How to Gather Proper Skiing Equipment

How to Gather Proper Skiing Equipment
When it comes to tearing up the slopes--in the moguls, in the pow-pow, or on the piste--a proper set of equipment is a must. Not only will it improve your performance, it will make you more comfortable and, ultimately, ensure a more enjoyable skiing experience. The modern age has seen some vast improvements in ski gear. So lets take a look at what you should have.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Skis

Things You’ll Need:
  • Skis Poles Boots Helmet Goggles Gloves Shell Ski pants Water Thermal underwear Face mask Offpiste: snow shovel and locater beacon
  • Skis
  • Poles
  • Boots
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Shell
  • Ski pants
  • Water
  • Thermal underwear
  • Face mask
  • Offpiste: snow shovel and locater beacon
Step 1
There are a vast array of skis available on the market. However, all brands can be split among three main categories. Which one you'll opt for depends on where you're going, what slopes you enjoy and the particular day in question. Various skis are optimized for various snow conditions. If you take your skiing seriously, you'll probably want skis within each category. That said, a good all mountain ski is preferable for folks looking to hit a variety of terrain.
Step 2
The three main types of categories are: Terrain park, bumps and powder. All mountain skis blend elements of all three categories.
Step 3
Terrain park skis are often shorter, twin-tipped and designed for easy maneuvers in the park. Unless you're into aerial acrobatics, a good twin-tipped all-mountain ski is adequate.
Step 4
Skis for the bumps are typically thinner underfoot, to allow for faster turn radius in the zip-line.
Step 5
Powder skis are typically fatter, with large shovel tips to float and glide through the powder. A good all-mountain ski, fat, but not too fat, is a good place to start. Get a good pair of wood core skis. Nothing will affect your style more than a good pair of skis, so spend appropriately.

Boots

Step 1
Boots come in almost as much variety as skis. And are nearly as important. They are also optimized for performance, with different flexibility and lean angles.
Step 2
A more aggressive boot will have a steeper angle, holding the legs in a more forward position. A good all-mountain boot has added flexibility at the turn of a switch to allow you to hike to the off-piste powder. The most important thing, though, is comfort. Too tight, your feet will hurt and get cold. Too loose, you'll lose your balance. Different foot types require different boots, so get into the store and try some on.
Step 3
Custom foot beds are advisable, too. Work with a professional fitter. Expect to spend $500 or more on a good pair of boots.

Accessories

Step 1
Poles

A lightweight set of poles is key. Poles help you execute your turns and provide oomph on the flats. Expensive poles are nice, but not necessary. Many hardcore skiers still use rental poles they've acquired along the way.
Step 2
Helmet

These days it's wise to consider buying a good lightweight helmet. If you're in the trees, and you like to ski fast, this is must. A concussion is a serious problem for a skier. It can be fatal. Take the day off if you have sustained a concussion. Another bump on the head, even minor, could kill you.
Step 3
Goggles

It's wise to pack a good pair of goggles. Yes, sunglasses are cool. But when the snow starts falling you want to be able to ski without catching flakes in your eyes. Goggles are now made with interchangeable lenses. If you take your skiing seriously, get a good pair with lenses for flat light. You want to be able to see the terrain in a white out. Check for air holes in the design. You want goggles that can clear automatically if they steam up.
Step 4
Gloves

Waterproof, warm gloves are a must. There's nothing worse than getting cold hands up on the mountain (except maybe cold feet). You'll want gloves that you can remove when it gets hot, so check for the clips that allow you to join them together and attach to your jacket.
Step 5
Shell

You'll need a lightweight shell to break the wind and keep you dry. These days there are innovative materials that keep a good thermal envelope without that cumbersome filling. Additionally, a shell that comes with a snow skirt--a tight-fitting interior that girdles the waist--is advisable if you're heading into the powder.
Step 6
Ski pants

A good pair of waterproof ski pants is a must. You want the legs to attach outside your boots, and you want a snug liner that keeps the snow out. Stay dry, and keep warm.
Step 7
Hydration packs

While not entirely necessary, for the adventurous skier the water pack is a plus. You have good storage for additional gear (such as a snow shovel if you're heading off piste) and a ready supply of water. Ski packs are insulated and designed so your water won't freeze. Get a model that's designed to carry skis, so when you're on that hike-to terrain, you can keep your hands free.
Step 8
Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear is a plus under your ski pants and jacket. It's a lightweight, thin layer that wicks sweat off the body. Greater maneuverability and thermal insulation is a combination sought by all serious skiers.
Step 9
Face mask

If you're heading up high, a face mask is a good accessory. When it starts to snow, it's easy for your face to get cold, especially when flying down the slopes. A lightweight mask, or hat which turns into a mask, is a great addition.
Step 10
Off piste

If you're heading into the backcountry you should have a snow shovel and a beacon. The snow shovel is a small foldable shovel that can help you dig out a friend in an avalanche. The beacon will help locate you if you are unlucky enough to get caught in one yourself. Never go into the back country without these.

Tips & Warnings

 
Look for adaptable gear. Good gear adapts to many conditions while maintaining portability. Less is more. A hat that is also a facemask is a great example.

Article Written By Benjamin Williams

Ben Williams is an award-winning reporter and freelance writer based out of Colorado. He has written for conglomerates of newspapers and magazines, supplying news, features, editorial and opinion. While running an Energy Services and Consulting firm, he now writes for multiple websites including the news site, Examiner.com.

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