Covid-19 Information and Current Operations

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Doug Stewart fits a downhill ski boot. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Ask any veteran skier if their ski boots are important, or if they affect their skiing, I would not be surprised if most said “yeah, of course.” As someone who has spent my entire life on skis and the last few decades helping people ski better, I’m here to make sure you understand just how important your boots are to your ski day.

Based on this idea, I repeatedly tell customers, your boots are 10 times more important than your skis. This also applies to cross country skiing and snowboarding. Our goal is to get you in the right gear the first time around.

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Exploring Vermont via bike. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

With COVID-19 safety guidelines and travel restrictions, winter is looking very different this year in Vermont. Since not many people can travel and are staying home, there's been a huge uptick in people venturing outside and discovering what their backyard has to offer. Outdoor activity is a great way to get exercise, de-stress and spend time with your household. More people getting outside is great news! However, the influx is a concern because of the strain on natural resources. Services such as ski resorts and search and rescue will also be effected. With this resource guide, our goal is to provide some ideas to getting you outside in a new way, while offering other options for people to check out, in order to spread people out in any given area.

Since we already know that ski resort offerings such as lodging and chair capacity will be limited this season, it might not be the year to hit the resorts every weekend like you are used to (click here to read up on the guidelines). It will, however be a great opportunity to try a new winter activity such as cross country skiing, backcountry touring, snowshoeing and winter hiking.

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Cooper skiing at Sleepy Hollow Ski Center, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

If you’ve been following the news in the Nordic world, there has been a lot of confusion regarding Fluorinated Waxes. Are they banned or not?

We learned of the upcoming ban from FIS council last year and then just a few weeks ago, learned the ban had been postponed until next season. However, to add to the confusion, we just learned that even if a venue does not allow fluoros on their ski trails, they still cannot ban fluoros for an FIS sanctioned / qualifying race. The logic is that FIS cannot put restrictions on their races as a whole - due to not having the right equipment to test for flouros (yet). We all know that fluoros make your skis faster, although bad for the environment; but if one venue does not allow them, the playing field is not level between races at different venues.

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Testing out the Nordica Enforcers at the Pico Ski Demo. Photo Credit: Molly Cournoyer.

Earlier this year in January, some Skirack staff took a field trip to the Pico Mountain Ski Resort Downhill Ski and Snowboard Demo Event. It was a fun and exciting day because we got to test out downhill skis from our favorite ski brands.

After testing each ski, not only were we able to give our ski buyer feedback to help make buying decisions, but we were able to learn how each ski performed so we can help our Skirack customers find the perfect ski for them.

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Splitboarding Gear Overview for 2020-21. Photo Credit: Nitro Snowboards.

If you snowboard and especially if you live in Vermont, I'm sure you've been thinking about getting a splitboard for a while. Your riding partner got one last season and has been tempting you with tales of getting untracked snow the day after a storm. Or perhaps you've been fighting to keep up while snowshoeing. This winter season might be time to pull the trigger - especially with the uncertainty of resort operations and capacity limitations expected this year. Our snowboard department has seen a pretty heavy uptick in interest in splitboarding and backcountry gear this year already,and therefore, stock won't last long. Financing options are available to make it as painless as possible. See you out on the skin track!

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Comments | Posted in Videos By Derek Tiplady

Ben prepares for the cross country ski season with a roller ski strength training workout in South Burlington, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

It is common for most high school Nordic skiers to run cross country in the fall. This is amazing for cross training and building leg speed, fitness, and cardiovascular base for the winter cross country ski racing season. However, cross country running usually leads to neglected ski muscles that can make a huge difference in the winter. For nordic skiers looking for an easier transition from running to skiing in early winter, working on strength throughout the fall will pay off greatly in December. I recommend doing a specific strength workout at least once per week. It doesn’t demand much at all on the legs, so runners - have no fear of wrecking your legs during this workout!

This specific strength workout workout is done on roller skis and you will want to find a flat or gradual uphill depending on your strength/skill level. You can do this workout many different ways, but the simple method is just to activate the proper muscles and keep your technique solid the whole time.

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Top Fall 2020 Running Picks

Sep 10, 2020 3:55:15 AM

Sunrise view on Camel's Hump. Photo Credit: Brittany Beland.

We are somehow at the end September. Many runners are feeling simultaneously relieved about the reappearance of crisp air yet already nostalgic for twilight run-swims. This summer seemed to roll through at a frightening clip for a time when things have never been more uncertain. However, late summer melancholy aside, as runners we are coming up on prime time. Autumn in New England. Here’s a look at new shoe updates and trends in running this fall.

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5 Tips for Socially Distanced Hiking. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

As we get into fall hiking weather and the amount of people getting on the trail increases, it's important that we still follow the Vermont Department of Health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We all need to play our part in maintaining a 6 foot distance from others and wearing a mask if you cannot do so - even when you are outside.

Navigating 6 feet socially distanced guidelines on a narrow trail can be a challenge, but with a little practice, patience and following these tips, I hope to help ease your anxiety and encourage you to get out. These tips can easily be applied to other activities, too such as running, biking, and winter sports, too.

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Comments | Posted in Expert Tips Running Hiking By Michelle Peters

Skirack's Brendan trail running along Camel's Hump peak. Photo Credit: Liam John.

 One of the most common questions I get as a shoe sales associate is what are the differences between road shoes and trail shoes? The subsequent question is usually: how do I decide which shoe works best for me? Here is a general guide for how to navigate those questions and the sometimes -overwhelming selections on a shoe wall.

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Electric bikes used to have a specific market - people who needed assistance in order to ride. But the market is quickly changing to everyone. Photo Credit: Specialized Bicycles.

What is an electric bike?

As electric motor technology progresses, so does the diversity of how it can be applied in two-wheeled machines. The “electric bike” umbrella encompasses a vast array of battery-powered cycles, but they are certainly not all created equal.

The term e-bike in the cycling world refers to pedal-assist bikes. This type of bike requires you to at least do some of the work. As you pedal, the motor will engage and add power to the rear wheel. The bike can achieve this in a few different ways that I’ll discuss shortly, but more sophisticated systems will actually work in harmony with the rider, basing the amount of power the motor puts out on how hard the rider is pushing the pedals. The way I like to think about a pedal-assist electric bike is that it’s just like I’m riding a regular bicycle, but with the fantastic illusion that I’ve magically gained the superhuman fitness of a Tour De France rider overnight. This feeling can be shared by anyone, including Grandma Joan.

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