Dave & I had a quick trip over and back from Sugarloaf for the J2 Nationals. We went over Thursday afternoon so we could catch up with DODGE Ski Boots racer Ty Sprock, a terrific first year J2 skiing from Sugar Bowl in California.  Ty is a really nice kid who loves his DODGE boots (guess that makes him even nicer, huh?).

We spent a little time doing a “checkup” on Ty’s boots Thursday afternoon and got to spend some good time with him, his dad Pete and some other great kids from Sugar Bowl.  We tried on some other boots, discussed fitting and set-ups, and when Ty is ready for his next pair of DODGE boots, we have a strategy for them to be even faster!  It was fun to also see how the other kids were excited about the DODGE carbon fiber ski boot.

Nice to see SBA coaches Guenther Birgmann and Luke Patterson.  They’ve been enthusiastic supported of the boot, especially seeing how well it’s working for Ty.  We are working with them to put together a comprehensive late-season testing session at Sugar Bowl for racers looking to switch to a DODGE boot.  If you’re interested, drop me a note.

Also nice to see Vail coach Dan Stripp on the hill.  Dan’s been to Sugarloaf many times, having spent his junior racing years at Whiteface.  Trivia question:  What town is Dan originally from?  Bonus Question: What other famous skier is from the same town?

Caught up with Mission Ridge coach (and Stratton and St. Lawrence alum) Greg Needell. Greg is always good to chat with and certainly fun to read his blog.  He tells it like he sees it, and that’s good.

Pleasant surprise to see Gayle Brown, whose son Griffin had a nice 13th place finish in Friday’s GS.  Gayle is a teammate on our Bolton Corporate League team, Ski Express. Still waiting to see Thursday’s results as we didn’t make the race.

Fun to ski at Sugarloaf after so many years. While much has changed since I was last there, much hasn’t.  The Narrow Gauge race trail is pretty much the same `til you get to the headwall. They opened it up on skier’s left so it’s not as intimidating as I remember it.  Then once you get past the bottom of the T-bar, the big roll that used to be in the center of the trail is gone. But it’s still a great hill.

The conditions were super on Friday. Cold (isn’t it always?) but with some nice snow, albeit kinda grippy, and thankfully, good sun.  It gave us a chance to do some nice tests of a new lower shell we’ve developed for the World Cup guys that makes the boot a little mellower in really hard bumpy surfaces.  Dave tested it and we’re really pumped about getting it to Warner, Dane, and others.

Uneventful trip back through the north woods (Rangley ME, Errol NH, etc.) and made it back in daylight before we had to deal with moose and deer, or water freezing on the road.

Happy birthday Eva, 80 years young!  Party time tomorrow.



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