My wife recently got some new ski boots. As we were shopping for the boots, the owner of one of the ski shops mentioned that he had a ski I might be interested in. It's the current-year model of the ski that replaced the ski I've been on for the past two years. I typically ski for two seasons on a pair of skis, putting about 100 days on a pair before I get a new model. So, it was about time for me to get some new skis, but I'd been planning on waiting until next fall to do that.
The shop owner mentioned that he still had "pro stock" on this ski, so he could offer me a very good price. In the ski industry, equipment manufacturers like to have ski instructors and patrollers on their equipment. Everybody is always curious about what the "pros" are using for equipment. So, every year, the companies allocate a limited number of skis or boots or other equipment to be purchased at very competitive prices, trying to entice people in the industry into using their gear. This shop had still not sold its pro allocation of this particular ski.
I took them out to ski on Saturday and I was very impressed. The ski I'm current skiing, the Rossignol B3, is my all-time favorite ski. It's a versatile ski that I can use in deep powder, on groomers, in the trees, on ice, or on the race course, and I feel comfortable with the ski at all times. I'm someone who prefers to master a single ski rather than having a different ski for different conditions. The new ski, the Rossignol Phantom SC 80 was very similar to my old B3s. Yes, there were a few differences, and they're all too technical (meaning boring to non-skiers) to discuss here. I think I made 3 or 4 turns on Saturday morning before I realized I was very comfortable on the ski. Normally, it takes a while to get acclimated to a new ski and its differences from a previous ski. But, this ski was so similar in many ways to my old skis that I felt right at home instantly. It looks a lot different than the old ski, but it skied very similarly.
The picture doesn't really show much detail. The skis are black but they are overlaid with some sort of holographic designs showing some sort of bird of prey. They look pretty cool in the bright sunlight.
Conditions on Saturday were icy and the ski did great on the ice. It was on the ice that I realized how much my old skis have deteriorated over 100 days of use. My B3s are "tired" and don't hold a tune very long any more. They just don't grip on ice like they did when new. So, after trying the ski out all day Saturday, I purchased them that afternoon. I skied on them all day yesterday, mostly on steep bumpy terrain in spring conditions (soft snow) and they were fun all day long.
I have two weekends of teaching left and then I can get more serious about my long runs.
This week, I'm planning to run just three times. I'm going to run a 9+ mile uphill route home after work tonight. I'll do the same run on Wednesday evening. And Friday, I'll take the morning off work and run 22-24 miles. I'll lift on Tuesday and Thursday.
I realized yesterday that I still haven't taken care of my service requirement paperwork for Western States. I volunteered over 40 hours for the VT100 last year, but I need to get the RD to sign the forms for me, so that I don't get bounced out of the race for failing to turn in paperwork.