It’s okay to rent ski gear if needed, but even better to find a great deal on your own skis and boots that you know will fit right. All across the country, November is the month for ski swaps, when warehouses and convention centers fill with last year’s models and gently used gear, at prices that put skiing within reach of any budget. Most swaps are held by ski clubs or teams, so the aisles are filled with folks eager to talk shop, and point you in the right direction for gear that is right for you.
All that hiking and biking you did over the summer may have left you in terrific cardio shape, but what about those quads? Remember last year, when the first day of your ski vacation left your lower half screaming for mercy? That’s right – start doing squats now, and build your tucking endurance. If you’re very serious, start a whole plyometric regimen to develop explosive jumping power. Your thighs will thank you.
As the first S implies, I’m all about the bargain when it comes to ski gear, except when it comes to socks. Never skimp on ski socks; warm, comfortable feet are fundamental to a fun day on the slopes. Buying a new pair of cushy, cute ski socks has become a pre-season tradition for me (and they make thoughtful pre-vacation gifts for your traveling companions as well.) Three things to look for in a good ski sock: a merino wool blend for maximum warmth, wicking, and non-itchiness, a thinner section at the ankle to reduce bulk in the boot, and of course a little snazzy style–stripes are a favorite!