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About our team
Site Owner / Ski Tester
I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time as a Gear Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.
Site Owner / Ski Tester
Skiing became my passion from the moment I turned 18; it was because of that passion that I volunteered at a small school in Northern Michigan to head up a learn-to-ski program for kids. A little over 25 years later, I moved to the Lake Tahoe Basin to make skiing my life and my career. I am still passionate about helping people enjoy their skiing experience, whether face to face or online. Besides being an owner, I am the site manager here on SkiTalk.com, and I review both hardgoods and softgoods for manufacturers. I am also a Masterfit+ bootfitter and a consultant to industry insiders about the importance of women's ski gear. |
When Phil and I are not talking about skiing, writing about skiing, or actually skiing, you might find us cooking, mountain biking, hiking with our dog or enjoying a beverage with friends on the patio at Chez Ziggy.
I help keep the backend systems running.
Graphic Designer and Social Media
Initially taught by my sister's boyfriend in the 1970s, I began my lifelong skiing adventure in the Midwest. Over the years I have enjoyed skiing numerous areas in North America and Europe, with Breckenridge, CO, being my home mountain resort.
I am an environmental graphic designer/freelance designer by profession. I graduated college with a double major in art and business administration, and with a minor in geology. As for hobbies (besides skiing) I enjoy travel, snowmaking, and collecting retro/vintage ski equipment and memorabilia. I am married, and we have a son who has been skiing since he could walk. My niece recently described me best: "Dave's love of mountains and snow is legendary."
I am a retired chemistry teacher and a former geologist, and now I work on an organic research farm. I enjoy traveling to remote places with my geologist husband, reading books voraciously, and now, using my skills as an editor here on SkiTalk. Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved the snow. Originally an avid Nordic skier (skating), I stumbled into alpine skiing after driving many hours north to find good snow became tiresome, and realizing I could find snow, albeit mostly manmade, on the humble ski slopes in the Mid Atlantic. My love of alpine skiing deepened while attending CU Boulder for a master’s degree, but the ski journey was interrupted by a deep dive into competitive cycling for a few years. I don’t count ski days, but instead treasure memories and dream of new adventures. Now I’m returning to my Nordic roots by freeing my heel and learning telemark skiing.
I am a husband, father, retired Navy civilian employee, and eternally unfulfilled ski-bum wannabe. A Washington DC-area native, I have skied recreationally since 1967, all while primarily based in the snow-challenged Mid-Atlantic US. I began my ski writing and photography avocation in 2000 and have since expressed the joy of skiing through hundreds of articles hosted by a variety of online websites and hardcopy publications. While I have visited close to 100 ski resorts in North America and Europe, I also enjoy the local hills in my home region, and my ski reporting garnered a West Virginia Division of Tourism’s Stars of the Industry Award for Best Web/Internet/E-Magazine Article.
I have long felt more comfortable with skis on my feet than without. I grew up skiing in Colorado, graduated from CU-Boulder with an English degree, and for some reason immediately moved to Washington, DC. I actually used my English degree there, but I didn't ski very much. I worked as an editor at several organizations, including a newsletter publisher and a division of the National Research Council.
After moving back west in 2000, I ramped the skiing back up and now manage about 75 days each season, mostly at Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, and the Aspen areas, but I have grown to love ski travel as well: Jackson Hole, Altabird, Taos, and Crested Butte are my go-to spots, and trips to Europe and Canada stand out as well. Since returning, I have worked both freelance and volunteer jobs, including resort and region editing for getskitickets.com, and compiling, editing, and publishing large catalogs and directories for our local school district. It has been a great pleasure to combine my love for skiing with my love for putting commas in the right place.
“T-Square” Terry Terry
I am avid skier and ski instructor. As a kid, my parents opened doors for me to many things: I ran through some, and they threw me through others. When I was in 7th grade, Mom threw me through the door to skiing. (Thank you, Mommy.) The next year, my big Christmas present was double lace-up leather boots, straight wooden sticks, long poles, and safety bindings (they released the toe in both directions!) with windmill "safety" straps.
I skied through junior and senior high school and then took off 25 years for college and a Navy career. (There isn't much skiing on Guam or Midway Island.) I started back up in 1996 with my 30-year-old equipment -- which lasted about half a run. I then got used equipment, took a lesson, and rediscovered my love of skiing. A month later I hired on as a newbie instructor at Ragged Mountain. In fact, my first paycheck after retiring from the Navy was as a ski instructor. Teaching became a passion.
I fell into adaptive ski teaching my second season back; I just enjoy the challenge and the smiles. I am certified as a PSIA Level II Adaptive instructor and PSIA-E Master Teacher, and I teach at the Dartmouth Skiway. After recently retiring from my second career as a professional engineer, I now have more time to ski!
Ski Tester / Moderator
About me: I've skied on and off since middle school and before in the 70s but picked it up more consistently after moving to Reno/Tahoe in '82. Slowed down for many years and returned with a vengeance during the '16-'17 season.
Skiing style/preferred terrain/ability: I'm an advanced skier in most conditions but really enjoy groomers. I've been getting more into off piste and bumps as the years and experience roll by. I have good runs and not so good runs still, so not an expert by any definition.
My reviews: I review skis on their merits, not my likes or dislikes. I've only been on a few skis that were not very good and that was mostly due to bad tunes. I assess the ski as to who the skier is who would like it and who wouldn't, all from the perspective of someone who missed out on the initial "shaped ski" era. Basically, I'm like so many other older, returning skiers who don't have a lot of comparison to prior versions of popular skis; I can only tell you what I think about the current variation with a few exceptions.
Personal thoughts on skis/skiing: -There're a lot more of us (intermediate/advanced) than there are of you (experts).
Like a lot of folks on here, I learned to ski a long time ago (1990) but it didn't really become important until a bit later in life. In 2014 I took my first trip out west (to Vail), started taking lessons again, started participating in ski forums, and haven't looked back. I ski about 20 days a season, and have travelled to ski a lot of new places in the mid-atlantic, northeast, and western US and Canada. By day I'm a computer engineer in the Washington DC area, working on satellites and space probes. Being in the mid-atlantic has it's challenges for skiing, but you learn to enjoy what you have. Outside of work and skiing, I'm an avid nature photographer, a Pittsburgh sports fan (born and raised there), and a long time golfer.
I am a Skier. I clicked in for the first time at the young age of thirty seven. Ten years later I was skiing at least forty days a year. Tucker County, WV is our winter base and I have been fortunate to ski regularly in Colorado, Utah, California, Montana and Nevada in the West; Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont in the East and made a trip to Valle Nevado, Chile in 2019. I am kind of addicted.
I decided that the best way for me to learn to ski better was to become an instructor. I was accepted as a new instructor by Timberline (WV) Snow Sports School in 2007 and attained PSIA Level 2 Alpine certification in 2017.
About me: Born and raised in New Hampshire, I’m an east coaster who fell in love with the mountains early in life. I don’t remember when I started skiing, but it was sometime before I reached grade school. When snowboarding took off in the 90s, I traded in my skis for a single plank. 12 years later, I came back to skiing and now split my time 50-50 between the two. I tolerate groomers, get giddy on powder days and have an addiction to springtime-mashed-potato bumps.
Weight: 135 lb +/-
Preferred Terrain: Japan. Wide open tree runs and endless powder.
Current Gear: Nordica Santa Ana 100 (v. 2019) w/ Marker Griffon; Nordica Santa Ana (v. 2016) w/ Marker Kingpin 10; Völkl RTM 84; Völkl One w/ Marker Griffon; Boots are Nordica ProMachine 115W
Skiing Style: Playful, bouncy and dynamic, with a side of assertiveness.
My home mountain is Snowbasin, UT. I move between being an intermediate to advanced skier depending on terrain and I still get tentative at times, especially on steeps. I have skied approximately 100 days per season for the past 7 seasons. While skiing in 2015, I suffered a tibial plateau fracture that created some fear issues that have taken quite a while to resolve, and still creep in at times. I'm really starting to find the fun in crud and chop, and have started dabbling in moguls more. When not skiing, I like to mountain bike regularly in Utah, and in the past I was a competitive equestrienne. I get a fair amount of coaching from utskier, a PSIA Level III instructor whom I ski with regularly. I believe I am particularly able to discern differences and "feel" in skis thanks to my years of showing horses, where I developed a keen ability to feel what was going on with a horse physically while in motion.
My passion for skiing intensified since moving to Colorado in 2007. Now, in my 50s, I ski 50+ days per season mostly at ABasin, Loveland, Copper Mountain and Aspen. Chasing snow and a cat trip or two help fill my season. To me, the ski day doesn't end when the lifts stop turning. Après done right only adds to a glorious day sliding on the snow.
Preferred terrain: Bowls, trees, steeps, bumps; good groomers with a proper ski are a riot as well.
Skiing style: Aggressive with power and speed
Preferred ski characteristics: I favor skis with metal, camber, and flatish tails. I don't mind a touch of rocker but don't want a banana.
Boots: Fischer Podium GT 130 and Lange XT3 Pro140.. Both with ZipFits.
About me: In my 50s with more surgeries than you want to know about, I depend on skills and strive to ski efficiently. I prefer skis that reward good technique as it makes skiing easier and more fun. I love taking out my SL's on bluebird groomer days and live in the trees and bumps on a powder day with my Moment Wildcats.
Preferred ski characteristics: A combination of fun and serious: I prefer more damp skis with a medium to medium plus flex but the far end of the tips/tails should have a bit more flex. They should be lively with good energy and have an excellent snow feel. For frontside skis, the tips should engage well but not be an "on/off" ski. I like to feel the entire length of the ski through the turn, tip to tail. It should hold a carved turn but be able to be skied into any turn shape without fighting. I am not a fan of rocker on frontside skis so I prefer as little as possible. For powder and off-piste skis, I prefer a lower splay with a longer run rocker profile, an even flex pattern with a medium plus stiffness. I like to be able to drift a ski in trees, bumps, and powder but also drive the tips in bumps and on steeps. I prefer a medium plus flex as well with some camber.
I came to skiing a bit later in life, after coming over from the dark side of snow sports. Skiing ignited my passion for the industry, which is why, after now than 14 years in the sport, I've committed myself to learning all that I can, becoming a Masterfit+ bootfitter, and going to ski demos so that I'm in a position to help others discover their own passion for skiing and grow within the sport. I really enjoy helping people find the best gear for their personal needs so that they can have worry-free days on the hill.
Because of this, I quickly fit in as one of the youngest SkiTalk reviewers, bringing refreshing review content to skiers who are drawn to freestyle/newschooler type skiing. Though freestyle skis are my jam, you can frequently find me with a big grin on my face when I'm ripping groomers with a beautiful carving ski.
I was definitely later to the party but I’ve been making my best effort to catch up. I’ve been a ballroom dance instructor/competitor for 18yrs and love it. Since I started skiing, I have been fortunate enough to consistently take group and private lessons and I try to improve my skiing each year.
Weight: 205 lb
Years skiing: 6
Days per year: 25+
Home mountains: Northstar, Steamboat, Breckenridge
Preferred terrain: Off-piste, soft bumps, moderate trees, and powder.
Skiing style: Athletic at a moderate speeds.
Preferred ski characteristics: Usually something in the mid 90’s underfoot. Playful but a bit of strength too.
Boots: Fischer Podium 140
I started skiing on a dare with a friend in 1981, and that dare led to skiing being something that's an integral part of who I am. I learned to ski at Parley's Summit Ski Area (now Woodward Park City) and I loved it so much that by 6th grade I was racing. Ski racing took me all sorts of places in North America and Europe, including many FIS and Nor-Am races along the way. Once in college injury set me on a course away from racing for a while, but I've coached both Masters and Junior racers in U.S. Ski and Snowboarding circles since the mid-2000s. I currently coach in the Mid-Atlantic ("The Banana Belt of U.S. Skiing!") though my coaching duties often take me to regional events in New England and New York. In the off-season you'll often find me on a bicycle, whether road or gravel (no MTB since #hip2point0, sadly). I'm an avid traveler and a bit of a coffee and beer snob (per many who know me), but I'm game to connect people from disparate origins over skiing, bicycles, food, drink, whatever. I've been a SkiTalk Tester since January 2022, and also cover World Cup Alpine Ski Racing for SkiTalk.
Height: 5'7.5" (looks like I have shrunk 0.5 inches in last couple of years!!)
Weight: 165 lb.
Years Skiing: 52
Days Skiing a Year: 100-150
Home Mountains: Mt. Rose and Squaw Valley - Masters Race coach at both mountains
Preferred Terrain: race course, steep, deep
Skiing Style: aggressive, dynamic
Current Boots: Tecnica real deal WC plug
Occupation: USSA L200 race coach
Augment Skis Brand Ambassador
Skier: 5ft 11, 160lbs, ski slow to moderate speeds, like “blended”, shaped turns, from pivot edgeset in slippery bumps to full carved turns, mainly on groomers where speed isn’t too high. Sample clip is a pretty standard radius/shape/movement I like. WadeSkiing
Terrain: lots of hard scraped out, wind buffed snow, no new snow in awhile, groomers firm but well rolled with icy spots.
When Testing, I started slowly with steered short turns, then to carved turns toward an island of trees/rock area that’s never been groomed to check edge hold and feel on glazed natural snow, then back to chair in mixture of speeds, radii and shape blends. Next run was a few steep hard groomer turns to hard wind and skier buffed bumps that required good route finding...
Length, mount point: on each ski I’ll comment on length and mount point compared to my standard skis. For reference, my everyday ski right now is Enforcer 93, 177. It skis a bit forward so I like it 5mm to 1 cm back.
One other thought before the skis: As a long time ski addict, I believe the differences in the ski make more difference in how a skier feels and performs than many/most equipment related sports. Unlike say tennis rackets, golf clubs, running shoes... a ski that fits a person's movements, speeds and terrain best quickly allows that person to feel and look more confident, relaxed and free. As an old instructor, I can see it quite clearly and it’s part of why I enjoy trying all the new toys every year...
I started skiing in 1984 in California, but I don’t think that any skiing I did counted until I moved to Colorado in 1991. My first ski testing was February 2015 at SIA. My bucket list this season includes more backcountry, Taos, and a heli trip to Silverton.
Occupation: Token short person
Height: 4' 13 1/2"
Weight: 120 lb
Years skiing: 30+
Days per year: 60+, which includes hiking for turns during summer
Home mountains: Copper Mountain, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Vail
Preferred terrain: Variable terrain with trees, chutes, open bowls, and little (key word) drops. Powder days, of course, are always the best, but I am happiest if I have skis on my feet, so a bluebird groomer day is ok by me, too.
Skiing style: Finesse
Preferred ski characteristics: I like a ski that is playful, but not wimpy. It has to be able to go wherever I want to go on the mountain. Through trial and error, I have found that I prefer skis 82 to 105 mm wide and 153 to 160 cm long.
Boots: Lange RS 110 SC
I grew up skiing in NH, started racing at 13 or so and raced until I was 19. Skiing then became purely recreational and social until I tore an ACL and my recovery efforts got back into better shape than I'd been in a few years. At that point I started skiing more with my brother, a dedicated and experienced slack- and back- country skier. I followed him around and learned by watching the subtleties of recreational skiing on ungroomed. Until then I was basically a piste and powder skier. I returned to racing when I moved west in 2000 and have been racing since. My heart is off piste now, though. Which isn't to say I don't love a good groomer with a sweet turning ski. My quiver contains race skis, frontside favorites like the MX 88 and E83, a large variety of skis in the 80s and 90s as well as a veritable fleet of powder skis.
I love to feel the g-forces of carved turn as well as the softness and challenge of off-piste. As racing is still a big part of my skiing, I really appreciate the wide range of capabilities of modern front side skis. It is all about turning them left and right and experiencing the dance with the mountain. I like to lay my skis over for carved, slarved and brushed turns. I like big turns, I like little turns and tend to really mix it up on the groomer, imagining a course where there is none so that my runs are mixed bag of turn shapes, fall lines and terrain.
I'm 190#, 5' 11". I tested using a Fischer Vacuum RC4 Pro 130.
About me: I am the father of two USSA Alpine racers, both of whom are in their sixth year of racing. My nom de guerre is UGASkiDawg due to my passion for all things Georgia football and skiing. As a family, we travel around the state for races, and I have skied at every area in Colorado except Howelsen Hill and Granby Ranch (fka SolVista). My favorite places to ski are Snowwater Heli Skiing, Alta, Telluride, Crested Butte, and Aspen Highlands. I consider myself an advanced sometimes expertish finesse skier when my head is in the game. I learned to ski on old straight skis and still continue to evolve and adapt my skiing style to modern skis. I ski with my feet much too close together as my expert children are so fond of reminding me.
Because I prefer soft snow, I spend 80% of my ski time off piste and generally consider groomed terrain a necessary evil on the way to the goods. These new Kästle MX83s are making me rethink that, as I’m enjoying the groomed terrain a lot more. We will see if that keeps up as more terrain opens this year.
My favorite ski partners are my girls, but I don’t get many days with them as they are always training gates. I treasure the spring days after the race season with them at ABasin.
I love testing skis! When I am not testing, I love skiing pow (that might be first, shhhh)! If those aren't available, I am happy to ski whatever the mountain has to offer, from easygoing terrain to butterflies in the the tummy. I spend a lot of time on SL skis; I am addicted to improving technique, and I crave the feedback they provide.
H. Nelson Tracey
SkiTalk Live Producer
I grew up in Denver taking the ski bus on weekends to A-Basin, Copper, or Winter Park for ski school, but after high school departed altogether from the sport in pursuit of my primary passion: filmmaking. Worlds collided years later when I found myself living in Los Angeles working as an Associate Producer & Asst. Editor on Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story and reacquainted myself with the joy of skiing. Through that project I connected with the one and only Dan Egan, and we began collaborating on SkiTalk in 2020. Today, I live in LA and work as a freelance filmmaker, which includes producing the bi-weekly program for SkiTalk.com streaming onto Facebook and YouTube. I ski whenever I can and adhere to the belief that the best place to ski is wherever you are. Drop me a line at [email protected] for filmmaking inquiries!
You pee on one dirty helmet, and the rest of your life, you are labeled a dirty helmet pee'er. In my defense, the helmet was ripe -- and I mean ripe -- for a cleaning, anyway. Where do I fit into the picture? Well, the "Chez Ziggy" section of the forum was named after me.