(Editor’s note: Our in-depth reviews don’t come fast, because they actually are in-depth. So we do tend to publish quick takes. We thought we’d formalize this type of “review” and call it a “Gear Tidbit.” Here is one, more to come.)
My alpine boots have been worn out for a few years now. But it’s hard to get motivated to replace them when I don’t ski on the ski area much. Even when I do the resort it usually involves at least a little sidecountry, so I’ve been using my alpine gear less and less. Luckily, I don’t have to go all out with an alpine boot, I can use the Scarpa Hurricane. Scarpa boots have always fit me well and the Hurricane is the stiffest boot they make.
Beyond resort use, for my backcountry boot this year I’m excited about trying out the new super light 4 buckle Scarpa Maestrale. In depth reviews forthcoming when I get out and do some skiing on them.
A note about sizing
One method Scarpa uses to lighten up the Maestrale is to reduce the volume. Because of this, the Maestrale uses a different last than other Scarpas. This makes the sizing different. In the Hurricane, a size 28 shell fits me, with a little more than two fingers behind my heel. However, the size 27 Maestrale shell fits with a tight two fingers.
The Maestrales feel a bit stiffer than my Spirit 3’s, and slightly less stiff than my Garmont Radiums. The walk mode feels better than both, and they are significantly lighter than both as well. The “gull wing” tongue is a little strange, and doesn’t seem to make it any easier to get into the boot, but supposedly helps to make it stiffer, we’ll see.
I’ve bought a Whistler season pass this year, and I’ll be using the Hurricane, mated to some Marker Tours for inbounds riding and sidecountry. The Hurricanes are the stiffest boot Scarpa makes, and my pair don’t have a walk mode (thought the latest model does, and I’ll be retrofitting mine with Scarpa’s kit). Nonetheless, Hurricane is still fairly light and has swappable alpine and vibram soles.
Just thought I’d drop in here with a “Gear Tidbit!”
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.