[sponsored by Intuition Liners]
Intuition Liners have a well-earned reputation for being the best ski or snowboard boot liner in the industry. Whether boot-packing in the backcountry or cutting loose at the resorts, Intuition has a liner to meet your needs for performance, warmth, and comfort.
We recently interviewed professional skiers Allie Rood, Dave Wadleigh, and John Wells- all logging 100+ days a year in their boots -about gear, terrain preferences, and favorite ski spots.
“Cold sore feet should not be a part of winter sports.”
#1 Can you give us a little backstory? Where did you grow up skiing and what lead to it becoming more than a recreational hobby?
Allie: I’m from the Mad River Valley in Vermont and I did the weekend ski-racing program from a young age. Over the years I managed to make every decision in life directly or indirectly around skiing as much as possible. I settled into Jackson, WY and proceeded to spend the majority of my twenties skiing in the Tetons. At some point I realized I wanted to make an all-female ski film and began a parallel journey to become a filmmaker. I think the real transition between hobbyist and professional lies in the time spent actually doing the thing, and that moment comes slowly.
I think the real transition between hobbyist and professional lies in the time spent actually doing the thing, and that moment comes slowly.
Dave: I grew up skiing at Bolton Valley and Smuggler’s Notch Vermont. I coached at Jay Peak for 3 years, and started competing in big mountain events over the same time. Then I moved out to Alta, UT for a season and competed on the Freeskiing World Tour before moving to Tahoe City, CA and coaching the Squaw Big Mountain Team for the past 6 years. I founded a 40 person Freeride Club Team, and worked for the Tahoe Junior Freeride Series. I am currently working as Communications Coordinator for the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, and moved back to Vermont to develop, run, and coach the brand new Freeride Team at Bolton Valley.
John: I grew up in Groton, Massachusetts and I was lucky enough to live on a steep hill and I used to ski in my backyard. We had jumps and even a couple moguls built in. I went to high school and college in Montreal, Quebec so I skied Jay Peak & Mont Tremblant a lot, trees and park mostly. After high school the drive was on and the fire was lit! I got sponsored when I was 28 years old by Go Pro, Fatypus, Leki, and Flylow. My specialty has always been POV. I helped create the gooseneck mount with Go Pro and was always tinkering with creating mounts and finding new angles back in 2008-2014. I love the R&D part of skiing. As an Athlete, if you keep working hard and put in the time and effort to master the fundamentals of your sport and have good friends and loved ones to support you the sky is the limit!
“As an Athlete, if you keep working hard and put in the time and effort to master the fundamentals of your sport and have good friends and loved ones to support you the sky is the limit!”
#2 Roughly how many days a year do you ski?
Allie: For the last few years I have been living a perpetual winter, spending more than 150 days a year in ski boots.
Dave: I ski about 100 days a season.
John: I always shoot for 120 days a year.
#3 Favorite type of skiing (slopes, big mountain, touring, mountaineering)?
Allie: I love skiing big mountains for the freedom it gives. You will find me in touring gear most days, but I really appreciate a healthy spattering of resort days as well.
Dave: I love anything from carving turns on fresh corduroy, to park, to backcountry touring, but my absolute favorite discipline is big mountain.
John: I love it all really. Big Mountain Freeride is my go-to. I love big, fast, steep turns and big cliffs. I tour to most of my big objectives. Skiing groomers and spring skiing is a large part of my base skill set and I put a ton of priority on banging laps in the park as much as I can in the spring, and summer months as well.
#4 Number of ski boots in the line up?
Allie: Salomon S/Lab Mtn boot is my one quiver boot. Whether in bounds charging firm moguls, airing cliffs, or going on an all-day ski mountaineering mission, this boot can handle it all. What does change is the liner;)
Dave: Right now I ride Lange RX 130 LV’s for alpine, and Crispi Evo’s for telemark. Both have Intuition Liners Power Wrap liners. I have also used Intuition liners in Dalbello Krypton Pro’s, Krypron Pro 2’s, and Scarpa T-Race tele boots.
John: Two boots. Dalbello Krypton Pro I.D. for resort skiing and park. Scarpa Freedom SL for touring and climbing.
#5 As an athlete for Intuition Liners, you’ve had an opportunity to really explore their benefits. What makes them a stand out for you?
Allie: It’s not an overstatement when I say that Intuition liners saved my skiing life. My feet suffer from chilblains, bone spurs and high arches (cut off blood flow). I discovered the Dalbello Krypton Pro with a stock Intuition wrap liner my first year coaching freeride. Not only did the liner give rigidity where the racer in me needed it, but my feet were actually generating heat! Suddenly I found I could ski all day without even thinking about my feet. Intuition liners are magic.
“It’s not an overstatement when I say that Intuition liners saved my skiing life.”
Dave: For me, tight, precision fit is all-important. Every tiny movement of my foot inside my boots takes away from control, and Intuition Liners allow me to get that fit. I literally couldn’t get my foot into my current Lange’s with the stock liner, but with the Power Wraps I am able to not only fit, but get an incredibly precise fit that’s molded to every contour of my foot. Intuition liners are also lighter weight than anything else I’ve ridden, dry out faster, and hold up to abuse without packing out or breaking down.
John: The number one thing is the fit. My feet just never hurt anymore. I can have 12-14 hour days in the mountains and my feet feel great. The Pro Wrap Intuition Liner just does its job way longer than I am willing. It is light, breathable, super stiff and the heat mold lasts for the whole season and well into the next. With a good cork foot bed and custom fitting my ski boots feel like bedroom slippers. During hut trips my liners dry out faster, they are never wet the next day and my feet are always warm and never get too hot to cause blisters.
A good pair of thin compression socks and the Pro Wrap liner and you can walk to the moon!
#6 Favorite Intuition boot liner?
Allie: I initially fell in love with the Power Wrap. When I want to ski inbounds or go on a shorter tour I will bring the Power Wrap (Plug wrap). The Salomon S/lab Mtn is stiff, and with the wrap liner it holds up to any resort boot I’ve ever used. For all other days, long tours or cold days, I use the Pro Tour liner. Though I was initially hesitant to go back to a traditional tongue style liner, this power horse is the bee’s knees. For maximum mobility and comfort, I can’t think of a more important piece of equipment.
“For maximum mobility and comfort, I can’t think of a more important piece of equipment.”
Dave: My favorite liner is definitely the Power Wrap!
John: Pro Wrap
#7 Can you share a memorable ski moment – epic day? gnarliest crash?
Allie: Oh man, that’s a difficult one. I started honestly feeling like every day was my best day. It’s a whirlwind of epic powder days, huge lines, successful (and unsuccessful) competition results, and sustained laughs. As a young gun in Jackson Hole it was always super fun to tick off the classic lines in the backcountry there. My world further exploded when I started skiing in Grand Teton National Park.
Gnarliest crashes: first year ski bumming in Crested Butte. I was trying to traverse a cliff zone alone (obviously had no idea where I was) and just lost my footing. I tried self-arresting on a tree and then came to in a massive slough pile below the cliff. My back was soaked from melted snow as I must have been knocked out cold for some time. I grew up A LOT that day and was really lucky to walk away from “Body Bag” fairly unscathed, aside from a gnarly black eye and super bruised ego.
Dave: One of the most memorable ski days of my life was definitely the day I landed my first double backflip. I had tried twice already that season, but had caught my tips and wrecked hard both times. That day we had built a big backcountry jump on Mt. Rose summit, and I almost landed my first try, but slightly over-rotated and back-slapped. I hiked back up and landed perfectly on the next attempt. It was an incredible feeling.
“One of the most memorable ski days of my life was definitely the day I landed my first double backflip.”
John: One of each….My first published photo of me skiing was of me sending a 70-foot cliff in the backcountry at Mt. Baker. This was back in 2010 when you had to go huge to get noticed. I wasn’t even suppose to huck that particular cliff but Garrett Grove was in position and the guy chickened out so I didn’t think about it, knew it had snowed 6 feet in the last 3 days and just…..booom sent it! I stuck the photo and the hot tub landing.
“Fail of the Year” I got cocky and my ninja vision was off trying to gap a huge 50 footer and I landed on the knuckle of a bergschrund and tomahawked 13 times and it has been by far my most viral video at 33k views. I actually think I won “fail of the year” in a Freeskier contest some years back. It was a classic bail lost both skis on impact and a ski pole and just violently tommied down the slope. I ended up finding all my gear and continuing on skiing the rest of the day, just a little sore but happy I didn’t get hurt. Mt. Baker and all that powder saved my ass!
#8 Favorite thing to do outside of skiing?
Allie: I love the river and am an avid whitewater kayaker. I live by the ocean for the first time, so surfing is a new constant. I’ve also gotten into canyoning this past year. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junky and enjoy trying new sports. You can also find me road biking, hiking, doing yoga, drinking beer, grilling food, and generally living outside more than inside.
Dave: I love to mountain bike, but my favorite non-skiing activity is definitely going for motorcycle rides. I drive a cafe-styled 1983 Honda Goldwing.
John: Thinking and training for skiing… I would say I love skateboarding hills, groooovy pavement on my old Vision Gator in the summertime… but I almost never stay still. Whether mountain biking, SUP surfing, backpacking, trail running or being on the water as long as I am in motion I am A.O.K.
#9 Best skiing on earth and/or favorite ski resort?
Allie: Temple Basin Ski Club, Arthur’s Pass, New Zealand – it’s really hard to time the weather correctly, but when conditions are ripe, it’s the best place on earth. Also Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, as that place is an adult fairytale playground.
Dave: I love and have soft spots for Squaw Valley, and tree skiing in Vermont, but my all-time favorite terrain/resort is Revelstoke, BC. It has great snow, big lines, and an incredible quantity of pillow lines to rip!
John: STEEP & DEEP /// Spines and PILLOWS // Kicking Horse Mountain Resort & Mt. Baker…….but I am keen to add Chamonix to the list soon!
Big thank you to Allie, Dave, and John for sharing their experience and photos with SnowBrains.
To find out more:
Allie Rood: AllieRood.com
Dave Wadleigh: DaveWadleigh.com
John Wells: @johnwellsski ; plus check out John’s video below.