Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Brady Fox holds a new advanced snowboard design.

The evolution of ski equipment has, without question, been the biggest change in skiing since the first ski school class back in 1948. So much so, it's sometimes difficult for skiers to keep abreast of the new technology.

Skis have gone from wood to metal to fiberglass to cap construction, and from having straight-cut sides to shaped skis with broad tips and tails. Bindings have gone from never releasing, even with the most twisting falls, to being engineered to release based on a skier's age, weight, ability and pressure on heel or toe. Boots have gone from being a soft leather to a composite shell and insert offering sturdy support, comfort and warmth. Even ski poles are different. Bamboo gave way to aluminum, and now, lightweight fiberglass is being used.

The introduction of the shaped ski more than a decade ago brought about one of the biggest changes in modern skiing. The narrower sidecut, combined with the wider tip and tail, resulted in a ski that is more stable, shorter and much easier to turn. Even Olympic racers are on the much shorter-shaped skis. There have even been some new advancements in snowboards.

Even though snowboards are a more recent introduction, they, too, have been improved. Today's boards are more responsive, the bindings more efficient and easier to use, and boots designed to offer more support and warmth.

Which is why the Deseret Morning News Ski School began working with Canyon Sports to make available the latest, safest, most user-friendly ski and snowboard equipment available.

For one rate — $31 for skis and $35 for snowboards — skiers can rent up-to-date equipment for four weeks. They can pick it up before the first class on Nov. 18 and return it after the final class on Dec. 14. And, if they choose, they can apply the fee to season rentals — $94.99 for adults for skis or snowboards and $89.99 for junior ski or snowboard.

The idea is to make it convenient. Instead of having to pick up equipment for each class, the feeling was it was important that students pick up and use the same equipment from start to finish.

There was also a concern that people might try using old, unsafe equipment. With the new technology, ski equipment is not only safer but easier to learn on.

Another advantage to renting is that ski and snowboard equipment is routinely tested at the shop to meet manufacturers requirements and is regularly tuned.

Canyon Sports, with four locations in Utah, has focused on the ski-rental business since 1987. Its four locations are 1844 E. Fort Union Blvd. (7000 South), 517 S. 200 West, 45 W. 10600 South and on Riverdale Road in Ogden.

For information call 942-3100