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HomeAuthor Jon “Fast Big Dog” Schafer

Fast Big Dog is a paradoxically gregarious yet reclusive, self-absorbed mystic and world traveler. In addition to his calling to right the wrongs in the ski fashion and gear world, he also brings his style, wit and devilish charm to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club as the Nordic High Performance Director and Worldwide Director of Morale and Awesomeness. Savor these articles while you can, as his Great Dane puppy may burn down his house at any moment, possibly making this his last transmission.
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With an incredibly elaborate hoax from the Chinese now in full swing, winter athletes from all over the world continue to struggle with our planet’s changing climate. Snow sports have been particularly hard hit, as rising temperatures and increasingly erratic weather patterns have resulted in less predictable snowfall, mid-winter rain storms, rapidly abating trail conditions, and thusly greatly shortened training and racing seasons. This fallout from these changing climactic conditions is far-reaching and appears to...

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DDay 2 | Day 4 | Day 6 | 7 | Day 9 | Day 11 *** Day 12: Masters World Cup Total World Domination Package Day Twelve. We made it. Wow. Sure, we lost a few along the way, good men (and women, though most women were likely smart enough to not set foot on this sinking ship in the first place) As a quick aside, I bartended at Smullin’s rehearsal dinner, so I naturally wore a name tag...

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DDay 2 | Day 4 | Day 6 | 7 | Day 9 | Neck Gaiter Since the alpine vs. nordic debate can be a bit of a contentious one, we’re going to easy into today’s offerings with a product that straddles the line nicely — a neck gaiter. These are awesome for both alpine and nordic — and this is not just any gaiter, this is the “$22 at BeccaRorabaugh.com ***   $30 – $99 L.L. Bean U.S. Ski...

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DDay 2 | Day 4 | Day 6 | 7 | Day 9 *** Day 10: Tech Tech — what exactly does that mean? Technology? Phones that cost >$1k but still die after being exposed to cold for less than an hour? Michigan Tech? The dudes who stay up late drinking and prepping skis? All of these? None of these? Inquiring minds want to know. In the vernacular that I am establishing here is it really more of the...

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DDay 2 | Day 4 | Day 6 | 7 | Ride your bike? I rode my bike across the country several years ago and while it was awesome, it’s probably not the most time-efficient manner of travel, in particular in the winter. And that was before cell phones, so nowadays, thanks to distracted drivers, you’d probably be dead within 50 miles of your house. Walk? We’re not far from this being your best option. Thankfully, all is not...

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DDay 2 | Day 4 | Day 6 | mom jeans with his squad, we’d skin up the ski mountain at “O-Dark Thirty” on Dong Patrol (how Steamboat bros refer to Dawn Patrol, because it’s usually nothing but about 10 smelly dudes doing this) with nothing but our headlamp and shining personalities to light the way. For anyone who has ever spent any time with either myself or J-Smu, this obviously meant that we were quite reliant on...

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DDay 2 | Day 4 | Day 6 *** Day 7: Nordic Tech Since no one has more style, steez and flow than the FBD, we’re going to mix it up a bit today and bring in, for lack of a better expression, an expert guest speaker to help walk us through today’s gift suggestions for Nordic Tech. I actually tapped into two experts for today’s gift ideas, Nathan Schultz from Boulder Nordic Sport and Zach Caldwell...

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Day 1 | Day 3 | Day 5 *** Day 6: Kick-Ass Gear  There is gear and then there is kick-ass gear. You know what I’m talking about — that backpack that you got in college, have taken all over the world, and is still going strong? Those skis that always seem to do well in testing despite getting “a little long in the tooth.” Your lucky “windies,” the wind briefs that have help guide you...

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Day 1 | Day 3 | Great Dane/neighbor pizza incident, thanks to the Tactipup collar “restraint handle,” I was able to apprehend my monster as he was making a run for the delicious smelling pizza before any real damage was done. Sure adequate training and even a slightly above average canine I.Q. would also be effective abatement, but sadly, those both seem to be in short supply with this particular beast. These collars are also incredibly...

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Day 1 | Day 3 *** Day 4: Casual Wear Even though I clearly established on Day 2 with training clothing, and on glove model, but did you know that this hunky Dartmouth graduate also has a vision to “Make Skiing Great Again?” It’s true. Now before everyone gets all worked up that we (really, he, in particular if you are mad – write Zach, NOT me) are normalizing the theme that this hat is...

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Day 1 | Day 1, since one loves you like I do, I am going to share my tried and true path to enlightenment, happiness and ski speed: Step 1: Embrace the grind. Step 2: Buy all of the gear listed below and use it exactly as prescribed. Step 3: Go ski. Step 4: Bask in the awesomeness that we have together created. Step 5: Lather, rinse, repeat. Step 6: (Optional) Buy a Great Dane....

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his SuperTour win last Sunday and I told him that it was nice to see a good guy win. His response was excellent too, as he asked me, “Thanks FBD, but honestly, are there any guys out here who aren’t good guys that you wouldn’t want to see win?” This is such a good point and it goes to show you that even at the highest level in the sport, those fighting tool and nail...

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  Right off the line with the hole shot, the first item is probably also one of the most effective. And certainly the most cost-effective: the trusty foam roller. Available for less than $20, my entire test team (along with countless other athletes) all agreed that some form of this item is basically indispensable. In fact, physical therapist to the stars (and U.S. Ski Team), Dave Cieslowski, once told me, “FBD, probably about 80 percent...

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This is another installment of the “where you should be right now and hopefully you were able to heed this very sage advice and have since logged copious k’s. Since unlike the rest of you losers, I work for a living, so I couldn’t just sit around Bend skiing, excruciating detail, but if you somehow manage to goof this up, have no fear, as the “snow window” is still open. If you really want to go...

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You should be in Bend. Bend, Oregon. Right now. For all of my “shallow readers” in the audience, those unable to focus on any piece of written work longer than 140 characters (you know who you are), you can stop here. You’ve both learned everything you need to know and also everything your SnapChat-addled brain can handle, so you’re done. For those of you with attention spans longer than those of fruit flies, dig in,...

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Patagonia.com. Baxter State Parka, $249 Speaking of classic styles, this FBD BP is a good one. Last year during one of our L.L. Bean. *** Over $250: Oakley Turbine ($160) We’ve had a few “twofers” along the way in our magically little journey here together and get ready for another: I suppose I’m a teeny, tiny bit conflicted over this concept, as technically any one of these suggestions could be purchased individually, therein violating the carefully...