Are you at a loss for what equipment you might need for skiing/snowboarding? While a significant cost is considered when it comes to choosing which resort you might want to buy your season pass, you will also need to think about what items you will need to outfit yourself and your family.
Hopefully this is no surprise, but you will need clothes that will keep you warm and dry. You are likely to fall down a couple times (or more) in your first times skiing. There are a few essentials that both you and your kids will need. But luckily, you can borrow from friends/family or there are a lot of swaps and sales deals to be had in Colorado. Several of the ski areas will participate in sales around town at large retailers including Sports Authority, Colorado Ski and Golf, Larson’s and the Ski and Golf Expo. at the Convention Center.
You will want to make sure that you have a base layer, mid layer, snow pants, good coat, helmet, googles, socks and good gloves. The best socks are simple pair of wool socks (I personally love SmartWool – made right here in Colorado). Ski and snowboard boots are made to be warm, so there is no need to load up on double socks.
However, when it comes to the rest of your outfitting, you should consider wearing layers including a “base layer” which is worn closest to your body. The base layer should be something that will not stay wet (cotton is not good). Then wear a mid-layer which would include a sweater, sweatshirt or fleece. The top layer would be the protecting layer that will help keeping the snow from sticking to you!
ALWAYS wear a helmet. Many of the ski areas require that kids wear helmets anyway – so plan on getting one that fits your child’s head.
You will also want to wear protective eyewear. Goggles work best because they not only shield the eyes, but also easily fit over the helmets.
Gloves or mittens. Really when it comes to skiing and snowboarding it is a preference thing. Whichever you like better is ok, so long as they are waterproof.
No matter what apparel you choose, make sure that you are comfortable and can move easily. Splurge on your gloves and socks. Nothing is worse than cold fingers and toes – this could adversely effect your experience.
Several people debate purchasing equipment versus the values of renting. The biggest question to ask yourself is how many times you plan on being on the slopes. If you will only be there less than 10 times, you would more than likely be best served to rent equipment. Additionally, equipment changes from year to year, when you rent you get the latest equipment that is tuned up regularly.
There are several locations that offer seasonal rentals. But, if you are not sure if your kids will like the sport or if they will prefer snowboarding to skiing the best option is to rent! Beyond that, kids can outgrow equipment even within a season. Not only will you get to tote your own equipment, most likely you will get to tote your kids as well. So renting equipment means that you will not have to take equipment to the ski areas (you may have enough packing to do with just the apparel).
Ski areas are the one of the best places to rent equipment – especially when it comes to day rental. The technicians will make sure that you have the right set up for your size and skills. They have the newest equipment and they ensure that it is in top condition (think tuning and waxing).
It is obvious those who get lessons and those who do not. Don’t expect to go skiing the first day and not fall. When it comes to snowboarding, don’t give up on the first day. For most people, it takes several days of lessons (typically by about the third day most people ‘get it’). Don’t be discouraged if you are not able to perform tricks like Shaun White on your first day.
Locations like Echo Mountain, who is close to the Denver Metro area will give you the opportunity to get some great experience. Echo is so close and offers night skiing/snowboarding which means by the end of the season, you will be very practiced! Plus, the season passes are very reasonably priced. When you purchase a season pass you also get lessons at a discounted rate.