ESSENTIAL SKI ITEMS

Everything is available from The Ski & Winter Sports Shop



SKI JACKETS
A multipurpose garment, light warm and smart, that can be used for skiing, travelling and in all other circumstances - even in South Africa. Look for a jacket that has a high collar, wind hood and non-freeze zippers with elasticised stitching at stress points. The outer shell should be water-, snow-, and wind proof as well as breathable.. Remember, a ski jacket that matches the pants looks smarter, and in most cases is worn in place of a sports jacket as casual wear


SKI PANTS
Ski pants should be made of the same fabrics as ski jackets and have the same properties. A snow cuff in the leg is important to prevent snow working up into the boot top. Most braces are detachable so that you have the choice.


SKI GLOVES & MITTENS
Cold hands can ruin a ski holiday and not enough emphasis can be placed on the importance of good quality gloves. Designed to protect hands from cold as well as abrasions from falls. Good insulation with an inner lining of brushed cotton or silk is recommended. Gloves offer greater versatility than mittens, but mittens are warmer in general. Glove liners are available for additional protection. Caution: easy to misplace at the restaurants (watch Dad & the kids)


SNOW BOOTS/APRES SKI BOOTS
This is a superb investment. They will keep your feet warm and dry walking in snow and in slushy city streets. Be sure they are well insulated, have high waterproof uppers and non-slip soles and you will be able to wear them on your travels throughout Europe on every trip.


SKI GOGGLES
Ski goggles are preferable to sunglasses, allowing you to ski even on snowy days, and help visibility in "white-out" conditions. As they seal on face you can ski through the cold air without your eyes watering, they have anti fog coating, and protect your eyes from the intense glare reflected from the snow. They are pliable and so safe in a fall. Goggles are compatible to be worn with protective helmets.

HELMETS
Helmets are optional for adults but becoming more popular. They are required for any person entering a Snow Park. They are compulsory for children under a certain age in some countries (and a good idea). Helmets are usually rented at the ski equipment shop who will advise you on any statutory requirements.



SKI HATS
If you are not using a helmet a warm hat is an important item to keep your head and ears from freezing and good to have round the village. Did you know...40% of your body heat is lost through the head alone?


SKI SHIRTS
Turtle necks (with zipper for flexibility) with long sleeves are the answer. Now generally they are made of lighter weight micro piles such as Pile.Tech for soft, elastic, anti pilling and warmth. Available in the shop in a variety of colours they can be colour coordinated with outfits. These middle layers should partly absorb and partly transport moisture away from the body while providing insulation and warmth by trapping air within. Ski shirts and base layers can be layered up to suit the conditions. Looking good when you remove your jacket in the restaurant?


SKI SOCKS
These are specially designed to be just the right thickness according to ski boot manufacturers. They are knee-high, seamless, thermal socks that keep the feet warm and wick moisture from the skin, while the special spongy weave cushions the feet in the boots. Note: Hiking, tennis or rugby socks are not recommended.


BASE LAYERS
Base layers or thermal long-sleeved vests and long-johns are necessary to be worn under ski clothing, or under jeans at night. This layer is one of the most important. It should be comfortable on your skin and wick away any moisture away leaving you warm and dry. After this layer then you layer-up according to the weather e.g. you will normally follow the base layer with a ski shirt then if necessary add a polar fleece &/or sweat shirt.

ACCESSORIES
Fleecy gloves, mitts and scarves are quite useful for walking at night or in the cities you may travel through. Jeans or smart casuals are quite acceptable in resort restaurants. Jackets are hung at the door.


EQUIPMENT

For beginners or people who ski infrequently, renting skis at the resort is preferable in most cases. Getting your equipment: You will usually get your equipment from the rental shop the day you arrive in the resort so that you are ready for the next day's skiing.



SKI BOOTS
Boots should fit firmly to hold your feet in the boots but not hurt the feet. Have the technician explain all the adjustments for your boot while you put it on. Then walk around inside the shop for AT LEAST 10 MINUTES. Immediate problems or pressure points will show up and the technician will have to adjust or change your boots. Start the process again until you are happy. Do not leave the shop with doubtful boots.


SKIS
SKIS should be compatible with the type of skiing you would like to do. Rental shops will fit you with the appropriate ski for your requirements. Recreational skiing is done on carving skis around "up to the nose" length. Same for SKI POLES

SKI POLES
Ski poles should be the right length and have straps.
DON'T GET WET FROM THE INSIDE


Skiing is an active sport which generates much body heat and perspiration while you are skiing. However as soon as you stop, this perspiration cools, condenses and you become cold. It is advisable to invest in clothing that is of a breathable nature.

NEXT TO THE SKIN:
Thermal Base Layers are required that wick moisture away from the skin; flat lock weave quick drying, lightweight, soft fit , and performance wicking are what to look for.

MIDDLE LAYER:
The middle layers should partly absorb and partly transport moisture away from the body while providing insulation and warmth by trapping air within. These are ski shirts and can be layered up to suit the conditions.

OUTER LAYER OR SHELL:
This should prevent moisture, cold and wind from penetrating to the body, while at the same time prevent condensation within the clothing by drawing out the moisture through the outer shell.
The insulation should be Thermulate B or Thermasoft - high density polyester with low loft, excellent durability and thermal properties to contain body heat and withstand subzero temperatures Modern ski jackets of 'Tres-tex", 'Pile.Tech' shells; with 'ColdHeat®" "Pile.Tech®" insulation; along with 'Polyamide', 'Rapia' and 'Alumesh' linings have improved warmth and comfort for skiers even in sub-zero temperatures. Manufacturers like Trespass now use a Fabric Rating System given to each style. Eg A 3000mm rating means a pair of ski pants is waterproof to a Hydrostatic head of 3000mm of water pressure and will have better quality fabrics, warmth and wind protection than a 2000mm rated jacket.
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