Magazine article Sunset

Shrinking Skis? They're Micros

Magazine article Sunset

Shrinking Skis? They're Micros

Article excerpt

JUST 27 INCHES LONG, they look more like two skinny snowboards than like traditional skis. On the slopes, they perform more like ice skates than skis. Their hourglass shape (a new trend this season even in alpine skis), metal edges, and abbreviated size make them easier to handle than traditional skis. And their compact size and light weight (less than 5 pounds a pair) mean they can be carried in a suitcase or tote bag--or in a backpack for a trip to the high country.

MicroSkis are the creation of Kent Kieswetter of Whidbey Island, Washington. Kieswetter, the former owner of a sporting-goods store and a skier for most of his 46 years, became fascinated by the European craze for short skis. He experimented with snowboards. alpine skis, and short skis like Atomic's FIGL and the Big Foot, a short, wide, foot-shaped ski made by Kneissl. With the help of skiing friends and professionals, he perfected his own skis on the slopes of Stevens Pass in the Cascades.

Andre Hirss. director of the ski school at Stevens Pass, says beginning students who use the skis are ready for the intermediate slopes the first day. Learning to turn is much easier, since you can actually pivot the skis. For advanced skiers, who often do not use ski poles with MicroSkis, they offer a "freedom of movement that is just like dancing," says Hirss. …

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