2020: Gear in Review (Ep.129)

On Blister's GEAR:30 Podcast, Luke Koppa and Jonathan Ellsworth discuss the ski gear that impressed them the most during 2020, the new 4FRNT Devastator, Sego Big Horn 106, Renoun Endurance 88, Elan Wingman 86 CTi, and more
Luke Koppa on the 4FRNT Devastator, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

Luke Koppa and I talk about some of the skis we’ve recently been testing; name some of the most surprising products of 2020, and some of the standout products of 2020; offer a few gear predictions for 2021; and end with what we’re celebrating this week.


  • The end of the Year of Ellsworth (1:15)
  • Luke’s new diet (2:26)
  • Renoun skis are still mind-blowing (4:36)
  • New 4FRNT Devastator & Sego Big Horn 106 (10:50)
  • New ski we can’t talk about yet (16:18)
  • Elan Wingman 86 CTi (16:47)
  • 102 Wars: Ranger 102 vs. Mantra 102 vs. Stance 102 (19:15)
  • Most Surprising Products of 2020 (28:05)
  • Standout Products of 2020 (35:12)
  • Gear Predictions for 2021 (39:18)
  • What We’re Celebrating (50:36)

7 comments on “2020: Gear in Review (Ep.129)”

  1. Luke,

    I want to recommend you get your Atomic XTD ‘s with the mimic liner done with the full memory fit process. I did that with my replacement mimic liners and was very impressed with the results. Best boot fit I have ever haf. Its only been one day of skiing them in the resort, but very impressive compared to the original orange uphill liner.

  2. I’d love to hear to see a full anorak group test. Houdini, Amundsen, Norrona – use cases for each? What else exists for those of us with full shoulder mobility and the desire to spend an extra 5 seconds getting ready for the payoff of looking badass?

    • My issue with anoraks is the existence of the zipper itself. A hoody has better breathability, looks even cooler, and is more comfortable.

  3. Just send Luke to ski 34 degree hot pow in the PNW for a week, and he might come around to how terrible it is to peel in and out of an anorak.

  4. I cheer Jonathan for hating on anoraks :-) Some good arguments here. (“It’s like they were designing a jacket and then stopped half way”). See episode 2 or 3 of the Norwegina Xmas Series on Netflix to see how difficult and frustraiting it can be to undress an anorak.

    But then I also thought bibs are stupid (why would I need to layers of Gore-Tex Pro over my belly). However, I love my Norrona Tamok bibs and I am not sweating in the front (yet), as I had feared.

  5. I agree there is room for innovation in boot fitting. I have sat there with my foot in a new boot that felt terrible, but was told it could work with some work to shell and liner. Well, I know lots of people who have spent the time and money in that process only to give up later. A boot needs to fit out of the box, and then can be tweaked for perfection. Most people are not willing to gamble hundreds of dollars and hours of time for a boot that will hopefully fit.
    Have you guys ever tested Dodge Custom boots? I see them around on the mountain and hear good things.
    As more sales go consumer direct, due in part to many crappy ski shops out there as discussed in your podcast with the Ski Monster guys, I would love to see a boot that comes with very good and specific instructions and tools to be able to customize and mold at home by the consumer. Yes, we will never replace a good bootfitter. But we can replace the bad or non-existent ones.
    Anoraks… so polarizing! Next year: one piece pant/jacket anoraks. For the cool kids. who wear diapers.

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