Gear Myths & More w/ Cody Townsend (Ep.187)

On our GEAR:30 podcast, Cody Townsend and Jonathan Ellsworth review some news, then talk about 5 gear myths; cookware; coffeemakers; & more.
Cody Townsend

Cody and I review some news, then talk about 5 gear myths; cookware; coffeemakers; & more.


  • Diversity, Fairness, & the Olympics (10:10)
  • Equal Pay: USA Soccer (17:36)
  • Gear Myths
  • Myth 1: Stiff boots (20:36)
  • Myth 2: Light gear (or heavy gear) is always better (30:51)
  • Myth 3: You need 100% waterproof apparel (41:41)
  • Interlude: Cookware (49:50)
  • Myth 4: High DIN settings (57:13)
  • Myth 5: Less-advanced skiers are fine skiing anything (1:04:53)
  • What We’re Celebrating (1:11:51)
  • What We’re Reading & Watching (1:13:52)
  • Moccamaster vs. Jura (1:23:45)



11 comments on “Gear Myths & More w/ Cody Townsend (Ep.187)”

  1. Different pans for different uses.

    Keep a good nonstick for things that really need it (like an omelet, a delicate fish, things that really stick). For everything else, use a good stainless pan–something like an all-clad skillet. Especially for high heat applications like searing a steak (where a little bit of sticking actually helps develop browning and flavor).

    The nice thing about stainless is that you can clean it AGRESSIVLEY. Hit it with the green scotchbrite pad. Use Barkeeper’s friend to clean anything stubborn. It will just come out looking like brushed stainless. You don’t have to baby it at all and it will still last you for a lifetime. You can also avoid 95% of food sticking by learning good temperature control and oil-use. A fully clad pan with aluminum or copper layers in the middle (doesn’t have to be made by All-Clad) has better temperature control and more even heating than a plain steel pan.

    Nonstick pans (no matter the technology they employ) need to be babied and are ultimately disposable goods. That said, if you are careful to only use plastic/wood utensils, never overheat them, and only use them for dishes that need a nonstick surface, you should be able to get them to last many years.

    Carbon steel and cast iron fall somewhere in the middle. The seasoning gives you some nonstick properties, but it also adds care considerations to the mix. Its a myth that you can’t use dish soap on your cast iron (go ahead, its fine), but you still need to be careful. Hit one with a green pad and you’re going to start to take the seasoning off. It *is* also possible to overheat one and burn off the seasoning, although that’s mostly not a practical concern (and you can reseason it rather than throw it away). Cast iron holds a season better (especially as it gets older and well worn), but is heavy and has very poor heating dynamics (uneven, slow to react). Carbon steel doesn’t season as well, but provides a better cooking experience.

  2. Made-in cookware is one of the best price point high quality cookware. Carbon steel & Cast Iron is as close as you’ll get to non-stick. Clean it by boiling water in it after cooking, using a stainless chain link cloth, wipe with a cloth or paper towel. Don’t use soap unless you want to re-season the pan. If you cook acidic foods like tomato sauces you’ll cook off the seasoning. Stainless is better when cooking those type of foods.
    Non stick is probably toxic to some degree and they’re throw away products but they’re way easier to clean then any of the above.

  3. So how does the boot flexxing let you transfer pressure to the front of the ski? if the boot was theoretically unflexiable wouldnt moving your shin forward then transfer pressure to the front? If the boots flexes is that not just delaying transfer?

    This assuming the skiers is using proper ramp/forward lean for their tib/fib length.

    I basically want you to explain how a softer boot let you transfer more power to the ski?

    • Cody said this better than I can, but it isn’t just a matter of force transfer as you describe. You need to be able to flex your ankles to stay in good balance throughout the turn, especially in “low transitions” where you cross the skis under your core while keeping your hips low to the snow. If you can only flex from your knees and hips then you’ll inevitably fall back (and/or fold excessively at the waist) when you do that. The same goes for landing on hard[er] snow and absorbing terrain like moguls.

      One way I can tell if somebody is in an excessively stiff boot is if they have to pop up in the transition to stay forward to initiate the next turn.

      Forward lean, direction vs progressive ski design and skiing style, and a host of other variables are also relevant here. Higher forward lean gives your body mass more “leverage” over the boot cuff and makes it possible to use a stiffer shell.

      I’m speaking as somebody whose boots are Head Raptor 140 RS with all 3 cuff rivets (150), Lange XT3 Free 140, and Tecnica Zero G Tour Pros (a “soft 130”). I definitely don’t have anything against stiff boots, but I also am very aware of what I’m trading off by choosing them. If I lost, say, 40 lbs the first thing I’d do is pull those rivets out of the Heads and downgrade to the 130 version of the Lange.

  4. It’s not just a “sustained downpour,” Jonathan; it’s primarily heavy, very wet snowfall in temperatures significantly above freezing. I ski in N. Idaho and we get a fair number of those days. You’ll be wanting waterproof outerwear after 15 minutes on a slow, fixed-grip chair ride…or several of them. That’s especially true of pants, as you suggested.

    That said, I have several jackets and pants, so I save the Gore-Tex for those days I described above.

  5. Never realized it was a crime to wear clothing with water proofing , try to find high quality without , I remember pre water proof ski clothing and white turtle necks no thanks been there today’s clothing is amazing .

    I too have fell in love with lighter skis , elan and I am sure others too are making great lighter skis ,elan new black edition rip stick seems to do everything right in a lighter package ! What works for me may not work for others .

    Some times I think blister is more weight watchers than needed but it’s kind a funny to me too when we start comparing boot boards weight .

    When are we going to do a light beer heavy beer review !


  6. I’m here to say carbon steel and cast iron is where its it. They are affordable, and durable as long as you season them properly they are pretty much nonstick

  7. Manipulating the system to qualify for Olympics is one thing. Professional racers deliberately underperforming to allow under-skilled skiiers to qualify is another.

    Federiga Bindi wrote an analysis that you might find interesting. As you are having Alexander on the podcast again to present his perspective, perhaps you could invite her on to explain the other side of the argument?:

  8. I’m on the East Coast doing just resort skiing – and on waterproofing, pants on the butt is essential – we’re sitting on snow/ice/water on the lifts so much. Maybe a third of the days we ski it’s important at the resort. Maybe more.

  9. I know this is a very old podcast, but I finally listened to the second half, and I would remark that while it may not be worth it to “cancel” everything old, I would personally make an exception for Neal Stephenson. It sounds like Cody just didn’t know what (or more specifically who) he was getting into when he picked up ‘Snow Crash’.

    • In case my wording isn’t clear there, I think that Stephenson has always been a pointlessly tendentious twit. My $0.02.

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