Being a skier is as good an excuse as any to buy all the ski equipment you can lay your hands on. The fun, after all, is in the riding. Unfortunately, not all of the gear you will need is cheap and cheerful. Depending on the kind of ski you are going to be doing, the equipment you will need will evolve from fairly basic to rather sophisticated.
Here, we’ll discuss the basic stuff you’ll need to get started – what ski equipment you need and how much you should spend. We’ll also tell you which items are essentials and which ones are luxuries.
If you are just getting into skiing, these are the basics you’ll need to begin with (at least until you can afford better items).
A helmet. We all know the story of the Dutch boy and his fable. The moral of the tale is, “Always wear a helmet.” The point is simply that if you do not wear a helmet while skiing, you are putting your life in danger. Wearing a helmet is not just about safety – it makes a satisfying sound when you slam it against the ski lift roof on a snowy day. It is, therefore, essential to wear a helmet while skiing.
Goggles. These are your standard ski goggles, designed to keep the snow out and the sun (and puffs of breath) in. There are a variety of goggles to choose from, so you are sure to find something that will keep your eyes protected from the whipping wind and the impact of falling snow.
Ski boots. When it comes to choosing a ski boot, there is no single answer. It depends on you. If you are a touring skier, you will want a comfortable shoe that is lightweight and easy to walk in. If you are a snowboarder, your preference will tip more to the bindings – have a look at the various systems available and choose one that feels the best to you. The shape of your foot can also influence the choice. If you have a wide foot, you will want to get a wider ski boot. If you have a narrow foot, you will want to get a narrower ski boot. Knowing the width of your foot, you can choose the correct size of ski boot. It is important to find a pair of ski boots that fits you perfectly and does not cause you any pain while skiing. If you play sports or work out regularly, you can also choose a pair of running shoes that are better than your everyday shoes. All these items, including your helmet, will make up your ski equipment set.
The next step up from the basics is sporting equipment, which, broadly speaking, covers the items used by a sportsperson during their sporting activity. When you are skiing, you are not just competing against the clock and the weather, you are also competing against other skiers. Some of them may be better than you, some worse. You will need the right equipment to give you the best chance of winning (or avoiding a loss).
Warm clothing. This is essential for everyone, whether you are skiing in cold or warm conditions. When the temperature is below zero, you may want to add some layers. In very cold conditions, you may want to invest in some cold-weather gear (known as “Polar fleece” in Australia), which is thick and warm. On a balmy day, when the temperature reaches 25 degrees or more, you may peel off some of your layers. The important thing is to be comfortable, whatever the weather. Your clothing should be versatile and easy to travel in. When selecting your gear, remember that your ski mask, your gloves and your hat can also make up your cold-weather gear set. You will also need ski or snowboard socks to keep your feet warm. Depending on the kind of activity you are doing, you can choose running shoes, hiking boots or snowboard boots. When it comes to selecting your footwear, you need to consider the surface you are skiing on. If you are skiing on hard snow, you may want to get a pair of ski boots. On fresh snow, a hiking boot with a waterproof membrane will keep your feet dry. If you are on a really icy surface, you can choose a pair of snowboard boots. If you are going for a cruise, you can get a pair of skis with built-in boots that lock in the snow for added stability. Last but not least, a sun hat and a snowflake scarf will keep you stylish and warm during your skiing experience.
When you are out on your sledges, you are not just transporting yourself and your ski gear to the top of the mountain. You are also carrying everything you need for the ride. As a beginner, you will not need a lot of equipment in the pack, but as you progress, you will need more. The following are some of the items you will need in your riding pack:
A camera. The world of photography was transformed when film replaced glass plates. Since then, every man and his dog have been trying to catch the perfect snowflake or the epic skiing journey. The best cameras for skiing will have a large sensor, an APS-C or full frame sensor, so that you can get all the shots you need without having to keep reloading. It is also worth considering what sort of shots you will want to take – landscapes, powder, black slopes, white slopes, etc.
Familiarity with the concepts of angles and framing will help you get the best possible shot. Once you get the hang of it, taking photos while skiing is as easy as falling off a log. If you are a beginner, start small and take it easy. Do not try to push your luck by going too fast or taking too many risks. Instead, explore the quieter trails and corners of the mountain, where the chances of you hitting something are lower. This will help you learn the ropes and get the most out of your experience.
Electric Charging Device
When we consider how long a day of skiing can be, it is easy to see why so many people rely on electric charging devices for their ski equipment. They are light, easy to carry and can be stored in the lodge or the ski pass when you are not using them. It would not be a bad idea to invest in one of these devices if you are a frequent and competent skier. If you are just getting started, taking a pair of AA-sized batteries with you will ensure you have charged your equipment in the event of a power cut. If you are going on a cruise, you can also get a portable charger in the shape of a hockey puck to juice up your batteries on the go. This is one item you will not want to be without.
First Aid Kit
Just like when you are in an accident outside of skiing, you will need to have access to first aid if someone is injured. You’ll also need a kit to deal with the injuries – after all, you are not a medical practitioner. You may want to take a look at ACE Pro Tech’s first aid kit. With items such as bandages, waterproof medical tape, antibacterial lotion and burn cream, you’ll be ready for anything.
If you can add another layer to your outfit, it will make you feel warmer. You can also improve your skiing experience by investing in good ski attire. When you are shopping, bear in mind the environment you will be serving and choose an eco-friendly product if this is something you are concerned about. You will also want to look for clothing made from natural fibers such as wool or merino, rather than synthetic materials such as polyester or acrylic. Lastly, make sure you have the correct equipment in the lodge or at the top of the mountain – it is easy to get distracted by the scenery and forget to have the safety essentials with you. If you ever suffer from amnesia while skiing, you can also end up in a situation where you do not remember what happened. The last thing you want is to injure yourself because you do not have the proper equipment. Investing in a whistle and an avalanche shovel is also a good idea. In the event of an accident, they can help save your life.