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Ski Instructors Picks

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Each year, ski and snowboard brands improve their technology and styles, which makes doing annual ‘gear reviews’ a dream. We come across amazing new clothing and kit that we love, and sometimes that changes our skiing/riding forever. However, no one actually gets new kit every season – what about those old-faithful items, that can’t be beaten and that you love just as much as your shiny new stuff...?

We want to know more about everyone’s favourite gear. SnowSkool asked a bunch of ski and snowboard instructors, what’s their favourite long-term bit of kit and what’s their favourite new bit of kit.

 

Declan, Big White, Canada

What’s your favourite, long-term bit of kit and why?

My Oakley Prizm Inferno goggles - my head gets really hot which leads to fogging but not with these as they have a heated element in the lens that’s a bit like a car windscreen!

What’s your favourite, new/recent bit of kit and why?

A whistle! In Canada tree wells can be very dangerous and if you fall into one a whistle could save your life. 

Great gear grade:

9/10 – A solid combo of high-tech and low-tech (and now we want heated goggles!).

 

Chris, Val d’Isère, France

What’s your favourite, long-term bit of kit and why?

Hestra mitts, because they make me look good and feel warm.

What’s your favourite, new/recent bit of kit and why

Patagonia fleece, because it makes me look good and feel warm!

Great gear grade:

6/10 – At least Chris knows what he wants to be on the mountain…

 

Fernando, Big White, Canada

What’s your favourite, long-term bit of kit and why?

I have this quite gross, old fleecy balaclava, but I will never change it – it’s -5 (Fahrenheit) and beyond here!

What’s your favourite, new/recent bit of kit and why?

It sounds silly, but I never used to take water with me but now I have this soft water bottle that I can stuff in a pocket which is super handy. Not very exciting!

Great gear grade:

8/10 – Fernando demonstrating simple pleasures that do come cheap. We’re also happy he’d discovered hydration – who knew?!

 

Tommy, Banff, Canada

What’s your favourite, long-term bit of kit and why?

Trusty Smartwool ski socks which are still going after 13 years – never failed me!

What’s your favourite, new/recent bit of kit and why?

Ortovox Ascent back pack – just means you’re never caught short in the resort/touring so never need that annoying ski back to the apartment half way through your day to swap a bit of kit or get some snacks!

Great gear grade:

8/10 – We feel like Tommy could stay out all day with this set-up.

 

Katy, Three Valleys, France

What’s your favourite, long-term bit of kit and why?

My Hestra gloves! I’ve had them for years but I struggled with cold hands for so long, before I took the plunge and invested. They’re expensive but worth it.

What’s your favourite, new/recent bit of kit and why?

I bought some Armada Trace Line’s in 2019 and am grateful I did; I had no idea we’d be doing so much touring this season with the lifts closed! I find them pretty light considering the width.

Great gear grade:

7/10 – The ski world has gone touring mad since the lifts stopped running! (Armada make this ski for men too – search ‘Tracer’)

 

Sam, Cardrona, New Zealand

What’s your favourite, long-term bit of kit and why?

P20 sunscreen is an old fave. I think it’s used a lot in water sports, because it’s really waterproof. I find that you don’t have to top it up as other stuff; just one layer in the morning and you’re good. Don’t get it in your eyes though, it burns!!

What’s your favourite, new/recent bit of kit and why?

After a bit of a smash and injury last season, I’ve been borrowing a mate’s Forcefield back protector for park days. I’m really into it and should probably get my own! You can get them built-in to vests or tops, which I think looks comfy because they won’t move around.

Great gear grade:

8/10 – Sounds like Sam is finally taking care of himself out there…

 

All things considered; it would appear ski instructors aren’t the always the glamourous, glossy posers we imagine them to be! It turns out that cold hands (cold anything!) afflict us all; and it seems investing in a decent pair of gloves or mittens is a top piece of advice. In fact, ski and snowboard instructors have revealed themselves to be much more low-key, with their safety-conscious and practical choices, than we expected! We also love that they aren’t embarrassed to hang on to old or tatty kit. It’s much more sustainable – ask yourself if you really need to replace something (does it need a bit of TLC), or is it still serving its purpose? There are lots of guides to fixing gear online (try YouTube), and some brands will even repair things for you as part of their guarantee.

A couple of these instructors qualified by taking one of SnowSkool’s ski instructor courses or snowboard instructor courses. Others, are some of the trainers actually running the courses. If you’re interested in doing an instructor course in Canada, France, New Zealand or Austria – check out SnowSkool’s site.

Author: Jenny at SnowSkool

Posted in: Products Reviews

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