Snow Skiing tips: essential clothing and gearDon't hit the slopes until you've got the necessary gear; check out this guide to ski equipment first!
Skiing can be a great way to spend a weekend or afternoon, but you must be sure you have the right equipment and clothing for the experience. Ski clothes and gear is important for safety and fun, so check out this guide to essential skiing equipment.
Ski Jacket: Your protection against the elements, a good ski jacket is essential for keeping out the cold and keeping in your body heat for a day on the slopes. Most jackets offer a water-resistant outer shell to keep out moisture, as well as a warm fleece inner lining, for comfort and warmth. A well-designed ski jacket will also have a variety of pockets and features, including places for your cell phone, lift tickets, water bottles, and even snacks.
Ski Pants: The companion to the ski jacket, ski pants are made out of a thick, warm material and provide the necessary water-resistance for your legs and rear end. For beginning skiers, this is vital if you wish to avoid getting wet during the minor bumps and falls of learning to ski. For other skiers, however, ski pants are still important for keeping the legs and torso warm, for the extra layers of protection in case of falls, and for blocking the wind.
Hat: Because the majority of your body heat leaves through your head, a thick and warm hat is very important if you are hitting the slopes in winter. A woolen cap or a fleece hat will protect you from falling snow or rain. Often, ear protection is very necessary, as cold ears can turn a day's skiing into a painful afternoon. Try earmuffs or a fleece headwrap to keep your ears covered.
Ski Gloves: Not just for keeping your hands from getting cold, ski gloves improve your grip on the ski poles and protect your hands from the bitter mountain wind and the possibility of injury in case of a fall. Ski gloves are usually a combination of materials, with a soft inner lining to keep your hands warm and a protective outer lining to keep them dry and safe.
Ski Boots: The ski boots are your connection to your skis, and as such, they must fit your feet perfectly to give you the best control and most comfortable experience. Ski boots come with a hard plastic exterior which protects your legs and ankles from being twisted or pulled. Be sure to get a good-fitting pair of ski boots, as boots that are too small may cut off circulation and result in a painful afternoon. Boots that are too large will not give you the control or security you need. You do not want to lose a boot on the slopes, so make sure they are clipped in securely and bound to your feet properly.
Skis: Obviously, a good pair of skis is a vital part of your skiing gear. Skis come in a wide variety of types, depending on the type of skiing you will be doing. Options include downhill, slalom, cross-country, or even ski jump. Skis should be about the same height as you, though shorter skis are now available. Wax the skis to improve their speed and to glide over the snow.
Ski Poles: For added stability and maneuverability, a pair of ski poles is essential. The poles are most useful when making sharp turns. Ski poles are made of light aluminum or alloy, providing strength while not weighing you down. Many poles can be adjusted for length, so find the fit that is most comfortable for you.