2015 Rossignol Air Tip Technology




Air-TipRossignol’s patented Air Tip floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee  throughout this year’s SIA TradeShow in Denver . Muhammad Ali would be so proud! Imagine a skisperience where tip floatation mimics a butterfly’s graceful flight and every turn stings like a wasp during his last days. For over 100 years, Rossignol has become synonymous with industry-changing technology and has yet again manifested a technology so revolutionary that freeride skiers will metamorphosize their skills far beyond what they thought possible. Welcome to the world of Air Tip.

 New 2015 Rossignol Experience Series


604b41e7618fece7ff58942ef39cde3e8d66356b34fcd1c2f2bc5705428f1a6d330b65ec4e824bd3f7b5df04b593bb312d925e26b0c010f4d275c17de972688aNick, Rossi’s version of Nostradamus, refutes the notion that Air Tip tech is just some” flashy fishing lure” that simply dangles in front of the powredator, providing no actual value.  So what is Air Tip? It’s a honeycomb pattern device that traps air in the tip of the ski, much like a parachute, to lighten swing weight, increase strength underfoot and maximize torsional rigidity. “What does that do for me?” You ask.  The Air Tip moves your center of mass underfoot so you can get into the turn quicker and maintain tip flotation in variable snow conditions; thus,  eliminating tip flap and dive while enhancing the rocker construction.  The end result:  unprecedented maneuverability and predictability. Your pain points are eliminated! And once you go Air Tip, you’ll never go back.


 2015 Rossignol 7 Seriers




“The rocker revolution is here! This isn’t just a profile; it’s now a construction,” says Rossignol.  This tech is available in the 2015 Rossignol’s Temptation, Experience and 7 series (Squad, Super, Soul, Sin). The next revolution of freeride skis is here!





Matix Eli Solid Shirt

Matix Eli Solid Shirt

Matix LogoMatix holds true to it’s Los Angles, California roots by creating lifestyle clothing for individuals who submerge themselves in surf and skate culture.  With true craftsmanship and inspiration from the greatest generation’s workwear styling the Matix Eli Solid Shirt is a piece that you can wear for a lifetime.

Tuck it in or leave it out with a perfect length that accommodates both preferences.  A slim fit falls smoothly from the shoulders and the 100% soft vintage wash cotton gentle hugs the midsection with comfortable room to breath.  Contrasting buttons, hem detailing, and collar finishes will make any man feel like a king.  Know that the garments you wear should be as perfect as you are.  [PURCHASE]


Sneak Peek at 2015 K2 Fastplant Snowboard

k2 Snowboards and SkisAfter taking a 5-year hiatus, the 2015 K2 Fastplant reemerged at this year’s SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Trade Show in Denver with a wild new look and fresh tech. At first glance of the board’s groovy psychedelic aesthetics, K2 onlookers appeared dazed and confused as if they just came from a Hate-Ashbury festival.  But this freestyle-focused board is more than just a snippet from a Timothy Leary dream; it’s a confidence building machine that’s packed with every modern tech feature. So whether you’re looking to better your butters or shred the piste out of the mountain, the K2 Fastplant is the board that will make every adventure a memorable one.


Hunter, global brand director at K2, talks about the inspiration behind the Fastplant and how it embodies the mantra of “Seek and Enjoy.” Whatever adventure you seek, feel confident knowing that K2 has loaded this board with more technology than whiskey loaded John Belushi.  The Fastplant has a freestyle baseline, Tweakends, ICG 20 carbon fibers, carbon web, Boombayah core and ollie bar to bring you the most popilicious park board on the market. In fact, the Bambooyah core is so uber-durable that K2 offers a 5-yr warranty on it.  Now that’s confidence! K2 understands that each shredder seeks different adventures, so let the Fastplant be your sherpa and go enjoy whatever terrain moves you.


K2 Rep Brian shows off the Faceplant at The House.







Alex Taran Returns to Pain McShlonkey

How To Laugh At Yourself- Lessons from the Pain McShlonkey

294925_10150294293089521_5853638_n“You better run,” she said in a strong Chicago accent.

With my skis in one hand and pack on my back I did just that. I ran down the Amtrak platform towards car #3. It was 11:32 pm, early April of last year. All I really knew as of 1 hour prior to boarding was that I had bought a ticket from Salt Lake City, UT to Truckee, CA and I was heading for my first Pain McShlonkey (PMS). At 9:37 the next morning, the California Zephyr pulled into Truckee and I stepped off the train onto the sunny platform. Half an hour later I was changing into a cutoff one piece in a bathroom at Squaw Valley. I walked out onto the deck by the base of the Funitel and immediately I saw/made some friends. Last year I had the kind of fun which can only be had by giggling at yourself like a kid while skiing in costumes with friends.

This year when Sherry [McConkey] invited me back I was eager to return. Last year I missed the contest because of the train schedule. This year, I almost missed the start. I was trying to figure out how to put on my snowlerblades as the gun went off. I definitely ended up product testing the 10” of fresh snow Squaw received the previous night with my face. In other words, I fell repeatedly coming down Mountain Run.

Note to reader: while eating crap in mullet wigs consider using something other than a tiara to fashion said wig to your head. Also, when doing a Ski Ballet contest, I highly suggest choosing an 80’s love ballad to play on repeat in your head. It will help you become one with the moment, mountain, and music. You must become one with all three if you have any chance of winning… I guess you could also learn how to do pole flips. They’re pretty damn cool!

The energy at PMS is pretty damn cool too: an all-time stoke from absolute strangers. Skiing, which is full of ego so much of the time, can often turn into a contest of “Who can go bigger?!” At PMS the contest is not about who can go the biggest, but more so who can laugh at themselves the most. It’s easy to lose track of this even though it is the same feeling that has made us love skiing all along.

You remember that time when you were 9 and it dumped and you built that jump in your front yard, then refused to come into the house until it was dark (even though you were completely soaked)?

Or that time you were 16, went shredding all day with your friends, and did donuts in the parking lot until security threatened to call the cops, meanwhile you couldn’t stop laughing?

PMS is that kind of fun.

Alex Taran PMS

I never knew Shane [McConkey], I don’t have any grounds to write about him. But I can say: this event which is in his honor is incredible. There is some kind of joy, contagious laughter, and stoke for skiing which you cannot help but catch.

So, in case you can’t make it to next year’s Pain McShlonkey I have put together a list of things you can do wherever you are to “get into the mood”:

1. Be stoked to go ski no matter how slushy/hard/ variable the conditions are.

2. Don’t feel bad about doing ridiculous behavior (e.g. interpretive dancing) at awkward moments.

3. Do said ridiculous behavior loudly.

4. Do it with friends.

5. If your friends aren’t around, make friends with people you’ve never met.

And most importantly:

6. Do NOT take yourself seriously at all! Never miss a good opportunity to laugh at yourself!

By: Alex Taran


Diary of a Pro Skier: Alex Taran


“The Mountains are my classroom…welcome.”


I met Alex Taran by chance or perhaps it was by way of fate. As I was flying to Denver for my first SIA show this past January, I sipped a ginger ale and thumbed through the new editions of Rolling Stone and Powder, travel habits formed years ago. I read about Alex’s skiing life in Powder, but the article, entitled “Punk Rock,” was almost more fitting for the pages of Rolling Stone. It echoed the rock-n-roll lifestyle and nomadic antics of a traveling band and, if not for the skiing, her life would be an RS cover story. But who knows, it very well still could be.

Our chance meeting at SIA while standing in line for coffee led to emails, phone calls, and text messages. Immediately we connected through our passion for skiing and our belief in its spiritual basis. Skiing is not an activity Alex participates in, nor hobby that builds enthusiasm. Skiing is fun. That simple fact is not lost on Alex. It’s the foundation of her passion. But skiing is a part of Alex’s soul. It is in the make-up of her being, as much a part of her as her hands or heart. She was a skier long before she ever clicked into skis. It courses through her with every palpitation and it is in all her encounters and personal missions. Skiing is as much her religion as it is the driving force behind her thirst for knowledge and lifelong learning. With Alex, skiing is simultaneously the basis of her conceptualized world and the vessel she uses to transcend the boundaries in it. It’s the reason to reach for more and the ladder on which to stand.

Very simply, Alex Taran is the most captivating female voice in today’s ski conversation. You need look no further than to her goggle tan, bro-tilted sunglasses, mountain windblown hair, septum pierced sunburnt nose, and the smile stretched across her face every time she talks about skiing or clicks in, to see that she is for this and by this. Look to her as the benchmark for today’s skiing passion, to where we’ve been, where we are, and most importantly where we are going. Alex Taran is the future.


What does skiing mean to you?


Alex Diary 1


“What does skiing mean to me? I guess in order to understand what I love about skiing I need state what skiing is not. Skiing for me is not: some ‘core lifestyle or the newest patented technology. Yes I crash on floors, hitchhike, wake up early, go to bed late, and could tell you all about Icelantic’s line of skis for the upcoming season. But, that is merely a byproduct. For me it all comes down to bottom line: skis are enablers.

Skis enable me to get into the rawness I love, that rawness being the mountains. You see, the mountains don’t care: who you are, who you know, how sick you are, or what brand of ski you use. The mountains exist in a raw pure state, for no other reason except they are there. One moment they are the most violent brutal area on earth, and the next, the most peaceful forgiving place. The mountains remind us that we are truly insignificant. They remind us to breath in the present moment.

The “revolutionary” thing about skiing is not the most recent innovation in technology (though I, like any skier, enjoy these innovations.) The “revolutionary” thing about skiing is the connection. We connect to the mountains, our friends, family, ourselves, and perhaps most importantly, to the moment. It’s that sunrise, that sunset, those three really deep turns, those five really hard crusty turns. It’s about the pause, followed by the ability to do nothing other than just be.

I ski because it is real. Perhaps someone gets this same feeling from bowling. I can’t say for sure, I’m not a bowler. But what I can say for sure, is that I love skiing because whether I’m on a mountain in that violent storm or on a mountain in that peaceful calm moment, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I’m here now, with two boards on my feet, and that alone is the most powerful sensation I’ve ever known.”  –Alex Taran

By: Paddy O’Connell

Learn More About Alex:

Team Bio

Who is Alex Taran?

Alex Taran is Skiing Where?!

Style Guide: 2014 Men’s Spring Fashion

Style Guide 2014 Men's Spring Fasion

Men’s Spring Fashion

It feels great to shed some layers after piling them on throughout winter.  Spring is a transitional season to freshen up a wardrobe and change the pace of life.  This is the first Style Guide of many installments; enjoy some of our favorite pieces that rolled out recently.

1 dc-duster-ls-shirt-indigo-11-zoom1. DC Duster Shirt

There are articles of clothing that stand the test of time, one of them is the oxford shirt.  The DC Duster Shirt has a timeless design with a modern approach.  Unlike your father’s casual dress shirts the DC Duster has a slim fit that looks great tucked in or out.  This 100% cotton beauty has a rich indigo color with perfectly contrasting buttons and a button down collar.  It’ll be the most versatile shirt in your collection that you can dress up with a blazer for a date and wear with jeans getting beers with the boys.  [PURCHASE]

1 - volcom-killingit-cap-khki-13-zoom2. Volcom Killing It Cap

Everyone and there mothers know that 5 panel hats are what the cool kids are wearing.  The design has slowly been emerging from the 80’s and the one size fits all adjustable Volcom Killing It Cap is at the forefront of the fight.  The 100% cotton khaki color looks great with a mounted heat embossed leather logo patch.   The best thing about the Volcom Killing it Cap is the fit; it’s flawless – it’s not to deep and not too shallow.  [PURCHASE]

1 - matix-gripper-twill-pants-rust-13-zoom3. Matix Gripper Pants

The slim straight fit of the 5 pocket Matix Gripper Pants is relaxed enough to offer room in thighs and knees while having a slim leg opening that looks great with any footwear.  The detailing of the 98% cotton 2% elastane twill fabric matches the intricate Matix logo placement on the buttons, pockets, and rivets.  Of all the skate lifestyle brands making pants Matix is ahead of the pack with the Gripper Pants by far.  [PURCHASE]

1 - poler-field-pack-grn-13-zoom4. Poler Field Backpack

The simple design of the Poler Field Pack combined with it’s versatility make the bag appealing. The camo colorway’s 1000D Campdura fabric is as abrasion resistant as they come and it’s perfect for urban adventures or deep forest hiking.  The internal soft 420D nylon fabic protectively sports a padded laptop sleeve and whopping of 14.5L of volume.  With fully adjustable shoulder straps (duh), exaggerated zipper, and a drawstring top access flap this Field Pack has a heritage look that stays connected to style were every it ends up.  [PURCHASE]

1-northface-bernalchukka-sh-minkbrwn-brtshkhki-14-1-zoom5. The North Face Bernal Chukka Boots

Trudge through anything on earth with the The North Face Bernal Chukka Boots.  The waterproof full grain leather upper is rugged enough for trekking through wooded trerrain yet refined with simple lines for the city life.  The lightly padded gusseted tongue provides comfort along with the Vibram CHRISTY sole.  The Bernal has a vintage american look that will look great on your feet now and in 20 years.  [PURCHASE]

1 - electric-fw01-nato-watch-whtolv-13-zoom6. Electic FW01 Nato Watch

With a complete rebranding Electric takes a tick into timepieces.  The Electic FW01 Nato Watch is a classic field watch with modern twists and 3 hand Japanese quartz movement.  High contrast between the hands and dial make for easy time telling and the second hand’s lighting bolt shape is a well thought through touch.  The 40mm face is a great size for making a subtle statement to those looking to notice details above and below the water (Water Resistant to 600 ft.).  [PURCHASE]

1 - ashbury-griffin-spanky-sngls-brwntortbrwn-zoom7. Ashbury Griffin Sunglasses

The James Dean cool Ashbury Griffin Sunglasses are a show stopper.  The hand crafted acetate frames cradle the Carl Zeiss CR-39 Lens and provide 100% UVA & UVB protection.  Adjustable nose bridges ensure a proper fit and the stainless steel optical hinges are bombproof.  Look better than you already do and get the Griffins.  [PURCHASE]

1 - stance-sockmonkey-socks-brwn-12-zoom8. Stance Sock Monkey Socks

If there’s one thing that gives confidence in a day it’s the comfort of good socks.  The Stance Sock Monkey Socks will be the best socks in the drawer.  A 80% combed cotton, 12% polyester, and 8% spandex never felt better.  Great socks make a difference and with a deep heel pocket and elastic arch support the Monkey will keep your feet smiling.  [PURCHASE]

Top Ten Skis for 2015


Next Years Best Planks Range from Park to Powder

At the close of the 2013/2014 season, as I put skis and boots into storage for their summer slumber, even as I prepare for the river, for hiking and biking trails, for camping and backpacking, I can not help but to look longingly into the future toward the turns that await next ski season. Luckily, I spent a lot of time this season chatting with ski designers and engineers as well as some QT on 2015 skis. Here is my list, in no particular order, of the Top Skis for the 2014/2015 Ski Season.


The One to Rule Them AllThe 4FRNT Devastator




The New Seth Morrison Pro ModelThe K2 Annex 118



The New JP Auclair Pro ModelArmada JJ  2.0



The New Wiley Miller Pro ModelThe 4FRNT YLE





The All New SeriesThe Line Supernaturals




The Biggest SurpriseThe Nordica Helldarado



The Weapons Salomon Q Series





The New F*ckin’ Bobby Brown Pro ModelThe Salomon NFX



Ongoing DominationRossignol 7 series 





The New Look for Jossi Wells’ Pro ModelThe Atomic Infamous





By: Paddy O’Connell

Top 5 Sleeping Bags

Best Sleeping Bag Hero

Top 5 Sleeping Bags

What goes into picking out the Top 5 Sleeping Bags?  A lot of sleep.  This great assortment of bags spans a wide range of needs, designs, and of course budgets.  There’s a lot of hype surrounding camping gear these days and we cut through the mud by selected the Top 5 Sleeping Bags that you’ll want most.  Take your time, snuggle in, and browse through the randomly ordered list.


Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Sleeping Bag

Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Sleeping Bag

The Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Sleeping Bag snuggles into Big Agnes‘ classic series of down bags that offer extreme warmth, tight compressibility, and big comfort.  The Lost Ranger 15’s built in pillow pocket holds a fleece perfectly and the integrated full pad sleeve allows for any 20″ rectangular sleeping pad to be slipped into place – imagine staying on your sleeping pad all night and not slipping off! [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  15° F
Weight:  2 lbs. 14 oz.
Insulation Type:  DownTek – Water Repellant Down – 650 Fill – 14.5 oz.



Eureka Cimarron 15 Sleeping Bag

Eureka Cimarron 15 Sleeping Bag

Fleece Pillow Pocket, yep that’s right – head resting doesn’t get any more comfortable than that.  Eureka‘s ThermaShield synthetic insulation combined with a full zipper draft tube are a few things that attributes to the Cimarron 15’s successful warmth.  The Eureka Cimarron 15 Sleeping Bag is the perfect sleeping bag for under $100.  It weighs slightly more than the rest of the bags on this list, but for the price point it can’t be beat.  [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  15° F
Weight:  4 lbs. 1 oz.
Insulation Type:  ThermaShield Synthetic – 2 lbs. 10 oz.




Kelty SB 35 Sleeping Bag

Kelty SB 35 Sleeping Bag

Simply put the Kelty SB 35 Sleeping Bag is a show stopper.  As an active part of the Kelty TraiLogic Collection the SB 35 Sleeping Bag stays dry 10 times longer, stays warmer by retaining 170% more loft, and dries 33% faster with the incredible 800-fill DriDown insulation.  The Kelty SB 35 Sleeping Bag is one of the lightest sleeping bags on the market – it’s a must have for hiking in to a spot.  [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  32° F
Weight:  1 lbs. 9 oz.
Insulation Type:  DriDown – Hydrophobic Down – 800 Fill – 11 oz.




Marmot Trestles Sleeping Bag

Marmot Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag

With enough room to swim in the Marmot Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag is one of the roomiest of the bunch.  With a trapezodial foot box and large entry (full length zip on one side and 1/4 length zip on the other) this Marmot bag is easy to love.  If the Trestles 15 happens to get damp or wet the SpiraFil Synthetic Down will continue to regulate heat and keep the bag warm.  Although its compression size is a little large than most the price point is tough to beat on just a well rounded bag.  [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  15° F
Weight:  3 lbs. 14.25 oz.
Insulation Type:  SpiraFil – Synthetic Down



Mountain Harwear Pinole Sleeping Bag

Mountain Hardware – Pinole 20 Sleeping Bag

For a 20° F bag the Mountain Hardware Pinole 20 Sleeping Bag does wonders with warmth because of the offset quilted construction and tailored face gasket.  A trapezoidal footbox, ample shoulder and hip room provides everything you need for a comfortable night’s sleep under the stars.  Every once and a while a sleeping bag fits just right, and the Mountain Hardware Pinole 20 Sleeping Bag is one of them at a price that amazing.   [PURCHASE]

Temperature Rating:  20° F
Weight:  3 lb. 3 oz.
Insulation Type:  Thermal.Q – Synthetic Down


Best Chino Pants


Burton Chino Pant Hero 1

Burton Chino Pants

Over the last decade, Burton Snowboards has been pushing the envelope of casual clothing by designing softgoods with the snowsports enthusiast in mind.  Taking experience from creating some of the world’s best riding gear, Burton is doing what other snowboard brands wish they could; make great clothes that fit perfect, look great, and wear well.

Burton Chino Pants should be categorized as a khaki pant not as a chino.  Khaki pants have exposed seams, occasionally flap pockets, and tend to be less formal than a chino pant.  Chino pants have hidden seams, flat pockets, tapered legs, and are more formal than khaki pants.  The Burton Chino Pants have a mixture of ingredients from both the khaki and chino pant designs; they have exposed seams, back and hand flap pockets, and slightly tapered legs.

Why are they the best chino pants? Because lounging couldn’t be easier in the street fit and medium rise of the Burton Chino Pants.  Crafted with 100% cotton the chinos can be dressed down with a t-shirt or dressed up with a button down knit shirt.  The Burton Chino Pants can transition from a backyard bbq to a night on the town within seconds.


Garrett Russell Chases Winter


House Team Rider Refuses to Give Up on The Season, His Body Has Other Ideas


Well this time, I’d say I lost some. I lost a little weight, a couple days of what looked like beautiful Tahoe California Spring-time joy, and I lost the game of going out and crushing it. Luckily it wasn’t just me that lost.

The last couple years I’ve wanted to check out the Desolation Wilderness to ski and possibly fish for a couple days. Well now I know that idea is a little more far fetched then I hoped for.

It started off as an average day in the life of little ol’ me, Garrett Russell. I went skiing at Squaw, had a fun day riding park and slashing around before I went to work at 5pm. Nothing out of the ordinary, except by the time I made it to to work I could feel my chest getting tight and had a feeling that I might be getting sick, but I don’t get sick…I only use “sick” as an adjective or something like that. Either way, half way through work my manager invites me to go camping with him and a buddy Zack into Desolation for two nights the next day. Of course I say yes.  I was even supposed to tend the outside bar the next day- “Oh don’t worry about that.” Jason says. Having the power to, he got me out of work the next day when all I should have done was stayed in bed and avoided getting sick.

Oh well. Somehow that next day I feel alive but not worse or bad enough to turn down an adventure. I’m not sure if there was guilt since I should have had to work or what I was thinking but next thing I know…I’m packed, they’re at my house to pick me up, and we are at the trailhead.

Having been in the exact zone the week before with a lot more snow I thought I knew what I was getting into… I lead us into the manzanita jungle right off the bat. It was actually kind of funny but after a couple stream crossings, little saplings, bushes galore, we failed to really even make it to the snow. I kind of regretted going the second I lifted my heavy ass pack. I used my communication skills and expressed my thought of turning back before we crossed another stream. Since communication in the backcountry is key, we talked a little and I pushed on. We set up camp just shortly after that.

Depending on how I felt the next day I’d go back or I’d stay. I stayed of course, not feeling much worse but now I know I’ve caught something. We push up and up into the hills of false summits, more streams and shitty ass bushes. We even got to a point where we think we totally failed and should turn back but we went ahead to go on up this little ribbon of snow on the south west face that would surely turn to mush and make our descent more interesting but it was the only way to get us to the ridge. From there we were able to continue further and deeper into my energy reserve.  Well at least we all got to use our skins that we carried all this way…

All in all, we skied some corn, I mostly traversed back to our point of return on the ridge with every turn making my body ache but better than expected for snow quality. The others got some extra turns in and hiked back up to where I sat. We made it back to camp, I went to bed. The others were lucky enough to see the lunar eclipse, I did not. We made our way back with a lot more ease than our way in.

I learned I will never do that again in that condition, the lack of snow, bringing way to0 much shit, and going off into the woods feeling sick. By the time we made it back to the car I sounded like an 80 year old Argentine with no voice. I was bedridden for the next three days before I finally gave up on stubbornness and went to the doctor. Classic bronchitis but much worse than I’ve had it in the past.

The end-

By: Garrett Russell

Line Skis
Full Tilt Ski Boots
Smith Optics