2015 Ski Boot Testing Photos & Video from Mount Bachelor

Our testers spent a week testing next year’s ski boots at Mount Bachelor outside of Bend, Oregon with America’s Best Bootfitters. We’ll have tons of reviews and videos coming, but for now, here’s a few photos from the trip:


James putting Technica R9.8 130 Ski Boots through the paces.


A look at the boot testing rack in the lodge.


Allison testing out the women’s Nordica La Nina.


More boots…


James and Allison deep in boot testing discussions.


James near the top of the volcano.


Start Haus boot testers on the way up the lift.


Not a bad day at the office.


Sassy boot testers.

Nordica Vagabond Review – Long Term

The Nordica Vagabond is a new ski for the 2013-14 season and is one of many new skis from several makers in the 105-108mm width range.


The Vagabond shares the construction that has become the standard classic from Nordica on such highly successful skis as the Steadfast and Hell and Back. This is a wood/glass/carbon layup ski with a lightweight composite stringer down the center of the core to reduce weight.

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2015 Ski Testing at Sugar Bowl

The Start Haus crew got out on a wide variety of 2015 skis for 2015, getting a feel for the latest and greatest.


After an early season test had to be cancelled due to low snow, Sugar Bowl stepped up to host the event to give ski industry employees the ability to get the hands-on experience we need for next year’s skis.

With a crew of five Start Haus testers on the slopes, we were able to put a wide range of skis through the ringer on groomers, in crud and in soft, heavy snow left over from a recent storm.

Highlights from the tester’s notes included the Dynastar Cham 117, Blizzard Spur, the new Volkl Mantra, the Stockli Stormrider Pro 115, the Atomic Automatic 109 and the Nordica Nrgy 100 on the men’s side, and the Atomic Century 102 and Cloud 11, the redesigned Nordica Nemesis and Wild Belle, new Volkl Aura and Kenja, and women’s Dynastar Cham 87 and 97.

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Start Haus Wax Call – Picking the Right Wax For Your Ski Race

Today the Start Haus covers the whole range of the skiing world, from powder skis to frontside rippers – but our roots are in ski racing.


One of the services we provide as a part of our ski racing community is a wax call for all the ski races happening in and around the Lake Tahoe area, giving Jim Schaffner’s (a World Cup ski technician and owner of the Start Haus) expert advice on how to get the most performance out of your skis for a given race.

Some of you have been following our wax calls for years. But if you haven’t we have two videos explaining the process, and how to best utilize the information we put out each week.

First, the selection process of waxes for a given race, based on wax hardness, flouro content and the use of anti-stat:

And second, what to do with that information – properly waxing your skis with the suggested waxes, anti-stats and overlays:

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at online@starthaus.com, or call us at (530) 582-5781.

2014 Nordica Blem Ski Sneak Peak Sale!

If you know about our Nordica Blemish Ski Sale, you know its the best deal in skiing. You also know it normally only happens once a year in the fall – but we’ve got an early taste of the goods this year!


That’s right, a sampling of 2014 blems are already on sale at the Start Haus starting at $349, but at these crazy low prices and in very limited quantities, they’ll go fast. Really fast.

If you don’t know about our Nordica Blem sale, we get Nordica’s blemished skis, which have small cosmetic defects that don’t affect performance and are still covered by Nordica’s warranty. Small imperfections you won’t see when they’re covered in snow and huge savings!


Start Haus Ski Tuning Videos – Part 4 – Side Edge Tuning

The Next two videos in our series take us through setting and finishing the side angle of the ski in sharpening your ski edges.

First up, here’s what you need to know about the tools you’ll need (shop ski tuning tools here).

Next, we show you the proper technique for setting and finishing the ski edge:

The whole video series is available here, or you can buy the DVD for easy access here.

Start Haus Ski Tuning Instructional Videos – Part 3 – Tools

The Next 3 videos in our World Cup Ski Tuning Series walks us through some key tool & tool maintenance points. The right clamps for the job, files and taking care of your tools.

First up, caring for your ski tuning tools:

Next, the right clamps for holding your files to your edge angle and base bevel guides:

All you need to know about files:

If you want all the ski tuning videos in one place, you can buy the World Cup Ski Tuning DVD here, and you can get all the tools and wax you need here.

Bootfitter’s Notes – Atomic Redster Pro 110

Looking for a narrow ski boot that steers like a Porsche? The Atomic Redster Pro 110 may just be the boot you have been looking for. From fit to function the Redster is a full package aggressive all-mountain ski boot.


Atomic gave the Redster the exact same look as its narrower, more aggressive cousin; the Redster World Cup. The wider pro is a lot friendlier to get in and may have been misappropriated as a “race boot” by fitters and skiing public alike. However, the Redster Pro has a way more mellow fit, but still skis like a boot made by a top racing brand.

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Start Haus Ski Tuning Videos – Part 2 – Base Bevel & Sidewalls

In the next three videos, we’ll get you started tuning your skis. First up, you’ll have to set the base bevel on your ski:

Next up, let’s talk about sidewalls. You’ll need to be able to work with your ski’s sidewall to work on the ski’s edge, specifically setting the side angle:

And here Jim shows us how to shape the sidewall, both setting you up to work on the edge and creating a smooth surface for the ski to run on up on edge:

In case you missed the first series of videos, click here, or stay tuned as the series continues on our Youtube channel here.

And of course, get all the ski tools you need at starthaus.com.

Start Haus Ski Tuning Instructional Videos – Part 1

Welcome to the Start Haus ski tuning video series, where Start Haus owner and World Cup Serviceman Jim Schaffner shows you how to tune your skis like a pro, making tuning easier and your skis faster.


We’ll add videos each week, taking you through the ins and outs of ski tuning and waxing.

First up, meet Jim:

Next up, Jim shows you how to set up your work station with the right tools in the right places so you can work quickly and efficiently. You can shop ski tools here.

Last in this week’s group, Jim shows you how to position your body to work efficiently, more leverage and less energy goes a long way in getting your skis set right without an achy back:

Now that we’ve got your work station and your positioning dialed in, we’ll move onto tuning next week. If you have any questions, shoot us an email at online@starthaus.com or call the shop. You can buy the entire World Cup Ski Tuning DVD here.