If you can believe it, I am on the road again! At the beginning of the month I left California and headed to the east coast; Florida to be exact. This past week has been full of skiing, experimenting, learning and observing. As well as extremely hot temperatures, high 90’s – low 100’s. I don’t know why I bother to take a shower when I feel like I need another one after being outside for 3 minutes.
I am staying at the LaPoint residence; which is full of skiing knowledge/experience with former world champions and world record holders, Kris LaPoint and Jennifer Leachman LaPoint.
Throughout my skiing career, I have never “played around” with skis, experimented with fin settings, learned what more/less rocker does, what round/sharp bevels do or how soft/stiff the ski is. I usually just find a ski that works and I don’t change anything. Well maybe not anything, I sometimes change the angle of the wing.
Bob LaPoint was also in FL for a few days as well, so I was able to learn from two of the best our sport has seen. Over the past week with Bob & Kris, I had the opportunity of learning how to flex skis, measure the rocker, play with fin settings, learn about designing skis and I was able to pick their brain about any other information they were willing to share with me. And yes, we were still able to get a lot of skiing in. Basically, it was 16 hours a day of nothing but thinking about skiing. We were up at sunrise skiing and up past midnight changing skis, settings or anything else they could think of.
I knew skis were complex but I didn’t know they were this complex. There are so many variables that go into making a great ski, the same way as there are variables that go into making a great skier. The LaPoints said they have learned a lot of things by trial and error and they try things a certain way based on an educated guess from their knowledge of skiing and testing over the years. Without people like Bob and Kris, our sport would not continue to evolve. They are continuing to push the limits in our sport.
My favorite line while being around them when they were working on something was….”You may be witnessing history!” It could be a huge success, a failure or something that may or may not have potential.
I will be in Florida until the end of the month. I am currently training for the Last Chance Qualifier for the Masters which is May 18-20 at Jack Travers’ Sunset Lakes in Groveland, FL. Then I will head to Georgia for the Masters Memorial Day weekend.