It's less than a week away - Christmas that is. are you still stumped for a gift for that extra special ski junkie in your life? Need some ideas? Here's some top tips to make them smile on Xmas Day.
Extra Special for that Extra Special Someone:
1. Clothing: Experienced skiers and boarders will generally prefer to buy their own jackets and pants as they will be looking for gear which is hardworking and technical - so it's always better for them to tell you what they want, or to choose it with you. Garments with Gore-Tex will add a premium to the price tag, but most brands will also have their own version which can be just as good at a much cheaper price. A good technical garment means that it will keep you warm and dry whether you're on the chairlift or in a couloir; it will have enough pockets to stow goggles, glasses and other paraphernalia; jacket hoods will cut out the wind without restricting field of vision too much, moisture generated by exertion will be wicked away so keeping the body dry. There are a lot of features to take into consideration - so make sure you know what they want.
2. Equipment: Again take them with you to the shops, or get a gift voucher. If he or she is a backcountry enthusiast you could also consider items such as beeps, probes, shovels, rucksacks - again unless you know exactly what they want, it's probably better for them to choose for themselves.
1. Accessories: Skiers and boarders need a lot of other items on the mountain - so this is ideal if you're not wanting to buy big but still want to make it meaningful. Items that could come in under the £100 mark include goggles, gloves, and glasses too.
2. Underwear: Baselayers are often overlooked by the beginner so would make a great gift. Good baselayers will keep the skin dry and so the wearer stays warm. This is particularly good for beginners, who will usually get hot and sweaty quite quickly with effort. If you get sweaty in low temperatures dampness on the skin can very quickly turn cold which will effect your enjoyment. Brands to look for include Helly Hansen, Odlo, etc - make sure that any baselayer garments you buy promise to wick moisture away from the skin. Merino wool base layers are very popular and do the job!
Socks, neckwarmers, hats, sunblock, hand warmers, hip flasks - you name it the gift is out there. The more experienced skiers and boarders will tend to shy away from novelty items - so maybe forget the hat with fake dreadlocks. For the intermediate to expert, look for function as well as funky.
When buying hats it's a good idea if these aren't too bulky - so that they can be easily put in a pocket if the temperatures rise, and also look for fleece lined hats which keep heads and ears much warmer than hats without linings.
Apps: There are loads of apps out there which can measure speed, altitude, distance covered, where the nearest bar is etc. So just shop around in the relevant app store to get an idea.