Veteran skiers lamenting over loss of old friend
Of course, this is the week that is World Cup week at Heavenly. Enough said as the front page should say it all. But be sure and be there!
Among other things going on at Heavenly, press boss Monica Bandows reported that since last Saturday Heavenly has added six feet of snow, of manmade and natural. Meanwhile, Sierra-at-Tahoe reports 46 inches of new snow in the 48 hours of Wednesday and Thursday for a total base of 104 inches.
It’s the end of an era, as the cliche goes. The grand old name Kastle is gone. Forever? Who knows. Kastle was bought by Bennetton Sportsystem in the 1990s, but the brand has been struggling with a market share of 3 percent last year, 1 percent this year.
Kastle skis will be replaced by Nordica skis, the name to be used for a new line of ski boots, apparel and accessories. Bennetton is spending $10 million for a new boot factory in Treviganao, Italy.
Nordica skis will be made in Italy, with some production coming from Elan, HTM and RDP factories. Bennetton World Cup racers have been using the new Nordica skis with Kastle cosmetics this season but have now switched to Nordica colors.
Veteran skiers will undoubtedly lament the demise of the Kastle line, which has a glorious history of ski racing. But with just 1 percent of the ski market, it was clearly a losing battle to keep the brand going.
There are some Kastle skis around in ski shops; we saw some at the Cutting Edge shop the other day. If you’re nostalgic, you might want to snap up one of the last of the line. They’re darn good skis, incidentally.
Marker, incidentally, has pulled out of the snowboard business after losing a bundle. The company’s factory is up for auction. Marker lost $26 million on the venture.
The top tier in ski sales includes Solomon, K2 and Rossignol.
If the World Cup Freestyle races at Heavenly don’t interest you this weekend you might want to head for Mammoth where Playboy is joining with Smirnoff vodka WinterFest 1999. The popular Ski with a Playmate will be a feature, as usual, for this event. Lots of giveaways including one-of-a-kind Smirnoff snowboards. On hand will be Playmates Danelle Folta (April 1995), Kelley Monaco (April 1997) and Jessica Lee (August 1996). As a former editor at Playboy I hate to miss the event.
Then there’s the annual Take Your Daughter to the Slopes Day coming up Feb. 6. Several Tahoe area ski resorts are taking part in the event, the brainchild o f the Snow Sports Association for Women.
At Women’s Sports at the Round Hill mall you can pick up an entry for a March 1 drawing for a free ski clinic with Eva Twardokens and lift ticket to Kirkwood. It’s free, so while shopping drop in and say hello to Dana Jo Turvey. The clinic is a women’s affair, incidentally.
The Sierra Karving Klassic at Sierra-at-Tahoe, run by the guy from Tahoe, Curtis Fong, kicks off Jan. 31 with three more events to follow. This is anything but your traditional event.
Four gates will be placed at each gate location, allowing racers to choose a line as tight or loose as desired. The wider one skis the gates, the more bonus time will be knocked off actual time, so a tight run won’t necessarily win.
Four categories are legal: trad skis, shaped skis, snowboards or ski boards are all welcome. There’s no entry fee, but you’ve got to have a lift ticket. Some $10,000 in prizes will be awarded.
There will also be a snowshoe race during which contestants will carry a tray with three full glasses. Time will be deducted for spilled drinks.
It all winds up at the Beacon Restaurant at Camp Richardson where prizes will be awarded.
Call SAT at (530) 659-7453 or Enterprises at (775) 588-9658 for details.
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