Q & A with Head’s Jon Rucker
Jon Rucker is Vice President | HEAD/Tyrolia Wintersports, USA
Q. What makes today’s equipment - especially rental equipment - different and/or better than products from 10 years ago?
A. Today’s rental equipment has been improved in many ways over the past ten, even five years. First, ski boots are much more comfortable while also having better on-snow performance. We have achieved this by anatomically shaping the boots and using the highest-performance plastics available. Skis are now lighter and turn much more easily due to design improvements such as rocker and super-easy sidecuts. Materials like carbon fiber and easier-gliding bases really make every turn more fun. Snowboard boots have embraced high-tech innovations such as BOA, making boots amazingly comfortable and even better-performing, while boards have been dialed-in width-wise to perfectly fit every foot size. In short, high-tech materials and sophisticated engineering have made our fantastic sports even easier and more fun to learn.
Q. What is the most important thing to know about boot fit?
A. Comfort is king, but a boot that’s too big will ruin a ski or snowboarding day. Make sure that the boots fit “like a firm handshake” and hold the foot still while out on snow. Any looser than that and control (read: fun!) is sacrificed, but if too small, skiers’ and riders’ feet will hurt. In most cases, people have on too big of a boot – keep in mind that most folks are accustomed to loose-fitting shoes and our sports require a tighter fit on their feet than they feel every day.
Q. What is the best advice you can give a beginner?
A. Before you go, be well prepared by taking the time to find warm clothes and properly fit equipment, then take on-snow lessons from a professional instructor. Then be ready to laugh and have your life changed for the better because skiing and riding are two of the most fun things to do on our planet.
Q. How did you start skiing and who got you started?
A. My parents took me skiing in North Carolina when I was three and my life was changed for the better from that moment on. I’ve never looked back. Thanks, Mom and Dad!