Downhill skiing requires a lot of equipment. If you haven’t been skiing before but are going soon, here’s what you’ll want to bring with you.
Skis, Bindings, and Boots
The actual act of skiing requires three pieces of equipment: skis, bindings, and boots. These function as a single system with the boots clicking into the bindings and the bindings being mounted on the skis. Together, the bindings anchor your boots to the skis.
Most people on ski slopes also have poles, but these aren’t necessary if it’s your first time skiing. Technically, even advanced skiers don’t need to use poles. They’re just used to help with hand placement, and no weight is placed on them.
Assuming you stay with the sport, you’ll progress to a point when you’ll want to work on hand position and need poles. On your first day, however, you’ll be focusing on your feet and legs. Poles would only serve as distractions and be one more item for you to carry.
A helmet won’t help you get down the mountain, but you shouldn’t be skiing without one, especially in light of all that’s known about concussions.
You will fall down on your first day of skiing — there’s a saying among seasoned skiing veterans: you aren’t skiing hard enough if you don’t fall at least once. Most of the falls will be soft, but a helmet will provide valuable protection for your head if you do have a bad wipeout.
Make sure you have enough clothing to keep yourself warm throughout the day, for you don’t want your experience cut short because of cold.
Because weather varies, sometimes even within the same day, there isn’t one set of clothing that will be suitable for every day of skiing. Pack a variety of items and plan on wearing multiple layers so that you can make clothing adjustments as necessary.
In particular, bring extra-long socks and mittens. Your feet and hands are especially susceptible to cold, and keeping them warm is almost impossible if your gloves or socks get wet. Having a spare dry pair of each will ensure you don’t have to end your day on account of cold fingers or toes. If you don’t use your spares, you can always change into them before you do go home.
Goggles are a skiing essential because they serve a dual purpose.
First, goggles keep wind, snow, sleet, and rain out of your eyes so you can see. They do this both when you’re skiing and when you wipe out.
Second, goggles also help you see the snow better. In flat lighting conditions, nuances in the snow can be difficult to distinguish. You might not be able to see icy spots, ruts, or even hills, especially on flat, overcast, and foggy days. Most goggles have tinted lenses that help bring out the snow’s variances even in difficult lighting conditions.
Make sure the goggles you choose are large enough to fit over any glasses that you normally wear. Alternatively, you can wear contacts while skiing so glasses aren’t a concern.
Before heading out on the mountain, put a couple of snacks in the pockets of your coat. Candy bars, granola bars, and beef jerky are all good options, as is anything else that doesn’t require picking up little pieces with your fingers (which is difficult to do with gloves on).
Skiing takes a lot of work, and these snacks will provide needed calories midday. You’ll want to go inside for a full meal at some point, but a pick-me-up before or after your meal will help you keep going.
Being properly outfitted will help make your first day skiing a great success. For help getting the winter gear you need, contact us at Peace Surplus.