Have boots, will demo | SierraSun.com

Have boots, will demo

Paul Raymore

photo by Paul Raymore/action Jordan Zamir steps into a new pair of Atomics at the Gold Coast Demo Center at Squaw Valley USA while shop supervisor Roy Hage assists.

Are you tired of skiing on the same old boards day after day? Maybe you’ve been hearing great things about a new model of ski on the market this year, but you don’t want to make such a hefty investment without knowing that they are right for you.Unlike the fortunate sponsored skiers who call Tahoe home, the rest of us are usually stuck with a quiver of one or two pairs of skis for at least a season or two.Which is where Roy Hage, supervisor at the new Gold Coast Demo Center at Squaw Valley USA, comes in.Located at the top of Squaw’s Funitel, the Gold Coast Demo Center offers 28 different models of skis from Rossignol, Salomon, Atomic, Volkl and K2, in lengths to accommodate every skier.While the Squaw Valley Sport Shop at the base of the Tram has offered demos for years, the new Gold Coast facility means that skiers no longer have to ski all the way down the mountain to swap out their planks for a different pair.Having never had the chance to demo skis before, I was looking for an opportunity to try it out. And the eight inches of fresh powder we got right before the new year, coupled with a visit from my gearhead friend Jordan Zamir, provided the perfect excuse.With 28 different skis to choose from, Jordan and I found it hard to decide what we wanted to ski during our first visit to the demo center. Because of the fresh snow, we both chose a pair of fat skis and headed off into the Granite Chief area to test them out. After a couple of runs we swapped (the demo bindings made this easy, although some of the bindings required a trip back to the demo center for precise adjustments), and found out that we both liked the other person’s skis more. I loved the feel of the Volkl Gotamas in the early morning powder we found off Granite, while Jordan preferred the lighter feel of the Salomon Teneighty Guns in the same conditions.As Granite Chief was beginning to get tracked out around noon, we both traded in the fatties for more all-around performers and took some high-speed runs down Emigrant Bowl. This time I was on Volkl AC4s while Jordan was riding K2 Apache Outlaws. Both offered a completely different ride from the powder sticks we had been riding in the morning, with a much shorter turning radius that made carving on the groomed and skier-packed runs almost effortless.When we tired of those we went back and each grabbed a pair of Atomics – Jordan on Sweet Daddies and me on Sugar Daddies – and headed back to scout out some remaining powder stashes off Granite.By the end of the day we had each tried out five different models and each had a different favorite, but we were both totally sold on the fun of being able to swap skis all day as conditions changed. Where to demo skis (cost to demo is for skis only):

Squaw Valley:Gold Coast Demo CenterBrands – K2, Volkl, Atomic, Rossignol & Salomon# of models – 28 totalcost to demo – $39 per daycontact # – 530-452-4175Squaw Valley Sport ShopBrands – Salomon, Armada, Volkl, K2, Goode, Nordica & Atomic# of models – 2 to 6 per brand (they demo every ski they sell)cost to demo – $45 per daycontact # – 530-583-3356Alpine Meadows:Alpine Meadows Demo CenterBrands – Volkl, K2, Rossignol & Salomon

# of models – multiple per brandcost to demo – $44 all day, $38 afternooncontact # – 530-Northstar-at-Tahoe:Northstar Village DemosBrands – Salomon, Volkl, Rossignol, K2, Elan, Atomic, Dynastar & Nordica# of models – 3 or more models per brandcost to demo – $39 per daycontact # – 530-562-3532Homewood:Homewood Rental ShopBrands – Salomon, Nordica, Atomic & Volkl# of models – about 4 models per brand

cost to demo – $40 per day, $35 halfcontact # – 530-525-2992 ext. 136Sugar Bowl:Sugar Bowl Ski and Sports (near Village Lodge)Brands – Atomic, Fischer, Rossignol & Salomon# of models – multiplecost to demo – contact # – 530-426-9000Boreal:Boreal Ski & Snowboard Rental Shop demos park skisBrands – twin-tip park skiscost to demo – $44contact # – 530-426-3666