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One way to get a gauge on the type or level of ski equipment and clothing you need for a winter holiday, is to look at what type of kit a full time Ski Instructor uses. After all, an instructor that spends almost every waking moment teaching people of all abilities how to ski, is going to have more than your fair share of experience on the cold alpine slopes. To answer this question – we spoke to Giles Lewis a Ski Instructor with the development centre, who operate in val d’isere Tignes and the Three Valleys, France. It’s worth baring in mind that Giles’ kit list is a personal choice – and not necessarily something a first-time-skier HAS to imitate.
“As a snowsports instructor, I spend almost every day of winter on the slopes. I am outside no matter the weather. I spend so much time using my equipment that I’m very picky about a few items. This list is particular to me, what are your essential pieces of kit?
Skis and Boots
I have some favourite skis, but I treasure my boots the most. A well fitted pair of ski boots is essential and I wouldn’t ski in anything but my own, high performance ski boots. You cannot get the fit and adjustment that you need by shopping online, you need an experienced boot fitter to help you to narrow down what boots perfectly fit your ability and needs, before making any adjustments or customisation to finish off. Book an Expert Boot fitting appointment today, at The Boot Lab – Snowtrax
Most mountain clothing is pretty good in your standard cold and dry conditions. However when the wind is high, or it’s very humid (raining) or it’s too warm, you really need a highly breathable fabric that protects from the cold but allows you to stay cool in the spring. Also for me, a jacket with a snow-skirt is a must, otherwise I won’t wear it. Check out the Arcteryx Sabre Jacket
It is all about the handle and the strap. Rental poles with slippery plastic handles just don’t cut it. I like a rubber handle with finger mouldings. I use alloy poles, which don’t flex much (unlike carbon fibre poles) and the basket needs to match the day’s snow conditions. Small basket fitted when on the piste, large basket for the deep snow. Check out the Scott Team Issue pole
I train a lot with a transceiver. Sometimes you can borrow one from the ski school, but I much prefer to have my own and know it’s been looked after. All modern transceivers work in a similar way, but each model will have its own quirks and features. It is much better to have your own transceiver and know how to use it. The same applies to inflatable avalanche packs, shovels and probes.” Check out the BCA Tracker DTS
This Blog was written by Giles Lewis for Snowtrax. Giles is an ambassador for Dynastar skis and Lange boots. He is a Ski Instructor with the development centre, who operate in val d’isere Tignes and the Three Valleys, France. He is a trainer and examiner of Instructors for BASI and a member of the British Demo team.
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