It’s that time of year when skiers and boarders start to research ski resorts, are buying their flights to the slopes and dragging their winter ski pants out of storage to see whether they’ll do another season.
If you’ve just gone through this process and found your ski pants are not going to last another week on the slopes, or you are a beginner skier and need to buy for the first time, read on for advice on the ins and outs of buying your winter ski pants.
Before you ask, yes you do need dedicated pants – don’t dare try skiing in jeans!
The 2012/13 season sees big changes in binding technology – most notably for ski touring – so let’s get to grips with this with a ski binding guide that sees what the latest brands are bringing to the new season.
Touring bindings have often compromised on downhill riding, battling with the challenge of being light and nimble enough for hiking up hill, as well as being robust and adaptable enough for tackling crud, powder and piste conditions.
Ski-tourers also typically have to remove their skis when they want to switch between hiking and riding – a real pain on tricky terrain.
But a new generation of touring bindings could add a new dimension to your annual skiing holidays this year, bringing improved downhill performance and fuss-free change-overs between skiing and touring modes.
If you’ve already got a couple of ski vacations under your belt it might be time to start thinking about buying ski poles and kitting yourself out with some better hard-wear.
The great thing about skiing is that you can rent skis, poles and boots separately, allowing you to build up your personal gear in stages.
Cheaper and easier to transport than ski or boots, poles make a good purchase, and having the perfect pair can even improve your skiing stance.
Here’s how to make sure you’re investing in a good pair of ski sticks:
There are thousands of different styles and shapes of downhill skis to choose from, so where on earth do you start? Sadly, the graphics aren’t always the best starting point; instead, buy downhill skis by thinking more about what you need than what looks good.
Downhill skis are about moving safely at speed. So there’s no point in choosing the wrong pair if you can’t use them safely.
First, decide your ability level, then move on to the particulars – this way you’ll always get the best pair of downhill skis for you.
There are at least 5 things to consider before you pick a pair with cool graphics…
Some sports struggle to encourage their enthusiasts to protect their noggins, not skiing. Still, it’s important to know how to buy a ski helmet – even if wearing one is a no-brainer for many skiers.
With the gnarliest free-riders and most dedicated park-jibbers leading the way, skiers tend to appreciate, more than most, that if your head comes into contact with ice, rock or another person, it hurts!
From simple and functional designs, to stylish patterns, faux-fur linings and in-built sound systems, the choice and range of helmets on the market is ever evolving. But whether it’s purely practical, or to fulfil a fashion statement, when buying a new helmet, it’s important to make sure it’s up to the job. Here’s how!
Freezing fingers or soggy mittens can really ruin a ski holiday and even shorten your time on the piste, so it’s vital you buy quality ski gloves, not cheap imitations.
Looking through most ski shops, you’ll spot so many pairs it’s hard to know what’s hot and what’s not – so to speak. And considering your fingers are often the first to feel the cold, there’s every reason to pick a good pair.
The trick is to make sure you’re paying for high-quality, durable kit that will see you through a few seasons. Here’s what to look for:
It’s 8pm, you’re buying drinks and should by now be in après footwear, but instead you’re still clumping around in your ski boots, skidding on spilt beer and risking life and limb as you pick your way across the fresh ice that’s forming outside.
Shuushing off the slopes and straight into a bar is all well and good, but if you take five minutes to nip back to the chalet first to change your footwear, you can enjoy a whole new world of comfort, not to mention style.
Whilst trainers are just fine, après-boots are far better: for the fashion conscious, they can add serious points to your ski-cred but, whilst style can certainly has a role to play, with their rubber soles and thermal linings, après boots are primarily designed to improve your grip on the white stuff and keep your feet warm and dry.
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