I was brought a pair of the Maier Lulaka shorts as a gift prior to my annual trip to the Lake District and from the moment I put them on I loved them! I am very particular about my clothes and often struggle to find something I feel comfortable in, however these have definitely become a staple in my wardrobe!
The mSTRETCH pro 4 four-way stretch not only means these are super comfortable but allows for ultimate freedom of movement. While scrambling up some rocks through some of the trickier parts of my hike I had unlimited stretch to ensure I had the best foot holds, the only thing that held me back was my own flexibility! Thanks to the Dryprotec when it rained I hardly noticed it on my legs, not like normal shorts that stick to your skin, these dried extremely fast, which was especially handy after my dog jumped in some puddles then jumped at me!
The stretch doesn’t stop at the waist like many others on the market it carries on to provide the perfect fit, especially when coupled with the easy lock belt. The four pockets provide plenty of storage to stash your snacks or essentials, and again you hardly feel these thanks to how stretchy the shorts are!
I’m really happy with my Ronix Vault wakeboard (2019). I’m finding my jumps and landings are much cleaner, and easier. I love riding this wakeboard and it looks great – I want to be on the water more than ever!
What’s great about the Ronix Vault board is whether it’s your first time getting up on a wakeboard or you’re an advanced level rider it’s an easy board to ride, it’s really stable, and will adapt to any situation you put it in.
This wakeboard is perfect for all levels of riding and feels awesome on the water. The amount of effort you have to put in to getting up on the water is minimal and it’s easy to use and manoeuvre.
Ronix classify the Vault for beginner or intermediate riders. It has a nice wide platform and a 3-stage rocker design to help give you that extra boost and launch you off the wake.
A cool feature to this wakeboard is it’s asymmetrical rail line that makes cutting and caving a breeze. The fins are different on the heel side to the toe side. On the heel side the fins are a little shorter, little shallower compared to the toe side that run longer which helps the toe side to be really stable, helping build confidence on the toe side edge when jumping the wake, giving you a nice clean take off and landing. Also built into the rails on the backside edge a little bit sharper over rail helping to hold the edge all through the wake.
This is a perfect wakeboard that helps build the riders confidence. the wakeboard is made from a foam cord with a fibre glass wrap its a solid board. I would highly recommend this board for all ages and all levels of wakeboarding.
I had the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti skis for a week and used them in varying conditions on piste which was hard packed and icy in the morning with soft spring condition snow in the afternoon. And after a dump of over a metre of snow I used the skis off piste too.
The first thing I noticed was how surprisingly light they were for 180cm ski. However these were the widest skis I had ever skied on so I was a little concerned about how they would react.
I shouldn’t have worried as they were excellent: high speed carving turns were a dream, very stable with great acceleration out of the turns. It was like being on rail tracks.
Shorter turns were also very easy and controllable. Just get in the rhythm and you are bouncing from edge to edge which seemed to take the skiing to another level.
Moguls were great fun, bashing the tops off and sliding down the back. Due to the sidecut I did not try the fall line route.
When on off-piste powder it was exhilarating, just like floating on a cushion of air.
The heavier slushy stuff towards end of the day was never a problem. The skis coped really well.
I really enjoyed skiing on the Atomic Vantage skis. They never let me down but to get the best out of them you have to work them and not be a passenger. By being aggressive with your skiing you will get so much out of them. They really are a dream for an advanced skier.
After years of testing and trying numerous different gloves and mittens I am happy to say I’ve finally found my perfect pair, the Planks Bro Down snow mitts! Not only are they a simple design but the glove liner within ensured all my fingers kept snug and warm whilst looking as though I was only wearing mittens. The 10K waterproofing and breathability meant my hands stayed dry all day and didn’t get too hot or sweaty whilst the quilted insulation kept them snug and cosy even when it was sub zero! They were easy to adjust and the glove leashes were great for when we stopped for a drink as I definitely couldn’t lose them.
I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking for a simple but effectively designed pair of mittens!
Before travelling to Poland for my ski trip I treated myself to a new ski jacket. I have always loved the Picture Organic Clothing designs – I just love the style and aesthetic – and particularly this year’s ‘marble’ range, so I decided to purchase the Tanya Marble snow jacket.
This is the first over-the-head jacket I have tried and the armpit-to-hip zip made it really easy to get on and off. The two-layer ripstop, with a crosshatch pattern, felt extremely durable and resistant to tearing, so I wasn’t worried about it getting damaged if I fell.
This outer fabric protects Picture’s DryPlay waterproof membrane and is covered by a durable water repellent (DWR) treatment, so the jacket is extremely waterproof. Even all the seams are sealed by tape to prevent water getting in!
The stretch snow skirt was brilliant for preventing snow (and cold) getting in, as were the wrist gaiters which were perfect for going over the tops of my gloves and keeping the heat in. The half zipper opening and underarm vents helped me regulate my body temperature when I was too warm however I stayed a perfect heat every day thanks to the breathability of the DryPlay membrane and the Coremax lining which insured I was cosy even when it got below 0 degrees.
I loved the front pouch pocket as it was great for my phone and sunglasses and even a snack for the mountainside, great size, and the magnetic poppers helped for quick and easy access.
I would recommend any of the Picture range as it is all beautifully designed and boasts multiple technical features! I absolutely loved this jacket, not only for its design but also the variety of qualities that made it perfect for my spring skiing holiday!
At Tallington Lakes our team tried and tested a variety of Falke ski and snowboard socks; this is what we thought…
Charlotte (Ski Instructor)
As a full time ski instructor it’s so important my feet are comfortable all day, every day; otherwise teaching becomes painful and I can’t focus or enjoy myself as much. After testing out different ski socks, both at work and on the mountains, I’ve never really found anything that I absolutely love…until now! The SK4 women’s skiing socks with their light cushioning instantly made my feet feel warm and padded; additionally the merino wool mixture felt soft and snug whilst also providing me with moisture wicking. So, even when out all day my feet stayed reasonably dry and cosy. What’s more is that I normally get really cold feet so I was slightly worried at trying one of the thinner-style socks in the range; but ultimately I was amazed at the heat they retained without building up moisture thanks to the air flow channels built in.
As someone who spends all day on the slopes, whether it’s here in England or in the Alps, I want socks that won’t have a negative impact on my performance, and with the SK4’s I found I have control and great power transmission credited to their thin cushioning and instep fit. They protect my feet from rubbing and blisters; whilst padding all the necessary areas without being too thick, meaning my feet have never been happier than in these Falke SK4’s!
Chandler (Snowboard Instructor)
I don’t normally mind what socks I wear when I teach and yet after trying the Falke SB2 men’s snowboard socks, I will definitely be wearing them in the future! My favourite factor was the stretch and elasticity; it meant they were really easy to take on and off but still had a snug fit for maximum comfort and performance. Even after a few washes, and initial worries of the SB2’s losing their resilience, the socks still held their shape and kept the secure fit I liked.
The SB2 socks were definitely more comfy than others that I’ve tried before; they kept my feet warm and prevented sweat building up because of the air channels, which I appreciated when boarding all day. I’ll definitely be using these in the future!
Paul (Boot Fitter and Snowboarder)
My main role here at the Pro Shop is as a ski and snow boot fitter, so it’s important for me to understand the technicalities of ski and snowboard socks. The SB2 men’s snowboard socks are brilliant! The extra padding is great for the high backs and binding zones because it prevents rubbing and eases pressure points, whilst the merino wool kept my feet warm throughout the day. I also liked the fact that they are anatomically designed because it meant they are fitted perfectly to the feet; which is great for boot fitting. Besides this, my favourite feature has to be the hydrophilic insides which draw moisture from the feet and the hydrophobic outsides which push the moisture out and away; keeping my feet dry, warm and comfortable!
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.
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
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
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!
The Picture Welcome Snow Jacket and Pant are designed for those wanting the best technical features with the lightest possible performance. Ideal for ski tourers and free-riders this is the ultimate technical outerwear for ups and downs.
The hood for the jacket
is helmet compatible and also has an adjustable 3D construction. This means
that when you move so does your hood, a simple but great feature giving you
better peripheral vision on the slopes.
The jacket comes with a detachable snow skirt and hand gaiters with adjustable cuffs. This means that when the best powder day of the season arrives you don’t have to worry about snow getting to your base layers and concentrate more on those rooster tail turns! The detach ability of the skirt is ideal for those trying to keep the weight down on multi day tours.
The design of the jacket is sharp with a performance fit. For those of you who have spent any time in the alps will be familiar with Pictures contemporary designs and bold colour ways. All zips are YKK, and come with a lifetime guarantee.
So that’s the performance features but what exactly does eco-friendly technical outerwear mean. Well Picture Organic Clothing strive to minimise the impact their clothes are having on the environment and here is how. The majority of the shell is made up from recycled polyester, which results in a large men’s jacket consisting roughly of 50 recycled bottles. If this isn’t enough Picture have invested heavily in developing a biodegradable water repellency across their whole line. Traditional DWRs (Durable Water Repellency) consist of contaminants such as PFC’s which when washed off your jacket stay in the environment and pollute the whole water system. There have been some terrible findings in water around some of the biggest ski resorts due to DWR’s washing off of outerwear. Picture’s new DWR Eco-Elite is totally biodegradable so after a greats days riding your conscience can rest knowing you haven’t had a negative impact on the environment.
I have been using the Welcome technical outerwear for the 2019 season and it has been highly adaptable in a variety of condition. From the powder days in January to one of the warmest February’s I can remember. It is definitely a great suit for those looking for the higher end technical features and performance whilst maintaining fantastic environmental principals.
Truly one of the best skis, wherever the mountain takes you, the Rossignol Soul 7HD. Although the Soul 7, with its 106mm waist, suggests its a big mountain ski; it is just as easy to ski on the piste as 85mm underfoot piste ski!
Taking the Soul 7’s away after two seasons out of skiing, and being use to a 85mm underfoot all mountain ski, it was safe to say that, even as a 23 year old confident chap, I thought I might of bitten off more than I can chew.
In my previous years skiing before my short break I would ski all of the mountain comfortably; including the odd hike to find some of the fresh snow in the untouched couloirs of the French/Italian Alps. Wanting to further my backcountry skiing the Rossignol Soul 7HD skis were highly recommended to me.
Rossignol Soul 7 Skis
The first day of my ski holiday came with the perfect conditions, lots of fresh snow, to throw me in the deep end with the new skis; the phrase ‘baptism by fire’ comes to mind. Although we are suggesting ‘fire’, myself and the Soul 7’s were in ‘heaven’. Instantly feeling so comfortable in the powder, strange noises of whoops of enjoyment were a regular occurrence. After each run through the trees or open couloirs I felt like my skiing had improved massively. The acknowledgement from my brother, a better powder skier than me (although I would never tell him), confirmed my thoughts. The family joke of ‘directional charging’ became much more of a reality as we were lapping the off piste sections.
As the week progressed unfortunately no more fresh snow was to come, no fresh powder but perfect corduroy piste with sunny conditions. This would be the real test on the hard pack piste with a 106mm waist. Again the Soul 7’s were unbelievably good. Carving made easy and edge hold with no chatter at all. Safe to say that I was highly impressed by the complete versatility of this ski. Towards the end of the week the snow became more hard pack, with some runs featuring ice patches. The best snow conditions were on the relatively untouched black runs which would prove to be the best test for the skis. The Soul 7’s is as easy to ski in the deep powder, and steep black runs, as it is on those leisurely blues and reds.
Therefore, for the advanced skier who wants to ski everything from deep powder to corduroy piste, with one ski, the Soul 7HD is the ski for you. But also for the more advanced intermediate who wants to get more into the big mountain skiing this is a great ski that makes life easier in all conditions.
Thanks Mark (skiing in January in the French/Italian Alps).by
They will no doubt explain the benefits of the full wood core, the single titanium laminate, the power zone, and the all terrain rocker – to name a few – and how these XDR skis meet Salomon’s desire to produce a ski that, in resort (or frontside as they like to call it) will handle a variety of snow conditions, such as carving groomed pistes, powering through crud or floating on fresh powder.
What I will say, “there isn’t an emoji with a big enough grin to express how much fun these skis are to ski”! I’m not going to explain the all mountain C/FX Shape; I’m going to say these are the best skis I have ever skied on; they are the skis for me!
So who am I? I’m the average recreational skier, who once a year travels to the mountains (Alps) to ski for six days. I like to ski on piste, and I’m extremely comfortable on red runs. I’m sure that ‘technically’ I could improve, but I’m on holiday, and my main focus is to have fun skiing in the mountains! I’m on the first lift and will ski all-day; so the ease with which I skied these skis, made them all the more delightful – and they look good too!
These skis took me where I wanted to go, on large carving turn, with excellent edge hold; even on the few ‘black’ runs these skis gave me the confidence to attack. The faster I went the more stable and confident I felt. I was having fun, run after run, and thanks to the lightweight construction I could – all day long!
I even ventured off-piste! Well a little area of ‘powder’ between the runs. I was awful, but the skis gave me plenty of float as I manoeuvred myself back to the haven of the neighbouring run. I tried it a few times, and marginally improved, however it only reinforced my love of the groomed ‘corduroy’ pistes – which is where I stayed!