Tuesday, February 25, 2014


It’s a pretty well worn true tale about Winston Churchill’s shortest, most famous speech. Addressing a high school audience he repeated the words over and over again, “never give up..... never, never, ever give up, etc. etc.” Indeed, his own political career really didn’t blossom until he was almost 70.

coldsmoke-powder-fest-280x210I should have heeded those words last Saturday at the Nelson Roam skimo rally race. I was doing ok, not great, but ok. Top 10 for sure, maybe running 7th , then I skied off course. The last time I came to Nelson same thing happened. That time I was running a strong 3rd on my way to a possible podium. So I was really, really trying to be careful at the approximate same location that I blew it once before. It wasn’t meant to be. While screaming down a fast, crowded cat track I lost site of the very small red pin flags that were supposed to be marking the descent. I paused, looked around, then knew that it’d happened again. This time though I had an approximate idea where I was supposed to go. So I descended an easier mogul run, but knew I was going to miss the checkpoint, usually a dq for the day.

When I finally caught site of the up track and got back on course I saw a couple guys I knew were well behind me. Instead of chasing them down (I did catch one of them 50m from the finish), I kind of cruised my way home back up the long ascent to the mountain top. I’d figured I would be disqualified, so why put myself in the hurt locker.
Little did I know that almost EVERYONE missed the same corner. The results ended up totally being bunged up. If you’d stayed on course you had a huge advantage in the results. In fact, the checkpoint person failed to get to her station on time so there was no way they even could dq anyone. Wow! Talk about a highly efficient, professionally run event (sic.).

So the point of this blog is to heed the old words of Churchill, never give up! Never, ever give up. You just never know what could happen or maybe even what is happening that you’re unaware of.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Ok.... so I’ve skied on my Voile WSP skis almost daily for 2.5 weeks.

Initial impressions:
-love how the graphics look
-the rocker is amazing.
-not so light, but I couldn’t really tell the difference when I had a SkiTrab (720g) on one foot and WSP            (807g) on the other.
-super easy turning
-stiff enough in firm moguls
-not a carver

This ski really gives me a lot more confidence in charging powder & chop. The rocker is very effective. I find myself out of the back seat and confidently bombing over cut up pow and other chowder. Mentioned in my initial review is the less skinning surface (due to the rocker); actually, they seem to grip the snow better than a stiffer ski. They climb exceptionally well. Also the softer, rocker tip gives the impression that it’s a soft ski, but this isn’t the case (at least not for my 145lbs). Even with my super light Dynafit Evo race boots, charging down icy moguls is no problem. The carbon construction must give enough stiffness where it counts to give you a nice stable ride. I’ve had race skis that were too soft and couldn’t handle these conditions, so I know that these have the right stuff.

The rocker in front and the slightly upturned tails in back make turning exceptionally easy. You just whip the ski around and it flies right into place. No need to un-weight the ski. I love this.

As for mounting... Voile gives very detailed instructions on their web site. Follow them. Initially I thought I’d fudge a couple cm’s forward to give a more balanced weight for quick kick turns. With the already small contact area in front of the binding, even this little bit made a huge difference and I didn’t like the feel at all. I re-mounted the binders and it drastically changed the ride. It stabilized it and gave enough contact area up front for secure tracking.

The one thing these skis don’t have is the ability to really carve. The emphasis seems to be on sliding over powder and chowder effortlessly. This doesn’t leave enough side-cut to really slice and carve in firm, icy conditions. I don’t think you even can have both-a rockered smooth ride for powder and ultra carving ability. Given the choice, I’d for sure choose the former anyway. Pretty much all races in Europe and most of the races in Canada take you into the back and side country with these conditions.

All in all I’d say that the WSP is a VERY good entry into the skimo race genre. I’d use these skis for fast touring as well. If they could be improved at all I’d say the skin notch in the tip could be widened (I made mine a little more “V-ish” for faster transitions) and somehow lighten them up a few grams