A Complete Equipment Guide to Start Skiing

What to wear Before, During, and After

A quick Checklist for Recreational Skiers

  1. BEFORE (On Route)
    • Socks
    • Long johns
    • Pants (Joggers, or jeans)
    • Winter shoes
    • Light Jacket
    • Sunglasses
    • Water bottle
    • Smart Phone
    • Gloves
    • Toque/hat/cap
  2. DURING (Skiing)
    • Lift ticket
    • Ski pants
    • Jacket
    • Ski boots
    • Helmet & Goggles
    • Facemask /Necktube
    • Gloves
    • Skis
    • Poles
    • Backpack
  3. AFTER (Apres or On Route Home)
    • Change of socks
    • Pants (Joggers, jeans, etc)
    • Apres sweater (hoodie, etc)
    • Light jacket
    • Cap/Toque/Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Water bottle
    • Gloves
    • Smart phone

A quick Checklist for Racers:

  • BEFORE (On Route)Socks
    • Long johns
    • Race Suit
    • Race Shorts (Suspenders/belt)
    • Winter shoes
    • Light Jacket
    • Gloves
    • Sunglasses
    • Toque/hat/cap
    • Water bottle
    • Smart Phone
  • DURING (Skiing)
    • Lift ticket
    • Socks
    • Long johns
    • Race Suit
    • Race Shorts (Suspenders/belt)
    • Facemask /Necktube
    • Ski Jacket
    • Ski boots
    • Helmet & Goggles
    • Gloves
    • Skis (Multiple : DH, GS, SL)
    • Poles
    • Backpack
  • AFTER (Apres or On Route Home)
    • Change of socks
    • Pants (Joggers, jeans, etc)
    • Apres sweater (hoodie, etc)
    • Light jacket
    • Cap/Toque/Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Water bottle
    • Gloves
    • Smart phone

CheckList

There are many things running through your head as you prepare for your first ski trip of the season or perhaps first time ever. You are very excited for the new experience, but also nervous and unsure of exactly what to expect. One key way to reduce the tension is through proper planning. Our recent trip to Lake Louise for the start of our season was with mixed emotions. “Do I remember how to ski?” “Do I have everything necessary to have fun and enjoy the slopes?” You’re excited and a little anxious at the same time. You can avoid the tension and anxiety by being prepared and making a list.

This handy list will reduce the stress and ensure you have everything necessary to fully enjoy your first days on the slopes. If you do not own some of the necessary items (skis, poles, helmets, etc.) listed below, you can rent them at most resorts. On the other hand, most of the clothing items should be purchased on your own.

1. Skis, Poles, and Bindings

If you do not own or lease skis, you will need to rent them from the resort. Rental employees are knowledgeable and will guide you through your rental decisions, making sure your skis and poles are suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers. They will also help set up the ski bindings to the proper setting based upon your size and ability.

2. Ski Boots

You can rent ski boots at the resort, but this is not recommended. Boots are designed to conform to your feet, so often times rental boots are very uncomfortable. If at all possible, we suggest purchasing your own boots, even if it’s your first time. You will be far more comfortable and enjoy the experience much more. Your boots should be snug, but not overly tight. See our article 4 Easy Steps To Put On Ski Boots.

3. Ski Helmet

For first timers, safety is paramount and you should never miss a day without a helmet. There are an assortment of helmets available to purchase (or rent) so you should be able to locate one that fits and works properly. They’re actually more comfortable that you think and we can’t imagine a day without it now.

4. Ski Jacket and Ski Pants

Wearing clothing that is warm, insulated, and wind / water resistant is also key. While on the mountain, the weather can fluctuate and become cold and wet in an instant. Weather resistant clothing will keep your body comfortable and dry regardless of the conditions. Being cold is the quickest way to ruin your day, so the right ski jackets and pants are critical.

5. Base and Mid Layers

Base layers are what you wear under your jacket and pants and are often are just as important, especially in colder climates. When applying your base layers avoid cotton products, as they are neither waterproof nor breathable. Synthetic material or wool works best.

If it is very cold, then adding a mid layer over the base is suggested. A fleece, sweater, and other similar clothing will keep you warm on the mountain.

6. Gloves / Mittens

Insulated gloves or mittens are also very important ski items. Since your hands will be in contact with the snow throughout the day, waterproof gloves or mittens are a necessity. Your gloves or mittens should also offer enough dexterity so you can easily hold on to the ski poles. Anything that keeps us dry and warm for the climate is on our list. We use Auclair because they have a full variety at great prices.

7. Ski Socks

Along with your hands, keeping your feet dry is also important to enjoy your day. One of the biggest mistakes we see new skiers make it wearing a sock that’s too thick or not made for skiing. Thicker doesn’t mean more comfortable or warmer. Choosing the right material is highly recommended. You should bring a minimum of two pair of ski socks, as you never know if you will need the second pair. Changing socks at lunch is something you’ll thank us for later. Your socks also should be made out of wool or synthetic materials in order to keep your feet dry.

8. Goggles

Goggles help increase your vision while battling glare and precipitation. If you are renting a helmet at the resort, it may also help to rent your goggles as well. Goggles often fit differently depending on the helmet, so this will ensure they fit. SkiChatter staff use XSPEX goggles and lens. They’re unique because they have magnetic lens that are super easy to switch depending on the weather (sunny vs cloudy/snowy)

XSPEX Goggles – Quick Change

9. Backpack

To ensure you are prepared for anything, bringing a backpack filled with an assortment of items is wise. For example, you can pack sunscreen, lip protection, face masks, hats, medical kits, and other small items.

When you have confirmed that you have everything on this list, you are ready to hit the slopes. If you are missing any of these items, your local shop will offer a wide selection of ski equipment and clothing to ensure you are ready to go skiing for the first time.

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