De-de-durm-de-de-durm-de-de-duh…

Winter Sports

If you hadn’t guessed (because it really wasn’t that obvious) that was the Ski Sunday Tune there in our title. Or Pop Goes Bach, to give it its proper name – just in case you want to spool it ‘Up Next’ in your Music.

So why are we singing that most recognised of sports programme theme tunes? It’s because our attention has turned to the slidier side of life – winter sports. And what turned our heads? Why, the fact that it’s The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Show this week. That and the fact that there are few holidays as exhilarating as winter-sports jolly.  Nope – in terms of adrenalin value for money – not a lot can beat belting down a snowy mountainside strapped to a couple of planks, or a tea tray…

The Telegraph has made a name for itself as the go-to newspaper for ski and snowboard mad folk to get advice and find out about the latest gear, trends, resorts and products. It’s a tried and trusted source of advice – so it’s logical that they’re the organising sponsor behind Britain’s biggest and best Winter Sports Show – which has morphed into a fully fledged Alpine Festival. And for 2015 it’s at Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park.

There’s plenty of opportunity to sample authentic alpine food, lots of demos, fashion shows and gear workshops, and the Altitude Comedy festival. You’ll also get the chance to meet the Alpine and Freestyle stars from Team GB.

If you’re seriously into your wintersports you’re going to have a lot of gear – and if you’re refreshing yours for 2015/16 season – here’s what the experts are saying is on trend, and the hardware that you’ll need for a fun a and safe excursion.

Clothing

There’ll be the essentially warm but bulky ski jacket and pants – oh, hang on – best call them salopettes as the encroaching American language conjures up a whole different image. Whilst it is hard to make something that needs to be warm look elegant, colours count. The word from the fashionistas is that for 15/16 season the gents should adorn in Neutral colours – or blues if neutral is too dull. Ladies, on the other hand, can have a lot more fun, as playful patterns – such as flames or stripes – are on point.

Skis/Snowboards & Boots

More so with Skis – but also to an extent with Snowboards – one pair (or board) is no longer enough to properly tame the ‘whole mountain’. The ski companies have been widening their ranges over the past decade, with models that are more tightly honed to different conditions and disciplines. If you’re heading off into deep powder, you’ll need something broad and floaty, whilst if you’re shredding the freestyle park then twin tipped (so you can ride fakie) is the way to go, or of you’re about to go head to head in the dual slalom then something stiff – but with lots of rebound and big slalomy sidecut is what you’ll need.

A professionally fitted pair of boots is also a must. Different makes tend to suit different shapes of feet – so it’s well worth consulting an expert. Ordering online is a risk – because the only way to be truly sure a boot fits well is to ski in it. The best shops know what they are doing – and some even guarantee they’ll get it right.

Safety Equipment

Back in the eighties – when people took to the slopes in pink and yellow neon jackets and skis were long and thin – no one wore a helmet. These days if you head up the mountain Sans skid lid, then you’ll probably be glared at, besides, in many parts of Europe it’s the law that children have to wear helmets. It’s sensible to. If you’re belting around at 40mph + and hit something, you’ll hurt your head. So a well fitted helmet is a must, and someone in the party should also carry a first aid kit.

If you’re heading off piste (where there’s risk of avalanche) then a transponder is essential. Ensure it’s got fresh batteries and is switched to transmit – if you’re unfortunate enough to get buried other members of your party will be able to switch theirs to receive – and find you quickly, hopefully. If you’re skiing in a party then it can also be worth investing in a multi-set of two way radios – which can save on phone bills and keep you all in touch.

Baggage & Servicing Equipment

All that gear needs to be  transported safely – so padded ski/board bags, boot bags (some even have built in helmet compartments) are a good idea. If you like to keep your skis or boards in tip-top form all week – then you might prepare for a bit of DIY servicing. A file/edge sharpener, a travel iron and some wax sticks should be enough to stop your bases getting sticky – with a midweek do-it-yourself service – or you could choose to just take them to the local resort ski shop.

Novelty Items and Accessories

Then there are Helmet covers are becoming a popular way to to brighten up an otherwise dull piece of equipment – we quite like the Knitted minion – if you can knit, why not make an oversize one to cover your bone protection. You might fancy some Ski poles that include a removable top and are lined – to store your favourite tipple – best make that

That’s a lot of kit you’ll be taking away. It’s also a lot of kit you’ll be bringing back and needing to find a home for during the 50 or 51 weeks of the year you’re not careering round the mountains. And if you’re in need of some space to keep all your ski equipment (along with other stuff), then one of our storage units could well be what you’re after.

 

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