Gear

SKI Magazine Gear Tester: Jon Jay

SKI's digital content editor has a history of competitive freeride skiing and international ski mountaineering.

 

SKI Test Director and Gear Tester Jon Jay
SKI Test Director Jon Jay Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

Jon grew up in Glenwood Springs, Colo., and learned to ski at Aspen Snowmass starting at the age of 3. While attending the University of Denver, he was President of the DU Alpine Club and competed on the Freeskiing World Tour. He lived Kazakhstan for two years and completed a number of first descents in the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and then spent three years living in Silverton, Colo., where he received his AIARE Level 2 course certificate and EMT license.

He now lives in Boulder and skis all over the world for work. As the SKI Test director, Jon oversees all hardgood tests. No professional skiing background, but he worked in various ski shops for almost a decade and is still a total gear nerd. He is also SKI’s digital content editor.

Vitals

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Home mountain: Aspen Snowmass, Colo.
  • Avg. days per season: 51+

Skiing Style & Terrain Preference

  • Primarily a freeride-oriented skier, former Freeskiing World Tour athlete
  • Enjoys skiing hard and fast
  • Looks for steep terrain with things to jump off
Jon Jay skiing in St. Anton, Austria
Jon Jay samples the accessible off-piste terrain of St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria. Photo credit: Crystal Sagan

Ski Preference

  • Wide skis that are playful yet damp
  • Skis that can carve and charge with ease
  • Favorite ski from 2021 SKI Test: Nordica Enforcer 100
2021 Nordica Enforcer 100 Men's All-Mountain Ski
The 2021 Nordica Enforcer 100 was tested in the all-mountain category of SKI Test. Photo courtesy of Nordica

Jon’s Gear

  • Skis: Nordica Enforcer 100; “No matter the conditions, it does everything well.”
  • Ski boots: Tecnica Mach1 MV; “Great fit and solid performance in all terrain.”
2021 Tecnica Mach1 MV Men's All-Mountain Ski Boot
The Tecnica Mach1 is a men’s high-performance ski boot. Photo courtesy of Tecnica
OR 2020 HH Elevation Infinity Pro Jacket
Helly Hansen Infinity ShellCourtesy of Helly Hansen
  • Favorite accessories: Shred Simplify goggles; “Best lenses I’ve used so far for clarity of vision and a wide peripheral view.”
Shred Simplify ski goggle and Shred ski helmet
The Shred Simplify ski goggle pairs well with the brand’s Slam-Cap NoShock ski helmet. Photo: Courtesy of SHRED.
  • Biggest gear epiphany: “If you want to really impress everyone riding the lift, stomp the showtime air but then get your hip on the ground carving on the groomer below. A ski that allows you to do both is an ideal ski.”

If you like Jon’s take on skis, you may also agree with…

Mike Rogan and Jon Sexauer. “Mike is one of the smoothest skiers in the world and nearly always perfectly balanced on his edges. I’m pleasantly surprised we had similar feedback about many skis despite my style being almost the opposite of his. Jon Sexauer has the most freestyle-oriented roots, always has the most fun while skiing, and is a constant reminder never to take it too seriously.”