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SKI Magazine Gear Tester: Stephanie Humes

A professional bootfitter in Utah with deep Northeast roots.

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Stephanie Humes grew up in Warwick, N.Y. and learned to ski when she was just 2 years old at Gore Mountain. She skied at Mt. Peter almost daily, but still travelled and skied all over New England, mostly in Vermont. Before making the move to Park City, Utah she lived in Hunter, N.Y. and worked at the local mountain. She’s a professional bootfitter and hardgoods salesperson, having worked for Jans in Utah for 15 years. These days, she skis whenever she can, but it’s never enough. 

Vitals

Skiing Style & Terrain Preference

  • Aggressive
  • Steep groomers
  • Off-piste
  • Powder and crud

“My skiing style is fall line skiing: aggressive and naturally slightly forward in my stance  although I can adapt to different ski sweet spots. Some times you have to ski a ski more centered. My ideal day is spent off-piste, skiing powder and crud. Trees, steeps, whatever. If it’s super crusty then you’ll find me lapping steep groomers and occasionally on a bump run.” 

Foot Shape

“I have a very hard to fit foot. My last is 83mm. I have an average arch with a low instep. My ankles are very slender and usually are not held by the boot’s ankle pocket. My heel typically moves in every low volume, high performance and race boot I try on. I always end up using Zip Fits and Bootdoctors liners to take up volume, and a footbed of course.”

Ski Preference

The qualities Stephanie looks for in a ski:

2020 Atomic Cloud 12
2020 Atomic Cloud 12Photo courtesy of Atomic

Stephanie’s Gear 

  • Ski: Head Kore 99 W (171cm); “It’s super versatile and does everything well. I’ve skied it in thigh-deep powder, crud, groomers, and bumps. It never disappoints.” 
Head Kore 99 W 2020
2020 Head Kore 99 W Photo courtesy of Head
  • Ski boot: Head WCR; “I’ve been in Fischers for quite some time but I recently changed to the Head WCR because it has the narrow foot and heel hold I need. The bonus is that it skis incredibly well. Great power transfer to the ski. It give my skis a sixth gear you don’t get with a regular recreational boot.”
  • Outerwear: Flylow Foxy Bib; “Waterproof, great fit, flattering and no midriff draft. Plus, it zippers down the side all the way to my knees so bathroom trips are easy.”
  • Favorite accessories: Hotronic Heated Socks and a trucker hat; “I never leave home without a baseball cap. If we stop at a lodge and I’ve got to take my helmet off, the baseball hat goes right on. No need for anyone to see my helmet hair. No thank you.”
  • Gear epiphany: “That I have a ridiculously low volume boot fit and that a factory liner will never work for me. I discovered ZipFit liners and have never looked back in over a decade. Boots make or break the day—if your boot fit isn’t great, your ski won’t respond the way it should. Tight is right.”

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

Erika Northrop. “Erika and I see eye to eye on skis. When we compared notes on skis once we skied them we seemed to agree on the characteristics of the skis. A dud was a dud. A stellar ski was a stellar ski. And when she said, “Oh, don’t ski that one in the bumps,” she wasn’t lying.”