2009 Winter OR Show — The Petschel Report #1

Pat Petschel, the newest member of The Gear Junkie team, is at the Outdoor Retailer trade show this week in Salt Lake City. He will be making occasional reports from the show floor over the coming four days.

Make sure to check out the other reports for day 2 and day 3.

Day One: 10p.m. — I’m writing this from a hotel room in downtown Salt Lake. The Gear Junkie crew is at Winter OR this week, and today we attended the Backcountry Base Camp demo at Snowbasin ski resort, just outside of Ogden, Utah, where we saw and tested a bunch of new gear. I spent the day on a pair of Dynafit skis and came away impressed. The Manaslu ski is billed as creating a balance between weight, performance and flexibility in highly-varied snow conditions. Today, in snow that ranged from icy to slushy — and back again as the day progressed — the skis performed well. In fact, I expected to have trouble when I dropped into a sun-baked bowl high on Allen Peak, but was surprised to be able to make turns where and when I wanted, slicing icy crust and powering through crud.

Dynafit (www.dynafit.com) uses a paulownia wood core to achieve a nice blend of power, performance and (light)weight. (They go at about 3 pounds per ski!) I skied hard in Snowbasin’s bowls, mogul fields, and wide-open runs, and the skis consistently performed. Ski dimensions are 95mm underfoot with a 124mm tail and a 109mm tip. Availability: Now. Retail price: $699.95.

—Pat Petschel

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.