Gearin’ up |

Gearin’ up

Laura A. Ball
Laura A. Ball/Vail DailySkiing has never been so cool. The Zai skis are made by hand in Disentis, Switzerland. Theyre responsive and playful just like your sports car, Zai skis, $3,500, includes bindings, poles, ski straps and bag, Gorsuch Ltd. in Beaver Creek.

You can feel it in your bones. You can feel it when it snows. The mountain will be open in a matter of days, five to be exact. You’re ready, but is your gear?Upon visiting the Gorsuch store in Beaver Creek Friday, I learned the latest in ski gear technology, which is accelerating faster than a pair of twin tips down Riva Ridge.

A few things I found out: You should not hurt in a ski boot, I repeat, you should not hurt in a ski boot; socks now come with channel ventilation; goggles should not only curve from left to right, but from top to bottom.This is what Gorsuch manager Larry Culley tells me, anyway, and I believe him.

— All-mountain skisFirst, he takes me through all the skis. The Ferrari of which are the Zai, hand made in Disentis, Switzerland. He promises the performance is as beautiful as they look. European ashwood and titanium surfacing is not merely styling but reason for the skis responsiveness and playfulness. You don’t buy these skis because you need them, you buy them because you want them.

The most popular sticks, and more reasonable, are the K2 Apache Recon, which fit the newest category in skis – all mountain. This ski will take a beginner to the most advanced of skiers anywhere their feet guide them. Mid way through the season last year, you could not find them on shelves. The women-specific version is the K2 Burnin’ Love line, which have enjoyed the same affection ski bunnies. — Gettin’ the bootDo you have a wider toe box and a smaller heel? Spare your toes, that’s Culley’s advice. Not everyone’s foot is the same. With Strolz custom liner, ski techs inject foam so the boot takes the shape of your foot. Most ski boots have a heat moldable liner, too.

Although, if you’re fit properly in the first place, you shouldn’t have much custom work to do. To ensure minimum discomfort with ski boots, take your time when shopping around. Don’t buy the first pair you try on. The Nordica Speed Machine 14 seems to be having the best luck fitting the most feet. — Sock patrol

The first thing Culley does however, if someone is complaining about their boots is look at their socks. The wrong socks are comparable to strapping dozens of rubber bands around your legs and skiing all day. The newest come with padding in all the right places and streamlined ventilation that actually directs the airflow through your foot. (Ladies: They are also threaded with pure silver to eliminate you man’s stinky feet!)– Head gear

Helmets are not only safer and lighter than ever, they’re hooked up. The latest from Giro and Boeri come with Skull Candy software that allows you to simultaneously tap into your cell phone and your iPod. — VisionBubbles aren’t just for the bath. To allow maximum light transmission, goggles like Scott’s Light Amplifier have a sphere shape, no longer just side to side but top to bottom.

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