If you’re planning on taking your first ever ski holiday this winter, you’re probably looking at all the different pieces of ski equipment available online or at your local sports goods store and wondering what you absolutely need and what you can do without. Skiing has a reputation for being an expensive sport because after all, all of the equipment you’re using and the clothes you’re wearing are specifically made for tackling snowy terrain, where temperatures are below zero, and the chances of getting wet in the process are extremely high.
Skis, Poles, and Boots
First things first, if you can afford to, you definitely should buy a pair of skis, poles, and boots. However, if you aren’t even hooked up on skiing yet, you’re better off renting them at the ski resort you’re going to. That way, you don’t commit thousands of dollars on something you might not even like. The one piece of ski equipmentthat I highly recommend that you buy, however, is a pair of boots. A quality pair of boots can be the difference maker between having an extraordinary holiday and a very painful one. You’ll get much more performance out of the skis you’re on if you’re in a well-fitted pair. When shopping, look for all-mountain skis made out of Carbon alloy as they are great for riding every type of snowy terrain.
Again, you don’t have to buy ski apparel like jackets, boots and pants, as you can rent them just like skis and poles. Alternatively, family or friends can rent them out to you, if you share the same size. However, apparel is a little bit more personal and you definitely should look to invest in a quality, waterproof, insulating jacket and pants, as they aren’t all that expensive.
The one thing you absolutely must buy yourself is the base layer of clothes, also known as thermals. However, thermals aren’t what their name implies they are, they don’t have thermal insulation. Instead, their purpose is to stay dry, no matter how sweaty you get, or how wet the clothes on top of them get. By keeping themselves dry, base layers keep you warm in the cold.
Ideally, you want to wear a lightweight down jacket that provides you with an extra layer of protection against moisture and the cold between your outer jacket and base layer. If the temperatures aren’t that cold, you don’t need a mid layer, but if they drop below 5 or 10 degrees Celsius, then you’ll definitely need a mid layer. You can wear the mid layer jacket for everyday use, and not just the skiing season, which makes them a great investment.