2015 Head Great Joy Review (Video)

The Head Great Joy was one of the skis our female ski testers were most excited about when it was announced, and turned out to be one of our absolute favorites when we got it on the snow.


Ski manufacturers often announce the “next wonder material” that will “revolutionize the way we ski” and often, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype. But in this case, a lot of the credit as to why we liked the Head Great Joy – and the whole Head Joy women’s ski line – is a new material called graphene, previously used in Head tennis rackets, said to have one of the best strength-to-weight ratios of any material.

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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.


The List: 11 Items your Junior Racer Needs


We wanted to put something together for you, to help you figure out what you or your junior racer needs when getting ready for the season. Swing by the shop, call, email or Live Chat to get more details on your specific needs for your age group, events, ability level, etc – our experts are here to help!


Start Haus Race Weekend – Oct. 18 & 19

The biggest event for ski racers comes October 18-19 this fall – Start Haus Race Weekend.

Race weekend is your chance to get all the ski racing equipment you need at race price with expert advice. With our racing expert staff on hand and reps from the top brands in the sport, we’ll make sure you get the right gear with the perfect tune and the right ski boots with the perfect custom fit.

Start Haus has the best selection of race skis and equipment in the region with brands including Blizzard, Fischer, Head, Nordica, Rossignol, Stockli and Volkl, but if we don’t have it in stock we’ll get it ordered for you – racing equipment availability is limited, so if you miss this weekend, you may not get what you’re looking for this season.

Race Suits are in stock!

Race Suits are in stock!

We will also have a full selection of protection, race suites, goggles, wax and tuning equipment from brands like POC, Briko, Spyder and more so you’re dialed in.

So make sure to be at the Start Haus October 18 and 19 and get ready for a great ski racing season!


2015 Blizzard Samba Women’s Ski Review

Blizzard’s Flipcore skis have been some of our tester’s favorites over the last few years, and the women’s specific skis are no exception. The Blizzard Samba, at 98 underfoot, cuts the same profile as the hugely popular the Blizzard Bonafide – with a few changes to make it a great women’s all mountain ski.

Right off the bat, we should say this is not an intermediate ski – but if you’ve got the skill and the desire to ski a wider all mountain ski, this is one of the absolute best.

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Bootfitter’s Notes: Dynafit Mercury Review

Backcountry boots are improving at a rapid pace in today’s market, with several plastic options that allow manufacturers to make boots lighter, and ski better than ever before. Also engineering designs are improving the cuff articulation so the boots are going uphill better than ever before, while also locking down with a more solid connection on the downhill.

Start Haus Owner Jim Schaffner skinning up Hidden Peak on Tahoe's west shore.

Start Haus Owner Jim Schaffner skinning up Hidden Peak on Tahoe’s west shore in the Dynafit Mercury.

Dynafit has always been a top manufacturer of alpine touring and backcountry ski boots. They damn-near cornered the market on pin-tech style bindings, although some other manufacturers are setting themselves up for some interesting competition.

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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.


2015 Nordica Nemesis Review (Video)

The Nordica Nemesis, a long-time Start Haus favorite for hard-charging women who like to get off-piste, has been updated for 2015, and from our testing, it’s for the better.

Taking lessons learned from the shape of the wider Nordica Wildfire, the Nemesis gets a new rocker profile that’s gradual and subtle, blending perfectly with the camber of the ski, along with tip and tail tapper, perfectly executed to reduce hooking in crud and variable snow without significantly diminishing edge contact on groomers.


Maintaining its lightweight wood and Wi-Core stringer construction, it’s still a light, energetic and poppy ski like previous versions.

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Bootfitter’s Notes: Tecnica R9.8 130 Review

Tecnica has long been proud of their race heritage and the success of their narrow performance-focused boots. The Inferno released a few years ago, and the new Tecnica R9.8 130, which uses the same mold, has been a success over previous models and a pleasure to ski.

I owned the Inferno and skied the 9.8 130 extensively as my primary boot for three years. The fit is fantastic; I have a C-width foot, and didn’t have to do much work to make the 9.8 comfortable. After many days of skiing I put in a 5th metatarsal punch and an ankle punch, which are more than reasonable for the amount of days I’ve put into these well-loved boots.


The 98 mm category is bitterly contested, and all manufacturers (for the most part) make an excellent boot in this category. Why should Tecnica take your hard earned money? That is for you and your bootfitter to decide of course, with so many great boots in the category, go with the one that fits your foot best based on your values and needs, as each boot in the category skis darn well. What I can say is that for my foot and skiing ability, the Tecnica was a great match and a pleasure to ski for so long.

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Blizzard Bonafide Review: An All Mountain Ski Gold Standard

Here in Tahoe, the Start Haus tends to recommend 98 mm underfoot skis as the best all-around all-mountain skis for local conditions.


There are a lot of good skis in this category, but the one that both Sierra Jim and Phil Pug have held as the gold standard in the category recently has been the versatile Blizzard Bonafide.

It’s won numerous magazine awards, sold out last year before January at the Start Haus, and this year, Blizzard is sold out nation-wide, so once they’re gone, they’re gone. We’ve got them in stock, but they’re going fast. Click here.

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