BUYER’S GUIDE: ON THE SLOPES

Headed to the slopes for the first time? Up­grad­ing from rental gear? Here are some point­ers to get you started.

Action Asia - - TAJIKISTAN -

Let’s face it, when you’re learn­ing to ski or board, you are go­ing to spend a fair bit of time on the floor. While you un­der­stand­ably don’t want to break the bank for that first setup, re­mem­ber that this pe­riod is the sternest test you’ll ever give your gear. For a start, fall­ing of­ten means more wear on seams and fab­rics. Things can snap and fray (hope­fully your gear and not you). You also spend much more time in the snow, which means you need in­su­la­tion and pro­tec­tion against snow get­ting in. Then, there’s all that tire­some get­ting up af­ter fall­ing, plus the ner­vous en­ergy you ex­pend while learn­ing. This makes you hot, melt­ing all that snow in your sleeves and pants so now you are wet too. Avoid­ing this im­passe means care­ful lay­er­ing so you can add or sub­tract clothes as needed, and gear that works well to­gether to keep the snow and wet out. HEL­MET FIT I This should be snug not tight: no big gaps around your head, strap loose enough you can chew with com­fort. LIN­ERS Keep your ears warm but ide­ally should be de­tach­able for warm days and oc­ca­sional wash­ing. SEAM­LESS PRO­TEC­TION Seams should be taped and look for jack­ets that in­ter­face well with pants to min­imise ingress of snow in a fall. SHOWN HERE Bur­ton Docket Jacket, Giro Edit Hel­met, Oak­ley Air­brake XL gog­gles. HEL­MET FIT II Ded­i­cated snows­ports jack­ets have hoods that pull over hel­mets – but check that works for you. HEL­MET FIT III Gog­gles should ex­tend up to the hel­met to avoid cold spots or an em­bar­rass­ing tan line! LENSES Over-sized, ‘frame­less’ lenses give im­proved pe­riph­eral vi­sion. Or­ange and brown tints are a ver­sa­tile first choice, though less good in lower light. ONE-HAND DRAWSTRINGS Much eas­ier and faster to ad­just, even on the move. THUMB LOOPS Lin­ings with th­ese pre­vent snow creep­ing fur­ther up your arm ev­ery time you wipe out. Al­ter­na­tively, don’t wipe out so of­ten...

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