On Snow Demo
Thursday was the Eastern Mountain Sports On Snow Demo at Mount Wachusett. The On Snow Demo is an opportunity for Eastern Mountain Sports employees to come to Wachusett and sample the skis we will be selling, as well as participate in a series of clinics. The goal is to have the staff as knowledgeable as possible about the product we are selling. There is no better way to get to know about a product than getting out and using it. Furthermore, it was a great excuse to blow off work and get outside.
This season employees had an opportunity to sample our new snowboard line Jones, as well as AT skis, and Telemark skis. Also, there were clinics offering everything from beginner telemark skier, to telemark skiing for the alpine skier, and a backcountry ski class that featured AT gear, telemark gear, and splitboards. The great thing about the event is that there was something for everyone and opportunity for people to explore other sports they may not have otherwise considered trying.
It was really impressive how many people turned out for the event. It seemed that every clinic being offered was well-populated and, more importantly, it seemed that everyone in the clinics were really enjoying themselves. I noticed that many of the morning’s participants in both of the telemark clinics held on to their demo skis and rode them some more throughout the afternoon. In addition to the abundance of telemark gear in use, I saw a fair amount of AT equipment being used on the mountain as well.
While I did not participate in any of the clinics for the day I did sample two of the new skis for the season. In the morning I skied the new version of the Black Diamond Stigma. The Stigmas have always been a favorite of mine. They are a very soft and forgiving ski that are very easy to turn and lots of fun. The latest version of the Stigma did not disappoint, and I was very pleased with their performance. The Stigma, with its light weight and easy turning, is the perfect choice for the beginning telemarker and also a great ski for the early morning skin and skis that we have been doing so much of as of late. I might try to relieve the EMS ski school of a pair for ‘further testing.’
In the afternoon I skied a pair of K2 Waybacks. The Waybacks were the first rockered ski I have had the opportunity to ride. After a few runs I found myself falling in love with the skis. I found the Waybacks easy to turn and very predictable, and perhaps a little more aggressive than the Stigmas. Where the Waybacks really excelled was busting through the crud of afternoon snow. The sun was shining and a fair amount of skiers had been on the slopes leaving snow conditions very inconsistent, but the Waybacks proved to be a great tool to handle the variable conditions. They were comfortable on the ice and busted through the crust with ease. I am looking forward to skiing the Waybacks some more, but my first impression is that they are a lot of fun.
The real treat of the day was watching the mountain fill with telemarkers. It was really cool to see groups of five to ten people bunched together on the mountain exploring a different type of skiing. The mountain, albeit for a day, seemed to be a haven for the telemark skier. Whether it was the beginners at the magic carpet, or the seasoned vets ripping the entire mountain we (telemarkers) seemed the many, not the few. It was really exciting to see the enthusiasm at the EMS tent as well. There were so many employees psyched on telemarking and all the other winter gear. I heard more than one employee inquiring… Where to buy skis? How much for skis? Is further instruction available? Which stores are carrying splitboards? …and many more questions that bubbled with excitement.
In fact, the enthusiasm was contagious with people asking me all day about the skis I was using and just being generally curious about the discipline of telemark skiing. It was a fun day at the mountain, with great people, great weather, great product, and, most importantly, great energy, and I’d like to think we introduced a few new members to the tribe. For the day, Nate and I got in 27 runs for just shy of 20,000 feet. Additionally, we ended up with some sore legs and big smiles.