MacMillan’s Top 20

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“we all know that when things don’t go well, it’s our equipment’s fault.”

The other day my friend Jennifer was asking me how often I sharpen my poles. Okay, so her concerned voice might have had something to do with my earlier mock admonishment over her never sharpening her poles—which, of course, would affect her on-hill perfor-mance. And we all know that when things don’t go well, it’s our equipment’s fault.

Our annual gear guide, Part I of the Ski Canada Test at Sun Peaks and other good autumn reading is finally in your hands after months of fact collection and checking. Hopefully, this issue will help some of the country’s keenest skiers decide what new gear will be added to their kit.

There are all sorts of ways to rationalize to your mates, parents or yourselves why you need to replace your gear more regularly than you “should.” For those of you still holding onto equipment that you know is past its due date, Technical Editor Marty McLennan’s research and our test editors’ compilations should convince you it’s time to treat yourselves.

And for those who still need a little convincing, Art Director Norm and I, as well as regular contributors like Ian Merringer and Ron Betts, who’s just wrapping up his ski season now in New Zealand, have created a few scenarios below that might put everything into perspective.

You know you’re ready for some new gear when… 

20 You still refer to your “new” skis as “parabolics.”

19 You stiffen up your Yellow Lange Tii’s by burying them in the snow before putting them on—because “that’s what Tomba would do.”

18 You finally admit mono-skiing is on the way out.

17 Your boot is fatter than your “powder” ski.

16 All your favourite ski movies, signed by Greg Stump, are kept on the bookshelf in their original VHS boxes.

15 Your one-piece’s zipper is rusted open at your crotch. 

14 Your fantasy ski day is ripping up Chamonix with Plake and Schmidt—and you’re still sporting a coloured mohawk to prove your devotion.

13 Strangers keep complimenting you at your local hill on Retro Day—but you thought it was just another Saturday.

12 Nine out of 10 ski instructors at your home hill weren’t even born when you bought your “still-new” Volant Chubbs.

11 The duct tape used to repair your Spademan bindings is getting chalky.

10 Your race stock GS skis are the Kathy Kreiner signature model.

9   You realize the guy bent over fixing your fridge is also wearing your favourite waffle-weave long underwear from Zellers.

8   Two words: onepiece.

7   Your helmet was bought at an army surplus store and was once used by Billy Bishop.

6   You have no time to debate a three- vs. four-buckle boot—you’re waiting for laces to make a comeback. 

5   You keep pissing off your local ski shop by asking them to order replacement screw-on edges.

4   Your poles are bamboo, and not that modern “ecologically sustainable” crap. They also have matching leather baskets.

3   Your goggle lenses are made out of real glass.

2   You avoid buying a new shell with special pockets for electronics by converting your wineskin into an iPhone 6 Plus case.

1   Nostalgic talk of your long-thong and rear-entries keeps embarrassing your teenagers.

from Buyer’s Guide 2016 issue


Iain MacMillan
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