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Paul Forward

Age: 33 | Vitals: 6’0″, 190 lbs. | Years Skiing: 28. Nordic and telemark until about 10 years ago. | Current Residence: Anchorage, Alaska

Background

I grew up in Eagle River, Alaska, where my family still lives. After lots of school, travel, skiing, and whitewater kayaking all over the world, I’m finally back in Alaska (as of 2008), and I don’t plan to call anywhere else home ever again.

I work part time in Kodiak and other parts of rural Alaska, and I’m able to base out of Anchorage for ski adventures all year long.

Paul Forward, Mystery Ranch Blackjack, Blister Gear Review

Paul Forward, Tordrillos Range, Alaska. (photo by Corky Still)

My favorite places to ski include B.C., Washington, Montana, Chile, and Argentina, but no place equals Alaska thus far. Lift-served skiing is super fun, and my sled is a great tool, but I spend the vast majority of my days ski touring. In the winter of 2013, I started working as a cat and heliskiing guide for Chugach Powder Guides. It’s been an amazing experience, and has resulted in some ridiculously good skiing and a new perspective on the mountains of south-central Alaska.

I’ve primarily telemarked for the past 20 years but, starting around 2007, I couldn’t resist Dynafits, and have also been playing with race-stiff alpine boots, long skis, and higher DIN bindings ever since. I think my collegiate racer buddies are getting tired of my constant solicitation for alpine technique tips, but I’m having a blast working out the nuances of a strong alpine turn. I still tele quite a bit and dabbled in the free ski competitions when they came to Alaska.

I tend to prefer stiffer skis with longer turn radii. The first ski to rock my world was the Volant Chubb, circa 1998. The second was the Praxis Powderboard in 2007.

These days I still love reverse sidecut style skis like the Powderboard or DPS Lotus 138, but also spend a lot of time on straighter, tip-rockered skis like the DPS Lotus 120, Praxis Rx, or 193 Blizzard Cochise.

I like boots that fit my foot and work how I want them to for a particular application.

4 Comments

  1. Marty October 27, 2014 Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for looking at this.

    I’ve seen that you’ve been to Japan.

    I’ll be going on my first trip there in January and was wondering what an ideal binding set up might be.

    Can I get away with straight alpine bindings or should I have something like a duke of guardian? Trekkers?

    I’ve chosen Pollard Opus’ as the ski.

    I was not thinking of using tech bindings since I love the fit of my full tilts and I like a higher din setting. (5’10″/150#).

    I do like lots of jumps, cliffs, tricks, skiing fast, everything off piste, groomers are only used to get me back to a lift.

    Again, thanks for any insight!

    Talk Soon,

    Marty

    • Author
      Paul Forward November 18, 2014 Reply

      Hi Marty, I just noticed your message. That’s awesome that you’re headed to Japan this winter. I’m planning to be there myself for a bit again this year.

      There are lots of places in Japan I’ve never skied but for what I’ve done so far it’s been nice to have the ability to skin. I suggest that you get in touch with someone who’s been to the places you’re planning to ski and find out how much touring you’ll be doing. As you’re likely aware, Japan has a lot of complicated, high-avalanche danger terrain and touring there should be approached cautiously especially given the amount of snow they get. All things considered, if you’re planning to ride lifts a lot while you’re there I would probably bring something like a Duke or Guardian.

      Have a great trip, Paul

  2. Joe November 26, 2014 Reply

    Hey Paul;

    Just happened on your review of the NTN Freedom binding, and was wondering if you ever got a chance to try a set of the TTS bindings from Olympus Mtn? I have also just run across a TTS/NTN hybrid by a French company called ‘The M Equipment’, which looks like a VERY neat set up. Any thoughts on that one? I also live in Anchorage and spend most of my time on tele, but have recently gone more AT (tech) while touring.

    Anyway, let me know if you have had a try out of any of the TTS systems.

    Thanks,

    Joe

  3. Blister Member
    Jim October 10, 2017 Reply

    Hi Paul,
    I was looking for info on the Salomon Rocker2 122. I was recently given a pair still in the plastic wrapper, never mounted. I’m not sure which year they are (yellow top sheet). I was wondering where you mounted yours. I know this is a soft snow ski and I have read any and all reviews I could find. There are a couple of youtube videos of Mike Douglas introducing them and warning that the mount line might might be too far back (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLZGhYLgVqA). They are 184’s, I will be mounting Salomon Wardens and using them on Cat / Heli days.
    My current skis are all over the place and I like them all for different things.
    Line Opus w/ Sth2
    Volkl V-Werks w/ Kingpins.
    Volkl Ones w/Wardens
    Moment Underworlds w/Guardians (These are my daily drivers)
    Salomon MTN 95 w/G3 Ions
    RMU Apostles w/ Kingpins (up for Sale)
    G3 Synapse 101w/ Ions
    I’m 5’11 175lbs 58 years young and ski 25-40 days per season.
    My season pass is in Tahoe but I travel to Utah and BC most seasons.
    I assume they will ski most like the Opus, playful and surfy, but not as heavy.
    Thanks for any input.
    Jim

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