Dream kits: The editors take their pick
One of the perks of working for a ski magazine is having all the product in the world mailed to your desk with or without asking for it. Everything shows up here at the Freeskier office, from children’s Learn-to-Read books to whacky inventions that never make it past concept, to the greatest and most anticipated gear coming out next season. Each product is filed away in our storage room, and when it comes time to dial in the Buyer’s Guide, the feast begins. Our editors make up a wide range of skier types and the gear we each choose is picked accordingly. Although fights did erupt when it was time to choose some items, we settled down just long enough to take a photo of each of our dream setups, write some words about why we chose them, and put them right here for you to see, in a setting that represents our personalities. So without further ado: the dream setups chosen by skiers who can pick whatever they want. Enjoy.
Editor MATT HARVEY
With all sorts of traveling to do each year, high-quality, light gear is the name of the game. That’s why I choose the Salomon Thrusters with the new, lighter Salomon STH 16 binding for park days and the Fat-ypus D-Sender for powder days. My do-it-all boot is the Salomon SPK Pro due to its comfort for long days on the hill and lightness for long days on trains, planes and automobiles. To keep warm while looking baller, I rock the Oakley Ultimate jacket and Ultimate pant. At the end of the day, I can take my jacket off and still look fantastic with the Oakley Acid Rain layer. I protect what my optometrist calls my “fair eyes” with the Electric Lead glasses off the hill and the Oakley Crowbar goggles on the hill. To keep the soft skin on my hands dry and warm, I wear the Hestra Vertical Cut Freeride gloves. To carry my camera equipment around the hill without it pushing me around, I rock the Dakine Mission Photo pack, and top the whole setup off with the sickest watch ever, the Skullcandy Bully MP3 watch.
The Eider XD jacket has pit zips, Eider’s durable Defender fabric and a removable inner jacket that allows it to convert to a shell. The best part is the trendy Euro faux fur collar (removable) so you can hang at the disco. The Eider Boost pant adds some color to the kit.
Blizzard’s IQ Argos is a great inbounds ski, solid enough to handle hardpack and chop, and the Duke binding from Marker, which is integrated into the ski, allows for quick out-of-bounds jaunts. For pow days, and skiing out of bounds, the Liberty Helix is one of the best skis of the year. In fact, it might just be the best all around ski ever. Mounted with some Dukes, the Helix is incredibly versatile. The first plastic boot ever made is still the best. The Lange Freeride 130 has the performance of a race boot but is comfortable enough to hike in. Scott always makes the best poles and goggles and the P4 pole and Motive goggle are no exceptions. For lugging camera gear and slaying the backcountry at the same time, Dakine’s Sequence pack is far and away the best. Also necessary for the backcountry is safety gear. Backcountry Access’ Carbon 260 probe, Traverse shovel and Tracker DTS beacon are the standards in the industry. Finally, there are some things money can’t buy. Like this cool beanie from Telluride’s free box. Every time I wear it, my head itches like crazy. But it sure looks cool.
Publisher CHRISTOPHER JERARD
I’ve been a fan of the Gotama for years, but the new, fatter Katana has replaced it as my ski of choice, mounted up with the Marker Duke, and if I want to go to the backcountry, the Duke will help me get around. The toe piece swallows the front of your boot entirely. It might be mental, but I swear you can feel the difference in the connection between the ski and boot. For firmer, on-piste days, the Armada Pipe Cleaner is an awesome all-around ski, which I mounted with the Rossignol Scratch 140 Ti. I skied the Nordica Supercharger Ignition boot on everything from heli-access terrain in Alaska to frozen pipe conditions at Breckenridge. The Armada poles with a grip that feels like a BMX bike round out the set-up. For outerwear, I rock the Spyder Godfather jacket and Orage Jam Tweed pant. They are technical enough to take anywhere and ridiculously stylish at the same time. Underneath, I’ve got the Quiksilver Sticker Job sweater which is simple, warm and looks cool. I have a narrow face, which is usually a problem for me when it comes to goggles. The Anon Realm goggles, though, are a perfect fit, making sure no wind gets in. The Oakley Twitch shades are a good choice for classy — not too flashy — shades. The Seth Morrisson Pro glove from Hestra is burly, warm and endorsed by the gnarliest big-mountain skier of our generation, making it a simple choice. The R.E.D. Hi-Fi helmet is a great choice with its audio capability. The Dakine Heli Pro is great both on and off the mountain.
Photo Editor JAY MICHELFELDER
As a photographer, I choose gear based solely on it facilitates working on the snow. And with 100-plus pounds of camera gear that I bring on trips, I need everything I use to be versatile so I can pack light and avoid overweight baggage charges. I ride the Volkl Gotamas with Marker’s new Jester binding because I can have them as the only skis in my bag and know they can handle powder, groomers and ice. On the rare occasion that I have room for two pairs, I bring along the Dumont’s with a Salomon STH 16 for cruising and taking park runs. My Rossignol Bandit boots are stiff enough for skiing deep pow, and comfortable enough to wear for a 14-hour day of shooting. I wear the Under Armour Carve jacket because it’s warm, light and the vents on the collar allow me to breath without fogging up the viewfinder on my camera. I pair it with the Spyder Godfather Pants just because they’re so damn nice. The Quiksilver Basic Trick sweater goes under everything for an extra layer of warmth, but it’s nice enough to wear out the the bar at night. Level’s Rexford Trigger Mitts keep my hands warm but still give me a finger to trip my shutter. I wear Electric’s new, wider EG1 goggles while on the hill and off I rock the Spy Strato glasses. The SkullCandy Link pack holds my precious MacBook so I can stay up-to-date with my Facebook profile and keeps my Bright Eyes going from sun up to sun down.
Associate Editor NICOLE BIRKHOLD
Choosing skis is a little bit like choosing your friends; you want them to be reliable, easy to get along with and help you look good. That’s why, when assembling my gear for the year, I chose the Volkl Auras with the Marker Jester and the Armada ARW’s with the Salomon STH 12 for my respective powder and park set-ups. The Aura’s are incredibly stable and the ARWs are the most responsive skis I’ve ever ridden. The Lange Freeride 110 is super comfortable and the low-volume design helps me feel closer to the snow. The Scott Riot poles and Giro’s Encore helmet round out the hardgood essentials. The Roxy Eden one-piece keeps me waterproof and looking good, especially when paired with the Oakley Stockholm goggles for on-the-mountain eye protection. TheElectric Gauge sunglasses get subbed in for the après scene when getting my shine on. Layering is important, seeing as how I’m always cold, and the Oakley For Tomorrow jacket fits the bill perfectly. Level’s Type Mitt also helps my little hands stay warm while out in the elements. When trekking to the mountain, I need a carrying device so I load up the Dakine Heli Pro with assorted necessities like water, granola bars, my ipod and the Skullcandy Ti headphones.