Ski well, Grasshopper, on Völkl Karmas |

Ski well, Grasshopper, on Völkl Karmas

Charles Agar

My karma is good today and it’s not because I do estimable acts, but because I plucked a pair of mid-fat Völkls from the rack at the high school ski swap in the fall.

The Völkl Karmas were a popular model in 2005, and they are so good I just want to call the Dali Llama himself to let him in on it – I can just see His Holiness grinning from ear to ear on a powder day.My last skis were a circa 1981 pair of 210 cm Kastle RX giant slalom skis – heavy as lodge poles and a bit more rigid. But when I moved to Aspen this year I decided to join the parabolic revolution.My first day on the funny little 169 centimeter boards was enlightening. I thought I’d have to relearn how to ski, but it’s been more of subtle process. Just as meditation is about acceptance, steering my Karmas, I’m learning, is about laying these little skis on edge and letting them do the work. Trust, Grasshopper. Let go.

I know I don’t put these skis to the full test. Twin tip skis – where the upturned front is mirrored in the back like yin and yang – are ideal for all the little jibbers who like to bang around the terrain park, for example, and that’s not my thing. But these Karmas do everything I want.They’re great on cruisers, and rise above the crud as if guided by a higher force. And though I can only compare them to my old lodge poles, these Karmas rock.So what if they don’t fit in the ski holder on local buses? I put them in separate slots and ride to the hill every morning looking out the window of the bus and pondering my new mantra, splashed in an aggressive graphic across the ski bottoms: Karma.

I might have some payback coming for beating up Eric Walters on the playground in third grade or stealing candy from 7-Eleven, but the corporate ski manufacturing gods have been good to me. And for this I am very grateful.I leave you with a Zen Koan: “What is the sound of two skis turning properly on a parabolic edge in fresh snow?”The answer is your salvation, Grasshopper.

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