Still busy


Picture of the day

Jakob Wilhelmson in front of a nice sky.

New snowboard gear

If you're wondering why I'm selling my Ride Alpha bindings, it's mainly because my snowboard boots are dead. My old boots are pretty banged up, ripped and just don't hold my feet too well anymore so I need new boots. After some extensive research with precise criterias (compact design for my big feet, comfort, light weight, durability and please, no Burton), my boot choice for the upcoming winter stopped on the Salomon F22. Not too stiff, not too soft, true all-arounders and Salomon pretty much has the reputation to offer the most comfortable and well made boots of the industry. We'll see after a few rides but I have to say that my Salomon non-snowboarding boots are more comfortable than my favorite slippers.

But how does that explain the selling of my current bindings? Well, the main reason is that the Salomon F-serie boots are compact, very compact and they float in the Ride bindings and that's no good for board control. And although some swear by the Ride bindings and call the Alpha the best bindings ever, I'm not a fan of their straps. The ratchets are a bit sticky on release and Ride are known to use auto-loosening bolts (can be solved with some loc-tite though). So I said what the hell, I'll get new bindings too, but what? Apart from the cap straps, there hasn't been much significant innovation and useful new technology in bindings for the last few years. Sure, materials improved, looks too but even with all the marketing crap every company throw our way trying to convince us how they just revolutionized bindings year after year, few companies back it up with things that make you go hmmmm.

I have been curious about Salomon's Relay concept since it first came out. Basically, they changed the classic rigid heel support loop of most (if not all) bindings for a flexible loop and paired it with cables that link the highbacks to the front of the baseplate. What you get is a better fit between the boots and bindings, more comfort, a more natural side to side flex but the cables transfer the weight you put on the highbacks directly to the rod reinforced baseplates for powerful heelside turns. Since the ankles are now free to move and rotate side to side, the bindings give you a feel that is closer to a skateboard than being stuck in ski boots. You can check the second step of the demo animation to see what I'm talking about. With a Magne-Traction board, I'll really feel like I'm skating down the mountains! As a bonus, in most cases and quite logically, bindings and boots that fit the best together are usually designed by the same people so the Salomon bindings should be even better with the F22 boots. So I will be ridings with the Salomon Relay Pro. Apart from the soft heel and cables, you get the usual bells and whistles of most good bindings like a nicely cushioned footbed, tool-less adjustable gas-pedals and forward lean, convertible toe straps (that are said to be the quickest to attach), one single bolt to adjust the foot centering and highback rotation and most importantly, a diamond pattern print! Now, let's hope we'll have a winter full of snow!


Picture of the day

I'm more busy than a busy banana! No time to post any meaty stuff.


In Short now available

I just got an email from a certain David Benedek to let me know Blank Paper Studio have finally released their latest movie: In Short. If you know nothing of Blank Paper Studio, it's David Benedek, Christoph Weber and David's Brother Boris production company and they were behind my favorite snowboard movie to date, Afterlame, under the name of Robot Food. High quality images shot on film and so much more than just tricks one after the other for 30 minutes. In Short should be intersting... Click the image below to watch a teaser from their last production: 91 Words for Snow. Once you're there, be sure to check the other teasers, good stuff.

They haven't put a teaser for In Short yet but Youtube saves the day.

Random notes

Alright ladies, who took my tires?

I was sick from thursday, getting a bit better now but it's sunday and I spent the day working in a boring office. I have to work some more tonight and/or tomorrow night. Nice week-end, I work too much, need vacations (Japan?), can barely write full sentences...

I almost got run over by an old man that apparently lost his glasses or just doesn't care about cyclists... I managed to avoid him by performing my longest and nicest stoppie ever but I ruined it when I had to throw myself off the bike so I wouldn't end up smashing the car. The result, a banged-up heel and one sore knee. Thanks papi! At 65 years old, people shouldn't be allowed to drive anymore and have free access to subways and busses.

What else? Oh yeah, an asshole stole two of my car's winter wheels in my backyard, rusty black steel wheels but with still good Blizzak tires... Why not take the four while you're at it? It looks like I'll have to do the good old fishing line with fishing hooks at eyes height trick...


Chairlift destructive tests

Winter Park Colorado were changing a chairlift in 1990 so they allowed to do destructive testing to see what are the worst things that could happen to a chairlift... Check at around 4.30 for the rollback test, the concrete blocks simulate humans. Looking forward to go snowboarding!

And yes, even though it was done in 1990, it looks like it's from the 70's.


Picture of the day

Mads Jonsson by Blotto.


A-Basin opens tomorrow!

You lucky coloradians sons of guns! Like most years, Arapahoe Basin will tomorrow become the first resort to open it's slopes in the US, and probably in the whole North American continent...

Nico Mattan retires

Why does it matter? First, he's one of the last of a generation of pro road cyclists that acts like they are actually riding their bike because it's fun, not for the money, the glory, the women... Hummm did I missed the whole point or did I make a point? Anyway, another reason for me to commemorate him is that my road bike is one of his team bike when he was on Cofidis, with a unique paint job no less... So Nico, drink some fine belgian beers and keep goofing around, the peloton will miss a character like you.

The fastest way to go snowboarding

Like many, I find the newest impreza generation from Subaru pretty boring and not worthy of much interest... I may be an odd guy because with the new car, the company recently had record sales. But like Trek for bikes and Burton for snowboards, I rarely like the best sellers. The new STI version is another story. This hatchback has a much more aggressive style and backs it up by smoking most 'uncle's sports car' (Ford Mustang) and some Porsche too... when it's dry. When the road is covered with snow, those other cars are probably better left in the garage...


Are you feeling it?

Well, I'm starting to feel the buzz. No, not the alcohol buzz you get after a few cold ones, the winter anticipation buzz. When you notice the sun goes down earlier everyday, friends asking advice on what board to get, actually looking forward to install the winter wheels on your car, checking your gear only to realize your boots are ripped and want to go to snowboard boots heaven... you start to realize the snowboard season is slowly approaching and you think about snowboarding more and more. Well, it hit me this week.

I know Colorado already had snow, Mt. Baker WA. got 20" this week and no need to mention mountains from the southern hemisphere but up here, I still have weeks, if not months to wait, plenty of time to find myself a new pair of boots. To ease the wait and waste some time, here's one of the teasers for Time Well Wasted, check Sandbox to watch some more...

Ride Alpha bindings for sale

I just added these in my sale section in case you want to pimp your board for the upcoming winter...



Another performance everyone should see at least once is a Caribou show. Dan Snaith is a true music wizard that creates a sound world that his truely his own, yet you can feel and sense influences that go way back. Sure, on cd it's really mellow and relaxed but hearing it live is another story. I have seen Caribou (or Manitoba as he was formerly known) two or three times and it's like hearing a non-stop music instrument orgy right on stage mated to weird but cute visuals in the background... Wednesday October 3rd at La Tulipe in Montreal, visit the Carbou virb page for other dates close to you and/or to listen some samples.