The new gear is out and the sales are about to start! Are you in the market for new gear this year? Do you want it, or do you need it? If you WANT it and can afford it---happy shopping!! If you’re not sure if you need it or not, hopefully we can help you out.
Skis: Skis are a big-ticket item. If you take two- three ski trips a year and don’t ski in between---rent your skis! If saves the hassle of traveling with them and you’ll always get to ski on the newest technology that is tuned and ready to go. If you ski regularly throughout the winter or ski 50-100+ days per season then you’ll want your own skis, and maybe a couple of different types. Is it time to update? Here are things to look at and ask yourself.
Has there been a big change in technology since your current skis were made?
Is the condition of your ski base or edge beyond repair?
Have your skis lost their “snap” or responsiveness
Has your skiing ability changed?
If you answered yes to any of those, it may be time to look at purchasing new skis.
We would suggest though, several days of “demo-ing” before you decide on a new pair. You wouldn’t buy a new car without driving it first. What works for one person may not work as well for you, so test, test, test. You’ll feel the difference between skis. Take the one that works and feels the best to you, not the salesman!
Boots: Well fitting boots should last you for several seasons, depending of course; on the number of days you ski. They do not, however, last forever and should be examined each year for wear. We know its hard to think about changing those boots that have become oh so comfortable, but temperature changes, UV light and wear and tear all cause parts of the boots to break down.
First, check the soles, toe and heel pieces. If there is significant wear in these areas you should seriously consider replacements. Those components matter. They effect how your binding works and can be a safety issue. You do not want to be “that guy”—you know, the one sitting on the slope, looking at their sock and top half of their boot while the sole of the boot and your ski take off down the hill! (We’ve seen it!)
Second, if previously snug fitting boots, now allow your foot to slide around your liner is getting “packed out”. If your shell is in good shape, you may be able to replace the liner. Third, look at the plastic shell and buckle attachments. If you notice signs of wear or cracking in the plastic, you probably should consider replacements.
And finally, if your ability level has significantly changed, a new boot can help you progress in your skiing development.
Helmets: If your helmet has taken a major impact, REPLACE IT. Otherwise it is reasonable to expect 3-5 years out of your helmet. Just like your boots, the plastic and other protective components start to degrade with time, UV exposure, temperature and humidity changes and “use and abuse”.
Other gear is pretty self explanatory: If your poles are bent 90 degrees or broken, buy new ones. If you prefer wool hats like we do, replace them when they get a hole. Gloves, replace if the insulation is packed out, clumped up or there’s a hole in one of the fingers. Coats and pants get replaced for holes, worn out insulation, or if they just don’t fit anymore!