Forerunner: The Most Righteous Shop on the Planet

CS2-6

>50% Chicken Fried Steak w/w
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This kinda post probably doesn't usually deserve it's own thread, but whatever. I bought a pair of skis from the Forerunner Shop in Killington, VT. Now, I have bought a number of things in my time, but this was easily, without a doubt, bar none, the best experience exchanging currency for material goods I've ever had. I know that sounds like hyperbole; it isn't.

What follows is the unedited, rambling, and epic recounting of my mogul ski procurement, replete with all the gory details. For the radio-edit:

Go to Forerunner. They are absolutely great. Five-Star, Grade-A operation in every single way.

Particularly perceptive denizens of these forums will remember that I spent a lot of time and effort researching and (over)thinking the decision of what planks to buy as my first pair of skis. On a wild hair last October, I took the advice of @jack97 and sent an e-mail to Forerunner just to see if they had any Dynastar Twisters for sale (preferably at a discount). The owner (Brian) personally got back to me and said that he did have one pair, a set of lightly used demos (3-5 days at most) that he'd be willing to let go of for more than 50% off (mogul disciples know that the beloved Twister was discontinued in the 2017/2018 season under the order of parent-company Rossignol). Unfortunately, he told me they were a little shorter than ideal for someone of my height and weight. Instead of trying to up-sell me onto a set of brand new Shamans or Fischers, he actually recommended that I get in touch with one of his competitors (Northern Ski Works, also in Killington) since he knew they carried the K2 244 (another mogul ski that's in the same class as the Twisters). I did; they had a new pair of last years 244s (new in the plastic) in my length that they'd sell me at a discount. Brian told me to think it over; the Twisters were mine if I wanted them, but not to feel obligated because he had three buyers in line behind me if I decided to go with the 244s. So, I spent some time hemming and hawing about which ski to get on. During that time, Brian asked if I could send him some pictures of my boots so he could see what I was working with in that department. He knew full well that I wouldn't be buying a pair of boots over the phone, so he had no financial interest in the consultation, but gave me a lot of great bootfitting and tweaking advice anyway. On top of all that, we ended up spending, all tolled, about two hours on the phone and countless e-mails just talkin' moguls (technique, gear, form, tips, etc.).

When I'd finally decided to pull the trigger on the Twisters, he asked me what I had in the way of bindings. I had none. He said I'd want some Pivots and offered to sell me a set of perfectly good used chrome 12s for $75. I said hell yes, and he included a binding mount, mogul tune, and shipping for free.

I thought it was a done deal, but then right before Christmas I got a phone call from Brian while the skis were in transit saying to check my package carefully when it arrived because he threw a little gift in. On that glorious day when my first set of my very own skis arrived at the house, I opened the box and was a little puzzled when a t-shirt or some stickers didn't fall out. I took out the skis and looked them over; perfect bases, clean edges, minimal topsheet scratches. Then I saw the bindings, they were Look Pivot 12s, but they weren't chrome, they were black. And they weren't used, they looked brand new. Turns out, he couldn't get his hands on the used Pivots he intended to sell me in time for my ski trip in early January. So, he gave me a set of brand new Pivot 12s at no additional charge.

All this was done remotely. I never even set foot in his store, so there was no chance that he could benefit from any impulse buys while I was shopping, like a ski bag, or set of poles, or a pair of goggles. Just an essentially new set of skis sold at a used demo price, and a pair of brand new bindings for what the average person would ask for binders that are a decade old. All because I'm a Texas-based moguls enthusiast (what the hell is wrong with me?!) who can't justify dropping $1,000+ on a bump-specific set up. Just incredible. Hell of a guy. Truly, in the game purely for love of the sport. Thanks again to all yall (especially @jack97) for recommending this shop.

I might be a cheapskate, or maybe just have unrealistic expectations of stuff I buy, but rarely do I spend over $100 and not have some degree of buyer's remorse. That wasn't the case this time. I'm utterly as pleased as spiked punch.
 

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Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
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Yes, Forerunner is indeed top notch shop. I first met Brian and his father about a decade ago when I was working with hart and they were one of the first shops I opened up as a hart dealer for the obvious reasons, the F17. On my tour through Vermont last spring I stuck my head in the shop and Brian immediately recognized me (probably because I was wearing a Pugski hat & vest) and we started chatting. I don't think he is on the site but he is a reader and does check in from time to time. I was there for over an hour and we talked mogul skis and skiing in general. I do know @James stops in there from time to time too.
 

PinnacleJim

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Killington/Pico, VT
The Forerunner is a great small shop and Brian knows his stuff and is great to deal with. I've bought a couple of pairs of skis there, most recently a pair of new leftover Motive 95s. Highly recommended if you are in the Killington area. Just note their website is not kept up to date. Call them and ask for Brian if you want info.
 

James

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Well the Ludlow/Killington area has really an incredible selection of ski shops. Probably one of the best in the country if very high end stuff is left out. Then you've got the Stratton area an hour south, and the Stowe area 2hrs north. Really a huge choice.

Forerunner stands out as a small old school shop where you can just go in and hang out. If it's mogul skis, that's about the only place. Certainly the main one. Zip line carbon poles for bumpers or non. But he's got many skis. Head, Fischer (at least, can't remember) and a huge selection of Black Crows. The clothing selection is small but quality and well thought out. The glove/mitten selection is quite large with mainly Hestra. But they've got inexpensive gloves too for people who just want basic or have a family to shod. I think that's the first place I saw the Hestra winter work gloves. Like $20. Kids under a certain age can get free ski rentals I think, you'd have to call for the particulars.

If you need something weird done to your equipment that most shops won't touch, that's the place. Even basic like mismatched toe pieces to heels, because the customer wants a multi color, and hey I've got this lying around. That type of stuff is pretty standard, most shops you've really got to know them awhile before they go outside the box. Forerunner pretty much lives outside the box.
 
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mister moose

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I bought a pair of skis.
Excellent. A long way from your original list of "all mountain mogul oriented skis", but it sounds like you've found a ski to grow on. You have to be one of the very few people in the world whose first ski they own is a dedicated bump ski.

Yes, Brian and his dad are one of several great shops at Killington. Mid season the collective group has outstanding selection, and late spring the sale opportunities are also very good.

"Brian's attic" is another great resource, all kinds of parts and leftovers up there.
 
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CS2-6

CS2-6

>50% Chicken Fried Steak w/w
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Fischer (at least)
I know he carries the Fischer mogul skis, I think others too.
found a ski to grow on
This is certainly true. Even though the Twister is basically a "beginners" mogul ski, after about 5 turns on the groomers, I saw so many flaws in my technique. All-mountain skis, and soft, playful park skis specifically, let me be lazy about fore-aft positioning and turn initiation. I learned that doesn't cut it with cambered, skinny, traditionally shaped skis. But it's exhilarating learning how to pressure the tips of the skis, release the edges, and pivot turns.
"Brian's attic" is another great resource, all kinds of parts and leftovers up there.
That, in addition to the spring bumps, sounds like a hell of a brochure for a trip to Killington. Maybe I should call my travel agent...
You have to be one of the very few people in the world whose first ski they own is a dedicated bump ski.
HA! I hadn't even realized that. I gotta think that when you consider age that club gets to be even smaller, "people who's first ski they own is a dedicated bump at over 30 years old". And I wonder if that means I'm a committed bump skier, incorrigibly stubborn, remarkably brave, or just plain stupid.
 

Stephen Witkop

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Jan 17, 2016
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New England
SuperstarMarch2019.jpg
This is Superstar at Killington last week, ready for spring!

For those not familiar with it the lift is not that close to the ground and the slope is essentially flat or drops away to the left of the lift, not up. That is all man made snow just waiting for warm sunny days to be bumped up and lapped into June hopefully!

And of course the Bands, Barbecue and Beer at the bottom :beercheer:
 
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