A booking in a great catered chalet and some of the new hi-tech equipment are all you need for the ultimate ski adventure!
Ask any veteran skier if they have any tips for the perfect ski holiday and they’ll tell you two things: be sure to book an excellent catered chalet and treat yourself to some of the best ski equipment available.
A Winter Home from Home
Booking a catered chalet is a no-brainer; you’ll need a cosy and convenient home base if you’re going to fully enjoy your holiday. Many are located just a short distance from ski lifts or pick-up stations, so you won’t have to waste time travelling to and from the slopes – therefore maximising your skiing time. And, after a hard day on the slopes, you’re going to want a warm and comfortable place to recover and prepare for the next day. When you book a fully catered chalet, you don’t even have to worry about preparing meals as it’s all done for you.
The Best Equipment
Having the best (read hi-tech) equipment is also crucial. In the past decades, modern technology has come far in creating equipment that not only helps you look good on the slopes (whether you’re enjoying a semi-leisurely cross-country run or speeding like a demon down a mountain), but also helps you reach peak performance. Good gear will also be able to help keep you safe in the event that something goes wrong.
But where do you start? Possibly the single most important piece of ski equipment you need are your ski boots. Having the right boots can spell the difference between enjoying the slopes and possibly injuring yourself. Below are some of the technological advances you might want to stay abreast of when purchasing ski boots and other equipment.
Staying warm isn’t a problem when you’re inside your lovely catered chalet, but it’s definitely a challenge when you’re out on the slopes. Hypothermia and frostbite are entirely possible if you don’t take the right precautions. Ski boot heaters are nothing new, but modern technology has made them much tougher, lighter and longer lasting – not only in terms of battery life, but also the actual life cycle of the heater. Some of the newer models, such as Hotronic and Thermic, even have remote controls and variable settings to help make sure your toes stay the perfect level of toasty!
Even with heaters, though, boots proper fit is crucial, otherwise you risk losing body heat and blood won’t circulate properly to your feet. Worse, ill-fitting boots can actually be dangerous on the slopes for a variety of reasons. To make sure your boots fit perfectly, be sure to get the right kind of liners or, even better, splurge on custom-fitted boots. Using vacuum technology, companies such as Fischer can mould materials such as carbon fibre composites and polymers into ski boots that adhere to the actual anatomy of your feet. These hi-tech boots even have “ski” and “walk” settings, which make them equally responsive and comfortable whether you’re speeding down a mountain or walking leisurely back to your catered chalet.
Hi-tech Hybrid Materials
If there’s any technology that has literally shaped modern skiing as we know it today, it’s the rise of hybrid materials. Carbon fibre, for example, has enabled the creation of clothes, footwear, headgear, and even skis themselves, that are lighter, stronger, have the perfect balance between elasticity and rigidity. Best of all, they can be customisable to the user’s needs, including body shape, response sensitivity, weight and thickness. Carbon fibre is not only lightweight (weighing a fraction of other materials) it’s also unaffected by ambient temperature. This means extreme temperatures, or even sudden changes in temperatures won’t damage your boots or affect their performance.
The abovementioned are just a taste of what’s out there on the market these days. If you’re serious about your skiing, take the time to research the latest gear and make your next ski trip one to remember for all the right reasons!