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Novice Skiier Gear Recommendations

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,


I'm relatively new to skiing and have a trip coming up to Whistler. My main question to you all is about certain gear that I need and what you recommend. I plan to purchase much of the gear online so if you could link me directly some well priced items and good brands then that would be great. By the way, I am a male. Here is the list of the needed items:


1. Ski Goggles (limit $100)

2. Ski Pants (white preferably, limit $200)

3. I already have a proper jacket, but are body compression shirts recommended?

4. Gloves?

5. What are the best socks for skiing?


Also, if you guys have general sites that are considered the best for ordering gear then please let me know.



post #2 of 9

For all your shopping, I suggest to go to a store as fit is important.   If you do order online, you may want to order multiple options and sizes and return what you don't want (hopefully flat rate returns)



Take a look at this guys's thread for suggestions on where to buy: STP and campmore.




1)  Goggles have to fit your face, that is most important, so you have to shop around.  

Also, be sure when shopping online that you get ones with proper sun protection.  All too often the ones on sale are cheap because they are  clear or flat light lenses meant for night or overcast skiing, be sure you don't accidentally buy those.


2) Pants and jacket, just be sure whatever you get is waterproof breathable.  (Just about everything marketed for snow sports is these days).


3) Base layers, be sure to get some kind of non-cotton base layer, this is somewhat important.  It should be desribed as as wicking or other sports-related trademarked term that keeps you dry.  This does not have to be expensive and it does not have to be a compression shirt, and does not have to be ski-specific, just needs to be non-cotton.  I just wear a non-cotton wicking t-shirt that costs less then $10 but this is me.


4) Gloves, again, look for waterproof breathable.   Most important factor is this needs to fit your hand properly and you have some dexterity.


5) Socks, look for ski-specific socks and definitely non-cotton.   Socks are important.   These are usually wool or synthetic .   Do not make a mistake to get thick socks thinking it will be warmer.  You actually want medium or thin socks which will improve circulation.  bring extra pairs as you might not know what will work best with your rental boots  Smartwool/IceBreaker/Lorpen/bridgedale are examples of manufacturers.


If you are also going skiing for the first time and renting boots, I also suggest that you also take along a insole/footbed.  This can just be something you may already have or the insole out of your favorite shoe.  In a pinch go to the drugstore and get a pair of Dr. Scholls.   If you want to do things properly, bring some superfeet or more expensive orthotics if you happen to have them


Edited by raytseng - 1/23/12 at 12:21pm
post #3 of 9

Welcome to Epic.  Buying goggles without first trying them on is not a great idea.  Some goggles are made for wide faces and some for narrow faces and each manufacturer has their own idea of what is wide or narrow or medium.  Bolle, Smith, Scott, Dragon, Oakley, Zeal and other all make good goggles, just be sure they fit your face with your helmet on, if you plan to wear one.  White pants, really??  Do you plan to wash them every day?  White is not a great color around ski lifts, it's fine for strolling the promenade deck on a cruise ship but not much else. Body compression shirts aren't needed.  For a base layer you want a good quality synthetic or merino wool.  I like Patagonia stuff but there are other makes as well.  Outdoor Research, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Swany, Black Diamond all make good gloves.  Just remember that mittens are warmer.  Hestra 3-finger gloves are warmer than some gloves.  Bridgedale, Lorpen and Smartwool all make good ski socks, just don't buy thick heavy ones.


Sierra Trading Post, REI, backcountry.com, Mountain Gear and there are others I'm sure that have good websites for ordering.  But, much of what you are interested in buying really needs to be tried on to see how it fits.  I wear a medium glove from some places and a large from others, Smith OTG goggles are too big for my face but Bolle is just right, and not all sock makers have the same sizing.  Support your local businesses and spend your money there.

post #4 of 9

I guess the best advise would be to try not to dump a lot of money right away. Get just the necessary stuff right now and then see if you like skiing and want to stick around - only then start dropping money on serious gear. Out of your list above:


Ski pants - for the first time, I would probably just go to a local sports store and pick something not terribly expensive there. When I was starting, I bought Arctix pants for I think $20 or so at local Modell's and these were decent enough for the first few times I skied in them.


Ski socks - don't cheap out on these. Make sure you buy a good pair or your feet will be sorry. Earlier this season I bought a few pairs of Icebreaker Skier+ Lite socks and been more then happy with them. At $23 a pair at backcountry.com - same price as cheaper socks you can buy at local ski stores...


Goggles - this is a hard one. Good goggles cost more then $100 and I'm not sure it's worth investing in cheap goggles. I've used Smith I/O & Oakley A frame, as well as POC goggles. Liked them all. Try looking for either Smith or Oakley's on Ebay, I'm sure you can get them for less then $100 shipping included.


Gloves - this is an expensive piece of equipment:) How cold is it at Whistler? It's it's below 0F, you might be better of with mittens. I know they are not as good looking as gloves, but having had to ski at -18F in gloves, the first thing I did when I was back home was to order mittens (and the only reason I did not buy a pair on the mountain was because they did not have any good mittens there). In any case, Hestra Heli gloves/mittens are highly recommended on this forum.


P.S. It's not on your list, but I would highly recommend getting base layer. Under Armour or something else. It does make a lot of difference...



post #5 of 9

lol, regarding the white.  


Get that color if that's what you want to rock!   Ski clothes are all about personal expression, the only other place where you can do this without judgement is the golf course and perhaps halloween.  Let your spirit shine.


Don't be dissuaded by mtcyclist.

If they are proper ski pants then they are waterproof; so anything water-based should just roll off and not stain or will wipe off with water.  (unless you messed up the coating such as by drycleaning or using fabric softener).

So now you're only left with oil-based stains which are typically food and your own personal sweat/body oils  I personally have learned not to spill food on myself around the age of 12, although some days I still do slip up and have a whoopsee..


post #6 of 9

Oh, and additional tip, if you do get cold, when you are up there, you can still drop by the on-mountain ski store and pick up anything extra.  Like a facemask/balacava/bandana or extra liner gloves or whatever, so don't overly stress about this and don't suffer on the mountain if you are not comfortable.


And second the suggestion that Helmet will keep your head warm (should be rentable with your gear)

post #7 of 9

I am part of that crowd that would prefer to send you to a local shop.  That way you could get the right fits. It could also be one stop shopping.  For whatever reason that you need to shop online, just go to the websites mentioned.


Here are some thoughts on your list.

1.  Goggles from the major brands are good.  Just make sure that they fit.

2.  If you cannot find white ski pants, look at the snowboard clothing brands.  One can find more color options there.  Make sure that you get something that is waterproof and breathable.

3.  Body compression layers work fine as base layers as long as they are made from breathable materials.

4.  Your choice depends on where you are going.  I would get something with a Gore-Tex membrane and a removable liner.

5.  Lots of good brands - Smartwool, Lorpen, Thorlo, Hot Chillys, Bridgedale, etc.  I would buy the same number of pairs as the number of days that you will be skiing.  It is so much nicer starting the day with a fresh pair of socks.



post #8 of 9

1. Ski Goggles (limit $100)  I buy cheap goggles and have no problem with them.  Yes, I recognize that more expensive goggles have better optics, but the cheap ones work for me. YMMV.  Also, every pair of goggles I've ever tried on fit my face, so I've never thought fit was all that much of a big deal. My advice is to buy something like this http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___88758 and spend the money you save on something more important.




2. Ski Pants (white preferably, limit $200)  This is another item where you don't have to spend a lot to get something that works quite well.  Any of the major brands should be fine and if you're not set on white you should be able to find a pair for about $80.



3. I already have a proper jacket, but are body compression shirts recommended?

I'm not sure what "body compression shirts" are, so I'd say no.  But get yourself a couple baselayer long sleeve T-shirts, something like this: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___79860



4. Gloves?  Look for removable liners.  The ideal is a waterproof breathable shell with an insulating liner inside.  OR makes such things.  So do other companies.


The advantage is that when the liner gets wet you can actually dry it out overnight, or change to a dry pair mid-day.  Every ski glove without removable liners that I've seen, when it gets wet it stays wet.  This will be of particular importance at Whistler.  The other advantage is that you can pack liners of varying thickness and change them out according to the temperature.


5. What are the best socks for skiing?  Thin socks.  Wool or synthetic.  Do NOT ski in cotton socks.




post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the responses everyone! I found them really helpful and look forward to looking for some good quality yet fair priced gear (if that's at all possible)


The biggest help was with the gloves and socks (now I know just how important these are)


Thanks again, and I will write on this thread again with any future questions.

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