Brad’s Essential Ski Gear

Now that the holidays are over and everything is on sale, and winter has finally hit the east coast, you guys might be looking into some new gear!

These are my essentials for staying warm on those bitter cold days when sane people won’t even go outside.

Buff headwear. I don’t love being frozen solid while I ski, but I especially hate getting sweaty under all those layers. You get colder on the lift, and it just makes you uncomfortable for the whole day. These extra long, multi-use neckwarmers are thin and lightweight. They keep the frigid air out, but allow you to breathe and feel a little wind on your face.

Ski socks that are warm, but thin. In your tight stiff ski boots or snowboard boots, you need air to circulate to keep those feet warm. Layers of socks won’t help, but a high quality wool pair will. Spend a little more to get the good ones.

A windproof/waterproof shell. Seems like a no brainer right? You’d be surprised how many people I see out there in puffy down coats, or what looks like their everyday winter jacket. Down or synthetic is a great mid layer – but it won’t stop howling winds. Also down won’t stay warm when it is wet.

Glove liners. These changed my life. Seriously. My hands are the only thing that gets frozen numb. I added a pair of synthetic glove liners to my mitts, and I’m good as new.

When all else fails – go to the lodge and grab a hot chocolate, and maybe a beer. Then get back out there!

3 Things to Think about When Buying Skis

Terrain

If you are into groomers, go ahead and get a nice carver that will rip down a steep face. But if you like to venture into the backcountry, you will find the narrow underfoot a little unstable. Think about your favorite terrain, and whether or not you want skis specifically for that terrain. There are plenty of great all-mountain skis that will allow you versatility if you like a little bit of everything.

Over the years, I have collected a few pairs of skis. I have some longer, stiff skis for the days that I want to tear up the frontside, some fat skis for deep powder days, and a pair of shorter, softer all mountain skis if I want to spend a day skiing bumps.

Length

This depends on your level of skiing as well as the terrain you plan to ski. Longer skis carry more speed and cut through cruddy snow, but can also be harder to control for novice skiers, and can create some unsavory situations on crowded slopes. Shorter skis are easier to control for novices and also better suited to more technical terrain.

Level of skiing

If you are an expert skier, let me ask you one thing: why are you coming to my blog for ski buying advice?! Kidding. I know my stuff as much as the next guy. But if you are an expert, you probably already know what you are looking for. In my opinion it is best for beginners to buy something all-mountain to start since you may not know your abilities very well or have an idea of what terrain is your fave.

Happy Ski Season everyone! Let’s make it a good one.

Getting Ready for Ski Season!

Now that it’s fall, it’s almost ski season! I’m not sure where the time has gone off too, but it’s October, and I’m behind on preparing for the winter. Thankfully, Colorado Ski Country has a handy checklist for people like me! 

Figure out your ski pass

They suggest deciding how many times you’re anticipating hitting the hills, what your budget is. Options range anywhere from the Colorado Gold Pass to daily lift tickets. Find out more here

Get your gear in order

Based on how many times you ride a year, it might make more sense to rent than to own. But if you’re going to buy new, start your shopping with last season’s models. Make sure any and all of your clothing is still weatherproof, warm, and clean. Definitely make sure it’s clean. Also make sure your goggles still fit snugly, as does your helmet. You only have one head and two eyes, don’t risk them. Also, if you’re stuck between buying gear or renting, do yourself a favor and buy some boots. Then have them fitted. It’s worth itCheck your gear over.

  • Make sure nothing is broken, chipped, dull… you know the drill.
  • Make sure you’re in shape for this. Cardio will help your endurance in high elevations, and strength will keep you going.

Make a bucket list: life is short, the ski seasons are shorter.