Winter is finally here, which means plenty of fun opportunities in the snow. If you’re like most people, you don’t know the first thing about skiing or snowboarding or what you need to comfortably enjoy either. Therefore, here is a list of the gear you need to enjoy the slopes without feeling too intimidated or underprepared for either.
A Great Pair of Winter Boots
These will keep your feet dry and warm. They also provide a nice barrier between you and the snow, so you won’t have to worry about cold toes or wet socks. Good ones cost at least $100 but will last for years if they’re properly cared for.
Soft Shell Jacket
This is the head-to-toe outer layer. It’s water-resistant and breathable, which means it’ll be warmer than a standard rain jacket but will let moisture out like any other shell. This is important for staying comfortable while skiing or snowboarding – especially when you’re taking a break at the lodge. For example, if you wear an electric blue Valdez snow jacket, you won’t get too cold. You’ll also look great because soft shells are designed to be form-fitting without being restrictive.
These should have reinforced knee areas, especially if you’re skiing or snowboarding through trees and over bumps. They should also have wide ankles to accommodate boots and bindings. If you’re starting, buy pants that are waterproof but not insulated – these will be easier to move in when it’s warm. You can always add insulating layers underneath if you don’t want to freeze.
Comfortable Insulated Underwear
If you’re going to be spending several hours on the slopes, this is a must. Uncomfortable clothes have ruined many trips to the snowy mountains. These should fit snugly but not tightly. You can also use them as thermal layers under your other clothes. Again, you want to move around freely while remaining warm and comfortable.
This is arguably the most important piece of equipment you’ll need while skiing or snowboarding. If you fall, this will protect your head (and maybe even save your life). Look for models that organizations like ASTM approve. Most importantly, make sure it fits properly. You don’t want to fall and have the helmet come off.
If you’re getting into skiing or snowboarding, the best advice is to take it slow and don’t try anything too challenging. These activities can be dangerous for even experienced athletes, so always play it safe and have fun. At the same time, it’s important to be properly equipped for either sport, so you should put a lot of focus into what you’ll need before you get out into the snow.