Tim catches some air around Jackson Hole last season. Nic Alegre photo.
Tim Durtschi is a big, hard-charging dude, which makes for great video parts, but means that he's harder on his gear than just about anybody. We sat down with him to hear his thoughts on his Atomic skis, bindings, boots, poles, helmet, and goggles:
TGR: So you ride the Atomic Bent Chetler 100 and 120, right?
Tim: It’s a simple quiver. The Bent Chetler 120 is a generational pro-model that has been around for 10 years now, and every year they take feedback from the athletes and work on it to make it better. I’d say that it’s one of the longest running pro models around, and just one of the longest running skis that I can think of off the top of my head. They put a lot of effort into keeping that ski progressing and moving along with the technological changes that happen in the ski industry. The biggest focus lately has been on weight— using lighter weight materials in the ski, and that’s definitely kept it on my feet.
TGR: So you use the 120 mostly?
Tim: Yeah, it’s a wider pow ski, it’s playful in all conditions, and it’s just built for the type of skiing that I do.
TGR: But you bust out the 100 late-season?
Tim: Yeah, it’s narrower but it’s also got more of a twin-tip feel than a directional feel. For a narrower all-mountain ski, it’s definitely a trickable ski, and definitely the ski to have when you’re just crushing all-mountain terrain.
Tim gets sendy on the Shift binding. Nic Alegre photo.
TGR: How do you like the Atomic Shift bindings?
Tim: The Shift has changed the way that I ski. My take on the Shift is that it makes the decision to tour something a hundred times easier. Instead of saying “Oh I have to have this, that, and the other thing to go touring, it’s like “Whoa, I have it all right here, and it’s so simple. I just have my skins in my backpack and the bindings in my feet, and I trust the binding on the terrain that I’m skiing.” I never have to sacrifice the level of terrain like I would when I was on a touring binding. I would be like “Oh I can’t hit that cliff because I have a touring binding,” and now it’s like “Oh, I can hit that cliff because I have the Shift binding.” It just helps me feel more comfortable in the backcountry and access it more easily.
TGR: What boots are you running these days?
Tim: I run the Hawx Ultra XTD 130, which are awesome. I actually use the walk mode a lot, because it’s super simple and ergonomic. They’ve focused a lot on ease-of-use for the walk mode. Big fan of that, and it doesn’t sacrifice any of the flex. I feel just as comfortable in that touring boot as I would in a race boot— there’s no sacrifice in terms of performance. I’m super impressed with the technology and thought that they put into it.
Tim: I use the Chris Benchetler pro model pole. I’d say that almost every other day I end up using the screwdriver that is attached to the pole. It’s amazing for binding adjustments. And the poles are adjustable, so that’s really good, and the pole basket is worth mentioning too, because it’s super thick plastic. They put a lot of thought into it, because everyone knows that breaking off your pole basket is the most annoying thing ever. I used to lose a basket every month, but now I make it through a whole season with no replacements.
That's a good-looking helmet and goggle combo, Tim. Nic Alegre photo.
Tim: Yeah, I use the Chris Benchetler helmet. He put some art on the back which is pretty sick. It also has a merino wool liner and AMID, which is Atomic’s version of MIPS. It makes me feel confident knowing that it has multi-directional protection. But the merino liner is my favorite bit. I’ll do bootpacks and not take my helmet off, which is wild because I’m a sweaty dude. It’s just comfortable and breathes super well, and the liner ensures that I never get cold even after getting it all sweaty. It also integrates super well with the goggles, so there’s no gap or anything.
I didn’t always wear a helmet, but Kai has actually been a big influence in that regard. He gets upset when I don’t wear a helmet so I’ve started wearing one every day to be a good role model.
So, at this point, you’ve probably heard that Kai Jones is a pretty rippin’ skier. I mean, when was the last time you hit all those classic Jackson Hole airs? We know you’re curious about the skis, bindings, and boots that make the magic happen. Kai might still be just a 13-year-old grom, but his gear needs to hold up to a whole lot of abuse for a whole season’s worth of skiing. Check out what he brings into the mountains every single day. RELATED: Check Out The Best Men's and Women's Skis