Reviewing the Reviewer: Eric Freson (Ep.98)


  • Eric’s background (3:26)
  • What sports did you play growing up? (7:50)
  • Broken Neck? (16:30)
  • How did you first get connected with Blister? (25:35)
  • Eric’s bike & ski preferences (33:15)
  • Who is your favorite reviewer at Blister? (42:50)
  • Who is your favorite pro biker & skier? (45:00)
  • What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done? (49:22)
  • What are you better at than Sam Shaheen? (53:55)
  • What gear are you most & least picky about? (54:40)
  • Top 3 favorite books, movies, and musicians (1:00:09)
  • Give us a random review (1:05:03)
  • What’s the best question I haven’t asked you? (1:10:22)

In our “Reviewing the Reviewer” series, we ask various BLISTER reviewers questions about their backgrounds and gear preferences to give you a more complete picture of the people behind our reviews. And since we like to rank & review things around here, we also give a score to each of our reviewers’ answers, then come up with a cumulative review grade for each of them.

In the hot seat today is mountain bike and ski reviewer, Eric Freson, and Luke Koppa and I recently subjected Eric to our regular gauntlet of reviewing the reviewer questions, but we also threw in a few questions specifically for Eric, including, How many times have you broken your neck? The story behind his co-founding the freeride team at Western Colorado University? And, of course, we ask him about a couple of Freson-isms, like “torksmash” and “smoking rocks.”

Check out Eric’s reviews

And if you prefer watching to listening, check out the video of the whole conversation below. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to check out all of our other videos, and get notified about our upcoming video reviews.

Eric Freson participates in "Reviewing the Reviewer" on Blister's GEAR:30 podcast
Reviewer Eric Freson riding in Crested Butte, Colorado.

15 comments on “Reviewing the Reviewer: Eric Freson (Ep.98)”

  1. I’m obviously furious that I’ve been dethroned as the best Blister reviewer, but I have to give credit where it’s due: Eric’s objectively correct take on the best mountain biking gloves. I have like 8 pairs in my truck at all times, for absolutely no reason, because I only ever wear my Ace’s unless it’s really cold and wet out and I need something warmer.

    • To be clear, our Reviewing the Reviewer grading system doesn’t establish that Eric is necessarily a better reviewer than you, just a better human being.

      So you can take comfort in that.

      • Right, I didn’t phrase that super clearly through the fog of rage I was feeling at the time. Thanks for the clarification.

        On another note, I feel like I should point out that the last test bike I got from Noah arrived with a completely destroyed rear tire and basically no brake pads. He can get off his high horse about whatever you did to those skis.

      • I think you also established that he’s kind of a badass.

        Seriously, Eric’s ski preferences and his experiences with them jibe with mine. So far I’m 3 out of 3 with his quiver picks (Fischer 107Ti, Raven, Renegade, though everybody at Blister seems to like those two 4FRNTs so maybe those don’t differentiate as much).

  2. At the risk of reopening everybody’s favorite hot topic… Doesn’t Hoji use Radical/Rotation bindings on the Raven and Renegade? You can’t really argue that those skis weren’t meant to be used with that sort of binding.

    FWIW I have Ravens with ATK Raider 12s (with stomp plate) as a pure backcountry rig, and Renegades with Shifts for softer snow both inbounds and BC. I think that both pairings work really well. As you keep saying, they’re different tools for different uses.

    • Might be good to go back and listen to what I actually said, because I never said anything about “that sort of binding” / tech bindings in general. I said that *I* wouldn’t put this particular binding on a Raven. It’s an incredibly good binding for going uphill, but having just skied it again two days ago, there are still other options in its class that I personally would opt for given their downhill performance and feel.

  3. I’m thinking that an irregular series of Blister member ski quiver interviews would be good, what they have, how they chose it, which ones they use when etc. Patrick Chase to lead off please!

    • Nope, I don’t have a thousandth the skill/cred/etc that Jonathan, Eric, Luke, Sam and the others have. You don’t want to hear my ramblings beyond what I’m already subjecting you to. Really.

  4. OK, so this thread is like catnip for me, apparently.

    In 45 years of skiing I have never heard the term “Austrian flex” used to refer to a ski with a soft tail and a stiffer tip. Furthermore a Google search [*] for the phrases “austrian flex” and “ski” returns returns Jonathan’s announcement of the term in the Folsom Blister 104 review as the first result and the only applicable one within the first page. I’m going to go right ahead and call shenanigans on this one. It’s as real as a trailside banos.

    Back when all skis had 40+ meter sidecuts we referred to flex pattern with a softer tip than tail as a “slalom” or “uneven” flex, the former because slalom skis used variations on that pattern to achieve quick initiation and release. Skis with similar-flex tips and tails were described as having “round”, “even” or “GS” flex patterns.

    [*] Full disclosure: I finance my “quiver habit” by working at Google. But I checked Bing, too, and the only difference is that the Blister Pro review is 5th instead of on top. I did both from anonymized browsers fwiw.

    • Whoops, apparently I can’t type. Should have been “soft tip and stiffer tail”. In the second sentence.

    • Adaptable! Just as happy skiing in a Full Tilt First Chair vs a Nordica Doberman 130. Kinda weird, in that way.

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