Character Closeups: Jacob O’Connor on Gear Test Week 2019

A coating of fresh snow has graced the final days of Gear Test Week 2019 at Powder Mountain, so testers have been hitting the slopes hard to find their favorite gear for this coming winter. And part of what makes our test informative is the variety of ski and snowboard style our testers bring to the mountains. So to add some context to the reviews our team of 50 testers compile, we caught up with two-year veteran Jacob O’Connor to hear more about what gear he’s exited about for winter 2019. Here’s what he had to say.

Tester Jacob O’Connor | From Aspen, Colo. | Currently skis Smugglers’ Notch Resort. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch

Backcountry Magazine: What kind of backcountry skiing do you usually like to do?

Jacob O’Connor: I like to do a wide rang of things, from cruising mellow pow with shorter approaches to very long, all-day endeavors with overnights in the woods.

BCM: How many years have you been at Gear Test Week?

JO: Two years. And I have to say that my favorite part is the beermingo—the plastic flamingo beer bong that’s a staple of GTW.

BCM: What do you think about some of the skis you’ve tested so far this week?

JO: I’m continually impressed by the technologies that are coming out, especially from the bigger brands. I tend to like the more craft-beer-style ski, but seeing Solomon produce high-quality stuff is pretty cool.

BCM: Any particular shape you gravitate toward?

JO: I like five point shapes, kind of like what DPS is doing; anything that stands out—a little different from the norm. But I have to say that as a stand out so far, the Salomon QST 106 kind of blew me away.

BCM: Do you think you’ll be inspired to sign up for a Skimo race after testing some of the cool new skinny skis we’ve had at GTW this year?

JO: Nah, I did the Grand Traverse. I’m done with that shit.

BCM: Are you going to get out into the backcountry at Powder Mountain today?

JO: Yea, I might go hit up James Peak, especially with the new snow. The pow is now.

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