Car racks are usually the most efficient way to get your ski gear to the slopes. But you have several options when buying car racks, so read on to learn about different types of car racks and choose one that works for your gear and your car.
-Roof racks. Most roof racks for skis are designed to fit a variety of cars. If your car has some sort of crossbar or rack already, the ski rack can connect to it. If you don’t have a roof rack, car racks for skis can be attached to your car’s roof using a combination of clamps and straps. Don’t ski that often? Or renting a car? Consider a magnetic roof rack.
-Trunk racks. Some car racks are designed to attach to the rear of your car, which is especially helpful if you have a hatchback or sedan.
-Enclosed roof boxes. This type of roof mounted ski rack protects your skis from the weather and it keeps them safer than an open roof rack.
When you’re enjoying a winter sports vacation in extreme cold temperatures, foot warmers can keep you out on the slopes longer. For maximum comfort and convenience, try air-activated foot warmers, such as Heatmax Toasty Toes, that can be used in your ski boots and apres ski boots.
For winter sports, the best air-activated foot warmers have these features:
-Adhesive to stick to socks
-Environmentally friendly, with natural ingredients
You also can buy electronic boot warmers that fit into the insoles of your ski boots. Both types of foot warmers have their pros and cons. The electronic warmers come with battery packs that attach to the outside of your ski boots, and they can be covered by snow pants or gaiters. But some skiers may find that the power cords and battery packs are more extra gear than they want to manage.
And even if you opt for electronic foot warmers, a smart skier keeps a set of reliable, air-activated warmers in reserve in case the electronic warmers break down.
Having the right ski boots can make the difference between an achy or an awesome day on the slopes. As you scope out the selection for your next pair of boots, keep these tips in mind:
-Seek stiffness. Although beginners are better off with a more flexible boot, experienced skiers know that a stiffer boot responds better to the movement of your legs.
-Be sock smart. When you try on prospective ski boots, bring a pair of your favorite ski socks to ensure that you have the right fit.
-Make notes on your needs. Do you have wide feet? Ask an experienced salesperson at your nearest Sun & Ski Sports shop which brands make a wide ski boot. Do you wear orthotic inserts to correct any biomechanical imbalances? Be sure to have them with you when trying on ski boots.
-Shop late. Remember that your feet swell as the day goes on, so shop for your ski boots at the end of the day to get boots that will feel just as comfy on your last run of the day as they did on your first.
Ski boots that fit well and are suited for the type of skiing that you do will make the difference between a fun-filled and a blister-filled day on the slopes.
When you’re ready for new ski boots, visit one of our Sun & Ski Sports shops for expert advice and fitting assistance. Some points to remember as you check out the choices:
-Ability. As you improve, you can handle a stiffer boot that responds to your leg movements more efficiently than a softer boot.
-Alignment. If you have foot or leg issues, talk to a Sun & Ski Sports expert who can help you identify brands that meet your needs. An expert boot-fitter can help you find the ski boots that will address your bow legs, knock knees, or weak ankles so your boots do their job—transmitting directions from your legs to your skis.
-Adjustment. When trying on ski boots, wear the foot warmer socks or other special socks that you’ll wear for skiing. Adjust the straps or buckles, and stand up. You should have room to move your toes, but not so much space that your feet are sliding. Bend your knees. Does your heel stay put? If not, tighten the boot. If it doesn’t tighten enough to hold your heel in place, try a different model.
The right ski goggles for you are the ones that combine comfort with clear vision. If you are lucky enough not to need glasses or contact lenses for skiing, standard ski goggles will probably suit you fine. But even if you wear contact lenses, consider an over-the-glasses model, so you are covered in case something happens to your contacts or your eyes and you find that you need to wear your glasses while skiing.
Whether you chose a regular or OTG model, be sure that the goggles fit properly over your helmet. When shopping for ski goggles, bring your helmet with you and try the goggles and helmet on together. That way you can avoid any surprising slippage (of your goggles, at least) when you’re on the slopes.
You can read up on ski goggles rates and reviews to get a sense of the latest styles and options. But remember that just because one type of ski goggles works great for your best friend doesn’t mean that it’s the best type for you. Ideally, try on a pair of ski goggles and step outside, so you can check your vision in natural light. And try a few different tints to see which works best for you.
When you are packing your ski and boot bags for your ski outings this fall, have some fun with apres-ski clothes. Treat yourself to a pair of fancy or funky after ski boots that will look great and keep your feet comfortable after a day in your ski boots.
Some other ideas for your apres-ski wardrobe:
-Vest: Vests are great for apres-ski activities because you are less likely to get overheated when you are inside, and you can remove it easily if you get too hot.
-Hat: Now that helmets are the headwear of the ski slopes, apres-ski is the perfect time to wear your fun or funky ski cap. But leave your other accessories at home with your skis when you go out for an apres-ski night on the town. There’s no point in hauling around your goggles or heavy gloves—they are more likely to get lost or damaged.
-Sweater: Sweaters are perfect for apres-ski. You can wear the same sweater that you might wear for skiing, or choose something fancier for the apres-ski scene.
If you make a list and pack smart, you won’t find yourself without some important piece of your winter sports equipment when you reach your destination.
To help ensure that you don’t forget any key items or accessories, organize your packing into categories:
-Ski equipment: Pack your skis and poles in a specialized ski bag if you are flying. If you’re driving, a car rack, such as a Thule roof rack, will keep your skis secure.
-Ski clothes: Don’t forget to think layers, including moisture-wicking base layers, a mid-layer turtleneck top, lightweight fleece or sweater, and your ski jacket and ski pants. Allow for 1-2 base and mid-layer changes for every two days of your ski trip.
-Apres ski clothes: Pack an appropriate pair of apres ski boots and some comfortable, stylish clothes, which vary depending on what type of apres ski scene you seek.
-Accessories: This category of ski equipment includes your goggles, gloves, neck gaiter or scarf, and other items such as sunscreen, chap stick, and pocket hand warmers.
Let’s face it—it’s smart to wear a ski helmet. Not only do ski helmets help prevent serious injuries, they can enhance your ski experience by keeping your head comfortable as well as keeping it in one piece! Just like ski boot sizing, the right ski helmet fit is essential. When shopping for a new ski helmet, check out a few different brands—models change from year to year, and you may find something new that suits you better.
Giro, Smith, and Salomon offer helmets to suit any price range. And some brands, including Giro, make ski helmets designed specifically for women (the Giro Women’s Prima Snowsports helmet).
Some other points to keep in mind to help you find the right helmet:
-Sizing. Use a tape measure and measure your head to the nearest centimeter to help you find the ski helmet that fits your head best.
-Special features. Many helmets have temperature features to help keep you comfortable. For example, the Giro Omen wireless audio model features an insulating seal and removable ear pads.
You don’t want to feel your hands going numb halfway through your day on the slopes, so it’s important to find the right gloves or mittens for your skiing or snowboarding adventures. Consider these features when you browse the glove and mitten selections for the next ski season:
-Warmth: If you’re outside in midwinter in Colorado, you’ll probably want a pair of the warmest gloves or mittens you can find. Goose down is a good choice, or look for insulated materials such as Thermacore.
-Water resistance: There’s nothing worse than wet gloves. If water resistance is important to you, read the labels. Some ski and snowboarding gloves and mittens are wind resistant, so they will protect your hands from chilly winds, but they are not necessarily water resistant, too.
-Weight: Those super-warm gloves that felt great in January may be too much in March. Consider a lighter weight glove with a fleecy lining for spring skiing.
In case your hands start to tingle during a long day on the slopes, it’s not a bad idea to have some hand warmers handy. Tuck them into a pocket in your ski jacket so they will be ready when you need them.
Finding the perfect snow skis is a bit like finding the perfect job. You want to consider your goals, your ability, and your preference for location. Shopping for skis can seem like work, given the hundreds of models that are available each season. But keep these points in mind when you buy skis to streamline the shopping process and get you to the slopes faster:
-Match the ski to the snow. If you do your skiing in the Western U.S. or overseas, fat skis meant for lots of powder are the way to go. If you ski mostly in the Eastern U.S., choose the skis meant for groomed trails and packed powder.
-Read reviews. Look for ski magazines that have certified instructors rating the latest skis to learn about the latest advances in design and material.
-Play the field. Make a list of possible skis you’d like to try, and try a few. If possible, ask advice from a local Sun & Ski shop staffer. He or she may have extra insight about which snow skis are best for the local conditions.