What a winter it has been here in Ellicottville, NY. We've seen it all these past few months - from the mixed bag of “yuck” falling from the sky, to our blessed lake effect storms that leave us tempted to call in with a case of the powder flu. This season has been everything the “experts” called for and then some. However, winter isn't making its departure yet, and it is certainly far from over at one of the fine specialty shops in the village, Mud Sweat n' Gears, who have spent the last few weeks already worrying about what to fill their store with for NEXT season. Owners/operators Kim Reading and Miguel Azcarate are not only retailers by heart and trade; they're also well traveled and experienced skiers who bring a wealth of knowledge and insight into the products they meticulously hand select to take seed within their shop. With that said, they've got a few ideas for some products to help you re-define (or simply prolong) your season, be it here on the east coast, or wherever your spring snow travels take you.
It goes without saying, MSG hangs their hat on not only their service of the local ski industry, but the selection they afford them, which leads them to proudly suggest one of the premier skis on the market today, the Rossignol Soul 7. This impressive looking ski is part of Rossi's successful 7 series, complimented by the Super & Smash 7 models as well. At first glance, one can't help but notice the tips and tails of these skis. Initially some perceived the look to be gimmicky, until testers were seduced by the forgiveness and quick pivoting offered by this model. You see, those bright tips and tails aren't just aesthetic - they're performance driven, with a honeycomb construction offering a reduced swing weight that eliminates that annoying tip-flap many of you experience here on east coast hard pack when using a rocketed ski. If you're looking to feel like a rockstar with a nimble ski that allows you to push your boundaries, this ski is for you, and the crew at MSG would be glad to get you out on a pair of demos or fit you with your own in-store.
Equally important to skiing like a rockstar is LOOKING and FEELING like a rockstar, which is again one of the in-house specialties at MSG. While they offer a wide variety of outerwear brands, the champion of champions in their stable is the line Arc'teryx, a premier company in its respective category. The name Arc'teryx itself speaks volumes to the company’s roots, with its name being an ode to one freeing themselves from the constraints of a horizontal world. Attention grabbing, no? One of the many things MSG takes pride in is being able to apply their vast travel and ski experiences to their selection of outerwear lines, Kim explains.
“One of the key ingredients to extending your ski season is making sure you're properly outfitted,” she reveals, speaking to the range of temperatures we can expect to experience heading into the spring season.
Often times you'll start with frigid morning temps, and end the day wishing you had nothing more than a t-shirt on (don't be that guy though). Arc'teryx has these range of temps in mind in the product line, starting with the Atom LT Jacket Versatile combination for layering on cold, wet days or as an outer layer in cold dry conditions. This warm mid-layer features composite materials that provide balanced warmth and breathability that offers a supple hand, yet high end layering performance. The icing on the cake would be pairing this piece with one of Arc'teryx's many technical high performance shells, like the Beta AR, Stingray and Modon jackets. Each of these jackets feature N80p-X GORE-TEX 3L fabric, which in everyday speak translates to bomb-proof/tougher than you. With waterproofing and breathability in mind, these coats offer fits that accommodate pieces like the aforementioned layers beneath, while maintaining streamlined function and high-end performance. Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't also mention these pieces come in a variety of timeless colors and patterns which will leave you looking great on the streets and on the slopes for years to come.
Now that you're armed with the knowledge, there's only one step left to accomplish: get on down to Mud Sweat n' Gears on the corner of Washington and Monroe Streets. On top of these great brands, they also offer top-of-the-line “back shop” service (sharpen, wax, etc.), rentals, accessories like GoPro's, goggles, helmets and more. You can also make an appointment with one of their renowned boot fitters, which could be one of the most important aspects of your trip to the mountain. Give them a shout today at 716-699-8300 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.