Sunday, November 29, 2009

Elyse ShrEdit

Here's an edit by The Levitation Project of my ski footage...


Friday, November 27, 2009

Hawai'i Part III

Cody paddling out to Green Trees at Hookipa

A whole month in Hawaii and I haven't even mentioned surfing yet... I was just saving the best for last. Maui is not known as THE island to visit for surfing, unless maybe you're a pro big wave surfer and plan to tag Peahi, aka Jaws. Rather, Maui is more known for it's hospitality towards wind-oriented sports as well as it's positive atmosphere for anything new and progressive in water sports. Hence, one of the several reasons as to why Cody and Mike Douglas went there to test their skills at 'big wave skiing'. Regardless, I was surfing just about everyday! You can't beat surfing in warm water and the balmly 83 degrees that registers on the thermostat. Some days the waves were really big (perfect for the guy's project and to watch Jaws go down) and some days were really, really small. I didn't seem to care and my body paid the price on the bigger days that I braved paddling out. Yes, I am able to surf overhead waves, but my consistency drops rapidly and my 'taking beatings' rises drastically. I guess it makes it all the sweeter..? Masochistic..? Hmmm...

Some random guy killing it out at Green Trees

Cody laying into a sweet ride

"Hey Kalama, check me out ripping" Cody displaying his skills in front of Dave Kalama on the SUP ( boy was it exciting to watch Kalama surf!)

Mike D gettin' some

I guess you could say driving around the island is somewhat scenic

A photog's wet dream looking over at Lanes at Hookipa

I'm paddling out to get my ass kicked at Green Trees at Hookipa

Can you say "Check me out ripping?!" HAHA! Ah, it's hard for me to get any pics on the bigger waves that I attempt because Cody, my personal photog, is always out surfing with me in addition to, well, my sucking factor. Who wants to see that?!

During my surf sessions this trip I got a LOT of bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes. Oh yeah, and a black eye was thrown in for good measure. Just a few examples...

Another okay picture of Maui

Yeah! We're in Maui!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hawai'i Part II

Another post on Maui is in order. There were so many fun things to do and see I'd prefer not to say much but rather just show some more awesome pictures...

On the northwest side of the island, looking back at Kahalui and Volcano Haleakala

There's a great blowhole on the northwest side of Maui to play in. There use to be two but it seems the other one was plugged up, which is a bummer because you were able to jump through it. Regardless, we spent a bit of time getting splashed by this one!

Cody pulling into the barrel...

I'm practicing for Toyota commercials. Hey, it's a skill that may come in handy one day and should be finely tuned every once in a while.

I'm in there somewhere!

The infamous rainbow- a typical sight on the north side of Maui

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hawai'i Part I

Standing on Hookipa Beach, a great place for surfing, windsurfing, and kiting

I know that as you view this post you must be thinking this is really odd to see a blog update on something that isn't related to snow or skiing at this time of year, especially by a pro and extra especially because there is some record breaking snowfall happening right now in the Northwest and B.C. However, by the end of this week (when I leave) I will have spent a month on the beautiful island of Maui. Along with Cody, Mike Douglas and his family I have been fortunate to leave the doldrums of fall by tagging along to watch a long anticipated dream project come to fruition. The special project that I am referring to is Mike D and Cody's long aspiration to 'ski big waves'. Of course that meant coming to Hawaii! So lucky me I have found myself in tropical paradise.
It is not exactly a place to come to get ready for winter, because for sure I will be freezing my bum off when I return to Cali (the irony is astounding- returning to Cali being a cold affair!). But I definitely have not treated this trip as a typical vacation where mai tais at the swim up bar are the norm. Instead, I find myself taking advantage of the great weather and warm water to try new sports and get better at the ones I already do. I also got a gym membership at the local fitness center in Haiku. There's no lounging around on this sojourn! But really, Maui has so much to offer laying around seems so boring...

The view from our place in Haiku, not too shabby!

Another view from the area we are staying in

A little relaxation time- this seems to be a fairly normal sight in Hawaii... but we've been so busy playing, however, that I think this is the only picture I have caught of Cody actually doing the typical "beach lounging"

Finally trying out Heaps of fun and a great workout! But this doesn't mean I can't stand the SUPers in Santa Cruz any less

I swear I'm on a wave

Mike Douglas and Cody heading out to SUP-IT-UP

I'm not sure Cody has ever tried to catch a wave this small

A typical view from a beach in Sprecklesville

Watching some of the best windsurfers in the world take advantage of the great conditions at Green Trees at Hookipa

And yes for those of you wondering, I am thinking and dreaming everyday about the skiing to be had on my return- bring on winter!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Levitation Project Video

Here is a video edit of The Levitation Project ski team... It's awesome and makes me want to go ski lines IMMEDIATELY! Come on winter!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

My 2010 Salomon Ski Review

A huge perk of being a professional skier is the amount of gear we will receive from our sponsors. Salomon is no exception and in fact are one of the better companies in making sure their athletes have exactly what they need. Thus, I basically have the entire Salomon Freeski line in my garage with a whole range of skis to select from. So what do I choose? This is the question that I would like to discuss and give my personal review of what I ride and why.

Basically I ride the Geisha 75% of the time, the Czar 22% and the Lady or Mai Tai the other 3%. Here is my explanation as to why...

dimensions: 128-99-118 mm
lengths: 164, 173 cm
300 mm of rocker in tip
Full woodcore with a layer of bamboo
Basalt dampening system

The Geisha is the twin sister ski to the men's Shogun. The skis are exactly the same except for the graphics. This ski is a replacement of the Gun and Scarlet, a ski I would ride a lot, but with much needed improvements (like a switch to a full woodcore instead of a foam core). I ski on the 182 length, which isn't going to production due to the lack of interest by the buyers, but if you're a charging female that wants a longer ski just opt for the Shogun. If you can't find the Geisha in your size, get the Shogun because you don't want to miss out on this ski.

This is the ski I choose to ride about 75% of the time. The reason I prefer this ski the most is it is the most all-around ski in my quiver. The ski is playful from the bamboo giving it a pop-like response yet it's still stiff enough due to it's full woodcore, I know this sounds like an advertisement but both of these components of construction really make a difference. I find that the Geisha rallies really well off the groomers (off piste)- in powder, crud, ice, whatever- and totally rips on groomers/hard pack just as well.

When I compete on the Freeride World Tour I never veer away from this ski. This is due to the fact that if I was to hit an icy or more hard pack section in my run, I am more confident that these skis will hold.

When I film I choose the Geisha the majority of the time because I can stomp cliffs better than on the Czars. Due to me being lighter in weight I have a hard time sinking the Czars thus being more prone to either wheeling-out or back-slapping, neither of which I want to do. The unfortunate side to choosing the Geisha over the Czar, however, is the potential to really butter turns or float quite the same way you can on the Czar or other reverse camber skis. The Geisha has a little bit of reverse camber in the front of the ski, which makes it better for powder than the traditional camber ski, but it's not the ski I choose for the ultimate deep powder day. That ski would be the Czar...

dimensions: 131-111-121 mm
lengths: 166, 174, 182, 190 cm
670 mm of rocker in tip
Full woodcore

I believe the Czar is an approachable reverse camber ski that just about anyone can have fun on. I admit, the first run I ever took on these skis a few years ago I wasn't that excited, but then I adjusted to the ski and found them opening up a side of skiing I wasn't accustomed to, the reverse camber. The reason this ski works for all skiing abilities is the fact that there is only reverse camber in the front half of the ski, thus allowing the ski to be able to handle hard pack, groomers and crud much better than a full reverse camber ski. I'm not fond of feeling like a gaper when I hit groomers or a funky patch of snow that was affected by the sun in the backcountry, so I particularly like the reverse-camber-only-in-the-tip feature because it makes the ski more versatile. Another factor of versatility that I have found is the dimensions of the ski, it's not ginormous underfoot so I'm able to manage the ski, not let the ski control me.

I also find this ski to be very playful. It's a ski that is really easy to maneuver. The Czar took my potential to throw my ski sideways and butter a turn to a level I had never experienced before, so much fun! The skis seem to have a lot of pop to them as well. I feel like I can bounce and catch air off of anything.

I ski the Czar on different lengths, depending on the circumstances. I generally ride the 174, but when I get lucky and head up to Alaska to ski bigger lines I ski on the 182. I feel that since I am smaller in size the 182 Czars are like my version of the big daddy Rockers.


dimensions: 128-86-114 mm
lengths: 153, 161, 169 cm
210 mm of rocker in tip
Full woodcore

The Lady skis are great all-around skis, but I don't ski on them very much because I prefer the beefier Geisha. The Lady skis feel lighter and less stiff than the Geishas and thus turn easier. I think this is a good ski if someone chooses to ski groomers a lot more than off-piste. They do not handle speed and crud like the Geishas do, but I expect the female that would like these skis better does not prefer to ever ski the crud or be the fastest person on the groomers. The times I choose to ride this ski is when it's a softer spring day and I plan to go in the park to hit the pipe or jumps. This ski is a little stiffer than a park & pipe ski due to its full woodcore, and thus a more all-around ski than a park specific ski.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Powder Magazine Reader's Poll 2010

The 2010 Powder Magazine Reader's Poll is on! The Powder Awards are like the Oscars in the ski industry, so go vote for your favorite skiers (hopefully I'm included!) If a name doesn't pop up you can still type it in and it counts. Just click on this link... Powder Mag Reader's Choice Poll