone is an owner here at Boone Mountain Sports. He was recently chosen by Ski Magazine to share his thoughts on What Kind of Skis to Choose For Rocky Mountain Conditions. Enjoy insights into the essentials needed for successful powder chasing from a true mountain veteran. Join us in congratulating Riley on the feature and take a look through his ski selects featured in the BMS catalog.
How Wide of a Ski Do I Need for the Rocky's?
" In the early season (December and early January), ski runs in the Rockies are likely to be covered with firm snow without a lot of moisture content. For this type of snow, Boone recommends skis with waist widths below 85mm, ideally in the range of 68-88mm.
Narrow skis don’t get as much marketing hype as all-mountain and powder skis, because skiers want to believe they’ll need something fatter for those epic Rocky Mountain days that are surely just around the corner. “The reality is, I probably ski a 78mm ski about 70 percent of the time,” says Boone.
Among the skiing public, aspirations seem to have evened out with the day-to-day reality that a narrow-waisted ski is much easier to turn on a base that comes primarily from snowmaking. Shop sales over the past few seasons reflect a national trend of skiers purchasing narrower skis—this trend is reflected in the Rocky Mountain region as well.
In the midwinter months of January and February, the Rockies start to get more natural snow, but as any longtime local will tell you, it’s not like the old days. “People have a misunderstanding that they need something 110mm and up for every day when you’re only skiing 3 inches of snow,” says Boone. “In Colorado, we’re lucky if we get 15 days of powder on the hill.” Those three-inch storms do add up over time and soften the snow, which is why Boone recommends all-mountain skis for this time of year, with waist widths ranging between 85-100mm.
“March and April make up our third season,” says Boone. “We can ski bulletproof snow in the morning and slush in the afternoon. Or we’re skiing 3 feet of pow. That’s when you should have a few pairs of skis in your truck so you can ski the pow until it gets tracked up, then get out the all-mountain ski. On a bulletproof spring morning, you’d want a narrower frontside ski, then an all-mountain ski that won’t be so hooky in the slush.” Amassing a quiver of skis tailored to all conditions you’re likely to encounter in the Rocky Mountains is the ideal, but not a reality for every skier, especially those who only make one or two annual trips to the region. If a full quiver isn’t likely, your best bet is to settle on a narrower all-mountain ski—something around 90mm underfoot."
What Ski Constructions are Ideal for the Rockies?
When it comes to construction and materials, Boone favors metal. “There’s nothing like metal,” he says. “Some woods share some characteristics of Titanal, but not a lot. Everyone in the shop skis metal skis everywhere because we believe it performs the best.”
Boone’s Rule of Thumb Goes Like This:
- Harder woods and thicker metals for hardpack conditions
- Softer woods like ash, poplar, caruba, and thinner sheets of metal for all-mountain skis
- A combination of a high strength-to-weight ratio material like carbon and a softer wood like caruba to create a dynamic flex pattern for powder skis
“There are a lot of skis that share similar cores, but the differences are shapes and tapers of early rise,” says Boone. To find what works best for you, it may be worth demoing or renting skis based on your ability. Once you get on a couple of different skis and talk to knowledgeable shop employees, you’ll start to recognize how different skis perform differently based on their shapes and constructions.
Another of Boone’s pro tips is to pay attention to the turning radius on your favorite pair of skis by looking at the topsheet and noting what the manufacturer lists as the optimum turning radius. Combine that with your preferred length, and you’ll most likely be happy on a variety of skis by a variety of brands. Boone recommends that if you prefer short, controlled turns, look for a ski with a turn radius between 10-13m. If you prefer medium turns, look for a turning radius between 14-16m. If you relish long, GS-style turns, look for 17m and up. “Newer skis are so maneuverable, with a lot of sidecut and early rise taper, that you can still make short turns on a ski with a longer radius.”
Come stop by the shop in Evergreen or shop online from our wide array of top-shelf brands. We have skis and snowboards for all ages. As well as accessories, bindings and shop services to fit your every need this Winter!