The staff of Alpine Junior Skiers, Winterset, and Snowdrifters offer the following suggestions concerning getting your gear:
- Ski/snowboard equipment and clothing properly fitted and suited to your needs makes a great difference in your enjoyment of the sport. We are quite happy to give general advice on the types of equipment and clothing best suited for you. We will however, refer you to a specialty shop for recommending specific equipment. If at any time during the season you need advice on equipment, a shop referral, etc., call our office at (916)737-7669. We’re here to help.
- Make sure enough time is spent on the selection and sizing of your ski/snowboard equipment. The most expensive may not be the best! Some of the most expensive skis, snowboards, and boots are designed for competition skiing and do not work properly for the beginner, intermediate, or advanced skier/boarder.
- Comfort is most important! Don’t be afraid to wear ski boots for 20 minutes or more in the shop before you make your decision. For our younger members whose feet are still growing, ask the shop about their boot trade in programs.
- If you have purchased used equipment or are handing down equipment to another person, it is crucial that you have the equipment inspected and properly adjusted by a certified technician before skiing on it. Failure to do so may result in injury!
- If you are properly prepared with the clothing and accessories outlined on the equipment checklist, skiing and boarding can be fun even in the coldest blizzard. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing! Temperatures can range from 0 to 50 degrees on any winter day in the Sierra. On each trip, be prepared for any type of weather. Cold hands and feet are due to not enough clothing on your torso. Studies and practical experience show that skiers and boarders will lose 80-90 percent of their body heat through their head, so wear a hat.
- If you are going to rent equipment for more than five days this season, consider purchasing the equipment instead. Add up the cost of renting, plus the time involved picking up and returning the gear. Compare this to the cost of a basic package at one of the ski shops listed on our links page. Take into consideration the advantage of having your own equipment that you can use any time. For growing kids, figure keeping skis and boards about two years, boots one to two years (again, check the boot trade in program). You can then sell the equipment at one of the local ski and snowboard swaps for 25 to 50 percent (or more depending on age) of what you paid for it. In most cases, if you hit the slopes five to six times a season, you will come out ahead if you purchase. P.S. Swaps are not just for skis, boots, and boards. They are a great place to sell (and buy) used clothing (including kids clothing!). P.P.S. Each year in September we sponsor a swap at Land Park Ski and Sports.
- If you are a beginning snowboarder, wrist guards are highly recommended.
Skiers and boarders who choose to wear a helmet should ensure that it is designed for the sport, that it fits properly and that it is worn properly.
- You will receive more personalized service at one of the specialty shops listed on our links page. Always identify yourself as a club member when purchasing or renting from a shop. The shop personnel will then be able to qualify you for special pricing offered to our members.