If you plan to buy new skis for this ski season, now is the time to get serious. Labor Day is the kick off for pre-season sales from local and national retailers. In order to know what you are getting, especially when we are talking about skis, it’s important you know the ski jargon.
Labor Day ski sales
The annual Sniagrab sale by Gart Sports started the big ski gear sales over Labor Day weekend. It wasn’t long before other national retailers got in the game. Sales like Powder Daze and Ski Rex were created and Labor Day ski gear bargains became an annual event. Sadly, Sniagrab, which is bargains spelled backwards, went away when Gart Sports went bankrupt. Ski Rex, which was Colorado Ski & Golf’s event, disappeared when a couple companies merged. Christy Sports Powder Daze sale is still around and is known locally as Christy’s Tent Sale. Many local companies, like Sun & Ski and Epic Mountain Gear get in the game having Labor Day sales of their own. Other online companies like Evo and Powder 7 have sales too. There are bargains to be had during these great Labor Day ski sales. It’s time to evaluate your gear and decide if it is time to buy new ski gear for the upcoming season.
Every Labor Day we start the transition from summer mode to winter mode. The Labor Day ski sales help to propel the excitement about the upcoming ski season even if we do not buy new ski gear this year.
When it comes to skis, reading the reviews is almost like reading another language. Terms like damp and playful describe the latest skis. Do you prefer your skis to be accessible and/or smeary? How about the sidecut and camber? Is a hybrid ski right for you? There is so much lingo it helps to know what it all means. Powder 7 put together a great glossary to define the latest ski jargon and construction terms for us.
Demo days are great opportunities during the ski season to try out skis and discover what you like and don’t like. Generally a fee will allow you access to demo different skis throughout the day. Outdoor Divas hosts free demo days for women at Loveland every month during the season. Of course, demos are not possible before the Labor Day ski sale. A great bargain on skis that sound right might be a good alternative though.
Some important features when you buy new ski gear
As you shop the Labor Day ski sales for new gear, there are certain features worth paying attention to.
Helmets: MIPS technology give your skull extra protection for blows that are not just straight on. Vents that open and close will help you regulate your temperature. Helmets are warm and are worn every ski day; warm or cold.
Skull caps: Beanies worn under a helmet can add warmth on cold days. You may want a couple of thickness variations to give you more adjustment for weather. They can also give your head coverage in the gap between your goggles and helmet if they don’t fit exactly. If you are bald you may always want a thin one, even on the warmest of days.
Neck Gaiter: More varieties of these came about with Covid and the necessity to cover our nose in lift lines and on the chair lift. I don’t find it necessary to have a gaiter that can cover my nose but I love one for keeping the cold air off my neck. Many people will use a thinner gaiter to help keep their ears warm by pulling the back up onto their head underneath their helmet.
Ski Jackets: Pockets are the most important feature in coats. What do you carry with you and are there enough pockets? I love an arm pocket to carry my ski passes. Pit zips are another plus for the warmer jackets. It’s nice to be able to unzip the armpits instead of unzipping the front of the coat.
Ski Pants: Another time pockets are important. Light colors tend to show the dirt and mud and they can be hard to get clean. Colors other than the norm can make you easier to identify when skiing with others. Don’t wear brown and dark green when skiing the trees!
Goggles: I tend to have trouble with goggles being too tall and slipping down on my nose so trying them on with my helmet is a good plan for me. Make sure they mesh well with your helmet to avoid a gap between. Different colored lenses can make visibility better if you ski in varied conditions or flat light.
Gloves/mittens: I am a mitten person. My fingers are always cold in gloves but I love mittens. Some people like to have pockets for hand warmers but I am fine with in inside my mitten with my hand. Heated gloves are available now. Mittens may be better/easier to keep you warm and an extra battery is a must when they lose their charge after a couple of hours. Fingers that work on phones, or liners that will, are a nice option on cold days when you don’t want bare hands exposed.
One of the nice things about new ski gear is that it will last. When you find something that works for you, a purchase can last for years. The right gear will make your days on the mountain even better no matter the weather.
If you plan to spend a lot of time on any of the ski mountains in and around Summit County, a home nearby might be a great fit for you. Take a look at homes you can buy and let us know if we can help with your purchase or questions you have.