As soon as our intern Kade set up the machine, presumptions deflated. You've heard of Skier's Edge and probably seen one in action. Picture an older, fit guy sporting a Russell Athletic headband sliding from side to side in the corner of the gym, visions of virgin groomers at Deer Valley in his sights. That's what we had in mind. But since testing out the T5 Big Mountain Series edition, our Skier’s Edge stereotypes have changed.
After sitting in the basement of POWDER HQ over the winter, the machine was finally pieced together in a swift 15 minutes. The team placed it in the middle of the office, and knocked out a sorry 30-second workout. After walking to the break room for water, we found members of the BIKE and SNOWBOARDER magazine staffs dropping in.
The machine mimics skis in the sense that the foot paddles are relatively loose and force the skier to be centered. The workout is surprisingly intense, no matter if you're on the easiest setting (1) or most strenuous (18). It requires a tremendous effort to slide back and forth, without hunching over and relying too much on the cross-country length poles.
Skier's Edge not only acts as the bicycle trainer of skiing, but it will become the dryland trainer for the U.S. Freeskiing Team, not just the U.S. Ski Team. Yes, that's right; slopestyle jock Bobby Brown and pipe empress Jen Hudak should use this thing in preparation for Sochi in 2014.
To the chagrin of the various magazine staffs in the building we had to send the machine back. Much like an office skate ramp, the Big Mountain Series provided a welcome reprieve from the silicon screens. It also ignited dreams of trenching groomers and making Skier's Edge claims in the lift line.
"Wow, you're skiing so fast and you look so fit!"
"Why thank you. It's the product of countless Big Mountain Series sessions. It's all in the slide, man..."
Even if you hate gyms and groomers, this thing proves that judgments should be thrown out until tried. That's right, Bobby. Your jump-to-jump transitions will no doubt be smoother after a healthy dose of sliding on these rubber power bands. Perhaps they'll even make a Freeskiing Series? Just be sure to rock that Under Armour headband.