So long, and thanks for the turns

Posted: December 17th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Life | What do you think?

Hello friends,

Well another epic year of snow beckons my worn out Atomics, and I have to do something very difficult: I’m shutting down the Free Heel Granola blog.

When I was a kid, I remember sitting on the chair up at Whitewater and looking down at a guy pulling in tele turns – this was maybe late 80s, early 90s. There was something about the turn that looked natural and free. And then I grew up, became an adult, and finally felt confident enough in my skills as an alpine skier to ditch my alpine skis at the nearest thrift store and take a few lessons up at Cypress.

After a few sprints walking up the hill and picking up a few basics, I got one good turn in. It felt good but I probably looked like a short flamingo in roller skates. I was immediately hooked. I wanted to get better, I wanted to ski with other people… I had no idea what I was getting into. The more time I spent on the hill, the more I decided that I wanted to learn from everyone and came up with a wacky idea to start FHG. Little did I realize at the time how awesome and friendly this community is. I’ve had nothing but great support. I’ve met some fantastic people in the community: enthusiasts, athletes, organizations, and companies… incredible people.

Things have changed for me in the last few years, my family has grown, and we’re now making a huge life changing move from Vancouver to a small town in the Kootenays. As much as I would like to say that I can keep this site updated, maintaining content is incredibly time consuming. It’s about going to these events, talking to people, and then spending countless hours tailoring an article… I’m choosing to spend that time with my daughter on the slopes now… and focus on a new pair of lifestyle pants… it’ll be good!

Phew! With that out of the way, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported me throughout this adventure. I’m going to be updating the Facebook page here on out and the store will remain since these don’t break the bank and I’m able to share content a lot more rapidly. I may revisit this when my daughter is a teen and doesn’t want to be seen with me up at Whitewater or Red but if you see me up there, don’t hesitate to say hello!

So long! But not really

Shayne Kasai (chief editor)


2016 Bear Trap Telemark Festival: Manning Park, BC

Posted: February 25th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Festivals | What do you think?

Aw man, we love Manning Park. It’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city and remote enough for you to leave that mobile phone in your hotel suite.

Bear Trap2016

I know we say this every year, but you should really head out to this festival. It sort of has this family feel to it and it’s a great place to chill and experience some awesome snow. It’s also a place where you’ll get a lot of runs in, rather than standing in line all day.

There’s a wide range of options in regards to accommodation (cabins to nice cozy rooms in the main hotel)… or I guess you could park a camper off to the side like Cousin Eddie out of National Lampoon…

Check this one out, it’ll be a blast!

Tougher Than Nails Heel Levers From Bluebird Day Gear

Posted: January 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Gear | Tags: , , | What do you think?
Courtesy of Bluebird Day Gear

Courtesy of Bluebird Day Gear

We’re big fans of Bluebird Day Gear’s tele leashes… they are burly and easy to put on. Really handy for bulky gloves and cold hands… so obviously, we’re excited to hear about these tougher than nails heel levers for 75mm bindings

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The official FHG shirt is back!

Posted: November 28th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Gear | What do you think?

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 5.30.44 PM

Folks, we brought this shirt back and now through a company that can print these on demand. Furthermore, these babies will be on sale for $14 on Monday (Nov 30, 2015).

So what’s new? Well, we took the original logo and made it larger. We also distressed the heck out of it so it looks like you tele’d through a lawn mower. Well not quite, but it looks pretty retro like you bought it in the 80s.

Either way, the material feels good and fits quite well (we brought one in to try out of course).

The official FHG comes in multiple styles and colour – make sure to select gender. I highly recommend the heathered tees – they feel great!


Video of the week: Graham Bell skiing on vintage skis in Cervinia, Aosta Valley

Posted: November 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Life | What do you think?

We came across this video from Erna Low  – it’s a fascinating look at vintage gear, and well these guys take a few runs down the slope. We can’t help but get excited for the upcoming season which is looking pretty stellar so far.

Some more historical information can be found on Erna Low’s history page.


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