The first time I went skiing, I was in Jr. High school. That was 20 years ago. Then the second time I went was 10 years later. Which then I actually started snowboarding. I transitioned back to skiing 4 years later because I was too lazy to bend down and buckle my boots into my snowboard. I know.....don't judge me.
Since I've skied, I haven't looked back. Snowshoe mountain is my home away from home. It's a little bit over three hours from where we live- but it's the best skiing on the east coast. I've had a lot of friends who are recreational skiers and have asked me what they need to buy to get started - so here goes. Below you'll find the items that you MUST invest in for both first time and seasonal skiers.
#1 - Helmet. If you plan on renting, you can rent a helmet, poles, skis, boots. But for those who want to buy, here are the most stylish, yet safe helmets out there. (here and here) . I didn't include any with headphones or built in speakers, because quite frankly, I think that's unsafe. Also, one of my favorite things about skiing, is hearing my skis carve against the mountain. I don't want to take that away.
#2 - Goggles. One of the most challenging things to find is a good pair of goggles. If mine fog up it really affects my day and my skiing. These are the only pair of goggles that have not failed me. They also come in Asian fit, which means the bridge of the nose is designed to not allow any air flow, and they're perfect. Don't get any other goggles. These are it.
#3 - Gloves. Gloves are extremely important. When temperatures can get well below freezing, it's important to keep your hands warm. These spyder gloves with gore-tex do a great job. On those frigid days - a liner is a must. I've gone through three liners - and these liners have been the best with keeping my hands warm. Also I hear great things about these gloves from Burton.
#4 - Thermals. These are items you need to spend a little bit more on, because the worst thing when you're skiing is to feel cold. Arcteryx thermals (pants, top) are my favorite and they do an incredible job.
#5 - Fleece. For those extremely cold days, I suggest a tank, a thermal, a fleece, and your jacket. Along with thermals, I've tried out quite few fleece jackets. Patagonia has a nice selection and they are warm and fitted. Here is the one I own and love. If it ever breaks down I will buy another one just like it.
#6 - Pants. For me, as long as you have a good thermal, all you need is a gore-tex waterproof pant. Mine are made from Scott, but they are no longer in stock. If you want slim fit pants - these are it. If we're talking dream ski pants - in a couple of years when mine wear out - I would buy these.
#7 - Jacket. As far as a jacket, guys there are so many options out there. I have linked my favorite ones that are ON SALE here, here , here, and here.
#8 - Equipment
Boots - these are the most important thing you can purchase as a skier. I'm not a competitive skier, I'm a resort skier. I like to ride only groomed runs and maybe a back bowl or two, but all in all I stay on groomed blues and blacks. If you go skiing at least once a year, I recommend investing in your own. When I shopped around, I tried on several different pairs. The stiffer the boot, the higher the price. As a resort skier, you don't need an exceptionally stiff boot. I am more for comfort - and the shin area is what is most uncomfortable for me when I ski. So I searched and tried on boot after boot that was stiff enough for blacks, but comfortable in the shins. And HERE they are. I love them. These, and these are the updated versions.
Skis - Of course when buying ski's it's important to figure out the right length. I am 5'2" and intermediate. So I am between a 145 and 156. Mine are 149cm and here they are and ON SALE. Here is the updated version.
Poles - Unless you're an advanced skier going nuts, you only need the basic poles. These are great, universal, and a good price.
I hope this helps you all in buying ski gear. The sales are coming up soon, so I"ll be on the lookout for more. Enjoy the rest of the winter guys - not much of it left.