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Jason Hutchins

Age: 28 | Vitals: 6’0,” 160 lbs. | Years skiing: 17 | Current Residence: Sandy, UT

Background:

Raised in Canaan, Maine, I started skiing at a single chairlift, 600+ vertical foot gem named Eaton Mountain. In true east coast form, Eaton offered night skiing every day of the week, and I took full advantage all through middle and high school. Once I got my drivers license, my wheels took me to Sugarloaf every weekend and “snow day” off from school. My freshman year of high school I joined the race team, learned to carve, did a few races, and discovered I would much rather ski moguls and hit jumps than bang gates.

Jason at Alta, keeping it light.

By the time I graduated high school I was co-patroller of the year at Eaton (which I think I earned mostly by throwing large front flips in patrol uniform; it certainly wasn’t from my life saving ability), and loved every aspect of skiing, whether it be laying trenches in corduroy, skiing tight east coast glades, ripping zipper bumps, throwing flippy, spinny, grabby things in the park and pipe, or hucking cliffs.

To me, being a great skier is being able to do everything, a definition I still stand by.

After high school, my snow skiing took a bit of a back seat because I spent the next few years at college in Monroe, Louisiana to pursue other hopes and dreams as a competitive waterskier. I still managed to get in around 30 to 40 days a season, but as we all know, that is not enough.

In 2005 I made the big life-choice after college to move “Out West” and follow my true calling into big mountains. Through some waterskiing connections, I found myself in Taos Ski Valley for the winter. It was their driest season on record, but it still turned out to be one of the best seasons of my life. I spent the next five winters in Taos skiing almost every day of the season. I started competing here and there in big mountain comps, where my best finish was 4th at the Taos event in 2008.

Jason's modus operandi: a little steep, a little techy, a little air, another lap.

Unfortunately, in 2010, while competing in the finals of the Telluride Freeskiing World Tour event, I completely tore my ACL on a very routine left hand turn (it was partially torn already from dirt jumping mountain bikes). I was devastated, had to have surgery, and missed the remainder of the season.

Rehabbed and recharged for the 2010/11 season, and I now live in Sandy, UT, take classes at the University of Utah, and will apply to their Physical Therapy program in the fall of 2011. I spend most of my time lapping the Collins chair at Alta, where my favorites are anything off the High T (Eagle’s nest, Eddie’s), and I head up the Wildcat chair when I feel like hitting a few of Alta’s fantastic natural kickers or the newly opened Comma Chutes.

I get out into the backcountry when time allows. So far this season I have managed to ski the Y Couloir, Hallway Couloir, Thunderstruck Couloir, Superior, and The Gargoiles, to name a few.

My skiing ideals haven’t change since I was a kid, and I still love to jump as much as make a turn. Thanks to my east coast upbringing and my years in Taos, I’m always going to pick steeper, technical terrain over wide open spaces, but when things do open up, I will be rolling as fast as I can.

Life Changing skis:

1st generation  Salomon 1080; K2 Hellbent

Other skis I’ve liked:

Dynastar Candide; Rossi Scratch FS; Line Sir Francis Bacon; K2 Kung Fujas, 09’s and  10’s; Line Mothership; K2 SideStash; 2011 K2 Obsethed

10 Comments

  1. David November 18, 2011 Reply

    This is for Jason Hutchins as I was hoping he could lend his thoughts.

    Jason,
    Your reviews are awesome and hugely helpful. I’ve read your reviews on the S7’s and Sickle and Jonathan’s on the S3’s and PB&J’s. I honestly think they’re the most informative reviews available to the public.

    I’m currently in the market for a new pair of skis and was hoping you guys could help. I live on the east coast and ski on weekends at Sugarbush, Stowe and Mad River. I’m 5’10, 150lbs, very aggressive and ski bumps and trees. My everyday ski is an older pair of Armada THalls that I’ve found to be really good in bumps and trees as they’re relatively soft and quick edge to edge. Have a pair of s7’s for serious pow. I’m looking for a new everyday ski that i can still rip on east coast but that would be a great everyday ski also for west coast as the thalls tend to be a little narrow for that. Considered the S3’s, PB&J’s and even the new Rossi Scratch. Was hoping you could give me your opinion. Want to stay under 100mm underfoot so i can still rip zipperlines in bumps w/them.

  2. Hi David, Jason and I are about to go hit up Alta, so just a quick reply. The first thing Jason said in response to your question was, “S5.” Aka, the Rossignol Scimitar. I think he’s on to something; check out Will Brown’s initial review on the site.)

    I believe that the S5 would be fantastic in bumps and trees, though Will and I have only been able to ski it in very early season conditions. Demo first if you can, but the Scimitar might be your ski. Will Brown will be updating his Scimitar review over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that, too.

    • David November 20, 2011 Reply

      Jonathan,

      Thanks so much for getting back to me so fast. Your respose time is as great as your reviews are. How have you found the Scimitar to perform on hard pack? With no camber do you think I’ll struggle just getting around if I’m not in trees, pow or bumps?

      Thanks,

      David

  3. Author
    Jason November 21, 2011 Reply

    David,
    I’m glad you are finding our reviews helpful! Jonathan ran your question by me the other night and as he said my immediate reply was the Scimitar. If it skis like a skinnier Sickle I think it would be a great east coast every day ski. It might be a little narrow as as great everyday (non-pow day) west coast ski, especially here in UT but it would work much better then your older THalls.

    I have to throw another ski in the mix that I really think you should consider. I have spent the past couple days on the new DPS Wailer 99 and have been very impressed. It really hasn’t let me down in any of the conditions we are skiing in right now which includes a mix of a few inches of pow, some soft and firm crud, rocks and roots (sorry DPS), bumps, and a few high speed groomer laps. I plan on doing a few more groomer laps today, seeking out the man-made boiler to see if I can really recommend them as an everyday ski on the east coast.

    For a ski to fit all of the aspects of skiing you are asking is a pretty tall order. A ski that rips east coast hardpack isn’t going to be a great bump ski and a hardpack or bump ski isn’t going to be the best west coast every day ski. I would recommend reading Will Browns Scimitar review, his Bridge review, and also consider the Wailer 99. I should have a review/2nd look of the Wailer 99 in the near future that will give my full take on it. I will also be spending time on the Scimitar in mid December.

  4. David November 22, 2011 Reply

    Jason,

    Thanks so much for the insight. I’m more concerned about bump/trees performance than true hard pack performance. If that’s the case, would you lean more toward the Scimatar or the Wailer 99? Also, based on my height of 5″10 and 150lbs, what size would you recommend? I want to make sure they’re very nimble.

  5. Andy September 11, 2012 Reply

    For Jason Hutchins:

    Jason, I was wondering…

    I’ve noticed you like the more playful flexible skis. Your fellow Blisters Jonathan and others seem to like the burlier skis. They loved the Cochise. I tend to be in the middle of the two don’t like noodles or the total aggro. I see you did not post a review of the Blizzard Cochise. What was your take on it?

    Thanks,
    Andy

  6. Majkiman October 31, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jason. I´m from Slovakia. I´m really looking for your review of Dalbello Krypton pro KR2. Please I want to buy them with trufit liner. So I want to know only about sizes. My true lenght of foot is 267 mm. Should I buy 260 or 255 mondo size? I´ll be thankfull if you can give me a hand. I can´t wait for your review.

  7. Blister Member
    Eric Platz May 26, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jason,
    First off, thanks to you and everyone at Blister gear reviews for doing such awesome work. I much appreciate all the reviews. Since you have checked out both the Sir Francis Bacons and Kastle xx110 Wests, I would love to get your input. I’m 5’6″, 140#, 41yo athletic experienced skier. I can handle almost any terrain confidently. I currently ski Kastle BMX 98s and 118s (both in 168cm) and love them. Almost all of my skiing is in the Rockies (Alberta, BC, Utah, Montana), and I prefer to spend most of my time off-piste in the trees, bumps and steeper open bowls. I also frequently hike into lift-accessed BC. Now with young kids, I’m skiing switch and hitting features in the park and on groomers more often. Also enjoying jumping off things much more these days. I’m looking for a more playful, nimble ski that I can add to my gear assortment and was thinking either the SFBs or xx110 Wests. A ski that’s better for switch, park, and hitting features, but that will still work well in tighter trees and bumps… and ideally provide some degree of stability and performance carving turns on groomers and in deeper snow on open terrain. I’ve always been a fan of Kastle feel and construction quality, but have heard great things about the SFBs as a similarly profiled ski to the xx110 wests. Any thoughts you might have between those two skis and sizing would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  8. Blister Member
    Deva Solomon April 20, 2015 Reply

    Jason, hoping you might be able to shed some light. Have a decent quiver of what i’ll call charging skis and I ski fast and aggressively with big wide turns: 1) Nordica Firearrow 84 EDT for hardpack (just rails); 2) Rossignol E98 180 cm; 3) Blizzard Cochise 185 cm; 4) Moment Blister Pro 190cm. I took the Cochise and E98 out to Breck and skied the spring conditions a few weeks back. Tons of fun but it became apparent that my skis (absent the Blister Pro) are really biased towards the charger spectrum. I’m a bigger guy at an athletic 5′ 7″ and 195 (i’m dense). I’m curious about whether there is room for a ski that I could ski with more finesse and a bit more playfully (something when i’m not going as fast as I possibly can) for tight spaces and when I’m with the wife and kids. Also something that wouldn’t be as much work in the Colo moguls. I like the predictability and slarvability of the Cochise. I don’t ever do the park and I don’t spend time in the air or skiing switch. Any thoughts on whether the Sickle (assuming I could find one) would be a good addition or whether I should look for something even more playful since i’ve got the charger end pretty well covered? Thanks for the input. Ski primarily in Colo and Utah (based in Denver so moguls are often present).

  9. buskirklaw December 27, 2015 Reply

    Jason:

    Appreciate your reviews. I, like you, am tall and wiry. :-). My 11 y/o has started skiing and so I’m spending my time equally between green/blue runs and reconnecting with my ski buddys on black/double black. I’d like to get into a new pair of boots. Any recommendations to try? Trying to narrow down boots to try.

    Regards,

    Todd Buskirk
    Seattle, WA

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