Opening day at Beaver Creek |

Opening day at Beaver Creek

J.K. Perry
Kira Horvath/Vail DailyTexas State Representative Gene Seaman and his wife Ellen sport vintage one-piece, neon snowsuit's at Beaver Creek Mountain's opening day on Wednesday.

BEAVER CREEK ” Texas voters might thing twice about electing State Rep. Gene Seaman if they saw him wearing his faded neon green, pink, white and purple one-piece ski suit.

But Seaman, on the hill for Beaver Creek’s opening day Wednesday, said the suit is more about function than fashion.

“It’s warm and it’s a one piece,” said the 76-year-old politician. “Why should I change?”

While Seaman’s suit might be a fashion faux pas, the congressman compares his newer sidecut skis to the planes he piloted for the military in the 1950s.

“All you do is lean and turn,” he said. “You almost can’t make a mistake. I got the newest skis and the oldest jacket on the hill.”

Like Seaman’s jacket and skis, the equipment skiers and snowboarders used Wednesday during Beaver Creek’s opening ran the gamut of gear, from old school to new cool.

Edwards resident Al Barrows only buys new gear when necessary. His boots are aged a half-decade and he still wears 10-year-old Swamy gloves ” one of which is duct-taped on the index finger. Compared to his second pair, these gloves look good.

“The others look like a duct-tape commercial,” he said.

An unknowing bystander might poke fun at the denim jeans bunched around the knees of Charlie and Jolene Sarkis. In reality, FedEx failed to send their usual ski clothes from their Boston home to Beaver Creek.

The newest part of Charlie’s ensemble is a helmet Jolene insisted he wear.

“The doctors have been in his head,” Jolene said. “He might have a few soft spots.”

“They don’t want my brains coming out if I fall,” Charlie said.

The mountain chews apart gear for people like Beaver Creek employee Jenna Levesque, who snowboard dozens of days each year. Levesque plans to update the gear she wore out last year.

“I’m just going to get some newer stuff and switch it up,” she said.

This year, Zach Babcock invested in a totally new head-to-toe setup ” clothes, snowboard, bindings and board. He admits he’s object-oriented.

“Yeah, I’m kind of materialistic,” Babcock said. “I like to get new gear.”

Despite the want, Babcock harbors some distrust for new gear.

“You can go wrong buying some of the new stuff,” he said. “A lot of the old stuff still works better.”

Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 748-2928 or

Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO

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