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Ski Gear Review

Ski Gear You Don't Need

Among the new Ski Products - behold the not so clever…
There are so many great ski contraptions, gizmos and goodies on the market, but there are a few alpine inventions I just don’t get… In some engineer or manufacturer’s view, they are trying to improve or streamline your ski day by patenting a new ski product… I appreciate their intentions, but their inventions – not so much. Here are a few fall line “necessities” that are completely unnecessary.

UV Block Undergarments I have never gotten a sun burn through my ski clothing, and I am a fair-haired, pale skin, blue eyed skier, highly sensitive to the sun. Frankly I have had my share of sunburns…but never through my clothes. I find all shirts, pants and hats provide sun block…so I really don’t get the ski clothing and hats that purport that they provide greater sun protection. They cost an arm and a leg, and they may protect you from UVA and UVB rays but so does any fabric in my book. Skiers, carry a small tube of $5 sunscreen in your pocket, protect your face, neck and lips from wind burn and sun. Done.

Ski Helmet Earphones, like skull candy – I think this trend is not so dandy. Sounds like distracted skiing. If you are blasting tunes inside your brain bucket, you aren’t going to hear the oncoming groomer or the shout out from the skier or snowboarder behind you, potentially overtaking you. Loud music on the mountain is just a bad idea, from a safety perspective. You shouldn’t need a big Bose speaker system inside your helmet – which is designed to make you safer…anyone see the irony here (hear)?! Giro TuneUps, Skull Candy, KOKKIA, keep the decibels down so you can hear what’s happening around you on the ski slopes. Beside didn’t you escape to the mountains for peace, powder and a getaway from the pounding of pop music.

Email digital display in your Smith IO Recon Goggles, oh my goodness why?! I love my Smith IO goggles, the lens are crystal clear, yet reflective on the outside, very cool. The visibility and peripheral is fantastic, and the lens never freeze or fog. But Smith’s latest tech addition to these otherwise awesome goggles is ridiculous. Who needs a digital display on the inside of the ski goggle lens telling them the time, speed, GPS location and recent emails received? That just sounds like distracted skiing to me…not to mention completely disrupting your day on the slopes and out of the office. Dear Smith, keep up the great Goggles, but please don’t download my workload inside my ski lenses, I wanna get away and play for the day.

Snowboard Poles seem silly. Have you seen rooky riders out on the slopes with these long cumbersome wands trying to make their way down the hill without falling? I get the concept, for skiers not wanting to fall forward or back while learning to ride, the long snowboard pole provides a ballast to lean on. But that negates the nature of snowboarding which is balance, if you are leaning on a pole. And then what do you do with the long awkward pole as you load the chairlift. Try not to whack your fellow skier or snowboarder as you hop toward the chair with your staff in hand. No tot poke fun at anyone, but snowboarding with a javelin just seems like a bad idea.

The Thule Sidekick mini-rooftop coffin looks ridiculous. This stubby new size roof top box doesn’t seem like a winner to me. It’s not big enough for skis, poles or a board…maybe you could fit your ski boots in there – they’ll be nice and cold upon arrival at the ski slopes. Why Thule designed this silly looking square-ish box that sells for $300 bucks, I’m not sure. I suggest you pack for your ski trips better, or get a real Thule that holds skis and snowboards as well as any gear that won’t fit inside your car or SUV. This mini muffin top box looks goofy, not for real gear heads. Go big or go home Thule.

Mind you there are so many great ski products, innovative new ski gear like these Top Skis for 2015, technical fabric in stylish ski attire that performs and looks pretty (or handsome for him), so these are just a few skiing pet peeves and products I don’t think will enhance your day skiing and snowboarding.

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All Stories by Heather Burke
All Photography by Greg Burke
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