To get the most out of your day of skiing you have to make sure that you are well equipped with the right kind of gear. Before you plan out a skiing vacation you have to gain a thorough knowledge of the different kinds of basic equipment you will need.
Basic ski clothing remains the same but depending on what type of downhill skiing you are participating in the skis and some other equipment will be different. Telemark skiing requires a different type of ski, binding and boot then regular alpine skiing.
The two general downhill skiing techniques are alpine skiing where the foot is fixed to the ski at the toe and heal and telemark skiing where just the toe is secured to the ski. Both these styles require different equipment.
The following downhill skiing equipment required by skier’s despite the style they choose are:
Ski poles: Ski poles are used by a skier to initiate a turn. Poles are made of a variety of materials such as PVC, aluminum or fiber glass. They come in varying of diameters and lengths depending on the exact use. Poles are made to be flexible and to withstand high impacts.
Skis: Obviously skis are fundamental to the sport. A good ski is made to ensure the highest levels of performance and durability. The core of the ski is usually constructed from a combination of carbon fiber, titanium and premium wood. This ensures that the skis are able to survive the tough conditions they are subjected to. Skis are mostly lightweight and flexible for easy maneuverability while turning and jumping. Skis come in a variety of lengths and configurations depending on the conditions a ski is intended for. Bindings: Bindings are an often overlooked piece of ski equipment. They provide a secure bond between the boot and ski. Bindings are also highly technical, being able to allow the boot to release under high force. This provides a safety factor since they will release the boot before any injury to the leg can occur. Depending on the skill level of the skier bindings can be adjusted for beginners all the way to experts.
There are two general styles of ski binding, an alpine binding and a telemark binding. Both perform the same function, to hold the boot securely to the ski and allow the boot to release from the ski before an injury can occur.
Ski boots: Boots are the most important piece of equipment you will need for skiing. Like skis and bindings they also vary depending if you are a telemarker or alpine skier. A telemark boot consists of a softer inner liner that lace up with a harder outer shell. There is more play in a telemark boot then an alpine boot.
Alpine boots are certainly stiffer then a telemark boot. They consist of a single line that is often form fit with a harder outer shell that is secure with a series of buckles. When selecting any ski boot make absolute sure that it is comfortable with no pressure points. If your boots are not comfortable you will not enjoy skiing.
Gloves and Mitts: Choosing gloves and mitts shouldn't be taken lightly. The same the rules apply to choosing gloves as those with the rest of the clothing. Gloves should consist of a durable outer shell that will repel water and wind. The inner layer should be a warm synthetic material like Polar Fleece. This will resist moisture build up and allow you to interchange the liners as the day progresses.
Storm cuffs are also a must to keep out the snow. They come up onto the forearm and close off with a elastic cuff. Without the storm cuffs your wrists will be more exposed to the cold.
Ski accessories: There are many other little accessories that are needed while skiing. Goggles are a must for snowy days. When you get moving fast falling snow flakes feels like little darts on the face and can damage the eyes if you prolong exposure. A double or triple lens pair of goggles is best for not fogging.
A neck tube is good for keeping warm on the colder days, a toque also. A helmet is a great safety feature for those high speed crashes and for the smaller bumps on the head as well.
With the proper clothing and equipment you can easily stay warm and dry on the coldest days. If you don't have the right clothing and equipment you will probably not enjoy yourself as much. Getting cold is enough to make most people head for the lodge.