I don’t think anyone got their fill of the fresh powder that had fallen at Donner Ski Ranch on March 17, 2012. The Minus 7 Melee was in session, and most skaters did the responsible thing and participated in the competition rather than ride fresh.
But, on March 18th, it was on! Pat Bonser, Tara and Travis Atkins, Predog’s Mathilda and Jim Spiers, and I posse-ed up and charged powder all day long. The conditions were AMAZING. There were at least 4 inches of brand new snow. And, the snow fell all day long. We got fresh lines every single run!
I don’t have a powderskate so I borrowed the Pioneer Powderskate for a few runs. Stepping off the 49er and on to the Powderskate really opened my eyes to the possibilities of powderskating. It felt so fluid and surfy. I could correct my speed by putting more pressure on the tail and slash flowy carves. Pat was shredding on the Pioneer Powderskate like you wouldn’t believe! He’s got the surf background that I don’t have, and the Pioneer fits his style really well. I had a bit of trouble staying on top of it, and I felt like I was fighting for traction for the rest of the run after a bail. (But remember, this was my first powderskating experience!)
Then, Travis lent me his custom Florida Powderskate. It’s 153 centimeters with a super wide nose. The tail is longer than the Pioneer’s and the ski is more flat and stiff. After a few acclimatizing runs, I felt really stable on the Florida. I was very comfortable slashing pow then transitioning to choppy packed pow. The wide nose adds some forgiveness and the stiff ski makes it responsive. And, the secret weapon is Travis and Tara’s creative idea to put NoBoard Grip on the top deck of their powderskates. They just tear off the handle, remove the rope, and glue it on. This stuff is NOT cheap, but it might still be worth it because the traction is unbeatable!
Jim and Mathilda were on Predog custom cut swallow-tail Powderskates. They were ripping so hard that Pat had to trade and take a few runs on the Predog. He seemed shocked at how well they worked in the powder and on the groomers. The concept of the swallow-tail gives you twice the surface area in the tail and adds to float and carve-ability. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to ride one, but these pictures speak for themselves!
Travis and Tara spent most of the day on Powder Surfers. And, they were ripping! Donner Ski Ranch is coolest resort in the world and let them ride. But, don’t try this at your home mountain! Most resorts won’t let you on the lift with them because they don’t work on groomers…at all. But, it was PERFECT conditions for them the whole day! I had never seen one live in action, and I was blown away!
Special thanks to my blog-tographer, Pat Bonser. He took all the pics and didn’t get one of himself! He’s too fast and gnarly to catch on camera!