The Bluffer’s Guide to Gearing Up for Your Next Ski Trip
August 15, 2016
You’ve got the dates in the diary, you’ve been looking in wonder at the incredible destination you’ll be calling home for a few days, but now you need to look (and sound) the part in front of your colleagues, friends, clients, and everyone else on the slopes.
Now, if you are seasoned skier most of this article might seem obvious but you’d be amazed how often we get asked these questions. If you are a party leader this could be useful ammunition to fend off the queries of those less experienced members of your party.
The video below of outfits through the ages will also be hugely entertaining to you, if you’ve been skiing for decades!
So how does a bluffer gear up for a ski trip? Well, read below and you just might learn a thing or two…
Rent or Buy Skis to Match Your Ability
Whether you’re a seasoned skier or relative newcomer, getting the equipment that suits your skill level, as well as the type of activity you’ll be doing on them, is the first step to success.
Renting is a good option if you want to avoid dragging your gear through the airport, and paying for the pleasure. Carriage of your ski or snowboard for a return Easyjet flight is currently £60 and carriage on British Airways can cost as much as £130 for a return trip so think carefully before you opt to buy flashy new skis!
However Swiss International Air Lines offer free carriage, which is why they call themselves the skiers’ airline.
When you do get to the rental shop, be honest with the shop attendant.
If you’ve got an idea of what you want to be doing on the mountain, that’s great, as they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. And, if they think conditions aren’t going to be right, they’ll be able to tell you straight away.
To buy, I recommend you use our discount code with ski experts Snow+Rock who have a great range of ski equipment.
A good safe option is to go for all mountain skis but talk to them and they will give you the right advice depending on your level and what you enjoy doing.
You can find out more about the different types of skis available to you here – but equally important is that you know how to carry them.
There are many ways to carry skis, but only one is acceptable if you want to look like you know what you’re doing. If you didn’t already know, this guide will explain everything.
Buy or Borrow Technical Ski Wear
The first thing you should know is that you should absolutely, 100% buy your ski gear in the UK, not the Alps. Not only will you have more choice, but you won’t get ripped off either.
Snow & Rock has all the leading brands and offers 15% off to Momentum Ski customers, while Decathlon has a good cheaper options and TK Maxx has some bargains if you are prepared to to spend the time sifting through the piles!
Always remember to do some research when it comes to buying your ski wear. Yes, it is possible to spend a fortune but equally you don’t have to buy designer, top of the range gear to get what you need. I always say there is no such thing as too cold to ski, just not the right gear!
One of your most vital bits of gear for safe and pleasurable skiing will be your goggles. Make sure that you get a decent pair that are not only suited to the conditions you’ll be facing, but they are also compatible with your helmet. Try them on together to make sure they are comfortable.
You can find a comprehensive shopping list here with tips on the bits you can get away with borrowing or renting.
Wear It Like a Pro
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Once you’ve picked out your on-slope outfit, you’ve now got to learn how to wear it. And yes, there is a wrong way to wear your ski gear.
The video above is a great insight to how ski fashion has changed through the ages, but what are the dos and don’ts these days?
Under no circumstances should you ever ski with your jacket open. If you’re too hot you should take off one of the layers underneath your jacket instead. And if you do decide to ski with your jacket open, be prepared for people to throw snow at you, and for snow to get into your pants.
Other mistakes to watch out for include:
- A gap appearing between your hat/helmet and goggles
- Wearing novelty hats/helmet covers
- Face masks/bandanas when the weather doesn’t require one
- Anyone wearing snowblades
So we’ve covered the ski wear, but what about tech gear?
A Carefully-Chosen Gadget Can Set You Apart
Wearable tech is a great addition to any decent skier’s repertoire, and there are loads of options to choose from.
What you’ve got to remember, however, is that you’ll be the one watching the footage back, so it has to be worth watching.
Go Pro are the clear favourites on the slopes, and it’s easy to see why.
Their entry-level offering, the Hero Session is small, lightweight and waterproof at a comparably low price. Though it doesn’t have a screen, you can link it to your phone to make sure you’re getting a clear shot.
At the more expensive end of their range, the Hero 4 Black records in 4K and captures 240 frames per second for epic slow motion shots, as well as quick adjustment options to get the perfect shot.
Just remember to buy the waterproof housing before you take to the slopes.
If you’re the type of person who gets cold quickly, Therm-ic PowerGloves could be right up your street. Allowing for 14 hours of adjustable heat off a single charge, they’ll keep your fingers nice and toasty, and a smug grin on your face when the temperature drops.
Other things to consider include helmets with built-in audio, intuitive base layers, and boot-warming insoles and inserts. Although a word of warning, overdoing it on the gadgets can make you look a little ‘all the gear, no idea’.
Get Up to Speed on Skier Jargon
Knowing the difference between a white out and a wipe out, and distinguishing freeriders from freestylers will go a long way to convincing those around you that you know what you’re talking about.
While there are hundreds of slang terms for almost everything on the mountain, here’s a few we think you should know:
- White Out – When you can barely see your hand in front of your face dude to heavy snow.
- Wipe Out – Embarrassing, heavy fall that lacks control.
- Ripper – Accomplished skier, could probably do it in their sleep.
- Bomber – Lots of speed, no control, hopefully wearing a helmet.
- Pow (Pow) – Light, dry, fluffy snow that’s ideal for floating across.
- Après – When the skiing stops and the party begins.
Why not test yourself with this quiz from the Telegraph, How Well Do You Know Your Ski Jargon, and impress those around you with your newly-learnt jargon.
And That’s Your Lot
Anything we’ve missed? Anything you’d like to know more about? Just let us know by commenting…