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Back Talk – January 2001

First Tracks

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I just wanted to applaud you on your recent editorial. I nearly suffocated from laughter after reading “1080 vs. 10-90” Skiing Scene, October 2000. I take it you frequent (how pathetic that I recognized the photos). I commend you on a fine, fine piece of journalism.

Caitlin Riley
Waltham, Massachusetts

In “Insanity’s Companion Pieces” SKIING Scene, October 2000 you prescribed thumb tape to save people from the pain of skier’s thumb. As a longtime professional ski instructor, I’ve seen a lot of this injury and want to let everyone know there’s an easy way to reduce the chance of it happening to you.

The problem: Many skiers use their pole straps incorrectly. To do it right, hold your arm with your palm facing out. Place your hand through the pole strap so that the pole dangles from your wrist by the strap. Grasp the pole handle so that the straps are sandwiched between your palm and the grip of the pole. (If the straps are twisted, take the time to straighten them.) That’s it.

In doubt? Ask any instructor, racer, or skiing professional at your local mountain. You won’t get laughed at. We’ll only laugh if we see you in the bar with a broken thumb.
Dan “Snowman” Taylor
Beaver Creek, Colorado

I am a gunnery sergeant in the Marines as well as an avid skier and snowboarder. My job in the Corps is to promote safety on and off duty, so I really appreciate the picture in “Insanity’s Companion Pieces” that shows the gear free-skiers wear to protect themselves. My fellow Marines see ski movies and videos but don’t always realize the amount of safety equipment these skiers really use. I’d like to use your page as a poster to promote safety. Thanks for your support.
Rob “Gunny D.” Davis
via the Internet

Sure, make that poster! Always glad to do our part to keep our armed forces healthy. — Ed.

I just wanted to tell you how much I love your magazine. I moved to Colorado 10 years ago and have been a ski bum ever since. I think your magazine is awesome. Through the years I have seen some pretty sweet photography on your pages and was wondering if you could send me some posters that I could put up on my walls. Thanks for everything.
Thomas Haines
Fort Collins, Colorado

We’re fresh out of posters at the moment, but how about we send you a couple nice stickers? — Ed.

Why have you almost completely rejected the new school movement lately? It’s not that I’m some park- loving maniac; I’m just an all-around skier who enjoys throwing tricks. But recently I picked up your buyer’s guide October 2000 to find only freeride sticks included. I do love freeriding, but I was hoping for at least some coverage of twin-tipped skis. It’s as if your mag has simply deleted anyone under the age of 30 from its mailing list. I hope you guys take this hint so you don’t push other young people away. I’ve been skiing for a long time and hope to be reading your mag for years to come.
Jed Slaughter
via the Internet

You must have missed our September issue, where we reviewed this season’s twin tips and last season’s freeskiing tour. And check out this month’s air tricks story. We’ll give you plenty to read for years to come. — Ed.

I was astonished, dismayed, and saddened by the Camel ad in the October 2000 issue. That is the last thing you should be advertising. In fact, you should give free space to people. I feel you should run an apology in your editorial section to the young people that Camel ad targets. Shame on you.
Chuck Myntti
Salt Lake City, Utah

What is a hot toddy? In “100 things worth doing before you die” “The Skier’s List,” February 2000 it says, “know how to make one.” Just wondering.
Ryan Sheppard
via the Internet

MMaking a good hot toddy is an art perfected by trial and error. Here is a rough guideline.
1 1/2 ounces spirit of choice (usually rum or bourbon)
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
3 ounces hot water
Optional flavorings:3 cloves; cinnamon stick; dash of lemon; lemon twist; dash of orange juice — Ed.

In our October 2000 Gear Guide, the writeup of the Atomic Beta Race 9.20 included the wrong photo (at least the review was accurate). The Beta Race 9.20 (correctly pictured at right) received both an Editors’ Choice and a Best Buy designation from SKIING; it rocks.

Write us at or Back Talk, SKIING, 929 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80302

Letters to the editor should include the writer’s full name and hometown. Letters are subject to editing for style and length.