OUR SPONSORS ROCK! Thanks For Making It Happen!
Leki has been a longtime supporter of our annual boot test and we are all brand-loyal Leki fans now—once skiers get accustomed to a lightweight, stiff and adjustable pole there’s really no going back. This year’s poles sported traditional straps but with easy to adjust length and as always easily swapped baskets depending on conditions. We missed our Trigger S snap-in glove-to-pole attachment system but we were almost as impressed with the Hi-Liter Orange accents!
Flylow isn’t just outerwear (though you might not realize it looking at our test team’s colorful kits) so this year we sported their simple, functional Ridge gloves. Testers love the fit and how they quickly broke in with some skiing. Warm but not sweaty and they look pretty tough (like we were working hard)—and no, we didn’t pay for them, but you can’t beat the price of this one. Get a few pairs.
Socks aren’t always exciting to bootfitters…there’s a lot of socks in all of our shops and some brands come and some brands go. But there’s a truism about ski socks in the ski business—while pros get lots of free socks, they still only like two or three favorite pairs in their sock drawers. It was clear that Le Bent ascended to best-in-the-sock-drawer status the instant the socks were laid out on the testers’ swag table. They literally disappeared in minutes. There was no shortage of positive comments about the right amount of stretch, the ideal blend of cushioning where it was needed and different thicknesses to suit lots of folks individual styles and fit needs. There were some “other brand” socks on that table too—and they were still there at the end of the test.
BlackStrap is a local Bend company that makes the best face gear we’ve found, anywhere, and they do cool graphics in rad colors and can even do custom screen jobs on their stuff. We like the neck tubes the best for their simplicity, but the balaclavas are the best available if you’re into that style. They offer different weights to suit helmets and hats, fat heads and pin heads. And they’ve got some cool summer sun blocking pieces too. Blackstrap is a top seller at our test HQ Mt. Bachelor’s Gravity Sports retail shop and has been a solid boot test sponsor for years.
Local shredder (and bungee master and wing-suiter) James Scott started Slap Cap to offer a customizable hat solution that would let people post on their foreheads instead of just social media platforms! The Velcro patch system is so simple it’s astounding, and every tester had fun populating his or her cap with pieces that told their stories. We had custom Boot Test and Boot Tester patches made for our event, and every member of our team saw opportunities to create similar custom pieces made for events in their future. Great quality caps with a cool new twist on looking cool (and we need all the help we can get).
Hood River, Oregon based Pistil Designs makes the cutest fashion caps on the face of the planet (so says our women’s test team) but the guys like their simple, good-looking knit ski caps too. We’ve been lucky enough to have Pistil’s support for our boot test over many years and we couldn’t be happier—though it has fueled something of a Pistil cap addiction in several tester households. Check ‘em out and join the fun!