If youre going to enjoy the best
of this crazy sounding sport, chances are you can improve
your experience and safety by paying attention to your ski
gear. Instead of planning out the best options for ski gear,
its often a case of digging out old stuff the night
before skiing and making the best of what youve got.
Here are some pointers to help you plan ahead and improve
your skiing and your safety.
Do your boots fit? Modern boots,
when properly fit and buckled, are designed to dramatically
reduce lower extremity injuries. If you find yourself
having to partially unbuckle your boot to ease the pain,
then its time to explore other boot options either
rent or buy boots that feel good while you walk around
with them buckled up. Skiing in boots that you have to
unbuckle to reduce the pain can result in a dramatic reduction
in your ability to control your skis. (Loooook out below!)
Are your bindings old? Ok, so
bindings are pretty boring, right? But its important
to pay attention to them because good bindings can significantly
reduce your chances of ski injury, especially in the knees.
Bindings should be adjusted for your weight, height, and
level of expertise. If you own your own skis, have them
adjusted by a certified ski shop. Whether you rent or
own your skis, make sure the release mechanism of the
ski binding is tested while in your presence.
If you cant see, you cant
ski. Cool looking sun glasses are really tempting
and I must admit, I wear them on those sunny days that
resemble a beer commercial. But the truth is, goggles
provide the best protection from harmful ultra violet
light (choose lenses with a UV filter,) They also protect
from wind and cold.
What are you wearing? I maintain
that skiers look better as a whole than the average person
on the street because of their ski wear. But if you peek
underneath, you might see a different picture. Too little
or too much clothing under your jacket can make for miserable
skiing. Layering is the most effective way to ensure your
best body temperature while on the slopes. Wear a long
underwear layer that wicks moisture away from your body.
A middle, insulating layer can keep you warm when its
windy or cold. An outer shell that is light-weight, waterproof,
and breathable is very effective, especially if you choose
one that can be compressed in a fanny pack if you get
Fingers and toes: Nothing
can turn me into a complaining wimp faster than cold digits.
Ive become addicted to the little foot and hand
warmers you can buy in ski shops to insert in your boots
and gloves. The heat lasts for up to 10 hours and really
helps on those extra-cold days.
Now that youre all dressed and
ready to go, theres just one more thing. Be sure
to get proper instruction if youre just beginning,
returning to skiing after a long time off, or just want
to improve. A good instructor can make your ski experience
a lot for fun and much safer.