Remember: you are probably going to be flying and will have to fit everything into your ski bag and holdall. So, this is my ultimate guide after massively over packing for my own season!
Firstly, keep in mind that you will, hopefully, be skiing everyday for five months so invest in your kit wisely! The number one piece of kit on your list should definitely be boots, whether that is ski or snowboard. We’ve all worn rental kit, which is just about passable for a week but these need to be comfortable from the moment you step onto the slopes on your first day to the last day of the season. Go to a shop, and get your boots fitted properly. A simple solution is to get a footbed, get them heat moulded, and wear them in before you go. Then you’re not wasting your precious slope time trying to make sure your feet don’t hurt! Get several good pairs of socks too; this will ensure your feet stay warm and provide all the necessary padding in all the important areas.
Secondly, get yourself a tray, or two! Investing in a snowboard or skis will mean you can have exactly the right kit to meet your needs. Remember, you are there for five months so you have to think about what you can achieve in that time; even as a beginner you can progress to be riding powder (which will happen) to free-styling within a month or so. Since you are riding every day make sure you get yourself something you can have fun on everywhere as well. An all-mountain set up that’s not too stiff will mean you can venture anywhere on the mountain, including the park, but won’t hold you back on the fresh corduroy. With your hardwear now covered, don’t forget your head. Never ride without a helmet, protect yourself!
Get yourself a comfortable pair of goggles that fit well with your helmet. Having the choice of lenses is also a good idea: the Oakley Prizm Rose are ideal for cloudy-to-low-light days but will cover you if the sun decides to shine; paired with the Oakley Fire or Sapphire Iridium and you’ll be covered for all levels of ability.
For the duration of your season, one pair of salopettes is plenty but ensure that they have leg vents. Bib pants are a great choice since you get more pockets and they keep all the snow out, especially on a powder days. They are also fantastic for summer slush laps as they provide all the important cover without the need for extra layers, not to mention they look pretty cool too.
Clothes and layers are equally as important, since you will see all sorts of weather throughout the season; where sunburn is possible and but so is frostbite. You’ll need t-shirts and sun cream when riding in 12°C sun and also a number of thermal tops and leggings for those really cold days. Remember, layering is more than just one massive coat, so grab a riding hoodie or fleece (or three), plus a thin waterproof jacket. This will benefit greatly as you can then mix and match your apparel depending on the weather – so you don’t get too hot or too cold! What’s more, a cheap spare coat that you are happy to get a little dirty is a must-have for your nights out.
With all your technical equipment accordingly sorted, now to decide what to wear when you’re off the slopes! The mountains are surprisingly not a fashion show you don’t need a new top every time you go out; a couple of spare jeans and tops will do you fine, just make sure you stay on top on your washing!
Finally, my top seasonaire tip – make sure you pack yourself a 4-way plug because you can be sure that you’ll need to charge several things at once. This way, not only have you got a bit more extension but there won’t be any arguments over plugs!
For more information about any equipment please see our other blog posts or visit us in-store.
Lottie (Chief Instructor)by
It’s been almost two years since the beautiful partnership with my Smith’s sunglasses began and I couldn’t have asked for a better pair. We’ve been all over the world together from the likes of far East Asia to the busy bustling cities of Europe.
However, as great as my sunnies are, they’re no match for alpine skiing conditions, which is why I’ve upgraded to the big guns. Tallington Lakes were kind enough to let me test out a pair of Smith I/OX snow goggles as I embarked on my adventure to the French Alps. When I first opened the box a bright smile was looking back at me, it was my own reflection cast from the pristine conditioned ‘ChromaPop’ lenses.
I’ve been skiing now for the best part of twenty years and I’ll be honest, I’ve never really invested too much into my snow goggles. Comparing my old pair to these I/OX goggles, it’s clear to see there’s no competition. It’s like trading in your old banger of a car, that’s just about managed to get you from point A to point B; for a souped up, all singing, all dancing teched out super car!
If I knew it wasn’t impossible, I would have placed a bet that Tallington Lakes had rigged the weather system in order to really allow me to test these goggles. In the one week I was there, I encountered harsh snow blizzards, gale force winds, torrential rain, depressingly overcast to extreme dazzling sunshine without a cloud in sight.
These I/OX goggles come equipped with two different lenses in order to combat the diverse weather you can clearly come across whilst in the mountains. Do not fear though, unlike other interchangeable lenses where it feels as if you are solving a rubix cube for hours, the lens swapping process here is very straight forward.
The first lens provided is the ‘ChromaPop Sun Platinum Mirror’ with a VLT (Visual Light Transmittance) of 13%. In English, it means only 13% of light passes through the lens. 13%?! I’ll do the maths for you, that means your eyes are shielded against a whopping 87% of all light particles trying to shine through. You will be correct in thinking, that’s an astronomical amount of light being blocked – however what you need to realise, is the UV rays from the sun are more powerful when you’re stood on top of a mountain. Those rays are then reflected from the snow which create the super annoying blinding-glare effect. Therefore a 13% VLT rating truly is a remarkable feat and not only does it work, it works brilliantly. I never once felt myself squinting from the sun glare. The goggles allowed me to easily pick out my turns in order to avoid the treacherous trees and murderous moguls.
For extreme low light conditions, such as the total white out blizzard I unfortunately ended up in, Smith have designed the ‘ChromaPop Storm Rose Flash’ with a VLT rating of 50%. If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to ski in a white out, you will remember the dreaded feeling of being lost, lonely and confused as you vision becomes extremely impaired. You’ll remember trying to pick out those piste pole markers you took for granted as you attempt to safely escape the mountain – the skiers and snowboarders who were only a few feet away completely disappear and all you end up saying on repeat is “I can’t see a thing in these goggles”. Sound familiar?
Without those low light lens on, I think I’d still be stuck on that mountain top.
An important issue with snow goggles is the potential fogging up of the lenses. This can be due to a number of different reasons from the change in air temperature to difference in altitude to simply the hot panting breath you produce when working your legs overtime to get those turns in.
Thankfully Smith have countered all these problems by installing an incredible feature called the ‘AirEvac’. It allows for a constant air flow in order to reduce the risk of foggy goggles. On top of this amazing feature, the Smith lenses are equipped with 5x anti-fog inner lenses which provide five times the fog absorption compared to anything else on the market!
I’m a wimp when it comes to the cold so I always wear my neck-warmer around my face and over my nose to stay warm. Therefore every time I breathe out, the hot air rises and attempts to pierce through my goggles defences. If I were in my ‘old banger’ goggles I surely would have fogged up and skied off a cliff. These goggles didn’t even slightly fog up once during my entire week!
The extra-large spherical lens of the I/OX allows unparalleled peripheral vision which is absolutely vital when you’re skiing on a busy slope surrounded by potential collisions.
To top everything off, the goggles are perfectly designed to fit comfortably on your face whilst attaching easily to the back of your helmet.
With the weather forecast ahead still predicting a huge amount of snow this season, it’s not too late to book another ski adventure. I cannot recommend these ski goggles enough – imagine a ski holiday in ultra coloured HD, it’s there and yours for the taking!
Adam (Ski Instructor and Water Ski/Wakeboard Boat Driver))by