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Top Tips – for the ski slopes

January 11th, 2016

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When you are skiing or snowboarding, there are a few simple things you can do (which you might never have thought about!) which can make your life easier on the slopes. Whether it’s your first time, a few times or you have been skiing since you could walk – our ‘top tips for the ski slopes’ will help you have a great holiday:

 

  • Stay hydrated

We sometimes forget how important it is to drink water and stay hydrated when on the slopes, particularly when it gets cold. Try and take a bottle of water with you so you can drink on the slopes, or a hydration bladder works unless it is really cold. Otherwise just stop regularly at cafes, and have a glass of water as well as a hot chocolate!

 

  • Carry snacks

On a similar note, as well as carrying water, it is a good idea to carry some snacks like cereal bars, nuts or even some chocolate. If your energy levels dip you can have a few bites and feel normal again. When your energy levels are low, you will have less control, which could mean a higher chance of having a tumble.

 

  • Carry spare goggles

If it is a guaranteed blue-sky day, this may not be so relevant, but if you carry a backpack then it is a great idea to have a spare pair of goggles. On an ever-changing weather day, it is so important to make sure that you have a pair of goggles for the variable light conditions. Expensive goggles with a very reflective lens are fantastic for a blue-bird sunny day – but if the weather turns quickly, you need something with you that can handle the low light situation. A cheaper, bright yellow lensed goggle is perfect for conditions like this!

 

  • Don’t buy ‘cheap’ gloves

We’ve all been there – uttering the words ‘how much?’, whilst looking at the range of ski gloves. Then buying one of the cheapest pairs to ‘save money’. After spending one of the coldest days you’ve ever experienced out on the slopes, you will change your mind forever on this – trust us! A decent pair of ski gloves should cost between £50 and £150. Spend as much or as little within this price range and you should have warm and dry fingers on the slopes!

 

  • Don’t clean the inside of your goggles

It is always tempting to try and clear snow or condensation from the inside of your goggles, but try and avoid cleaning or rubbing the inside if you can, as most goggles have a anti-fog film on the inside, and you want to try and avoid damaging this. Your best bet is to try and gently remove the snow, and then blast them under a hand-dryer to get rid of the moisture.

 

  • Buy your own boots

Unless it is your very first time (even then we’d still recommend buying your own for maximum comfort), it is a good idea to have your own pair of ski or snowboard boots, and make sure they are fitted professionally. Having a bad fitting pair of boots can make your ski holiday miserable, so seek advice on which boots to buy, and get them fitted properly to your feet. If you get them fitted in the UK, you can then try them at home or at your local slope to make sure they are right ahead of your holiday, as well as this, if you’re buying boots from Snowtrax | The Boot Lab, a comfort guarantee applies and any niggles or issues can be looked at. Buying boots out at resort is NOT recommended as you will be unable to fix any fitting issues unless you travel all the way to the same shop.

 

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  • Service your skis or board and check bindings

If you own a pair of skis or a snowboard, before your trip out on the snow, it is a good idea to get your skis or snowboard serviced, to ensure they are in tip-top condition and performing as they should! For skis in particular it is also a good idea to check that your bindings aren’t damaged and are working correctly.

 

  • Wear the right clothes

I have seen many people caught out on the slopes without a waterproof jacket, because the day started off sunny, and the snow came in later in the day. Having a waterproof and wind-proof layer is important, as is having decent breathable base and mid layers underneath. In my books, a neck warmer is also an invaluable piece of kit for the slopes. Something like a Buff is great as it is lightweight and versatile and can be used as a headband or hat as well.

 

  • Warm up your hands with a ‘windmill’

There is nothing worse than cold hands, and sometimes it is hard to avoid. If you fingers start to get cold, I have found two good ways of warming them up by essentially getting the blood back into them. First one is to put your arms by your side and quickly shrug your shoulders, pushing the blood down into your hands. Otherwise you can do the trusty windmills of both arms, which should have the same affect.

 

  • Get fit

Although time is often scarce, getting fit for the slopes is so important. Have a look out for ski fit classes at your local gym, or you could do some exercises at home. You may also want to consider getting your ski legs back by having a lesson or session at your local artificial or indoor slope.

 

 

Betony Garner is an ambassador for #Dynastar skis, based in Chamonix, France.