Saturday, December 30, 2006

2007 is here!

And I'd like to wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2007 with lots of great skiing.

May you have many, many powder days.

May you ski with people you love.

May you sing on the chairlift.

May your icy patches be few and far between.

May you never be too hot or too cold.

May your goggles never fog up.

May all your turns be perfectly formed S's.

May your boots be neither too tight or too loose

If you don't wear a helmet, resolve to get one.


Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Selling Julia.

It's been quite an eventful month for genuine Ski Diva, Julia Mancuso.

First she wins the World Cup in the downhill, after recovering from a stomach flu. No small achievement here.

Then she's featured half-naked in a promotional poster and video by Lange, a company with a long history of using sex to sell ski equipment.

Something is wrong with this picture.

While it's true she's a beautiful woman with a killer body -- one I'm sure she works very hard to maintain -- this sort of thing doesn't do justice to her or any other woman skier. In fact, I think it truly diminishes her talent, her athleticism, and her tremendous achievements.

Wouldn't it be nice if Lange showed her actually (gasp) using the boots instead of posing in them half-naked? Isn't the fact that she's JULIA MANCUSO enough to sell Lange boots? Doesn't her skiing speak for itself? Or is it just another case of objectifying women to sell a product? Hey, anyone can have their picture taken in their bra and panties. But who can win a gold medal?

I think Lange blew it. They have this fantastic spokeswoman they could've used to make a tremendous statement in a way that did them both credit. Instead, they just went with "sex sells." What a disappointment.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Whatever you celebrate this time of year -- be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, or something I've left out -- I wish you joy, peace, happiness, and the very best of health.

If you plan to ski over the holidays, ski safe and with a song in your heart.

Thanks for reading Ski Diva. And catch you on the flip side.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What a Ski Diva wants.

Here we are, in the final ramp up to Christmas. I don't know about you, but I've been very, very good alllllll year. (Well, there was that one time......but let's forget about that.)

If you have a Ski Diva on your list, better hustle and get her something that'll have her turning cartwheels in the snow all season long.

Here are a few sites that may help with an idea or two:

Outdoor Divas: Gear and clothing designed to unleash the inner Ski Diva.

Title Nine: Women's sports and athletic apparel. A great selection.

Isis: Performance clothing designed by women for women. Beautiful things!

Or how about the gift of a women's ski clinic? There are lots of great ones around. Or something from your local ski shop -- a new boot bag, a pair of mittens, or something to keep her toesies warm?

Better get busy -- there's less than a week left!

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Diva Day at Stowe, Vermont!

I have to admit, I'm very excited this morning.

As you may already know, I'm the administrator for TheSkiDiva.com, an internet discussion forum for women skiers I launched back in September. And I have to say, it's been a blast. If you haven't already been there, make it a point to go. We talk about everything ski related (and then some): gear, technique, mountains, fitness, and more. And the discussions are all first rate. I'm constantly amazed by the knowledge, spirit, and character displayed in each and every post.

Anyway, today I'm finally going to get a chance to meet some of the wonderful women who participate at the site. Eight of us (including me) will be at Stowe, most for a weekend ski clinic sponsored by the Epic Ski Academy, and we'll finally have a chance to ski together. And even though the conditions here in the east have been less than stellar (make that crappy), I know it's going to be fun, fun, fun!!!

One of the great things about the internet is how it allows us to connect with one another in a way that was never before possible. Not only has it helped me make some wonderful friends who share my passion for skiing, but it's let me "talk" with women skiers from all over the US -- in fact, from all over the world. And though it's nice to communicate with them daily over the internet, nothing replaces meeting someone face to face. And that's what makes today so very special.

Gotta go now. My Divas await!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Facing fear.

Ever get scared on a ski run?

There, there -- It's okay. You can admit it. Happens to everyone.

Fear is a good self-regulator. It's what keeps us from trying something stupid that could send us to the emergency room.

But it's also a nasty head game that can make us play things a little too safe. And that can stop us from meeting new challenges that could actually be fun.

How to deal with fear? Obviously, it's best to avoid it altogether. Having a realistic assessment of your skiing ability helps. So if you're a Level 4 skier and someone wants you to go down a double-black mogul field, I'd suggest taking a pass.

That said, even on trails you should be able to handle, fear can still rear its ugly head. So here's what I do: First, I give myself a little pep talk. Then I try to get going as soon as possible. In most cases, I find that the more I stand and mull something over, the worse it gets. If it's really gnarly, I try to break whatever's ahead of me into smaller, more manageable components and concentrate on getting through those sections, one at a time.

I think everyone deals with fear differently. Some people thrive on being scared. Not me. The trick is to get good enough so you have the tools available to handle any situation; that way it isn't an issue. That could mean taking lessons and just putting in plenty of hours on the boards. And if and when it is an issue, try not to let it get the best of you.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Friday, December 08, 2006

No jumping allowed.

Those of you who've read my blog for a while may remember my post of May 31, where I celebrated what looked like the almost certain addition of women's ski jumping to the 2010 Olympic roster.

Looks like I was a bit premature.

In its infinite wisdom, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted down the addition of the sport to the 2010 Olympic games. Seems that last year, influential IOC member and International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian Franco Kasper told National Public Radio that ski jumping "seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view."

Excuse me, I think I'm getting a case of the vapors. Maybe I better unlace my corset.

According to the IOC, there are not enough nations and participants to justify adding the event. However, since 1995 women ski jumpers from over a dozen nations on three continents have been competing on a women's elite competition circuit. By 2010, women's ski jumping will have held four World Junior Championships and a World Championship.

In contrast, women's Ski Cross, which was accepted by the IOC for inclusion in Vancouver 2010, has half the number of athletes, competing in less than half the number of competitions on just one continent.

Does this make any sense? Not to me. But then, I'm just a silly, addle-brained woman.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ever consider women's ski boots?

A good idea (for women, of course).

Why? It's very simple: women are built differently than men. Women typically have shorter legs, narrower ankles, lower calf muscles, less weight and a lower center of gravity than men. Which gives us less leverage over unisex boots, making them more difficult to flex.

How do you know if women's boots are right for you?

  • If your legs tire quickly, even though you're in good physical condition. Your legs are aligned differently than a man's. This can make it more difficult to roll your skis on and off edge, thereby making it harder to control your skis.

  • If your feet get cold. It's tempting to blame poor circulation, but it may be because of your instep. A woman's is narrower than a man's, which may cause you to buckle your boot more tightly in this area. This can cause the top of the boot to press down on your foot, cutting off blood flow.

  • If you can't flex your boot forward. Women's lower center of gravity and lower weight gives us less leverage. This can make it difficult to start a turn, throwing you off balance.

  • If you can't buckle the top buckle of your boot, or if the top of your boot pinches your calf muscle. A woman's calf muscle joins the ankle lower than a man's does, so this may be the problem here.

  • If your heel keeps coming up in your boot when you ski. Again, it's our anatomy. A woman's foot is typically narrower than a man's. A lifted heel can make your skis harder to control.

    For best results, see a qualified bootfitter. They can assess your situation and come up with the solution that's best for you.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.
  • Friday, December 01, 2006

    Did you see this magazine?

    Some of you may have seen the new women's skiing magazine, Women's Skiing, which was sent out to subscribers of Skiing magazine with the regular November issue.

    So what did you think?

    I was somewhat disappointed. I mean, it wasn't entirely off base. First, here's what's good: hey, it's about skiing! And it's for women! And there are gear reviews, and a feature on women's clinics, and an article about Fay Johnson, the ski patrol director at Bridger Bowl.

    But then we move on to what's wrong: "Match the underwear" with the famous male skier. A discussion on when it's okay to "hook up" with your ski instructor. And of course, the answer to the question every female skier is dying to know, "Will skiing make my butt bigger" (the agony!).

    I like to have fun as much as the next person. I don't even mind hair and make-up tips (hey, I like to look good). But it is rather insulting that the publisher seems to think that the magazine won't draw women unless he pads it with silly stuff like "match the underwear" and so on. That's like saying skis have to be flowered and pink to attract women!

    There are a lot of women skiers who are looking for a good, serious source of information about skiing. Unfortunately, this has a long way to go.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.