Heading up the mountain on a crisp winter day for a day of skiing is an exciting way to spend the day. The best way to prepare for a day on the slopes is to make sure you have the ski equipment essentials you need. If you’re a beginner, you might think all you need are skis, poles, and maybe a nice warm jacket, but getting ready to ski takes a little more shopping than that.

One of the most important things to remember when buying your ski equipment is that skiing is a sport. Like any other sport, the proper equipment is essential if you want to have an enjoyable and safe experience. Try not to be intimidated by the amount of ski equipment you need. After all, you’re starting a new adventure, and sometimes that means you have to by a lot of stuff!

ski man

Ski Clothing Must-Haves

Heading up the mountain on a crisp winter day for a day of skiing is an exciting way to spend the day. The best way to prepare for a day on the slopes is to make sure you have the ski equipment essentials you need. If you’re a beginner, you might think all you need are skis, poles, and maybe a nice warm jacket, but getting ready to ski takes a little more shopping than that.

One of the most important things to remember when buying your ski equipment is that skiing is a sport. Like any other sport, the proper equipment is essential if you want to have an enjoyable and safe experience. Try not to be intimidated by the amount of ski equipment you need. After all, you’re starting a new adventure, and sometimes that means you have to by a lot of stuff!

Fabrics for the different layers

You might be inclined to think the best choice for ski clothing layers to be cotton. Cotton is the worst thing you can wear while skiing. Cotton stays moist once it gets wet. Being wet is the last thing you want swooshing down a snowy mountain in cold weather.

The best fabrics to choose from for your upper body base layer (that is the layer right up against your skin) is polyester and polypropylene, wool, or bamboo. Known as wicking fabrics, these materials are designed to wick moisture away from your skin and keep you dry. Check out Tesla and WoolX for some great base layer choices.

The next layer of clothing you’ll need to equip yourself with is the middle layer for your upper body. Still staying away from cotton, the best choice for your middle layer is wool or fleece. Instead of getting one bulky piece that may hinder your movement, choose several thin layers of fleece or wool sweaters to keep you warm, like those made by Knittons. They’ll move much easier with your body as you’re twisting and turning down the mountain.

Your legs are a little easier to prepare than your upper body because you don’t need a whole lot of layers to keep them happy. You may just need one layer, but you could opt for two.

Basic Ski Equipment

When gathering equipment for your first ski trip, an excellent place to start is by visiting a ski shop who specialize in helping you find the best ski essentials. The shop should employ knowledgeable staff, who are ready to give you all the help you need. They’re there not only to help you pick the items you need but to make sure they’re all the right fit for you.

Skis

ski

The first thing you might think of when getting yourself ready to ski, are the actual skis themselves. When you walk into a ski shop, the best thing to do is talk to the ski expert who works there. Most ski stores will have a chart to help you pick the proper skis for your height, weight, and expert level. Beginners are better off choosing shorter skis because they’re easier to maneuver than long skis.

Keep your eye out for the brands K2 and Rossignol. They have been the frontrunners of quality skis for decades. The terrain you’ll be skiing on is also a consideration, but beginners can’t go wrong with an all-mountain ski. These skis will cover most of the mountain types and difficulties beginners will encounter.

Bindings

ski binding

On your skis, you’ll need bindings. Bindings work just like they sound they should: they bind your boots to your skis. Ski shops can help you fit bindings to the skis you’ve picked out based on your height and weight. Look Pivot and Salomon are solid binding choices but check with the specialist. You want them to fit well to your skis, be lightweight, and have a low tension release. A low tension release will allow your boots to break away from your skis if you fall. If you’re a beginner, plan on falling. The last thing you want is to twist while falling and have your skis still connected to your boots. It can cause serious injury.

Boots

ski boots

Speaking of boots, they are the next piece of ski equipment you will need. How else will you attach the skis to your feet? As a beginner, you want to choose boots that are flexible. When choosing boots, be sure to try them on while wearing ski socks to get a more accurate fit. You may be tempted to get the best looking boot, but go for quality first. Technica, Atomic, and Nordica made the highest rated ski boot for both men and women for 2018. Get a professional boot fit, if possible, because you want properly fitting ski boots at every level.

Poles

pole

While not exactly for your feet, you’ll need ski poles to help you navigate down the mountain. When choosing ski poles, you want to pick a pair that is strong, light, and flexible. To measure the proper length of the best ski pole for you, stand in your ski boots and hold the ski pole upside down. A basket is a round part at the bottom of the ski pole. Grab the ski pole under the basket and look at your arm. If the ski pole is the perfect length, your elbow bend will be at a 90-degree angle. If not, choose a shorter or longer pole until you see that 90-degree bend.

Lots of people choose their ski poles based on the brand of their skis, and with K2or Rossignol, you can’t go wrong.

Ski jacket

ski jaket

You will get a waterproof, but a breathable jacket. Gore-Tex is the best fabric for your ski jacket and is the best choice to add to your collection of ski essentials. Some nice features for your jacket could include:

  • Zippers in the back or under your arms to vent in case you get hot
  • A collar that can stand up, to give you an extra layer around your neck, and maybe your chin
  • Inner cuffs on the sleeves to hook over your thumbs, and prevent snow from traveling up your sleeves

The North Face is a quality ski jacket, whose company has been around a long time. They offer a wide variety of coats for everyone, in a range of prices and styles.

Ski pants

ski pants

When thinking of your legs, it’s less necessary to layer. Wearing a pair of long johns under a quality waterproof, but breathable ski pant will do the trick. Again, Gore-tex is the best material for ski outerwear, but the biggest thing you want to look for is waterproof and breathable fabric. You want to make sure your pants aren’t too tight so that you can breathe, and your under layer has room to wick moisture away from your legs. On the other hand, you don’t want them baggy because you don’t want your legs to get caught up in your ski equipment.

Check out Trailside and Arctix to find pants that are form-fitting, but with room to move with you across the snow.

Helmets

ski helmet

Moving up to your head, you need goggles and a helmet. Not everyone will choose to wear a helmet, but it’s a good idea. When you’re skiing down the side of a mountain, there’s always a possibility you will fall, no matter your experience level. The less experience you have, the higher the chances are you’ll be spending some time falling on the ground. Some of those falls are going to be hard because you’re going fast, and you can’t predict how the fall will go. Make the smart choice and go with a helmet.

You don’t want to skimp on quality here, so look for brands like, Smith who have consistently high ratings.

You want to shop for your goggles and your helmet at the same time because the goggles you choose need to fit with the helmet you choose. Let’s start with the helmet. You want to pick a helmet that fits comfortably on your head but doesn’t move around. Ask the ski professional in the store for advice on the best fit.

Goggles

ski goggles

After you’ve picked your helmet, choose your goggles. The best way to choose a compatible pair of goggles is to see if your helmet brand also makes goggles. You’ll get the best fit by matching brands. The goggles you choose need to fit with your helmet. That means it’s essential to buy these two ski essentials at the same time. Goggles are made to protect your eyes from the sun, wind, and snow, so choose a pair with both UVA and UVB protection. Try them on with your helmet to make sure they’re comfortable on your face, and a good fit so they won’t slide off when you’re moving your body around.

If you want to look at some brands which don’t necessarily match your helmet, but are good quality, try DragonScott, or Bolle.

Mittens or gloves?

ski mitten

Mittens keep your hands a bit warmer, but they don’t give you as much finger control. Gloves give you control over your digits, but they’re not as warm. Carhartt and N’Ice Caps offer ski mittens that customers love, and you can buy them right on Amazon. Be sure to read the reviews from real customers to pick the perfect pair for you.

If your hands tend to get cold, but you prefer gloves, you can always add a thin glove layer underneath to keep your hands from getting too cold. As a beginner, you might spend some time on the ground. However, you do not want your hands to stay wet after you’ve fallen. So, choose a quality glove. Carhartt also has a line of great quality gloves, in addition to their mittens.

Scarves

Another exposed area of your body that you need to cover is your neck. This area is easy enough to cover with a woolen scarf. Qinglonglin scarves wrap around your neck. You can also pull them up over your nose and mouth, giving you nice warmth out there in the snow.

Most ski jackets will have the ability to zip all the way to your chin, so you’ll have your scarf around your neck, and the waterproof layer of your zipped up jacket to keep you dry.

Heading to the Slopes

This list of essential ski equipment might seem intimidating to beginners, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. There are a lot of little and big essentials you need to get going on your ski adventure, but relax! Shopping for and choosing the right equipment can be a fun adventure all in itself.

With a wide variety of styles, colors, and brands, you can create a whole ski look all your own. Surrounding yourself with quality ski equipment of your choice is likely to boost your confidence out on the slopes. So, get to your favorite ski shop, talk to an expert, and equip yourself. Your essential ski equipment will make your ski trip the best! And don’t forget the sunscreen!

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