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The winter season is upon us, and that brings ski/snowboard adventures. Having the right equipment is the first step in kicking off your journey. This blog is here to help you find the right gear to have the most successful winter and accomplish your winter goals.

We have you covered from the backcountry to resort riding, head to toe! 

Gear up for Skiing like a Pro

Photo: Whistler Blackcomb/Christie Fitzpatrick

Baselayers:

The initial base is essential; the first contact with the skin and proper layering is vital for staying warm on the mountain all day. Having a base made from Merino Wool is the best for the West Coast. Typically they’re more expensive, but Merino Wool is better at regulating body temperate, quick dry, breathable, and odour resistant.

Here are some great companies that offer Merino Wool baselayers, from shirts, socks and buffs: 

If you want to purchase some new layers, check out the local Can-Ski shops. Multiple shops are located in the heart of the village and Creekside. They offer a variety of different brands for you to choose from. Can-ski is also a Whistler Blackcomb-owned shop, so if you’re an Epic Pass Holder, you should inquire about their Pass Discounts. 

Mid-layers:

Being located on the West Coast, we get various weather cycles. From Artic cold fronts to rain storms, it can be challenging to choose a suitable insulator. Down or synthetic? What’s the difference? Why does it matter? It can be very overwhelming, so we’re here to help you! There’s no right or wrong answer as long as you stay warm. There are pros and cons to both, so here is the breakdown:

Down Pros: Extremely packable, efficient heat trap, very light, fill ranges from 400 to 900 (900 being the warmest and lightest). 

Down Cons: Down is great for dry and cold conditions. However, when down gets wet, it loses insulation and takes longer to dry. 

Synthetic Pros: Breathable, great in wet conditions, typically less expensive, and quick to dry.

Synthetic Cons: Not the best for colder temperatures. 

There's no need to worry if you don’t have the means for both. Investing in proper baselayers and a quality synthetic insulator should set you up for a successful and warm season. 

Ski Snowboarding Good Gear

Photo: Whistler Blackcomb/Christie Fitzpatrick 

Outerwear:

Many brands are available, creating new and exciting outerwear for skiing and snowboarding. It can be challenging to decide between all the options; it comes down to the fit and essential features. Sadly, brands have no universal sizing, so you will have to shop around to see what fits you best. 

Recommended essential features would be things such as pass pockets, pit zips and pant vents. Regarding pockets, it becomes a personal preference; some prefer fewer pockets and zippers as “less is more.” At the same time, others like multiple pockets to store keys, phones or snacks. 

The best thing you can do for yourself is to shop around and see what you fancy. Can-Ski, in the village and Creekside, offer a variety of brands to choose from. Everything from Arcteryx, Norrona, Bogner, and more! 

Ski and Snowboard Gear:

Finally, we come to the gear that gets from A to B on the mountain. First, skis and snowboards are essential to this winter sport we love. But they range from specific lengths, sizes, and widths; who can keep it straight anymore? 

It comes down to where and what you want to ride, and your current ability level. There are a lot of terminologies out there, such as freeride, all-mountain, freestyle, and more, so where do you fit in? 

Here are two super helpful blogs to make your lives easier for choosing your next skis or snowboards:

Each blog dives into the nit and grit of sizing compared to heights, weights, terrain preference and builds. Maybe you’d prefer to test out a couple of options. First, head to Summit Sports to check out their demo ski collection.

We’re early in the season, and now is the perfect time to shop around. Many shops are just getting the new winter collections in; they offer discounts on last season's gear or go straight for the new.

Whether you’re new to the sport, learning or a pro, choosing the right equipment can be difficult. We’re here to help point you in the right direction to have the best season yet!