It Ain’t All Perfect Powder

Skier Jeff Noordsy shows us that it ain’t all perfect powder – it takes some serious grit and determination to be a real East Coast skier!

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Holiday Pre-order Sale!

We’ve got a hot sale going on! From now until January 1st, pre-order a pair of your very own Worth skis at a discount, and get a free ticket to ski Smuggler’s Notch resort!

We are offering a limited February production run of our newest model, the Bootlegger (inspired by the stunning terrain of the Smuggler’s Notch area), and our classic George model, for only $699!!

Contact us today for more information or to place your order. You deserve the best the East has to offer, now is your chance to sample it at a great value!

Check out our latest design, the new Bootlegger:Bootlegger ProtoSmuggler's Notch Logo

 

Posted December 3rd, 2014 by Jason Duquette-Hoffman | Permalink

VT S.111 – Criminalizing Backcountry Access From Ski Areas?!

Even the youngest Vermonters can and do enjoy the great terrain and snow of the VT backcountry

Even the youngest Vermonters can and do enjoy the great terrain and snow of the VT backcountry

UPDATE: As reported by Fox 44/ABC 22, this bill has died in committee.

The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee is considering S.111, a bill to criminalize backcountry access from Vermont’s ski areas. Here is a letter I sent to the Committee tonight. If you feel similarly, please let them and your local reps know.

Dear Senators Sears, Ashe, Benning, Nitka and White,

I would first like to thank you for your hard work on behalf of citizens of our state. I deeply appreciate your work and commitment to the well being of Vermonters. As a lifelong Vermonter, I have been the beneficiary of the advantages of the accessibility and community spirit of our citizen legislators. It is, in part, because of this that I write to you today to express my concerns regarding S.111.

I am a skier. Since I was three years of age, I have been skiing in Vermont’s resorts, public trails and public and private backcountry terrain. For 34 years I have, along with countless others, enjoyed the beauty and wonder that Vermont has to offer those fortunate enough to be willing and able to explore our fields, forests and mountains in what I believe is Vermont’s best season: the winter. I believe that Vermont truly cradles the soul of winter sports. Together with my partner, I am raising my three young children to respect, appreciate and enjoy the beauty, majesty and challenge of the natural environment around us.

Even the youngest Vermonters can and do enjoy the great terrain and snow of the VT backcountry

Entering the backcountry of the Green Mountains has been and will continue to be a family affair in Vermont.

I am fortunate to live close to some of the most beautiful wilderness in the region, the Breadloaf Wilderness of the Green Mountain National Forest. This area, characterized by open hardwoods glades, favorable snow conditions and easy accessibility from the Long Trail and the National Forest road and trail system, is a treasure and a haven for me, my family and my friends in the winter. I have attached some photos of us enjoying this resource to illustrate my point. This area is also accessible from the trails of the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, which is located on private land owned by the College and operated as a ski area. The Long Trail (and the terrain it accesses), runs through this and a number of Vermont’s ski areas.

Inspired by my love for skiing in Vermont, and by this area, I recently started an alpine ski company, along with two friends. We design and market our own semi-custom ski designs focused on backcountry skiing, and contract with an outside production facility to build our products. We are in conversations with another small Vermont winter sports equipment manufacturer to bring our production home to Vermont, and are pleased with the response and the growth we have seen so far. We have marketed ourselves in no small part as connected with the tradition of backcountry and adventure skiing that has characterized the sport in Vermont since it first arrived here. We are thrilled at the connections we have found with the many other enthusiasts who share our love for the sport, and for the backcountry terrain Vermont can offer. Through our efforts, we have introduced many from around the region and beyond to the spectacular experiences available here in our state.

Although they don't have to deal with skins, the little ones still need to change from hike to ski mode

Although they don’t have to deal with skins, the little ones still need to change from hike to ski mode

Backcountry skiing is not a crime. It is the soul of winter sports in our state, with a long, rich, proud and storied tradition. Accessing our backcountry in the winter, from a resort or otherwise, is a thrill, a challenge and a pilgrimage that many in our state have spent years or more developing. Some of us have built businesses, lives and family traditions around this centerpiece of our Vermont culture.

The vast majority of backcountry enthusiasts and users in our state are knowlegable, responsible and respectful of the challenge that winter travel in the backcountry can bring. Criminalizing their behavior is not only counter to a venerable and honorable Vermont tradition, it is counterproductive. This measure will not go any further toward preventing the kind of irresponsible behavior we are seeing from a few folks with limited experience and understanding of the rigors of backcountry travel. This is not a criminal issue, it is an educational issue.

Do we really think that it should be a crime for trained, knowledgeable and well-equipped people who encounter an unexpected circumstance (such as an aggressive moose, failure of a defective piece of equipment or other similar unforeseeable happenstance) to access the services of our public safety system as any others would? I would suggest that I, and those with whom I travel in the backcountry, are generally more prepared for emergencies than many who use our state snowmobile trail system. I always carry gear appropriate to survive several days and nights in the woods, to find my way home, to stabilize injuries and to repair broken equipment. I understand that I must operate in the wilderness under my own recognizance. I am trained as a Wilderness First Responder. My companions have similar training and experience and yet, should the worst occur, we could face criminal charges under this proposed legislation. This, despite the fact that a wholly unprepared, untrained snowmobile operator (far more likely to require such services, if you review the numbers of snowmobile accidents to which the state police have responded in the past week) could access these same services with impunity? Please do not place my 6 year old daughter, already a backcountry enthusiast, in criminal jeopardy should she or I become unexpectedly in need of assistance during legitimate use of our public lands and despite our best precautions and preparations. How would you explain to her that the jewel of our state, its winter wilderness, is inaccessible to her under penalty of law?

She's only 6 years old and already enjoying the wonders of the great Vermont backcountry!

She’s only 6 years old and already enjoying the wonders of the great Vermont backcountry!

I understand the pressures that irresponsible use of Vermont’s natural landscape can place on our busy and dedicated public safety personnel. There exist now, under current law the tools to recover the costs associated with these limited incidents. Other states have faced these concerns, and have found that a reasonable balance between public safety and resource preservation can be struck. I urge the Committee to consider other mechanisms for achieving these educational goals that do not criminalize legitimate use and enjoyment of our state treasure.

I am happy to discuss my thoughts, experiences and perspectives further with the Committee in person, via e-mail or by phone. Please feel free to contact me at this e-mail address or by phone at (802) 989-1618. Thank you once again for the thoughtful, vital and critical work that you do.


Jason M. Duquette-Hoffman, M.S.
Co-Owner, Worth Skis

 

So, what are your thoughts?  Feel free to leave a comment here, or join our conversation that’s already in progress on our Facebook page.

Posted February 26th, 2013 by Jason Duquette-Hoffman | Permalink

The Humpbacks Get A Facelift

The Worth Humpback

The Worth Humpback

The Humpbacks have been killing it as our most versatile, go everywhere and do everything ski.  We’ve had people telling us that they’re “the best ski ever.”  The wonderment doesn’t stop there though: “I can’t believe how well they owned the chop leftovers and loud pow groomers.”  And of course, they rule in the deepness (see the picture below!)  But until recently, these skis have been lacking one thing – a kick-*ss graphic to match their shear awesomeness.

 

A skier getting deep in an incredible 23" overnight storm at Jay Peak, VT

Worth Skier Andy Orowitz getting deep in an incredible 23″ overnight storm at Jay Peak, VT

Thankfully, the multi-talented Amy Gironda has yet again knocked it out of the park with a brand new graphic for the Humpbacks!  Between the outline of Camel’s Hump on the tips and the trail signs on the tails (hmm, wonder if there’s any good skiing around there…), everyone will be sure to know just what inspired us in the design of these ultra-versatile daily drivers.

 

Come on out to one of our upcoming demo days in March (exact details to be released soon, but let’s just say it will be our version of March Madness) and give these skis a shot – we guarantee you’ll be nothing short of impressed by their versatility when you’re floating through the powder,  sneaking through the trees and ripping it up on the groomers!

Posted February 22nd, 2013 by Adrian Kostrubiak | Permalink

Up Your Worthiness

Worth Co-Owner Jason Duquette-Hoffman is raising his little ones Worthy in his new Tracks Hoodie

Worth Co-Owner Jason Duquette-Hoffman is raising his little ones Worthy in his new Tracks Hoodie

So you follow our Facebook page, anxiously waiting for the latest bit of stoke to come out, but are still struggling with how to show off your Worthiness to all of your friends?  Well, fret no more – we’re pleased to open our online shop, where we’ve now got hoodies, tees and stickers available.

Between the killer design by Marc Kostrubiak and the softness of the 100% cotton American Apparel shirts (proudly made in the USA and printed in Burlington!), these shirts and hoodies scream “I’m the best skier on the mountain!”  We can also help get your car up to Worthy standards with our die cut stickers (also printed in Burlington).  The clean cut and bright colors of our die-cuts will be sure to pop out on your bumper, even when coated in more road salt and grime than you know what to do with.

Swing over to the shop to up your Worthiness – you know you want to!

Posted February 7th, 2013 by Adrian Kostrubiak | Permalink

Introducing The Magic, A New Model!

Worth Skis Magic

The Worth Skis Magic

Like Willy Wonka, we just can’t leave well enough alone. The Humpback has been killing it as our most versatile, go everywhere ski. Of course, as a more traditional, directional shape, it left a few of the more progressive skiers out there wanting more….

You know, the ones who spend almost as much time backwards as front-wise. I’ve got this friend, an incredible skier, who has a habit of flinging himself off anything he can, and typically upside down, backwards or some such thing. Now, while I cannot share his enthusiasm for stretching the laws of physics, I do enjoy watching him ski. And what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t offer a design that worked for him and his ilk?

So when a few other friends, denizens of Magic Mountain, began asking about a backcountry-friendly twin that was more forward-mounted, I saw an opportunity.  Thus emerged the Magic.  Based on our Humpback, but with a more forward mount point, more balanced twin tip design, it is a perfect tool for getting jiggy with backcountry jibs. Topped off with a kickin’ new graphic from Amy Gironda that celebrates the natural mysticism of Vermont’s icon of the southern mountains, the Magic rounds out our offering of everyday backcountry shredding tools. Check it out! – Jason

Posted December 19th, 2012 by Jason Duquette-Hoffman | Permalink

Why It’s Worth Getting Early Ups on a Full Moon Pow Morning

Getting into some deep and light snow in the early morning at Smuggs isn't a bad way to start off your day.

Getting into some deep and light snow in the early morning at Smuggs isn't a bad way to start off your day.

Ed. Note: This post was written by friend and Worthy Skier Andrew Orowitz. -Adrian.

It isn’t until we gain some vert that the first signs of alpenglow appear on the upper reaches of Mt Mansfield. Here, in the pre-dawn parking lot, on the dark side of the Notch, the full moon reflecting upon the frozen crystalline powder is all we need to illuminate our early morning ski touring rituals.

It sure beats the harsh white light of my headlamp, I think, as I plunge my left foot into a well-worn ski boot, unable to look away from the yellow moon that’s hanging just out of my reach.

Andrew Orowitz making his way to the top of Smuggler's Notch as the sunrises.

Andrew Orowitz making his way to the top of Smuggler’s Notch as the sunrises.

It’s only 2 degrees, so while excitement is high and it’s all smiles on this, the first legitimate local powder day of the 2012-13 season, I can’t wait wait to find the skin track and start moving.

Dropping knees and getting even deeper.

Dropping knees and getting even deeper.

As if in a premeditated single motion, I pull my already-skinned powder boards out of the Subaru, cram an 850 fill down puffy into my pack, click into my heavy-metal AT bindings, switch my boots into walk mode, and start climbing upward toward the Top of Notch.

Nowadays, if you want to ski untracked powder the morning after the first substantial storm of the season, you don’t wait for the sun to rise, the lifts to spin or anything else for that matter. And as we found out of this morning, that goes double for Smugglers’ Notch.

A skier leaving deep trenches in his wake.

A skier leaving deep trenches in his wake. Photo courtesy Chris Nelson.

As I begin my switchback up the mountain, dodging snow guns, I see groups of brightly-clothed skinners, split-boarders and boot-packers all moving in the same direction, below me, above me. There must be 30 of us in total, all vying for first tracks.

Now at the top of Sterling, there’s at least of foot of low moisture powder coating the trees and trails. Pink and orange light paints the 2 mile face of VT’s tallest peak across the Notch and while the moon is still visible, the sky is turning bright blue all above us as the distant hills are kissed with the first rays of sunshine. We smile and realize how lucky we are to be able to enjoy this moment, this snow, this morning.

Within a few minutes, the rest of our party of 4 reach the designated meeting point and we discuss our options for still-untracked descents. After a quick transition and coffee break, we’re gliding through knee-to-waist-deep pristine, dry, untouched powder. Effortless and smooth and pure.

Welcome to winter.

And although he isn't going to be using Worths anytime soon, we couldn't pass up on this great image of Chris Nelson, of High Anxiety Films, surfin.

And although he isn’t going to be using Worths anytime soon, we couldn’t pass up on this great image of Chris Nelson, of High Anxiety Films, surfin.

Pictures, unless otherwise noted, are from Worth’s own Dalton Harben.

Posted December 4th, 2012 by Adrian Kostrubiak | Permalink

Greetings from Oompa-land!

While everyone is enjoying summer weather (we kind of HAVE to, don’t we? I mean, after a winter like that….), we have been hard at work cooking up more fun for the upcoming winter. We have some fun stuff in the works, here are some highlights:

Demo Centers: We will have two demo centers this year. Outdoor Gear Exchange on Church Street in Burlington will have our full line of demos for you to try out, and Ski Haus of Vermont in Middlebury will have our demos as well, set up with alpine touring bindings for your backcountry adventures! Try them out, and place your order right there! While you are there, take advantage of the great services and products both shops have available.

New Graphics: We will be unveiling a new line of graphics from the multi-talented Amy Gironda, as well as some other fun stuff we have been cooking up.

Worthy Causes: We have some great new causes we are proud to support, look for your opportunity to  support some great people and organizations in our communities through Worthy Cause events and products. Coming soon–Eat More Kale skis! Vermont artist Bo Muller-Moore prints t-shirts by hand in his garage. Recently, his signature T design has been attacked by national fast food chain Chik-Fil-A as a violation of its trademark “Eat mor chikin” marketing slogan. All of the after-cost proceeds of our Eat More Kale signature skis will support Bo’s legal defense fund as he tries to stave off this well-funded attack by a large corporation and defend his right to print and sell Eat More Kale t-shirts.

Mysterious new prototype???: That’s right, we are working on a new model. You have seen the sketch on Facebook…look for the real deal when you find us on the hill. Maybe, if you ask REAL nice, we might let you try it ;-). Oh, and we are looking forward to sourcing our cores right here in Vermont later next year.

Stay tuned, we are excited about the coming year, and are stoked to meet all of you on the hill, in the woods, at a micro-brewery (we <3 Heady Topper!) or some great local restaurant (have you tried Mad Taco???!). Until then, enjoy the summer, may it be short and sweet!

Posted June 26th, 2012 by Jason Duquette-Hoffman | Permalink

Tales From The Road…

So it’s no secret that this winter has been, well, challenging for skiers. At least this year, it wasn’t just us Nor’Easterners getting skunked.  Snow was scarce everywhere. It was a year that required a flexible schedule, creativity and some plain old good luck to catch the best snow. But catch it we did, and managed some pretty great days.  A quick browse through some of the photos we have put up in our gallery here and on our Facebook page are evidence enough that there was, in fact, some skiing to be had this year. We were lucky enough to get out and put our skis on the feet of enthusiastic Easterners at a number of Vermont’s finest ski hills, and got some great feedback. I am always fascinated by people’s experiences on skis, and am happy to talk about gear for much longer than is generally socially appropriate. So lest I bore everyone with overmuch detail, here, I figured I would just offer some highlights.  After all, our descriptions are great, but some skier feedback is always handy.

The Daily Bread: One local skier managed to meet up with me nearly every week between demos and grab our 185 DB demos for his mid-week shred missions.  When they weren’t available, he got downright gloomy.  His assessment: “My favorite skis. Ever.”  The DBs favor high edge angles, shin pressure and a skier who likes to drive their sticks.  Super solid on hard snow and adept at ripping deep trenches down corduroy, the DBs also eat crud and heavy snow for a snack while chewing crust for lunch.  Drawbacks? Some folks found the sidecut a challenge in bumps (though some LOVED this ski in the bumps).  Also, some folks wanted the flex a little softer. Oh, by the way, we can adjust flex any way you want. Just ask. :-)

The Humpback: This ski was almost universally hailed at demos as a winner. People expected good float and stability from the width, but what surprised people most were its unflappable edge hold, its incredible maneuverability (especially in moguls…one guy said “I’ve never skied bumps that well!”) and the way it makes heavy snow feel like corduroy.  The daily driver for two of the three of us here at Worth, the HB is already a legend in its own right. We are STOKED on this ski!

The George: The George has been the sleeper star of the lineup.  With its girth, most folks didn’t request it as their first ride. But we tried hard to put nearly everyone we could on the George, and the response was clear and consistent: “These skis rock!!” Comments like “I need them back, they hold on the ice better than my S3s!”, “These skis made me the best damn skier on the mountain” and “HOLY **** these skis are FUN!” pretty much sum up the response the George received from everyone who tried it.  People were stunned by its maneuverability and overall ease of use. I put a friend of mine, a 30+ year veteran of the ski industry and lead eastern sales rep for some major brands, on our 178 Georges. They are the widest skis he has ever tried.  His assessment: “Now I know why people are buying wider skis, these things are fun! Can I take them for another run?” I’ll take that…

Whatever you do, don’t put away those boots just yet.  I can smell an April surprise….I’m sure of it. -Jason

Posted March 24th, 2012 by Jason Duquette-Hoffman | Permalink

Stride – A Worthy Cause!

Stride – the Wright Foundation for Female Athletes  of Ferrisburgh, Vermont was founded in 2001 to provide women and girls opportunities through sports. Pairing girls with mentors and offering sports experiences and community connection, Stride is making a difference in the lives of girls and women.  We are excited to support Stride, with a pair of skis auctioned off at their annual benefit and ongoing support through our Worthy Cause program.  What is the Worthy Cause program? Why, we thought you’d never ask!

We are launching Worthy Cause because we believe companies only thrive because communities support them.  In return, we believe companies should give back to the communities that provide the opportunities for success.  Sure, we’re a small, new company and every dollar of revenue counts.  But what does it count for if we can’t make a difference in everything we do?  Through Worthy Cause, we will highlight local and regional non-profits and programs that make our communities great places to live, work and play.

How will we support these great programs? It’s simple really.  If you were referred by or like a program we have highlighted as one of our Worthy Causes, when you purchase a pair of our skis from us at our regular price, we will donate $100 to that program. No gimmicks, no funny accounting or strings attached, just a straight up donation. In the coming months, our website  will feature programs we support in a new Worthy Causes section.  We will talk about them on Facebook and in our blog, and we hope you will join us in supporting these great programs. And if you know of a program you think is a Worthy Cause, let us know!

Posted March 16th, 2012 by Jason Duquette-Hoffman | Permalink

Worth Skis at Sugarbush March 17th!

Sugarbush Logo

We will be at Sugarbush on March 17th, with free demos at Lincoln Peak during the Sugar Time festival!  What could be better than spring skiing, free demos and lots and lots of Vermont liquid gold?!  Come join us!

Don’t forget to RSVP over at Facebook, and while you’re at it, give us a Like :)

Ski you there!

Posted March 4th, 2012 by Jason Duquette-Hoffman | Permalink