For snowsport enthusiasts, equipment is a very personal item. To pick out the right gear, you must know their height, weight, the type of skier/snowboarder they are and what terrain they prefer, among other things. It is best left to the individual to pick out their own equipment, so I don’t recommend it as a present unless your loved one has provided you with specifics. However, there are plenty of items that are gift-worthy. Here is my top 10 list:
1. Lift tickets and season passes. Give them something to look forward to with a day or season at their favorite resort. Discount lift tickets can be purchased at Santa Rosa Ski & Sport or REI in Santa Rosa and can be used anytime during the 2011/12 season. Season passes can be purchased online from the resorts.
2. Quickpoles. Finally, someone has invented an easy way to carry your skis and poles. Quickpoles are patent pending ski poles that snap into your ski bindings to create handles, allowing you to carry your skis and poles easily with one hand. They come in a variety of sizes and finishes starting at $89. Available online at Quickpoles
3. Hydration pack. A low-profile pack like the Camelbak Hydrobak Hydration Pack is a convenient and earth-friendly alternative to overpriced bottled water. $39 and up. Available at most sporting goods stores.
4. Smart gloves. Gloves like The North Face Etip ($40) let you operate your smart phone or other touch-screen devices without removing your gloves.
5. Base layer. These aren’t your parents long johns. The new thermal underwear like Hot Chilis tops and bottoms will keep them warm and dry with high-tech quick dry and wick-away features. From $34.95
6. Gear lock. Protect their equipment from theft with a pocket-size lock like the Burton cable lock for $14.95.
7. Specialty socks. Contrary to popular belief, thicker is not better. Ski and snowboard socks like the smart-fitting PhD SmartWool offer excellent moisture-wicking and temperature control with extra padding at the toe, heal and shins. From $18.95.
8. Helmet camera. Catch all the action on the slopes with the GoPro HD Helmet Hero Camera. Shoots both HD video and still shots and can record up to 2-1/2 hours on a single charge. Retail $239.99
9. Boot dryer. Portable dryers like the DryGuy Turbodry or dry sticks dry boots, shoes or gloves overnight. From $27.95.
10. Swix FX waxing iron. Keep your snowboard and skis waxed and ready for the slopes without the costly shop fees. Available at REI ($44)
Still stumped? A giftcard to their favorite ski shop is always a welcome gift.