WHAT TO BUY A SKIER OR SNOWBOARDER FOR CHRISTMAS
For most skiers and snowboarders, this winter, there will be no Father Christmas coming down the chalet chimney to deliver presents. But on everyone's wish list is a ski season that is back to normal next year. These Christmas gift ideas include a beanie that a skier would wear now, a book that provides inspiration for many ski trips to come - and a mask that says it all. So let's look forward to 2021, open ski resorts and knee deep blower pow. Ski you soon.
For All Skiers
This is a present you don't want to give to a sideways rider. But for skiers, a Damn It Feels Good To Be A Skier beanie is a no brainer -and a brain warmer. When wearing the right hat on the mountain is more of a challenge than negotiating a Winter Park mogul field - see The 9 Head Gear Rules - this Elevenate beanie will give immediate cred for your head. Choose from six colours for €30.
For Masking The Truth
The mountains are calling? Yep we can hear them loud and clear even though the truth is that getting to them and actually skiing / snowboarding is not happening for many this Christmas and New Year. Give a skier or snowboarder this face mask. £8.79 with The Mountains Are Calling message - and just hope they don't sob.
For Extreme Envy
Could you ruin Christmas any more for a skier or snowboarder who is already pining for the mountains? Well, we reckon that a book full of 100 incredible destinations for backcountry adventures will do it. Pages and pages of riders getting face shots of powder will make grown skiers weep with envy. But, on the uplifting side, they can spend Boxing Day browsing this inspirational book Ultimate Skiing Adventures, £20, by Alf Alderson, starting a bucket list of extreme ski trips for the COVID-free future.
If you know a snowboarder so protective of their board they'll keep it under the bed rather than the garage and drive across continents so as not to risk it in an aeroplane hold, then this is the perfect gift. Venom is a first-of-its-kind product designed, engineered and tested by snowboarders to keep snowboards safe in transportation and storage. It's a one size fits all edge and sidewall protector that will hold firmly to the edge of the snowboard while in transit. Retailing from £44.95 Venom comes in four colours: neon green, pink, metallic silver, and metallic gold.
6) For Going On Tour
For anyone heading for the hills whether the lifts are open or not, the latest uber lightweight touring skis from DPS would be a very welcome present. The DPS Pagoda Tour line, launched this winter, features the Holy Grail for tourers as in skis that are fatter and lighter so less weight for the ascent without sacrificing the performance coming down in powder. At around £1,170 the Pagoda Tour 106s are guaranteed to put a smile on any backcountry skier's face.
For Seeing the Way
Talking about Holy Grails, all skiers and snowboarders are forever looking for the perfect goggles that actually don't fog up when you step out of the gondola or get scratched at the drop of a hat (literally). The latest goggles from Swedish sports eyewear brand, Spektrum, winners of Best Eyewear at the ISPO Awards 2020, are the Östra, which may just be The Ones. Created with performance and the environment in mind by using the best alternatives to harmful plastics and polymers, the Östra, £146, can be adjusted for the perfect ergonomic fit and have an innovative air flow lens system for fog-free wear, with an anti-scratch coating and a multi-layer mirror finish while offering 100 percent UV protection.
For Finding The Way
Give a tech person the latest smart phone, the HONOR Watch GS Pro, £178, and it'll keep them quiet all Christmas while they play with the functions. For skiers and snowboards there is a specific mode among the sports and fitness recordings, which will show data such as distance, altitude and runs. On the chairlift you can answer calls via the watch while, out of resort, there is a sophisticated GPS that'll not only record your ski tour route but also show the way back should you be in a white out in a remote Honshu forest.
For Getting A Grip
For walking confidentally on ice rather than skidding like Bambi, the Danner Artic 600 boots are legendary. Technically probably the best outdoor performance boots on the market as road-tested by our Tech Editor (above), the Danner Artic 600, £175, for men and women has ultra-cushy Vibram® SPE midsole, Vibram® Nisqually Arctic Grip outsole for traction on snow and ice and 200G of PrimaLoft® insulation with Danner® Dry waterproof protection,