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Skiing products that changed your skiing life

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
 What products/items have you found that really made a difference in your skiing life? What do you love? What can't you live without?

A few of mine:
Professionally fitted boots with Aline footbeds.
Thermal layers and a vest, even when it's colder than 20F

I ski better when I'm comfortable.

post #2 of 52
I'll go with...... the internet.  Thanks Mr. Gore!

There are three internet destinations that have completely changed not only who I ski with but where I ski and how I ski, not to mention when I ski.  Peeps I've been introduced to via electronic communications have inspired me to attend camps so I could emulate their style, you've inspired me to get back on the little hills of Michigan and work on my technique and y'all have inspired me to attend gatherings to meet even more peeps.

So really it's all about you, my friends, and the way we get together from all corners of the country and, in fact, the globe is through this site and others like it.  Hooray for the modern world!
post #3 of 52
By the decade:

1960s: My mom bought a second hand, one piece snowmobile (SkiDoo) suit for me when I was about 10. It was mostly black and the warmest thing I had ever worn. It changed my life because I could stand to be on the slopes all day. And I skied more than ever.

1970s: Dynamic VR17s. 1 pair GS 207, 1 pair SL 205. Along with hand me down Lange boots from a local WC racer, I was kicking butt racing with that gear.

1980s: Telemark. I was introduced to telemark by friends and it really opened up my skiing. I was learning something new which made skiing new to me again. I bought skins to tour; life has not been the same since I entered the backcountry.

1990s: Shape skis. K2 Fours, Atomic TM-20s, Karhu... Started with shape skis on tele, then back to alpine again. I was learning again, doing things I'd never done before.

2000s: Ski racing. I got involved with ski racing again by getting 1 pair each of SL, GS, SG and DH skis (brand spankily new!) with bindings and new Langes. I had come full circle with my skiing. I started volunteer, then paid, coaching and have learned as much as I have taught.

post #4 of 52
Night lights at a ski area.  They allowed me to start skiing 100+ days in Jr. High.

Lange Standards, and plastic boots in general.  So that is what you are supposed to do with those edges.
post #5 of 52
 What Bumpfreaq said!

Without the internet I wouldn't have learned about properly fitted boots, and Phil wouldn't have talked me into trying Dalbello Kryptons.  Without my Kryptons I wouldn't have learned how amazing the three buckle boot can be.  Without getting to know Bud and the rest of the amazing EpicSki Boot fitters I wouldn't have gotten my boots planed .....OMG they are amazing now!!!

The internet provided me with amazing Bears to ski with as well as the most amazing ski coaching I could have ever imagined!

post #6 of 52
Smart wool - now I don't stink anymore!

The magic carpet on the bunny slope.  Made getting never evers up SO much easier.

And as bumpfreaq said - the Internet.  Not only for learning and meeting people, but also for the invaluable help in selecting equipment - and in finding a great bootfitter!
post #7 of 52
Zip Fit liners with HotGear bag. After over 20 years of skiing, i now actually look forward to putting on my boots!

Smith goggles with fan and insert prescription lenses. No more fogging or horrid contacts!

I am a happy camper. Now, if only it was not 92 degrees!
post #8 of 52
I don't know how I didn't include the Hot Gear bag, too! It is absolutely fantastic.

post #9 of 52
Transpacks, the beauty is in the simplicity

Intuition Liners, warm, light and a perfect fit

High Speed lifts

Epic, of late I have more days skiing with Bears than without. 

Fat skis, oh so much fun
post #10 of 52
Ski Brakes-Life changing for anyone that's ever whacked the back of their head with nun chuck skis.

Pigskin glove covers for using the rope tows-went through 3 pair of gloves in a week before I found out the shop sold these for $4.00

Neck Gator-Has anyone ever seen a kid get hung when their scarf got caught inthe rope tow?

Astraltunes and Bone Fones-I don't listen to music while skiing anymore but this made the local bump I had skied 150 times interesting again when I was 15.

Vuarnet sunglasses-Increase depth perception and really help skiing in flat light.

Cat Tracks-save my arse, back of my head, and bottoms of my boots.  I don't care if they aren't cool.

Terrain Park- We used to have to join a team to be able to take jumps without getting chewed out by the patrols.

WiFi in the lodge-SO can't ski due to medical condition.  Need to keep Lodge Mom entertained while we ski and keep the kids entertained without huge video gam costs while I ski more after they give out.

EpicSki-got me motivated to start skiing again after 10 years off.
post #11 of 52
 Telemark gear, snowboards, and carving skis opened all kinds of possibilities for me and allowed my skiing experience to grow in ways that would have been impossible without these products.
post #12 of 52
 A few here for me:

1) Lasik-nuff said

2) Fleece- in general. In my stupidity i did not ski through 83-94 and when i returned i was amazed how how warm and comfortable fleece was in comparison to the "wool hand me downs" i grew up with.  Funny i have since shifted back to ibex and smart wool...but thats another story.  I can honestly say however, that the comfort of fleece got me back into skiing.  

3) reverse camber rocker- a few days with the rossi S7's has changed the way i look at chopped powder-which candidly, unless you are mostly hiking/sidecountry, is going to be the bulk of riding for most of us even on a good powder day 

4) custom footbeds- the stance and balance correction made the most profound effect on my skiing then, fleece, shaped skis, rocker/camber and high speed lifts made combined.  With the Internet--and ability of sites like this to buy used skis and bindings, there is no excuse for NOT allocating all of your initial  ski dollar outlay on well fitted boots and footbeds. 

5) Photo chromatic goggles.  After last season, I predict great things for this product.  The visibility, without having to delay and change lens, or worry about depth perception is wonderful.  This is a solution thats so simple, i cant believe it is not the de facto standard in goggles.  This should be on the top of the want to you want for the holidays-after saving for footbeds. 

I am now curious about intuition or similar type liners....hoping they have a similar dramatic effect vis a vis comfort and warmth as i get older, stiffer, colder and flabbier.

Edited by kbuzz - 7/15/2009 at 02:24 am GMT
post #13 of 52
What products/items have you found that really made a difference in your skiing life.

Snowboards & fat powder skis have probabably had the biggest impact on me personally.  These advances in the sport have opened a lot of terrain to the masses that wouldn't have had the skill to venture into previously.  I have nothing against these products & have been known to enjoy both myself.  I guess it is just the price of progress, but they have made a significant difference in my skiing life.

On a positive note,  modern SL race skis have opened up a whole new world of hard snow, on piste enjoyment.  High speed lifts are also pretty cool.

post #14 of 52
Big ole jetairliner.
post #15 of 52
Hands down snow making. We have all benefited huge from this.
post #16 of 52
In chronological order:

Avalanche beacons.


Contact lenses.

Fat skis.

Intuition liners.

post #17 of 52
Without a doubt the Ski Tote.  I gave up my Texas Suitcase forever.
post #18 of 52
Ski brakes: Now I don't have to worry about getting hit on the head by my Heads because my Heads are tethered to my feet.

Scott strapless grips: Still use 'em. Can't stand poles with straps. They stay attached to my hand when I need 'em and they break away when I crash or snag a tree branch.
post #19 of 52
Ski brakes

I can't think of any invention, anywhere, that matches ski brakes.
post #20 of 52
I agree with Mr. Prickly that ski brakes were a great invention!
Still, if I think at a personal level, I can identify an exact timeframe where something remarkable happened
Salomon SX 80 and later SX 91 rear entry boots.
Believe it or not those years I used the two models signed a great step for me, nearly a leap forward.
post #21 of 52

In the ski world, at least in my lifetime, the only thing that matches brakes is the "backward" buckle system built first by Lange, which is now of course standard on all boots.

post #22 of 52
Ski brakes are certainly nice and no doubt they prevented a lot of injuries, but they didn't change the way I ski.
Safety bindings ditto.
Plastic ski boots replacing leather boots did change skiing.
Likewise the ski lift really changed skiing, albeit a little before my time.
And where would we be skiing without the infernal combustion engine (also before my time)?

Ironically, once I get the gear I'll be spending more time skiing retro style - sans lift and not powering turns with alpine boots.
post #23 of 52
 Metal edges.
post #24 of 52
Screwless metal edges
post #25 of 52
Scarpa Terminator tele boots.  Fatties.  Interwebz,  Retirement.  
post #26 of 52

Pushup bras

Gore Tex


Zig Zags
post #27 of 52

1) Money
2) Shaped skis

3) Internet/Epic Ski
4) Head Raptor Boots professionally fitted
5) Hi-tech fabrics


post #28 of 52
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post

 What products/items have you found that really made a difference in your skiing life? What do you love? What can't you live without?
Thermoflex and Intuition liners, properly fitting boots have done more for my skiing than any other gear change.

I, of course, love skiing the steel; I found great affinity for the feel of skis with steel caps and steel top sheets, and found great confidence to be inspired by them. Uberdamp baby!

I love wicking baselayers which make skiing much more comfortable, as do Goretex gloves.

I love sensor mirrored, and platinum mirrored spherical goggles, which make a difference in visibility, not to mention that they look hella cool. .

I also love AT gear for climbing mountains once the bull wheels stop turning, or to leave the area in search of better conditions.

Can't live without? This question is just hyperbole, and as such is just plain silly. Stop being so silly!
post #29 of 52
In order of importance:
1. Shape skis
2. Intuition liners
3. Wicking baselayers (didn't learn about capilene until the mid/late nineties)
post #30 of 52
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post


Pushup bras

Gore Tex


Windproof lighter for Zig Zags

Fixed it for you
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