TOP 10 THINGS YOU NEED FOR YOUR SNOW TRIP – Plus you can hire most of itApril 25 2017
I’m an awfully forgetful person – my boyfriend thinks I’m a complete airhead half the time because give me something and I’ll lose it or remind me about something and I’ll forget as quick as a goldfish.
Although, I’ve been skiing since I was 2 years old, snowboarding since I was 11 and have worked a few seasons so I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can at least remember the essentials and this is how I came up with my list.
1. Hardware – Unless you’re planning on being drunk the whole trip you obviously need a snowboard or skis with poles, bindings etc. If I need to explain further please cease reading now. Unless you just feel like tobogganing with the kids that’s okay I’ll let you off this time.
2. Outerwear – Snow pants are always essential! Yeah if it’s a spring day you can get away with a hoodie instead of a jacket but SNOW PANTS PLEASE PEOPLE – As an instructor, the amount of strange things I’ve seen people rock up wearing is enough for it’s own post but the most common is jeans which I cannot seem to get my head around cause wet denim is like the coldest bloody thing ever, may as well shove ice packs down your jocks.
Pro tip #1: I had a lady once bring an umbrella to a lesson and popped it up on the magic carpet when it started snowing and another had her handbag over her shoulder the whole time…
3. Gloves – DUH and no driving gloves or knitted gloves do not count
4. Goggles – Sun reflecting off of the snow can seriously damage your eyes, there’s even such thing as snow blindness. The lens in your goggles can change your day completely as a reflective lens made for sunny days on a low light cloudy day is a pretty good way to minimise snow definition catch an edge on a bump you didn’t know was there. Another exception here, I’ll let you pass with sunnies on a spring day or if you’re sightseeing/tobogganing/sipping espresso martinis.
5. Helmet – They used to be seen as not cool but now people have realised that brain injuries are way less cool. If you don’t believe me watch The Crash Reel or just learn from my experience, I have concussed myself a fair few times and they say after four concussions your brain doesn’t heal completely so with every new concussion they get worse. I got lost going to the supermarket near my house three days after hitting my head once. Although one of my worst concussions was when I fell 14ft to my head in a superpipe in Colorado… I was wearing a helmet. It cracked. I didn’t lose consciousness and I thank that damn helmet for saving my brain.
Pro tip #2: If you do have a bad fall with a helmet on, replace the helmet, they’re generally made to withstand one solid impact. If your helmet is hired let the store know.
6. Boots that Fit – If you’re hiring boots, whether snowboard or ski boots make sure they fit properly. At Oz Extreme we’ll go through boot fitting when you’re trying them on but if you are reading from somewhere not near us then listen up. When you’re standing up straight you want to feel your toes just brushing the end of the boot (obviously not curled up), then when you bend your knees you should feel your toes come off the end of the boot. This is the perfect length. You also don’t want to feel your heels lifting up considerably, a tiny amount is okay but any more heel lift and it will affect your riding. (If you’re buying boots minimal heel lift is best as they do pack out and loosen, increasing your heel lift over time). And most of all if you’re trying on boots and you have a noticeable pressure point straight away you ain’t gonna last all day, try them on with proper socks to make sure it’s not just the top of your ankle sock digging in.
7. Snow Chains – If you’re driving up make sure you have snow chains. If you’re in a 4WD doing a day trip they may not be required but you don’t know until you get to the gate and if you get caught on the mountain without them not only will you not be able to drive back down the hill, you will cop a hefty fine up there in the thousands of dollars. All cars staying overnight require chains. Make sure they fit properly also, check out or hire page for the info we need to match your tyres to chains and also a demo on how to fit diamond pattern snow chains. Also double check your car manual for which wheels you need to fit chains to (front pair or back pair) and never continue driving down the hill if you reach road without snow as you may damage your car.
8. Mobile Phone – Unless you plan on riding directly next to your mate all day on nothing but safe groomers, please have a phone.You might fall on a trail and even if you’re not hurt, you might fall behind and you’re mate ends up down at the bottom and assume you’ve already gone up the chair. See ya never pals. If you have a kid who can ski quite well or even better than yourself, consider giving them a cheap prepaid to use on ski trips. My mum prefers wines and lattes over skiing and dad wouldn’t mind quitting the slopes early to join her so I was given a phone at 8 years old so I could cruise around Mount Buller and call dad when I wanted to meet him for Jam Donuts and Hot Choccys at Koflers or if I got separated from him or my brothers at any point during the day.
9. Cash – Dehydration and hunger = lazy snowboarding and falls.
10. Proper shoes – Walking to the pub? Returning your hire gear before strolling down the the bus? Please take my advice and do not wear ugg boots. Yeah they might be warm until the get wet and do you really think the soles on uggs are going to be good for slick footpaths? Nope not in the slightest. A good leather sneaker like a Nike Air Force 1 or Timberlands, hiking boots or work boots (probs can’t wear work boots to the pub though) will work best. A standard running shoe has a decent sole for grip but will struggle for warmth and keeping out moisture. You can hire a warm snow walking boot with us if you want to be sure, we have really really small sizes too, even for infants, they’re super cute.
Hopefully some of this info is helpful for your next ski trip whether it be one day with us on the Sunday Snow Bus or a week trip over school holidays. Keep shredding!
Pro tip #3: I’m not a pro just a keen snowboarder and instructor but it just sounded legit.
Pro tip #4: Looking for ski hire ‘near me’ on the vast land of the interwebs? If you’re from Geelong or surrounds, boy are you in luck!