Last night and through this morning we received about 3” of snow. First of the year and I was excited to take the GoFaster and Ski Trabs out for a ski. The best spot for early season skiing with little snow is the grass runway at the Post Mills Airport. The main runway is a kilometer long with nice even grass and no rocks or other hazards to destroy new skis. First snow of the season and taking skis I plan on racing this season.
By dumb luck the wax I put onto the bases to keep them covered during storage was perfect for the temps we had today. I had never used the GoFaster boots and bindings and admit I was a bit concerned about the lack of a boot cuff and stability. I thought any instability created by the lack of cuff would be amplified by the GoFaster bindings getting me a bit higher off the skis.
I started off double poling to be sure the snow was okay for skiing and to test the stability of the system. One thing I noticed first was how flat the ski was. This was very evident with the thin cover over the grass. Anything besides a flat ski pushed the base through the snow and into the grass leaving a dark spot. The tracks were white from the ski being flat. I was amazed at the lack of effort it took to hold the ski flat and how stable they felt.
Now I started to skate but had to be careful since the grass grabbed the ski bases if I loaded them too hard. The entire workout became double pole the length of the runway and skate lightly back and repeat. There is a 50 meter long patch of windblown snow where the skis didn’t break through and I was able to push it up to a race effort. The first few pushes I noticed the pivot under the ball of my foot as opposed to in front of my toe. Odd at first but very soon it felt very normal. I think the pivot location adds to the feeling of stability. We all feel input from our feet through the ball area and having the energy transmitted from the same spot as we walk from made sensations very familiar. I stopped second guessing what input I had to translate from in front of my toe and just relaxed, trusted it and stopped fighting the ski.
The stiff sole felt really nice and became more comfortable as I skied. The upper is very firm and really supported my entire foot. I kept noticing the lack of pressure on my ankles and above. The extra mobility was very nice. The snow I was skiing on was ungroomed and several times I hooked the outside edge of the ski and expected a crash. I was able to gather it up (it was ugly a few times) and keep going. I did take a few spills from the grass mites grabbing the bases but I never dumped it from instability.
A very casual effort in a V2 skate was fantastic. I tend to not allow the ski to ride and glide when I V2. I rush to the poling motion because it feels more stable. At the end of one lap it occurred to me I had just V2 skated the return. A moderate pole and push to a flat ski and I just rode it while holding a “conversation” with my ski buddies. I had never done that before. I also noticed I was skiing a bit more upright and more centered over the ski. Being a bit longer also allowed me to get more compression out of my poling.
The stability of the GoFaster is just awesome. First time on snow this season and on a radical departure from what I’m used to and I was relaxed. I only skied 10 k since I ditched my kids off onto a neighbor and felt I should get back to pick them up. During this 10 k I had a huge amount of new sensations to process but the ones that stand out are stability and efficiency.
Rain is forecast for tonight so the snow will go away which is a bummer. I am so jacked up and looking forward groomed trails so I can really get after the skis, boots and bindings and see how the perform on a snow pack I can trust. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.
There are two ski areas at a much higher elevation and with luck they will have snow early next week. I have Monday free and I’d love to go ski before heading to the Ethan Allen Biathlon Club for shooting drills.
I feel like to first kid on the block to get a Corvette when everyone else has a Pinto. My only apprehension about the GoFaster system is being stopped and asked tons of questions thus limiting the amount of skiing I get in.
Thanks and take care,