Scheels Expert Talks Ski, Slopes, and Sochi


Bruce Ruana is a ski and snowboard expert at Reno-Sparks Scheels. A life-long enthusiast, Ruana has been skiing for more than 50 years. He has a passion for helping skiers of all levels get geared up for skiing the world-class slopes of Tahoe.

Ruana recently spent a few minutes to discuss the recent Winter Games, the Tahoe experience, and the customers he assists on a daily basis.

Scheels: How has the skiing been in Tahoe this winter?

Bruce: It’s actually been poor. No snow. However we did, a couple weeks ago, have a storm that laid down 50″ of mash potatoes. It has been a very difficult year, literally the worst snow pack in over 100 years. It’s a little depressing. I haven’t stood on a pair of skis this winter.

Scheels: What’s the most common question you are getting in the store from customers this year?

Bruce: When will it snow?


Scheels: Are there any exciting technologies or advancements you’re seeing in skiing this season?

Bruce: The development of the Avi bag (an avalanche back pack), which has a flotation pillow. It can be manually deployed if caught in a slide and will keep you close to the surface. Other than that, not much new is out there that hasn’t been on the market for three years.

Scheels: Talk about the Winter Olympics and the importance it holds to you as someone who loves to ski.

Bruce: You always find out who the best is on the day of the competition. The courses that were set for Sochi were HUGE and the conditions as fast as I have ever seen. Essentially, Squaw Valley (Tahoe) is Sochi. The American skiers who practiced here were in a very similar environment and conditions that they experienced at the Olympics.

Scheels: Were there any specific moments from this year’s Winter Games that stood out to you?

Bruce: Ted Ligety. He’s done a lot of homework on technique. The FIS (International Ski Federation) changed the equipment parameters, so sheer length and mass of skis is coming back. He uses a technique called stivot and bringing back some things that were more common in the 80s.

Scheels: A lot of Olympians spend training time in Tahoe. Have you had a chance to personally watch or share slopes with any of the 2014 athletes?

Bruce: Julia Mancuso is a common site, along with Gagnon. Gold medalist David Wise (a Reno native) is a really good guy who has spent some time in our store. Everybody around here is pretty excited about the success of our local skiers.

Scheels: Talk about the experience of working in the ski shop at Scheels and helping customers get fitted for the slopes.

Bruce: We generally assist beginners and intermediate level skiers. This means we cover the basics, good boot fitting, proper ski type and lengths, the importance of a helmet and good goggles. Go back and watch the Olympics women’s slopestyle finale if you want to see how a helmet is used.


Behind The Counter: Skate Servicing

Scheels offers a series of different tune-ups in their service shops to keep up with your active lifestyle this winter. The cold weather shop services include: skate sharpening and repair, ski tuning and repair, and snowboard tuning and repair.

Join Scheels Service Shop Manager Curt Maki as he explains and demonstrates the different services available.

Rental and service shops availability vary by Scheels location. View winter rental information for Sandy Scheels online. For other store’s rental information, please contact your local Scheels.


Winter Rentals Available in Sandy Scheels

Winter rental information at Sandy Scheels.

Sandy Scheels offers winter rental equipment for ski, snowboard, snowshoe, and cross country activities. If you are planning a trip to the Utah area or simply want to take up a new winter hobby, check out Sandy Scheels to try out the latest and greatest gear to get the most out of your next winter adventure.

1 DAY  3 Day 7 Day
Performance Ski $20 $50 3-Day $90 7-Day
Premium Ski $30 $70 3-Day $110 7-Day
Demo Ski $40 $100 3-Day $180 7-Day
Performance Snowboard $20 $50 3-Day $90 7-Day
Premium Snowboard $30 $70 3-Day $110 7-Day
Demo Snowboard $40 $100 3-Day $180 7-Day
Youth Ski Package  $15  $40 3-Day  $80 7-Day
Jr. Twin Tip Package  $20  $50 3-Day  $90 7-Day
Cross Country Ski Package  $10  $25 3-Day  $60 7-Day
Snowshoe Package  $10  $25 3-Day  $60 7-Day
Helmet  $5  $10 3-Day  $15 7-Day


Winter rental information at Sandy Scheels.