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Downhill skiing with kids can be challenging, but also very rewarding. Photo Credit: Rossignol.

Outdoor activities with kids in any weather can be challenging but also very rewarding. Cold, snow, rain, and wind can add another element to the mix. No matter the age of your kiddo, follow these general tips for a most positive outdoor experience. This article is focused on downhill skiing and snowboarding, but these tips can be applied to any cold weather activity. Our mission is to inspire a lifetime of outdoor activity and starting them off right is the best way to instill a love of nature at an early age.

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Winter sports gear (more specifically for backcountry skiing or backyard exploration) has been in demand like never before. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

The Popularity of Cross Country Skiing + Backcountry Snowsports

Last winter, the outdoor community saw an unprecedented surge in winter outdoor activities. Between travel and ski resort restrictions, more people discovered or rediscovered snowsports as a way to get out of the house, get back into shape, or socialize while enjoying the outdoors.

As a direct result of this popularity, winter gear has been in demand like never before. Last winter, touring and backcountry cross country skis and equipment sold out, with few or no options for our buyers to reorder. We also saw an uptick for backcountry gear and snowshoes. Indoor bike trainers also increased in popularity as people preferred the flexibility of riding at home with their friends virtually. More recently, running shoes and clothing have seen supply issues due to production and shipping delays.

If this all sounds familiar, it should. We’re still experiencing the same demand and supply issues with finding a bike.

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Meet Max VanOrman

Aug 1, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Meet Max VanOrman

Hometown: Bloomfield, NY

Years of Experience: Bike, Snowboard and Run expertise

Outside Interests and Hobbies: I love mountain biking, writing music, fishing, hiking, and camping.

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Meet Derek Tiplady

Jul 31, 2021 7:00:00 AM

Meet Derek Tiplady

Hometown: Burlington VT

Years of Experience: 11 Years here total at The Skirack as a mechanic. I've been the Catagory manager/Buyer for Snowboard product for the last 10 years and the Bike Parts and Accessories buyer for the last 3 years. I've been and avid rider and biker for around thirty years.

Outside Interests and Hobbies: In winter it's getting as many days on snow as my schedule and body will allow. Usually at Sugarbush or Bolton and the surrounding backcountry. Summer time its long rides off the beaten path especially if it involves camping, or just a quick cruise around town to meet up with friends for a beer. Golfing, disc golf, seeing live music or just hanging out with my Wife and our dog.

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Comments | Posted in Meet Our Staff Snowboarding Service Bicycling By Derek Tiplady

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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Cross country ski racing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont. Photo Credit: Dave Priganc.

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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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 Snowboarding Expert Tips Videos Backcountry By Derek Tiplady

Splitboarding through the Bolton Valley backcountry. Photo Credit: Brennan Guerriere.

I remember setting down my first ever skin track in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine. We rode the King Pine lift up to the ridge that connects over to Burnt Mountain via a trail called Golden Road. From here, we transitioned our splitboards into touring mode and set out along the ridgeline. This first transition for me was unlike anything my normal snowboarding career had prepared me for. Moving my bindings around. Applying skins to my splitboard?! Riding skis?! I probably spent a solid 20 minutes on this first “transition”. That was 5 years ago, and since then I have dialed in my transition time and general skills as a backcountry traveler.

Here are 6 areas of focus to help you get more confident and efficient as a splitboarder:

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Skirack Snowboard Crew Music Playlist

Jan 10, 2020 5:22:06 PM

Derek finds powder in the woods at Bolton Valley. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Whether you are someone who spends their whole day lapping the park; or the dedicated split boarder heading out at first light exploring ever further from the resort area boundaries; we all are listening to something. With headphones on or just on the way to the mountain, we all need that little something to get us amped and ready to shred. We have assembled a play list from a bunch of our staff who snowboard to help get your day off to a great start. Our staff has some pretty diverse tastes and each pick is of the employee's own liking. The lyrics may not be suitable for all folks or tastes, but diversity in how we ride and what we listen to is what makes snowboarding so fun. This is just meant to possibly expand our customers own music libraries and create some conversation on what you’re listening to as well.

Feel free to put your own top five picks in the comments so we can all find something new to queue up for that next awesome powder day!

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