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Old, Junky Rollerskiing Gear


Rollerskiing is some of the best fun you can have wearing ski boots (probably about number 3 now that I think of it, but I'm not going to write the rest of the list for obvious reasons). However, the problem with rollerskiing is that it's pretty hard on your equipment...at least, that's what I believe in my entirely non-scientificly based estimation. The argument I have is that the stones and gravel that you inevitably encounter on the highway rollerskiing scuff up your boots worse than anything you'll ever find on the ski trail. Plus, I've always kind of suspected that the additional torque put on your boots/bindings because of the heavier and shorter rollerskis kind of messes up their rigidity (although now that I type that I suppose it sounds kind of absurd).

In any case, I suppose not too many people would disagree with me that it doesn't seem prudent to wear your BEST gear when you're out rollerskiing. Although, I suppose most people don't go out with as BAD of equipment as I like to rollerski on.

Starting with the pair of boots you can see above. Those were the first pair of ski boots I bought way back in 94 or so. Back in those days, buying a pair of ski boots was a significant investment, so you had to do what you could to make sure they lasted a while.

Now, I suppose most of you can't conceive of something HAPPENING to your ski boots, but that's probably because you weren't as totally nuts as I was back when I was 19 and was just learning how to ski. Frankly, the fact that I was just learning did not in any way inhibit me from flinging myself off ridiculous cliffs, etc. That's not the type of thing that can get you into too much trouble here in WI (since the terrain just isn't all that extreme), but when I went down to Australia to ski the Kangaroo Hoppett (held up in the mountains), I just didn't have the proper mentality for...well...skiing down sheer mountain faces.

So...what happened was I went over this cliff and when I finally emerged from the 12 foot diameter snowball at the bottom the back end of my ski boot was destroyed. Fortunately I was able to go down to a local ski shop and the clever guy at the store (his name was Jimowen or something like that...it was all one word) ratcheted the thing together with an aluminum screw/bolt combo. Obviously having an aluminum rather than a plastic screw holding your ski boot together makes the thing unuseable for competition, but the extra "Road Warrior" hardware makes it perfect rollerskiing material.

The other thing that happened (years later) was that the zipper broke. That was a horrible tragedy until I was walking through the Oakwood mall one day and I found a boot/shoe repair store. So, I gleefully pranced out to my car and skipped back carrying my boot and the guy assured me that he could fix it and charged me $20. So I came back the next day all hopefull and excited and the guy handed me back the boot. But instead of having changed the zipper (like I or any other reasonable person would have thought he was going to do) he just sewed a big nasty black velcro patch on there.

Sigh...

He looked kind of sheepish and embarrassed as he handed it back to me, but I didn't complain. I guess I decided that he had bigger issues in his life, and I was just going to trash those boots the rest of the way anyway. Here we are, 15 years later and I'm still hammering on them and they just won't be destroyed...

Huh...come to think of it, I guess that pair of ski boots wasn't such a bad purchase after all. However, they still don't compare to the blue sweatshirt that I bought for $2 when I was 18 and still have/use on a regular basis.

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