Now it’s December there’s no doubt that you’ll be getting excited about your upcoming ski holiday! If it’s your first time hitting the slopes, now’s the time to think about kind of ski gear you’re going to need. If you’re a seasoned skier, do you know where all your gear is and does any of it need replacing? If you’re having ski lessons it’s great to have all your kit ready before you start so you can maximise your ski time. That’s where our handy ski gear checklist comes in.
Larger pieces of kit like skis, boots, helmets and sometimes outerwear can easily be rented, but it’s the smaller essentials like socks, gloves and eye protection that are the most important — and the most often forgotten. These are what can make the difference between staying on the mountain and retreating back to the chalet when it’s cold and snowy — especially if you want to make the most of your ES ski lessons! Here are our top picks of ski essentials that are all too often overlooked or forgotten in a drawer at home.
If you find yourself in Verbier, Nendaz or Zermatt without some essential pieces of kit, you can head to our partner stores, Mountain Air, Premier Alpine Centre or Glacier Sport and they’ll help you find what you need.
Your fingers are the outermost extremities of your body and they’re usually the first thing to get cold on the slopes. A good quality pair of gloves will definitely make the difference between a good day of skiing and a day spend feeling cold and miserable! Mittens are great if you get cold easily because they allow your fingers to stay close and share heat like huddling penguins.
Bonus tip: Make sure you dry your gloves out at night. No one likes putting on damp gloves in the morning.
Glove liners are an absolutely essential piece of ski gear. They’re cheap and cheerful and they can live in your pocket until you need them. The temperature is so changeable in ski resorts that glove liners are an absolute must. They will warm up your fingers straight away when the temperature drops by creating a lovely warm barrier between your fingers and the outside world. We might even go so far to say it’s worth having two pairs in the event that you misplace a pair (easily done) or forget to dry them at night.
Bonus tip: try to get some glove liners with silicone grips on the palms, it makes it much easier to carry your skis!
A good pair of ski socks is super important. And all too easy to leave in a drawer at home! Try to take AT LEAST two pairs with you on your ski holiday; even if you buy merino socks, you won’t want to put them on when they’re stiff and sweaty on day six of your holiday. And try make sure all your socks are of a similar thickness instead of a mixture of thick and thin, it’ll make for a more consistent fit with your ski boots.
Bonus tip: Never wear two pairs of ski socks to keep warm — it’s a sure-fire way to get blisters and mess with the fit of your boots.
Never underestimate the importance of a good set of thermals. Skiing is such a stop-start activity that you could be boiling hot one minute and freezing on the chairlift the next. It’s essential to have some good thermals, made from a technical fabric that will keep you nice and warm on the lift but breathe freely and dry fast when you’re working hard. We recommend you try a few different thermal tops in a few different fabric weights so you can layer up or down according to the conditions.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget about thermal bottoms — try to get a three-quarter-length pair so they don’t end up tucked up inside your boots, causing pressure points and potentially blisters.
If you’ve never been skiing before, It’s easy to think you can get away with just wearing sunglasses for a week. We found out the hard way that you can’t. Even if you have a decent pair of sunglasses, when it’s snowing and windy they won’t do much to protect your eyes. A good pair of goggles will improve your vision in the snow no end and feel much more comfortable with a helmet.
Bonus tip: Sunglasses are great for wearing while you’re having lunch on the slopes or just around resort. It gets pretty bright when the sun is reflecting off all the snow!
Face protection covers sun cream, neck tubes, head bands and / or hats. Cold temperatures, strong sun and wind are all going to wreak havoc with your skin, so try not to leave it exposed for too long. Plus, goggle tan, sun burn and wind burn are not good looks to return home with! Neck tubes and face masks are reasonably cheap and can be kept in your pocket in case the weather tuns on you halfway through the day. Sometimes on a bad weather day it’s good to have two so you can put on a dry one after lunch!
Bonus tip: always try on your helmet (rental or your own) with your chosen face protection ensemble and goggles before you hit the slopes to make sure it’s comfortable.
If you’d like to know more about what you need for your ski holiday, our office team will be happy to help. We want you to be as prepared as possible for your lessons!
You can contact us seven days a week by phone or email, we’re always happy to hear from you!
European Snowsport Ski School in Verbier
Rue de Médran,