Polaris Parkway - Now Our Only Location 614-848-6600 | Web Sales 1-877-861-0777 | Free Shipping on Orders over $50!

Ski Club Season is Here!

by Mike Dannenhauer October 16, 2015

We know everyone is getting all geared up for the upcoming ski season, and it's sure to be one for the books! Ski Clubs are starting to get together across Central Ohio and many of you are starting to wonder if you have everything you will need to stay warm and dry while having a blast out on the slopes this winter. Well fear not, we have compiled this handy-dandy list for you to make sure you have all the apparel and accessories for the year

  

  1. Pants are the most important article of clothing in your snow wardrobe because they are designed to trap heat and repel moisture to keep you warm and dry in the cold, wet elements. Many people make the mistake of wearing jeans or sweat pants to the slopes, but neither jeans nor sweat pants are waterproof, and cotton does not retain heat wet or dry. Our base level pant, the youth Cirque Bib starts at $34.95 and absolutely does the job, but there are tons of features in higher end ski pants that will enhance your experience on the hill.
    • Taped seams: Critically taped seams or fully taped seams stop wind and moisture from seeping in through the needle holes of your pants. Manufacturers quite literally melt a piece of rubber-like "tape" under the seams to block the elements, ensuring that you stay warmer and dryer. Critically taped seams mean that only the major seams are taped, so in pants this means the front and back rise seams, whereas fully taped seams mean that every seam on your pants have been taped.
    • Breathability: Breathability allows water vapor (sweat) to pass through the fabric. A non-breathable pant will trap moisture on the inside of the pants, making you more prone to becoming wet and cold. Breathability is measured in g/m2 (ie: 10,000 g/m2). The higher your breathability rating, the more breathable the fabric.
    • Waterproofing: A fabric's waterproofing is measured by how much water pressure the film can sustain prior to leaking, and is measured in millimeters (ie: 10,000mm). The higher the number, the more your pants can withstand while you are active in wet elements. We recommend a minimum of 5,000mm for a comfortable experience.
    • Waist adjustment capability: most pants have either belt loops or velcro waist adjustment systems (sometimes both) so that you get a perfect fit every time you go ski or snowboard. Nothing is worse than getting snow down your pants because the are a little too big.
    1. Ski Socks: Merino wool or acrylic blend socks are ideal for skiing and snowboarding because they have extremely good heat insulating qualities, and wick moisture to keep your feet dry even while you are working up a sweat. Many people make the unfortunate mistake of wearing cotton socks, or even a few layers of socks in an attempt to stay warm. Cotton does not retain heat when it is wet and once it gets wet, it stays wet for hours, leaving you with cold, wet feet that eventually become cold, wet, blistered feet. Doubling up socks before putting them in a snug ski or snowboard boot overcrowds your foot especially around your instep, which in turn restricts the circulation in your feet. Restricted circulation results in cold, numb, and tingly feet. We sell a number of great ski and snowboard specific socks that will keep you warm and dry all day long, while wearing just one pair. Lorpen for example makes great socks for juniors starting at $9.99 and adults $18.95.  Of course, there are many upgrades available to give your feet a little more comfort.
      • Cushioning: Brands such as Point 6 and Smartwool offer an assortment of sock weights (ultra light, light, medium, etc) and include ski boot specific cushioning. This includes additional padding in the shin and the bottom of the foot to give you a little more cushy comfort where you need it the most, with thinner materials on the back of your calf and top of your foot for increased circulation and warmth.
      • Ventilation: Brands such as Point 6 put ventilation panels in their socks allowing your feet to breathe in order to keep your feet dry.
      • Wool Milling: Smartwool and Point 6 socks are made of wool that has been milled 27 times to remove micro-debris and irritants to give you a softer, cozier sock that won't itch like your parent's wool socks.
    2. Gloves/Mittens: Ski and snowboard specific gloves tend to be more durable than your average department store glove, and also possess far more advanced Insulation and Waterproofing qualities. Ski and snowboard specific gloves are also anatomically articulated for a more natural feel on your fingers. As for the debate between gloves or mittens, ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Mittens tend to be warmer as your fingers are closer together and generate more heat this way (similar to the old trick of forming a fist in your gloves on the lift). Gloves tend to be more convenient because they allow for better grip and mobility. With today's materials, gloves are super warm as well, but those with extremely cold hands may want to consider a mitten. You can even get some mittens like the Swany Arctic Mitt that have a built in glove liner with a waterproof zipper on the mitt, allowing you to zip it open and stick out your "glove" if you need to use your fingers.
    3. Helmet: We think that every skier or snowboarder should wear a helmet, regardless of ability level, and many ski clubs require one. Helmets not only keep you safer, but they also keep you warm and comfortable for hours on end. An added bonus: companies like Smith, Giro, Ride, and POC make helmets in fun colors and patterns so you don't have to sacrifice style for safety. Our base model helmet, the Giro Bevel, costs $49.95 and has an adjustable size system and ventilation. There are tons of additional options and upgrades featured in helmets, again to enhance your days on the mountain.
      • Liners: The quality of a helmet's liner enhances fit and comfort. Additional padding and softer materials make these helmets warmer over your ears, and comfier sitting on your head.
      • Ventilation: Higher end helmets have adjustable ventilation, allowing you to control the climate of your helmet to contour to climate. Some helmets have one slider that adjusts all of the vents of a helmet, some have two so that you can adjust each side. The ability to control your ventilation prevents your head from overheating and sweating on warmer days, or retains heat to keep you warmer on those colder days.
      • Adjustable Fit: Many of today's helmets feature adjustable fit systems to give you the most precise and comfortable fit available. Some companies use a BOA dial system, or something similar to it, and some use a sliding track. These systems are easy to use and prevent your helmet from bobbling around on your head, again to improve your comfort as well as safety.
    4. Jacket: Ski and snowboard specific jackets are designed like pants to insulate heat and repel moisture, providing you with unparalleled comfort in even the harshest winter conditions. Many people wear hoodies or their streetwear jackets to the slopes and end up cold and wet, as the materials they are wearing do not retain heat, or resist water. Today's jackets are packed with features to keep your upper half comfortable in just about any conditions.
      • Breathability: Breathability allows water vapor (sweat) to pass through the fabric. A non-breathable jacket will trap moisture on the inside, making you more prone to becoming wet and cold. Breathability is measured in g/m2 (ie: 10,000 g/m2). The higher your breathability rating, the more breathable the fabric.
      • Waterproofing: A fabric's waterproofing is measured by how much water pressure the film can sustain prior to leaking, and is measured in millimeters (ie: 10,000mm). The higher the number, the more your jacket can withstand while you are active in wet elements. We recommend a minimum of 5,000mm for a comfortable experience. We don't sell any jackets below 5,000mm.
      • Insulation: With today's advances in insulation technology, gone are the times when you had to look like a marshmallow to stay warm in the winter. Materials such as Thinsulate or Primaloft are lighter weight, trap warm air, and tend to be thinner and allow for a more streamlined jacket look.
      • Taped seams: Critically taped seams or fully taped seams stop wind and moisture from seeping in through the needle holes of your pants. Manufacturers quite literally melt a piece of rubber-like "tape" under the seams to block the elements, ensuring that you stay warmer and dryer. Critically taped seams mean that only the major seams are taped, so in jackets this typically means the shoulders, hood, neck, and front zipper seams, whereas fully taped seams mean that every seam on your jacket has been sealed.
      • Powder Skirt: Built in powder skirts prevent snow and wind from creeping up your jacket, thus keeping you warmer and dryer in the snow. Most powder skirts feature a snap closure and an anti-slip silicone grip to hold on to your pants and seal off the inside of your jacket during falls. Some jackets have removable or stow-away powder skirts allowing your ski or snowboard jacket to cross over to every day winter wear, even when cruising around town.
      • Ventilation: Most of our jackets feature pit zips-- zippered vents under your armpits typically lined with mesh to eliminate excess heat. Pit zips come in super handy on warmer days to prevent you from sweating.
      • Pockets: Jackets are typically loaded with pockets which allow you to secure your valuables without worrying about losing them. Media pockets allow you to stow your phone or music player and have a headphone hole for easy access to your music. Pass pockets give you a place to secure your season pass for easy access. Goggle pockets are typically mesh lined and are on the interior of the jacket so that you can secure your goggles without worrying about scratching the lens while grabbing a snack at the lodge. Almost all jacket pockets feature some method of securing their contents with zippers, snaps, or velcro so that you don't have to worry about losing your valuables on the lift, or during a fall.
    5. Goggles: Goggles protect your eyes from the wind and snow, especially when the snow makers are blowing full force. Our base model goggle, the Scott Performance Goggle, starts at $24.95, and features a multi-light condition lens, top and bottom goggle ventilation, and a single layer of foam to rest against your skin. Of course there are a number of upgrades available in higher end goggles to make your goggles look and feel better.

    Lenses:

    • Color and Tint: Daytime skiers and snowboarders will typically want a darker lens to protect their eyes from the bright sun, or the reflected light from the snow. Nighttime riders will want a lens that is a little more see through, and comes in lighter colors, allowing better low-light visibility.
    • Mirroring: Those looking to use their goggles for primarily day use tend to enjoy fully mirrored lenses for ultimate color balance and contrast. Those looking for a great night-use goggle tend to go with a partially mirrored or reflective lens, better suited for low-light conditions while still maximizing color balance and contrast.

        Cylindrical vs. Spherical: Cylindrical lenses are shaped similar to your eyes, and the lens material is pre-shaped to fit the frame. Cylindrical lenses offer a more natural look. Spherical lenses are cut




        Mike Dannenhauer
        Mike Dannenhauer

        Author



        Leave a comment