Tips For Winter Running

Photo @mattiasfredrikssonphotography

No need to be intimidated by the snow. Running is still very much possible in winter – some may argue that it is more enjoyable! The cool air, beautiful scenery and change in terrain makes for an exciting change in your fitness routine. With the Sporting Life 10k fast approaching, now is the time to start training! Here are some of our tips to make the most of your cold weather run and get your body ready for race season.

Set a Goal

Winter running isn’t for everyone – sometimes you need to have a goal in mind to make the chilly temperatures worth it. Why not sign up for the Sporting Life 10k and set out on a training schedule?

Taking place in Toronto and Ottawa on May 13 in support of Camp Oochigeas and June 16 in Calgary in support of Kids Cancer Care, the Sporting Life 10k is a great opportunity for you to try and beat that PB, all while supporting kids affected by childhood cancer. Sign up before prices go up on January 15 and get running!

Plan Ahead

You don’t want to get stuck outside longer than necessary on a cold day. Be sure to map your route ahead of time and ensure that it is a length that you can handle. Use a service like MapMyRun or Nike+ to track and plan your run. As always, be sure to bring enough water or energy chews with you to keep you in tip top shape during your run. Another important factor is the buddy system; having someone with you always makes for a safer run, especially in the winter. At the very least, let someone know where and when you plan to run in case of emergency.

Get Warm

Warming up is essential for any workout, but it is particularly important when it is cold outside. You want to give your muscles a chance to warm up before you dive into an outdoor winter workout. Do some quick cardio around your house to get your body moving, but do your best not to break a sweat; this can give you the chills as soon as you step outside!

Dress For Success

Don’t forget to gear up for your outdoor run this winter. Layering is of the utmost importance! Keep warm and dry in moisture wicking base layers, breathable shells, and seasonally appropriate accessories. Proper footwear is also key; you likely can’t get away with the same shoes you would wear for summer road runs. Much like your apparel, you want something waterproof and breathable with all-weather protection. A rugged outsole and ankle protection are also helpful for improved resistance to the elements.

See and Be Seen

Don’t forget about visibility! Stay safe on your run in reflective apparel and footwear. With reduced daylight, early morning and evening runs are subject to reduced visibility. The addition of a headlamp or reflective stripes on your clothing and shoes will allow vehicles to avoid you when running on the road.

Shop the best in cold weather running gear and get outside!

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The Best of Snowboard

To celebrate the peak of prime snowboarding season, we’re sharing our favourite snowboard brands for 2018. Whether boards, boots or apparel, this selection offers nothing but cool innovation and style. Learn more about what makes these brands the best of the best and shop all things snowboard, only at Sporting Life.


“Jake Burton Carpenter founded Burton Snowboards out of his Vermont barn back in 1977, and has dedicated his life to snowboarding ever since.”

Burton has played a key role in the growth of the snowboard industry, and we are proud to support a brand that has supported some of the world’s best riders. From technical baselayers to the coolest apparel to the top boards and bindings, Burton is a key brand in our snowboard line-up. One of the many reasons we love Burton? Their commitment to sustainability. Burton is a Bluesign approved brand – learn more about the Bluesign system here!

Along with the classic Burton line, Burton AK and L.A.M.B. x Burton offer unique looks to complete your all mountain wardrobe.

In partnership with Gore-Tex, the Burton AK line offers both waterproof and breathable outerwear. With Gore’s “Guaranteed To Keep You Dry®” pledge in mind, Burton AK products are built to withstand the elements and keep you dry all day. AK products are not only Bluesign approved, but are also manufactured using the Drydye process. Drydye technology boasts a waterless dyeing process, it saves 25 liters of fresh water per tee shirt, uses pure dyestuff, and has no chemical additives. 

L.A.M.B. x Burton is “drastically different than everything else you see during winter, each piece speaks for itself. Fierce and edgy—but fun—and always laced with punk rock, this is the bold street style of Gwen Stefani backed by Burton’s top-shelf outerwear technology.” PS – we are the only retailer in Canada that carries this line…rock on!

Oh, and don’t forget about the Step-On system. No big deal or anything.


Developed by Mervin and created at “the world’s most environMENTAL factory”, Lib Tech and Gnu are a force to be reckoned with. Yet another snowboard brand founded by snowboarders, Mervin is the longest running and last major board building factory in the USA. If you couldn’t tell, we are all for sustainability when it comes to our brands – Lib Tech and Gnu are no exception. Want to know more about what environMENTAL entails? Learn more on their website!

We buy the toughest, lightest, strongest, most environmental materials; many of which aren’t meant for snowboards or used by anyone else for what we use them for.”

You can always count on Lib Tech for innovation. New concepts, new shapes, and collaborations with riders like Travis Rice and Jamie Lynn offer a ride like no other.

Gnu on the other hand takes their design to another dimension. Their own description says it all: “Mysterious materials, bizarre geometries, contours and board shapes, far out art and colors, odd terrain and freakish riders have allowed us to create fantastic progressive snowboards taking snowboarding to wild and magical places.”


Less is more.” – Mies Van Der Rohe

Winner of the 2016 ISPO Gold Medal, Yes has made a name for itself in the snowboarding industry. Being shaped by product, customers, riders, fans…Yes has all of the pieces to create the ultimate in snowboard innovation. Tuning out the noise of what others are doing, Yes marches to the beat of their own drum and keeps it simple. Do what you know and do it well.

As a testimonial from James Biesty states: “Out of the 400+ boards I’ve tried, I don’t think any other brand has such a wide appeal to our crew and readers as YES. does. Alex makes a good board for nearly every type of, budget, condition, boot size, ability level and riding style.”

If you’re just getting started or you’ve spent your life on the mountain, don’t say no to Yes. Say Hel Yes.


“We believe that life should be lived without limits and that your choice of technical apparel should reflect this.”

From a small collection of denim and outerwear in 1992, 686 Enterprises has expanded into one of our top snowboardwear brands. With innovative, forward-thinking outerwear and technical apparel inspired by mountain culture, 686 challenges you to push your experience beyond what you thought possible. Just take a look at the Smarty 3-in-1 Cargo Pant:


“A collective force of creative expression, Analog is committed to progressing the individualistic style that snowboarding is built on.”

Say no more. The Analog collection offers riders freedom of expression in the form of fun and creative snowboardwear. Like its creator Burton, Analog is – you guessed it – environmentally conscious. With Bluesign approved product and using THERMOLITE® Insulation, Analog is a true all mountain brand. Talk about a finger on the pulse of changing fashions and materials.

For just the right amount of on-snow function and street personality, try the Caldwell Anorak – it’ll remind you of your favourite hoodie, but will keep you warm and dry all season long.


“Holden brings timeless style to technical outerwear.”

Shocking, but true: another brand we love that blends fashion, function and an eco-conscious sensibility. Holden was founded by professional snowboarder Mikey LeBlanc and designer Scott Zergebel with a mission to create products that are built on these values: Timeless Quality, functional style, versatility, tailored-fits, and eco-friendlier attributes. Since 2002, they have done just that. Holden offers a 2018 collection that looks cooler than ever in sleek neutrals and camo prints, allowing for corny camouflage jokes all day long.


We have a vision that turns obstacles into opportunity. A creative courage to tempt the impossible… And embrace the strange. Telling us to push further… To try again.”

Who didn’t grow up loving Volcom? From skate to surf to snow, the Volcom stone is one of the most recognizable logos of our generation. Volcom was born from the philosophy of the times, “Youth Against Establishment”, and continues to support and inspire young creative thinking. The coolest patterns and silhouettes paired with reasonable pricepoints make Volcom the ultimate starter kit for a fun and carefree snowboard season.


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Tune-Up Services at Sporting Life

Markus Eder, Retallack, BC, Canada. Photo: Adam Clark

Since 1979, we have lived and breathed the Canadian winter. We are proud to be your one-stop shop for all things winter – especially equipment and tune-ups for the ultimate mountain experience.

If you are just getting into skiing or snowboarding, you may wonder…why tune my equipment? The answer is pretty simple. Just like any equipment – a bike, a car, an instrument – your skis need to be tuned to reach their top performance potential. The more you ski, the more wear and tear your equipment will endure. To get the most use out of your skis and to ensure that they stand the test of time, regular tuning will keep you and your equipment safe.

“Regular” tuning can mean something different to every skier; a racer will require more frequent ski tunes than a casual family skier who hits the mountain a few times a season. The look and feel of your skis will tell you when it is time to bring them in for a tune.

Are the edges rough and the base worn? How do they feel while you are skiing – is it harder than usual to stay on track?

Dull edges are a surefire way to have a less than ideal skiing experience. Along with sharp, smooth edges, skis also require wax to function properly. As they are made from porous material, skis need wax to keep water and dust out of their pores, making for a faster and more responsive ride.

If you aren’t sure, bring your skis into your nearest Sporting Life! Our staff can tell you in a second whether your skis are due for a tune-up. A proper tune will ensure that no matter the snow conditions, you will have a great day on the slopes.

Boyd Callaway from Sporting Life Market Mall.

We’ve tuned for the pros, and we’d love to tune for you! Our staff have learned from the best when it comes to the art of tuning – have you read our blog post on tuning skis in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, or our post on a week spent with the NCOST? Each of our locations boasts top of the line Wintersteiger machines, guaranteed to send you to the slopes in peak form.

Want to learn more? Watch the video below, featuring our Collingwood shop expert Bill, or visit our website to learn about the specifics of each store’s tuning machines.

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New Year, New You

Image via Lole Blog.

Happy New Year! There is something so refreshing about leaving the past year behind and looking towards a clean slate. While fitness goals are one of the most common new years resolutions, we are totally on board with that. If 2018 makes you want to break out of your fitness routine and get healthy, we say GO FOR IT!

The hard part of sticking to a resolution is finding motivation. To help you get started in crushing your goals this year, here are some surefire ways to successfully change up your fitness regime and learn to love working out.

1. Try Something New

New year new you, right? The best way to break out of a fitness rut is to change it up. Getting stuck in the same routine isn’t good for your body or for your motivation. Even adding one new class to your week will challenge your muscles and reignite your will to workout! Here are some of our favourite workouts that you can try in the new year:

Spin: We LOVE spin! Spin is a great way to get your heart rate up and build muscle without the stress of a high-impact workout. If you’re in Alberta, visit our friend Andrew Obrecht at YYC Cycle – his high energy class will leave you feeling invigorated (and probably pretty sweaty, too!).

Yoga: Yoga is great because there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer power yoga, hot yoga, restorative yoga, chill flow…your body will thank you for turning off your brain for an hour and focusing inwards. Training your breath is beneficial to all aspects of your life, and even an hour of light or restorative stretching will benefit your muscles, your sleep, and your mind.

TRX: One of our favourite workouts this year has been TRX. Using portable suspension equipment, TRX develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. Gravity and your own body weight makes for a workout unlike any other. Whether you work out every day or haven’t set foot in a gym in years, TRX is adaptable to provide a safe and tough workout regardless of your fitness level.

Barre: Trust us: Barre is not just for ballet dancers. What seems like simple micro movements and stretches turns out to be a killer workout inspired by ballet, yoga and pilates. This workout will sculpt, lengthen and strengthen your muscles – muscles you probably didn’t even know you had! We promise you will break a sweat.

2. The Buddy System

We know…one of the hardest parts of working out is getting to the gym. This year, find yourself an accountability partner to ensure that you get yourself up and moving. It’s awesome to have a friend to go to the gym with every day, but something as simple as receiving the “Hey! I just finished my workout, did you?” text can be enough motivation to get that workout done. Community is one of the reasons we love Fitbit; there’s nothing wrong with creating some friendly competition among friends to help you reach your goals!

3. Fuel Up

We can’t say it enough: hydration is KEY. Nothing will make you want to quit a workout more than feeling burnt out and dehydrated. Always be sure you have enough water for your workout to keep up with the sweat you are inevitably producing. S’well bottles are a forever favourite; your water will stay cool in a hot room, and won’t freeze during a winter run. We also recommend an energy chew or snack to refresh your sodium and electrolytes before, during and after a tough workout.

4. New Gear, New You

If the reasons above weren’t enough to get you out the door for a workout, new gear often does the trick! We’ve got all of the equipment you need to be ready for that new 2018 fitness regime. Whether you choose to workout in the privacy of your own basement, at a local gym, or in a trendy new fitness class in your city, you can find the tools you need to succeed at Sporting Life.

Go out and chase your fitness goals in 2018 – it’s time to make a change!

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The Warmest Coats For the Coldest Weather

Canadians may be used to freezing cold winters, but sometimes it takes a -20° day to remind you of the importance of a good winter coat. For days like these, we’ve rounded up 5 of our favourite warm winter coats. These pieces are sure to keep your core toasty warm without overheating (for when you have no choice but to leave the comfort of your home).

Canada Goose Langford Parka
The Langford is slightly longer than some of its similar Canada Goose counterparts; this allows for greater warmth with more leg protection. With a storm flap over the centre front zipper and two interior pockets, the Langford offers clean lines and a modern look – all in an uncompromisingly protective parka. This parka is water repellent and is rated TEI 4 (-15 to -25 degrees).

Fjallraven Singi Down Jacket
The Women’s Singi Down Jacket from Fjallraven is a warm and durable down jacket with a traditional, long cut. This jacket features a technical tunnel hood with faux fur and a drawcord adjustment at the waist and hem. Paired with a feminine cut and slim fit, there’s no need to sacrifice your silhouette for absolute warmth!

Arc’teryx Therme Coat
The Arc’teryx Therme Coat uses a combination of synthetic and down insulation in partnership with a waterproof/windproof GORE-TEX® outer. The result is a stylish waterproof/windproof outer parka shell perfect for cold winter days. Fully taped seams allow for extreme waterproof protection, while an insulated hood and chin guard will keep your face safe from the cold.

Canada Goose Mystique Parka
What could be warmer than a full-length down parka? Popular on chilly film sets and city streets alike, the Canada Goose Mystique Parka offers maximum protection in harsh environments. This TEI 5 rated (-30 degrees and below) coat offers even heat distribution without adding excessive bulk, while interior backpack straps allow you to carry your parka around once you’ve made it safely indoors.

Columbia Sundial Peak Jacket
Described as a “military-inspired suit of armor for battling frigid temps”, the Sundial Peak Jacket is made of a heat-packing combination of down insulation and Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining. This jacket is fully seam sealed and waterproof, so feel free to safely play all day in the snow. Don’t forget about the detachable faux fur trim, adjustable drawcord hem, and removable hood – this coat is fully customizable to suit any range of cold winter days!



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Let’s Meet Along the Powder Highway

Why a road trip with a full serving of snowflakes is good for you

Article by guest blogger Powder Matt.

The snow is falling again. Faces with powder crumbs – a normal look – highlighted by colourful toques line up for rides up to Fernie Alpine Resort. It’s the first stop on our week-long road trip to four deep ski destinations dotting the aptly named Powder Highway.

This famed stretch of pavement threads its way through forested valleys and over jaw-dropping alpine passes, making every powder aficionado drool as they land in one historic and homey mountain town after another.

Get ready because your Insta account will be filled with photos of you being silly and playful – kind of like those college road trips you used to take.

Here’s what a skier or rider’s holiday looks like.

First base: Fernie, B.C.

We take an evening stroll along the snow-filled streets of downtown Fernie, minutes from the ski resort of the same name. Music spills out onto street, accompanied by the occasional blasts of the freight train, as we checked into the iconic Brickhouse. Beer has been poured here for many decades to fuel the thirsty miners and now skiers, who enjoy pints of Fresh Trax, made by the Fernie Brewing Co.

Next morning, we get up early from your secluded slope-side Snow Creek Cabin, to make the first chair, on the “old side” as locals call it. This is where our powder safari begins across five bowls, starting with Cedar Bowl. We hit up the perfectly spaced trees somewhere off to the skier’s left. (Just ask a local if you can’t locate it.) We end our day with last chair to a sharp rocky point, Polar Peak. This is a milestone for advanced skiers and riders, where you stare down your slot, turn after turn of thigh-burning fun, all the way to base and beers at the famous Griz Bar.

Powder tip. Pick a ski resort that offers ski-in and ski-out convenience. That means no need to pack up each morning and more time on the slopes or just relaxing. Our stay was sweet and easy with your own private cabin, at Snow Creek Cabin and taking a dip at the full-service Lizard Creek Lodge, complete with slopeside pool. There’s no need to get up too early when you’re just 50 feet from the lift.

Second base: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, B.C.

The following morning, fueled up with coffee from the Valley Social, we head north up the big valley, sculpted by glaciers and cut by two rivers named the Kootenay and Columbia. Forested sides give way to jagged peaks on both sides as we descend into Golden, B.C., home of loggers, railroaders, hard working folk, ski bums, mountain guides and adventure seekers. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort rises above town, with large runs cutting across nature’s canvas. This bucking horse has the fourth largest vertical in North America, at more than 4,000 feet. Lifted to the summit by the Eagles Eye Gondola, we slide skier’s left to the Stairway to Heaven Chair. Up a short stair case, we’ve reached the ridge top and drop in. Honking it down Whitewall’s steep goodness we reach the base and are ready for another lap. Later, we try a run called Crazy Legs, accessed from the top of Terminator 2 Peak. A stop at the Whitetooth Brewing Co., delivers Blower Pow a fresh and lively pale ale, the perfect match for fire-side hot tub, and cabin in the snowy woods from Lush Mountain Accommodations.

Powder tip. You can enhance your skills on these big mountains by taking a clinic. Try the Big Mountain Clinics led by all-mountain professionals at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Third base: Red Mountain, Rossland, B.C.

Rossland is just shy of a three-hour drive over Kootenay Pass from Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook, B.C. (WestJet is adding service in early March). It’s easy to allow your mind to wander and dream at Red Mountain.  We head right up to the north side of Grey Mountain and buckle up. We’re about to dig into a buffet of tree-lined chutes and powder. If that doesn’t fire up your quads, then take another lap on the next one over. Rossland offers plenty of apres ski and dining options along its main street. Check out ski-in and ski-out lodging right at the base of the mountain.

Powder tip. Don’t forget skiing and riding with a helmet is safer, warmer and more comfortable. New models come with lighter and stronger materials, like the Smith Quantum Helmet, using Koroyd (a kind of crushable plastic). The helmet also has removable ear pads.

Powder tips. Add the Max Pass to your Blue Mountain season pass and get five free days of skiing at Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Keep your craft beer cool with the Yeti Hopper for the hot tub celebrations. Wet boots are no fun, so keep that DryGuy handy for easy after-ski drying. Walk the main streets in comfort, Kootenay style, with one of Bog’s Tall Boots so your feet stay warm while you dance under the street lights and snowflakes.

You can fly into Canadian Rockies International Airport, in Cranbrook. From there, rent a car and journey along a giant loop, from Fernie to Golden (Kicking Horse) and then onto Red Mountain with a free ferry ride across massive Arrow Lake, to Rossland and then east back to the airport.

Read more on and Powder Matt’s recent adventure:

If You Go:
Fernie Alpine Resort
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Red Mountain
Start planning your BC Powder Highway ski holiday here.

PowderMatt-250x300Powder Matt is hooked on Powder! Skiing has been part of his life for 40yrs! From ski racing to backcountry touring there is not a part of skiing that he does not like- in fact he will often say that spending a day in the mountains ‘Life is good when you do what you enjoy’ or refer you to his motto Eat.Sleep.Ski . He has been working in the Ski Resort business for over 20 years. He is the Senior Vice President, Resort Experience, at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. He looks forward to your comments. Make it a Powder Day!

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A Week With The NCOST

This month, Eric Bernard from Sporting Life Ottawa had the opportunity to spend a week with the National Capital Outaouais Ski Team (NCOST). He represented the Sporting Life Race Department as an assistant for on-hill training and learned from the best of the best. Below is his daily log from his experience working with NCOST elite athletes!

Day 1

This is an excellent opportunity for me to assist the team in their journey through the season as well as further my understandings of the ski racing world. The athletes had grins ear to ear seeing me show up at the airport this morning. The weather on the other hand wasn’t too pleased to see me go. From the moment I rolled out of bed to takeoff at YOW; big, fat, white gold making its way down. Luckily we were able to takeoff on time. The flight went well, got a chance to finally watch the sequel to one of my favourite movies (Bon Cop Bad Cop 2). Definitely worth the watch. Skis, tools and equipment made it through the unforgiving hands of the baggage handlers OK. We got settled in to our rooms at the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge. Skis were unloaded and prepped for training tomorrow. We’re starting things off nice and easy tomorrow with some GS freeskiing. Getting down to business with some lane space and gates in the ground in the afternoon. I can’t wait to see these kids shred some gates and slay some arcs. After slaving over their equipment since July I’m curious to see it perform on the snow.

Day 2

First day of training was off to a good start. Woke up to the most extravagant of sunrises I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. Mountain peaks, sunshine, snow.. What more can a skier as for? With vans packed and athletes still half asleep, we left for Nakiska. We arrive to the pleasant sight of 30 fresh centimeters of white gold.

Err.. Well.. Pleasant for me!.. Not so much for the 80 odd some racers occupying the mountain alongside me. These guys need hardpacked and groomed conditions to truly perform. Luckily we had a dedicated training lane on the upper mountain in the afternoon and not the morning. Leaving all the snow clearing and hard work to the Italian team in the AM. We had a couple laps on the lower mountain. Athletes attempting to carve through the crud on their race skis whilst I was cruising and shredding with ease on a demo pair of Rossi EXP 88’s. After having lunch with few of our friends over on the Ontario FIS team, we head out to set for the afternoon. Boy oh boy do I not miss schlepping bundles of gates. As we set our way down the mountain Joey (coach of the team) was getting increasingly worried about the ruts left by the Italian Super-G course. Finally with gates in the ground and sore legs from slipping, the course was ready for racing. One by one athletes made their way down the mountain. The first few runs were rough. Athletes looking flustered trying to work the new GS skis around the gates. Fog settled in, as did frustration with a few athletes. Most disappointed in their skiing performance. Luckily a few breakthroughs were made towards the end of the training session to raise morale. Tear down was clockwork, working with experienced athletes makes a world of difference. Kids knowing to roll up gate panels, or bungeeing bundles made Joey’s work easy.

Back to the base of the mountain we went. Gear off, vans packed we head home for the evening. Back at the lodge a few bindings needed inspections. Exhausted I wrote this email, now it’s time for bed.

Day 3

Day two of training was off to a later start today. We had our training lane in the afternoon again so we figured we would let the athletes sleep in a little longer.

Faire la grasse matinée as we say in French. Yesterday was a long one. Vans again loaded with racing equipment and groggy racers, we made our way to the hill.

Morning free skiing was a hit, snow was stellar and the kids were skiing well. Over lunch, Joey worked some of his socializing magic and scored us the course the Albertan team had set in the AM. No need to set gates for us! A bit of slipping and adjusting gates and the course was ready to race. The athletes were tearing up the course run after run. I spent most of my afternoon slipping and standing on the sideline listening to Joey’s critiquing of the young racers. Mostly repeating the same thing. These athletes all seem to suffer from the same technique failures. Incomplete turn shapes forcing them to step to the next turn. Video footage was taken by Joey’s assistant in order to help the athletes understand the crucial changes they need to make to their skiing. Once we were back at the lodge, Joey proceeded to take the athletes aside, one by one to go over the footage. During this time I had the chance to spend some time in the tuning room with the athletes as they prepared skis for the next training day. This granted me the opportunity to correct a few tuning misconceptions, adjust some bindings and make sure the skis I worked so hard to make fast stay that way! With skis ready to race and athletes eager to work on their skiing, I now make my way to bed.

I’m curious to see how the athletes will ski tomorrow after the video feedback.

Day 4

Day three of training was an interesting one. The weather seemed promising on the way to the hill. The sunshine was peeking its way through the Rockies. The morning’s freeskiing session went smooth as athletes were adjusting to the soft and warm snow. Once we got up to the summit for the afternoon was when the tables turned. A cold front had made its way to the hill and flipped the conditions for the worse. Rain was starting to come down on the mountain making the soft snow even softer. This had far worse repercussions than anticipated. Due to the extra-soft snow, ruts starting forming at speeds faster than we could work them out. As a result, one of the athletes skied off the race line and into a rut, only to get bucked and bent the tip of his ski. After that, we called it a day and pulled the course. Things were getting too hairy to keep racing. Once back at the lodge Joey  attempted to bend the ski back into shape with no success. I fortunately was able to get a hold of our Volkl rep and got him to send out a replacement pair for the athlete. The athletes and I spent the evening in the tuning room going over tool maintenance and equipment maintenance as well. Cleaning files, keeping base brushes clean, regularly checking bindings, tightening boot buckles. The forecast for tomorrow isn’t very inspiring either. Rain day in and out.

Keeping my fingers crossed the rain turns to snow in the altitude of the mountain.

Day 5 & 6

Day four of training was not much to write home about. The non-stop rain had Nakiska underwater and closed for the day. So the athletes and I took advantage of the opportunity to go over the skis, make sure all edges were sharp and bindings well adjusted. Day five on the other hand, was an awesome day of training.

We showed up to the hill with a few cm of new snow on the ground. Freeskiing in the morning was great. The athletes were skiing well and the sun poked out of the clouds to soften the hard choppy snow under the powder at the base of the mountain. After lunch we took the training to the reserved lane at the summit. The conditions there were spectacular. The new snow had been blown clean off the mountain by heavy gusts. Leaving only the rock solid man made tarmac to race on. Ideal conditions for peak performance. Now that the athletes were on familiar snow, they really started to shine. Some talent that had been held back since the beginning of the camp was starting to become apparent. With gates in the ground and timing set up the competitive atmosphere was booming. Athletes were huddled up at the finish of the course waiting as their teammates made their way down. Comparing times, discussing different skiing tactics, approach lines and such. It was fascinating to see how skiing performance drastically changed when timed runs were thrown into the mix. At the end of the day, high-fives were exchanged by all followed by laughs and a lot of “I’ll get you next time!”‘s.

The ski racing happening up the road from us has the kids stoked and really in a racing mood. Can’t wait to see our Canadian Cowboys race Lake Louise tomorrow! Go team Canada!!

Day 7

Day six of training was like none other we’ve had all week. No skiing was to be done. Dreams and goal setting on the other hand was the theme of the day. We got to Lake Louise just as the racers of the day were warming up for the race. Until today, I’d never had the pleasure of attending a World Cup ski race. This is no U14 local race. The men out here are charging for the podium. As start time approached, the NCO athletes and I strategically posted ourselves in the finish corral with good view of the race track. Chris Powers’s and Fuzzy’s athletes got the chance to run the track as forerunners. An excellent opportunity for them to get some World Cup grade speed skiing under their belts. After the they made their way down the crowd was humming in anticipation for the first racers. The atmosphere was electric. I can’t imagine what it was like at the other end of the track. One by one, the racers hauled their way down the race track. Steep right out of the gate. Two pushes from the gate and these guys were cooking. Crouching the tucks as aerodynamic as possible through the Sunset Flats, anything to hold on to that precious speed. Flying around Coaches, hanging on with every inch of ski edge they had. Only to get thrown from one side of the hill to the other on the Fallaway. You could hear the crowd hold their breath every time someone came buzzing around that corner. Banging out of the Gun Barrel with ludicrous speeds.

Finally the racers would come into view at Claire’s Corner. Flat out tuck to the finish to a roaring crowd. Every time one of these guys crossed the line, the only thought that crossed my mind was such. This is racing. The podium was as follows, Beat Feuz 1st, Mathias Meyer 2nd and Aksel Lund Svindal 3rd. There was one performance that stood out from all the others. Broderick Thompson climbed his way into the scoring field of the race from starting bib 38 finishing 23rd.

An impressive result given the quickly deteriorating track conditions. After the award ceremony everyone made their way to the Chateau Fairmont for the bib draw for the SG tomorrow. Food, cocktails and ski racing. Now that’s a party. I got the chance to catch up with my Race Dpt teammates, coworkers and mentors, Chris and Fuzzy. I ran into a lot more Ottawa folks than I expected. As the night went on, the racers were called up to the stage one by one to pick their starting position for the next race. Chris and I were trying to guess who would pick what number, what strategy they would go with. We were surprised to see bib 1 left to the last racer. With the start list ready for tomorrow, we called it a night and head back to Canmore.

I can’t wait to go see another one of these races. Never have I felt so much thrill watching these people stare danger right in the face and conquer.

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New From Burton: The Step-On System

The moment you’re ready, it’s time to ride.

This season, Burton is introducing the ultimate throwback for snowboarders. Leave your memories of step-in bindings behind – 2017 is the year of the Step-On. Not only is this new system convenient, it is both simple and secure for use on the whole mountain. Check it out:

Five years in the making, this new binding system is a novel alternative to the traditional strap-in approach. Using them is easy: Slide your heel into a connection point at the back, then click into loops on both sides of the toes. The result is a light, comfortable apparatus that’s almost as responsive as the high-performing straps and buckles—but happily won’t compel you to sit down in the cold snow to strap yourself in.”Popular Science

  • Simple, Safe, Secure – Step-On bindings have three connection points for locking security: two by the toe, and one by the heel. This ensures that your foot will stay secure no matter what your riding style.
  • Dual Zone Boa – With no straps and no laces, Boa makes the Step-On system even easier. It is the world’s fastest and most adjustable closure system!
  • Universal Compatibility – Not sure if Step-On will work with your mounting system? No worries – Step-On is compatible with all current systems, including 4×4, 3D and The Channel.
  • Easy In, Easy Out – A quick release lever allows you to easily pop your boot out of the binding. Once disengaged, the lock is reset for hands-free re-entry. It’s as simple as that!

Burton has assembled a series of tutorials to make Step-On even easier (as if that’s possible!) You can find tutorials on their website for lessons such as mounting your bindings, adjusting the gas pedal, adjusting forward lean, getting in, getting out, and more.

What are you waiting for? Step into the newest innovation from Burton.

via Burton

Available November 2, 2017 at select Sporting Life locations.

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A Guide to Custom Boot Fitting

Your ski boots provide control, steering, balance and comfort. With each of these, you’ll be skiing as effectively as you possibly can! Our in-store custom boot fitting services are perfect for skiers of any level, whether this is your first or fifth pair of boots.

When a ski boot doesn’t fit properly or the shape isn’t quite right, your foot loses its battle against the boot. Our boot-fitting expert Cam compares custom boot fitting to finding the fourth leg for a 3-legged table – the goal is stability!

We’ve laid out a few common problems associated with ill-fitting ski boots. Our boot fitting technicians would be happy to sit down with you and address any issues you may have, whether they are listed here or not. Visit your nearest Sporting Life and find the perfect fit!

boot fitting wall
boot fitting
Bone Spurs

Bone spurs are the result of your foot banging against the shell time and time again, causing grievances to your foot. The body builds up calcium in that area as a natural band-aid, but this can cause long term pain.

To relieve the tenderness associated with bone spurs, our technicians will often dremmel out a small crevice in the shell, and pad the area around the spur. We will also ensure that you have a properly made footbed to reduce rubbing on the spur.

Cold Feet

There are a variety of reasons that your feet could be cold while skiing…the biggest misconception is that cold feet come from a boot that touches your toes. In fact, if your toe isn’t touching the boot, there is dead air space in the boot which will reduce the overall temperature.

The best way to prevent cold feet is clean, dry socks. ONE PAIR ONLY! Two pairs of socks interferes with a proper fit, which is the best way to keep warm. Instead of choosing a chunky, padded sock that won’t wick away moisture, choose a thin sock that keeps your boot fitting properly.

Another way to keep your feet warm in your ski boot is with a heater. Heated socks and liners come in many different styles which suit different styles of skier. While a ski racer may prefer a streamlined heated sock – such as a pair by Lenz with Bluetooth capabilities- any skier would fare well with the Conformable Pro Set Remote Foot-Warming System. It may ring in at a higher price point, but your toes will thank you after a full day on the mountain!

Shin Bang

“Shin bang” is exactly that – a bruise on the shin due to banging against the boot! The most common problem is that the boot is too big, and that pressure is not evenly distributed on the leg as the boot flexes. This can also be due to a lack of proper footbed – the angle of the leg changes, causing the shin to bang against the boot.

Aside from selecting a boot in the correct size, a booster strap can often fix the problem of shin bang. This dynamic power strap replaces the existing strap on your ski boot. Not only will a booster strap prevent your shin from banging against the front of your boot, but it will also lead to better ski performance & control and better shock absorption within the boot.

Toes Falling Asleep

If your toes are falling asleep, that means your boots are too tight, right? Not necessarily!

While our technicians will check the toe box to ensure that your toes aren’t being squeezed, the typical cause of toes falling asleep is an improper footbed. With an ill-fitting foot bed, the foot’s circulation is being cut off in an area where you may not feel it (i.e. inside the ankle or near your arch).

A proper footbed is key to a well-fitted boot. Our technicians will remove your sock and measure both of your feet while sitting and standing. This will ensure that your footbed allows for the collapse of your foot arch as your ankle bends. Our go-to brand of insole is Superfeet; these insoles are low volume, thinner, and are perfect for someone skiing less than 100 days a year.

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Brand Spotlight: Woolrich John Rich & Bros

Featured: Women’s Teton Parka

As a part of the historical Woolrich family stemming back to the early 19th century, the Woolrich John Rich & Bros line presents classic American fashion but with a twist of modern style. The company has come a long way since John Rich II first opened the Woolrich Woolen Mills in Pennsylvania nearly two centuries ago. After decades of catering to the outdoor lifestyle of the average blue-collar citizen, John Rich & Bros (JRB) helps to breathe new life into a remarkable heritage brand where practicality meets style. With a focus on adding a touch of sophistication to the style of daily life, the brand still manages to maintain the defining aspects of the Woolrich identity that was first created for American pioneers.

via Woolrich.

We can’t be the only ones who love Buffalo Check for fall – did you know that Woolrich was the first to release this iconic print? Introduced to the collection in 1850, Buffalo Check has become a worldwide staple for a heritage look. Legend has it that the designer of this fabric owned a herd of buffalo, so he named the fabric after his beloved herd. When worn with the matching printed pant, a “Pennsylvania Tracksuit” is born – this just might rival the denim on denim “Canadian Tuxedo!”

Another quintessential style from JRB is the Arctic Parka, which was designed and produced in the early 1970s. Created to outfit workers constructing the Alaska pipeline, this down-insulated parka remains a staple of the modern collection.

Having recently celebrated their 185th anniversary, Woolrich John Rich & Bros is a brand that seems to be getting better with age. As a true lover of fashion paired with function, Sporting Life is proud to provide a home for heritage pieces that stand the test of time.

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