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A couple beginner equipment questions (helmet, google, ski/boot rental)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Per some of my previous postings, the family is going out to BeaverCreek for 5 days soon.

 

We've been busy trying to get all of the gear ready, as being in Florida, we don't have much of the winter snow sports stuff.

 

Goggles - I've seen a bunch of Bolle (I've always liked the brand) goggles for $15-$30 that look pretty nice.  Except the fact that they all have what appears to be a pinkish hue to the lens.  What's the general consensus on that?

 

Helmets - checking out some rental places, they seem to be about $10 a day.  So covering a 5 day trip for 4 people, that's going to add up to a bunch.  I've found some relatively cheap ($40 give or take?) on STP and with a coupon, that could end up being less than the rental.  Except my wife is not too find of traveling with 4 helmets and then storing them back in FL for a year or two when we might go skiing again.  Should we just rent?  I hate to throw away $ like that, but I see her point.

 

Ski/boot rental - we're starting off and ending in Denver, and one friend told us to rent the equipment there instead of at the resort location.  I did check Christy's last nite and they appear to be right - its significantly cheaper to rent in Denver and just keep it for the whole time (I think) plus they have the kids discount.  You guys tend to agree?

 

I think that was most of what I was wondering about now.  I'm sure I'll have more questions later.

post #2 of 15

Goggles - get the cheapest one you can find as long as it's comfortable. Avoid getting lenses that are either too dark or too clear, get something in the middle that can work fine either if you get sunny days or cloudy days.

 

Helmet - if buying helmets is gonna be cheaper, just buy them! If you don't wanna carry them from Florida as long as you have the hotel reservation tell STP to ship to the hotel and since it's gonna be cheaper to buy than to rent, you can do whatever you want with them after that week of skiing, either take back or trow away, or give away... it's going to be cheaper anyway. Worst case scenario, if you are not sure if you are buying the right helmet that will fit, just send them back to STP, they have a prepaid label and rent. But I would go for the cheaper option which is to buy...

 

Ski/Boots - get them at the resort, what would you do if you get boots in Denver go to beaver creek and you don't like it, or it starts to hurt your feet after 10 minutes of skiing? This is an easy issue to fix if you rent equipment in the resort or a close by ski shop. Usually it's cheaper to rent on local ski shops than the resort, probably not cheaper as renting in Denver, but again that could potentially become more expensive if for whatever reason you don't like what you get!

post #3 of 15
Hi

The pink bolles are great, they work in cloudy and Ive used even in sunny days. Its more likely to be cloudy though.

But I wouldn't get the cheapest (Id say 50 bucks would be good) Its a nightmare for a beginner to be fighting with glasses in a low visibility situation.

But the goggles are more important if its snowing or you are in high speed. If not even normal sunglasses would be fine
post #4 of 15

Get goggles that seem to have good ventilation--nothing worse than a fogged up pair of goggles. Rose colored lenses are a pretty good all around lens.  And at the risk of being branded a heretic--for a once a year skiing family from Florida you could--gasp--skip the helmets (unless the law requires the kids to have them).  BTW I wear a helmet every day but I probably ski a lot faster and steeper than you (and I might leave it if it won't fit in my luggage).  

post #5 of 15
This is probably not very political correct to say, but if I were you I'd just skip the helmet if green runs are what you ski on. Falling while on skis at slow speed you almost always land on your shoulders. And depends on the weather you can even skip goggles too, when I was a beginner I rarely use mine even though it's always strapped to my head (with a hat, no helmet then).
post #6 of 15
I would recommend the helmets even on green runs, you never know when something will happen on the run or on and off the chair lift, it is so easy to get bonked in the head. Happened to hubby this weekend getting off chair lift and got knocked over by someone else and head whacked into metal of chairlift. We were grateful of helmet!
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiki View Post

I would recommend the helmets even on green runs, you never know when something will happen on the run or on and off the chair lift, it is so easy to get bonked in the head. Happened to hubby this weekend getting off chair lift and got knocked over by someone else and head whacked into metal of chairlift. We were grateful of helmet!

 

Exactly.  Just because you're on a green run doesn't mean you won't get hurt.  Two seasons ago I was messing around trying to learn to snowboard, on the Magic Carpet area, caught an edge and went down hard.  Hard enough to see stars.  If I had not had on my helmet I'm very sure I would have had a concussion.  I've had people lower the chairlift bar without any warning and once got whacked in the head.  And then there's the people carrying their skis over their shoulder who suddenly turn around without thinking about their skis.  Goggles help keep you face warmer when it's really cold too, as well as protecting your eyes from UV radiation, and on really sunny days, snow blindness.

post #8 of 15

How about buying helmets for you and the wife, while renting for the kids who are still growing?  Do you have time to return if the fit is not right?  Helmets are shaped slightly different, as are heads.  All work the same but a better fit means more comfort.  Also, some helmet/goggle combinations work better than others.

 

Rent closer to where you are going to ski, not in Denver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post

Per some of my previous postings, the family is going out to BeaverCreek for 5 days soon.

 

We've been busy trying to get all of the gear ready, as being in Florida, we don't have much of the winter snow sports stuff.

 

Goggles - I've seen a bunch of Bolle (I've always liked the brand) goggles for $15-$30 that look pretty nice.  Except the fact that they all have what appears to be a pinkish hue to the lens.  What's the general consensus on that?

 

Helmets - checking out some rental places, they seem to be about $10 a day.  So covering a 5 day trip for 4 people, that's going to add up to a bunch.  I've found some relatively cheap ($40 give or take?) on STP and with a coupon, that could end up being less than the rental.  Except my wife is not too find of traveling with 4 helmets and then storing them back in FL for a year or two when we might go skiing again.  Should we just rent?  I hate to throw away $ like that, but I see her point.

 

Ski/boot rental - we're starting off and ending in Denver, and one friend told us to rent the equipment there instead of at the resort location.  I did check Christy's last nite and they appear to be right - its significantly cheaper to rent in Denver and just keep it for the whole time (I think) plus they have the kids discount.  You guys tend to agree?

 

I think that was most of what I was wondering about now.  I'm sure I'll have more questions later.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the resort kids ski school required helmets.  I think the best thing to do is get them for all of us, and then maybe just keep/bring home the adult helmets and just rebuy the kids again when we plan another ski vacation.

 

Will have to give some consideration to the goggles.  Sunglasses would be fine for me.  We both have a nice set of polarized, so perhaps that will be sufficient.  The kids don't wear them, so maybe the goggles would be good for them.

post #10 of 15

I think pretty much all ski schools in the US require kids to wear helmets.  Call Beaver Creek and ask if they rent them and compare the cost of renting to buying.  Goggles are a must for your kids, for warmth and UV protection both.  Unless your sunglasses are the wrap around style, get goggles because regular sunglasses, e.g. Ray-Ban Aviators, provide virtually no wind protection.  The wind will make your eyes water and cold.  Just because you have "nice" sunglasses doesn't mean they're any good for skiing.

post #11 of 15

You should buy goggles for the kids.  Not only for protecting eyes, but also for keeping the faces warmer if happen to have cooler temps.  Or if you are lucky enough to be skiing during a snowstorm.

 

Some ski school rental packages include equipment and helmet.

 

As I remember, you were considering private lessons.  Perhaps a better allocation of the budget would be for the basic equipment and group lessons for the kids.

 

What are you doing for socks?

post #12 of 15

Have you ever seen the way kids swing their poles around and treat them like swords?

 

Goggles for kids for sure.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

thanks again for the continued responses.  This certainly gives us plenty to think about.

 

Lessons - still debating, however, I'm beginning to wonder if a half day is going to be enough.  I think for the adults, maybe we try a full day (its really more cost effective to do the 2nd half of the day - $550 for a half vs $770 for the day).  Maybe we get a half day lift ticket and ask the instructor to go up on the mountain in the afternoon and help us up there?  As for the kids, private or class, we're still deciding.  They'll be with their cousins, so I think they'd still have a good time in a private lesson, but I'm just trying to gather as much info as I can and then we can sit down and decide.

 

Socks - we all just got a couple pairs of Smartwool ski socks from STP.  Had a big box come in yesterday with jackets, pants, long underwear, socks, etc.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Goggles - I've seen a bunch of Bolle (I've always liked the brand) goggles for $15-$30 that look pretty nice.  Except the fact that they all have what appears to be a pinkish hue to the lens.  What's the general consensus on that?

Googles are a fairly personal preference item.  Different goggles fit different faces differently.  Go to a good ski shop in Avon when you get to BC - Suggest Christie Sports right on the main drag in town.  They have a lot of googles to choose from.  For example, the goggles that fit me well don't fit my son.  My daughters helmet interferes with my goggles if she tries them so hers are different.  That's the other guidance - while helmets and goggles tend to work well together, you need to try them to make sure they compatible with each other and your face.

 

The pinkish hue helps with contrast and getting the blue light out.  You get a lot of blue at high altitude and during cloudy conditions.  When there isn't bright sunlight, you can get "flat light" conditions.  You'll totally understand the first afternoon you ski in the mountains and you get either overcast or in a heavy shaded area.  You'll lose all the detail in front of you and the color helps to bring some of that back.

 

 

 

Quote:
Helmets - checking out some rental places, they seem to be about $10 a day.  So covering a 5 day trip for 4 people, that's going to add up to a bunch.  I've found some relatively cheap ($40 give or take?) on STP and with a coupon, that could end up being less than the rental.  Except my wife is not too find of traveling with 4 helmets and then storing them back in FL for a year or two when we might go skiing again.  Should we just rent?  I hate to throw away $ like that, but I see her point.

 

Don't ski without a helmet.  Your co-pay at the neurologist will be more than the cost of the helmet in many cases.  Don't go cheap or with  bad fit either.  Rent a good one or buy a good one but don't go without.  I'm a ski patroller and can tell you first hand it's a big deal (besides having one literally save my son's life last year).  It's not a panacea but wearing helmets has cut head injuries something like 60% or so at ski areas (not exactly sure of the numbers but it's very significant).  As far as helmets go, again it depends on the fit, size and shape of your head. It's pretty hard to get it right without trying it on first.

 

 

 

Quote:
Ski/boot rental - we're starting off and ending in Denver, and one friend told us to rent the equipment there instead of at the resort location.  I did check Christy's last nite and they appear to be right - its significantly cheaper to rent in Denver and just keep it for the whole time (I think) plus they have the kids discount.  You guys tend to agree?

Unless you know how ski boots are supposed to fit, I'd rather have the ability to have a local place to go and fix problems.  Boots that don't fit right can be a huge problem.  If you rented them in Denver and there is no outlet up in Avon, you'd be stuck.  Otherwise, you could go back to the local shop in Avon and they could help you out and fix the problem.  I'd guess since the questions you ask indicate that you haven't really done this before, you probably are not going to be quite sure of what a proper fit is so there is probably a good chance to have a problem.

 

Hope that helps.  What I'd do is call ahead to ski shops in either Avon or Vail and get set up with them before you go.  Then when you get there, you'll be all set.  Good choices would be Christie Mountain Sports, and (I think) Beaver Creek Sports.  Both have multiple and accessible locations.   Beaver Creek Sports is in the Westin at the base of the gondola and also has a shop (IIRC, someone correct me) up at the Beaver Creek Village on the mountain.  Christie Sports is right downtown in Avon and is very accessible and has a good selection of equipment, clothing and accessories.  My bet is that most places will be somewhat overstocked given the slow start to the season so there might be some good deals to be had on things like goggles etc...  

 

There are many local shops and I'm sure others can make suggestions as well.  

 

As for lessons, Vail and BC have a great ski school.  Just go up there (or call ahead) and ask them.  They'll give you good advice and probably have a program that will meet what you need.  We've used them when our kids were little and found them to be more than helpful.

 

We own property at BC and are there all the time.  You'll have a blast.  Don't try and figure it all out on your own, make sure you contact the ski school and ski shops ahead of time.  That way you won't go tromping around while wearing ski boots trying to figure it all out.

 

J.

post #15 of 15

The kids can be together in a group lesson too.  You can ask ski school what the maximum number is for a beginner group.  Usually fewer for never evers.

 

A full day lesson is only more cost effective if you have the stamina and interest to keep going strong all day long.  Perhaps try the group lesson on the first day, and book a private for the second.

 

Usually when booking a lesson, you get a full day ticket even if only doing a 1-hour lesson.  Sometimes there is a discount.  There are places were it's possible to get a lift ticket for just one beginner lift.

 

By the way, the thread was moved to the Beginner Zone.  I imagine there are others who have similar questions.

 

Definitely good to have two pairs of ski socks for everyone.  I often change socks at lunch time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post

thanks again for the continued responses.  This certainly gives us plenty to think about.

 

Lessons - still debating, however, I'm beginning to wonder if a half day is going to be enough.  I think for the adults, maybe we try a full day (its really more cost effective to do the 2nd half of the day - $550 for a half vs $770 for the day).  Maybe we get a half day lift ticket and ask the instructor to go up on the mountain in the afternoon and help us up there?  As for the kids, private or class, we're still deciding.  They'll be with their cousins, so I think they'd still have a good time in a private lesson, but I'm just trying to gather as much info as I can and then we can sit down and decide.

 

Socks - we all just got a couple pairs of Smartwool ski socks from STP.  Had a big box come in yesterday with jackets, pants, long underwear, socks, etc.

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