Stockli Race Ski Overview (Video)

In our 2015 ski testing, Start Haus staff was extremely impressed by Stockli‘s race ski lineup for this year. In the video below, we took the Stockli Laser SL, Stockli Laser GS and Stockli Laser SX out for a spin and talk about what makes them shine.

While all FIS skis have to meet the same standards, that doesn’t mean they’re all created equal, and the Stockli skis really are something special. To learn more, swing by the shop or give us a call.


Bootfitter’s Notes: 2015 Lange RS 140 Ski Boot Review

For three years the Lange RS 140 has been firmly at the top of the heap. Sporting great fit and function the Lange RS 140 has routinely received top marks from boot testers as a great skiing boot with a great fit as well.


What is it about the RS 140 that makes it so good?  Good stance and balance?  Great fit? Good responsive plastic? Yes, yes, yes, and definitely yes. Lange obviously hasn’t wanted to mess up a good thing, and thank goodness for that. The RS 140 rolled out three years ago and nothing on the shell has changed, save the graphic. For 2015 Lange has given the boot an all new race liner to give the RS 140 even more control and precision. The lace-up race liner is truly high quality and is the main fit difference between the RS 130 and the RS 140 reviewed here.

The performance characteristics of the RS 140 are off the charts. The turn is lightning quick and smooth; the plastic is dynamic, it responds and moves with the leg courteously and concisely.  It was a top pick of the boot test for me. I love to go fast and the RS 140 is no slouch in that department, although many times with stiff “expert boots” (and skis for that matter) they don’t like to make a slow speed turn, not true with the RS 140, it can make a turn and flexes well at all speed and radius, making it a jack of all trades, not just a speed junkie.

Make not mistake the RS 140 is not for the faint of heart. If you want this boot we expect you to be a good skier looking for a snug fit. A boot of this caliber will have a break in period that will not be comfortable. After a few days the boot should feel okay and if it does not you will probably need some additional boot fitting from a professional trained boot fitter.

To be sure many will shy away from the RS 140, because of the number rating corresponding to the flex. Lange boots tend to be a bit softer in their ratings than say Nordica or Tecnica, if you can ski a 130 in those brands odds are you’ll be fine in the RS 140

Another caveat to mention is if you are in the market for this boot you do have possibly a tough choice ahead: Lange also makes the RX 130 L.V. (Low Volume) which come out of the exact same mold.  It has a little more comfortable liner but features vibram rubber soles unlike the RS reviewed here which have solid polyurethane soles. Questions to ask oneself are: how much am I hiking, how important are on-piste turns to me? If hiking for the fresh stuff is important to you you’d probably want to go with the RX 130 L.V., if you are a stickler for making a great on piste turn or strive to emulate the guys and gals on the World Cup pick up an RS.

To emphasize, it’s hard to exaggerate how good the RS 140 is. Lange absolutely crushed it out of the ball park with practically all their boots. We at the Start Haus were in a round-table discussion with the folks who run Lange Europe and they were asking a group of American boot fitters what we think Lange should be striving for in the future and the answer I think speaks for itself. “Whatever you do, don’t louse this thing up and tweak them too much, the boots are too good.”


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.

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!


Demo Stand Up Paddle Board Sale

The summer is winding down and we’re blowing out our demo stand up paddleboards!

This is your chance to get a great board, cared for by the Start Haus, at an incredible price – up to 50% off!

We have BIC boards starting at $539 and a Boga B-Ray at $419 – perfect for getting started or a fun all-around family board.

If you’re interested in racing, we have top of the line race boards like the Boardworks Morrelli & Melvin for $1789 (down from $3,399!), the Boardworks Infinity Slater Trout Cutthroat for $1,109 (normally $2,100) or the Boga Tsunami at $859 (normally $1,795).

Displacement hulled touring boards are a favorite for the Tahoe area, great for long days, fun paddling or even an occasional race, and we have the Boardworks Raven for $759, the Sirina for $829 and the Tiburon for $629!

Remember, these are demo boards and we only have one of each, so once they’re gone, they’re gone – get into the store or give us a call as soon as you can!


2015 Blizzard Spur Review

One of the skis generating the most excitement for 2015 is the new Blizzard Spur, an advanced big mountain powder ski designed for hard charging skiers, but great for a wide range of capable skiers who want a wide powder ski that isn’t a noodle.


What immediately grabs you, aside from the great looking graphics, is the wide (125 mm underfoot) construction and long yet subtle rocker with taper in the tip and tail that screams powder performance.

And in our testing in powder, they lived up to their looks, floating, slashing and drifting in the soft stuff effortlessly. Breaking free of a turn shape at any point was easy for long drifting turns in deep powder.

But we don’t always get perfect powder days, and even after a big dump, we all inevitably find ourselves also contending with cut up bumps and groomer run outs as part of resort skiing – and here’s where this ski surprised. Credit likely goes to the Blizzard Flipcore design for holding and edge and blasting through crud, as well as the advanced construction. Long radius turns came most naturally to this ski, confidently arcing down the hardpack on the way back to the lift.

Carbon fiber in the tapered tip and tails further reduces swing weight and makes for a surprisingly well dampened, yet energetic ski that didn’t have any of our testers wishing for a metal laminate. These skis did not get tossed around in heavy, wet cut-up crud, instead slicing through with great stability, popping out of the snow easily when transitioning between turns.

The Blizzard Spur is a great example of a powder ski that isn’t a one trick pony – sure it lives for the soft stuff, but won’t leave you wanting as conditions change from epic untracked to tracked out and run out throughout the course of the day. They’re dependable enough to trust in just about any conditions.

These are limited edition skis, and once they’re gone, they’re gone, so get them while you can.



Charlie MTB on the Tahoe Rim Trail (Video)

One of the coolest trails we have in the Truckee-Tahoe area is the 165 mile long Tahoe Rim Trail, looping around Lake Tahoe, with the majority open to mountain bikes.

Charlie took on a 20 mile section going from Mount Rose to Chimney Beach on Tahoe’s east shore.

Here’s a snapshot of his Strava page from the ride:


This length of this stretch of the Tahoe Rim Trail is 20.3 miles with 2,327 feet of elevation, with amazing views both of Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley. The first 9 miles are only open to bikes on even days of the month (the 2nd, 4th, 10th, etc), so plan accordingly. This is a shuttle ride as Charlie and friends pedaled it, with one car on the Mt. Rose Highway and one at Chimney Beach.

Learn more at the Tahoe Rim Trail Association Website.

Stay tuned as the Start Haus staff continues to tackle area trails with videos, photos and more.


Make Skiing Better with the Start Haus

None of us – ski bums who live in the mountains, weekend warriors who only get a few trips a year, even professional skiers – get enough time on the hill.

We all want more – more runs, more turns, more powder, more fun.

So why waste your time on the wrong skis with a bad tune or waste a powder day in painful boots?

At the Start Haus – we have one goal: to make your time skiing better. Your times on the race course faster. Your bell-to-bell days, from first chair to last run, more comfortable.


We do that with an unflinching dedication to the best equipment and the best service. Walk into the shop or browse around our site, and you’ll see an extensive selection of skis, boots, bindings, accessories and clothing hand picked by industry veterans to give you the best selection so you get the right piece of equipment. Equipment we’d ski ourselves, because we do.

Our ski tuners are sought out by World Cup ski racers, and they can insure your day isn’t ruined by bad edges or sticky bases, so you have more fun, more speed and more control.

Our award-winning bootfitters can perform miracles on ski boots so you don’t suffer through the day in pain, maintaining perfect control over your skis without a pressure point or hot spot.

And on our website we aim to educate, helping you make the right decision through our detailed ski reviews from experts who have actually spent time on each ski. Our Bootfitter’s Notes give you an inside look on different boots, their design, and how they fit different people. And our Youtube Channel gives you an inside look and a face-to-face feel interacting with the Start Haus staff.

We’re stubborn in our desire to see you have the best days on the slope – we’ll talk you out of a sale if we think it’s the wrong thing for you.

We can do better – but we need your help. Some of our expertise comes from you, whether its your feedback on the boot we’re fitting you in, or your experience with a pair of skis after days on the hill. So we’re asking you to help your fellow skiers and leave a review on a product you have experience using, tell a story about working with the Start Haus to get a perfect fit – whatever you want.

We will continue to strive to be the best ski shop, with the best equipment and the best service, and we look forward to working with you.



Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Mountain Bike (Video)

James and Charlie took on one of Lake Tahoe’s legendary mountain bike rides: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Known for its technical downhill above South Lake Tahoe, this is a trail you want to tackle with a capable rig:

The route they chose took 16.3 miles with 2,052 feet of elevation, check out the route here.


Our riders started on the Tahoe Rim Trail from Fountain Place Road, climbing to beautiful views and rolling trail, before plunging into a sustained, rocky and technical downhill ride back down to a lower spot on Fountain Place Road, shuttling back up to the first car.

Because Mr. Toads connects to the Tahoe Rim Trail and is in the same area as Connector and Corral Trails, you have virtually unlimited options for ride variations, with hard core riders starting 60 plus miles north on the Tahoe Rim Trail at Mount Rose for what TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association) calls the “Uber Punisher.”

We recommend long travel dual suspension bikes for this trail. Stay tuned here for more trail profiles, mountain bike videos and more, or follow our riders on Strava.


Stand Up Paddleboard Sale

It’s that time of year, time for serious savings on stand up paddleboards! We have all our boards discounted 10 to 20 percent, which adds up to hundreds of dollars in savings.

You can get a board, paddle, leash and fin all for just $559 with the Boardworks Jetty, or save on race paddleboards, inflatable paddleboards or surf paddleboards, whatever you’re looking for to get out on the water.

Our demo paddleboard fleet is also on sale for even deeper discounts, swing by the Start Haus to see what’s available.

And while you’re in most of our summer clothing is up to 40% off, so stock up on board shorts, bikinis, rash guards and more for Tahoe’s Indian Summer and beyond.



Bootfitter’s Notes: 2015 Nordica Dobermann Pro EDT 130 Ski Boot

The race to build the perfect narrow lasted boot is a tight one these days.  Most manufacturers have a superb option and selecting the one that’s right for you can be a tall order. Nordica’s Dobermann Pro EDT 130 has been a contender in the category for years and is unchanged for the 2015 season.


Affectionately referred to as the “Dobie,” Nordica has produced a boot that is stiff and mean, with plenty of snarl and bite, but is well trained. Two years ago Nordica opened up the last and instep making the boot accessible to many more skiers than previous iterations of the boot without involving countless hours of fit work.

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