What do you get the skier who has everything? Even if they don’t have everything, skiing’s one of those sports and activities that people get quite passionate about and, quite frankly, picky and choosy about what kit they will use. For some it’s a brand loyalty, for others it’s a perception of quality and for some it’s just down to the current trends.
So how do you get around the pitfalls of choosing the completely wrong gift for the skier you’re trying to buy for? Here’s a handful of last minute ideas:
- No matter what kind of skier they are, where they go or what they ski on, they will need to wax their skis at some point. Carrying a puck of Zardoz NotWax in their pocket will not only mean they may not need to get the skis waxed quite as often, but they’ll probably be going faster in between waxings too! There are other similar products out there, but we like the handy, refillable puck that Zardoz comes in.
- Socks are always a safe bet aren’t they? Everyone has received socks from some relative at Christmas, but with a nice pair of Icebreaker Merino wool ski socks, they might actually be appreciated and get used. Merino wool keeps you warm when it’s cool, cool when it’s warm and wicking away moisture all the time. It’s softness also means it can be worn next to the ski by those who may be irritated by wool normally.
- Losing your ski in deep snow is an incredibly frustrating experience, and can be very time consuming too, to the point that some Heli-ski companies carry spare sets of skis as it’s easier to just get going again than waste, perhaps hours looking for a ski. ResQski uses a digital transmitter and receiver to help you locate your lost skis. With a homing beacon 007 w0uld be proud of, a lost ski is now more of a minor inconvenience rather than a tiring and time consuming hunt.
- If the intended recipient has even the slightest hint of gear-freakery about them, then it’s inevitable that a GPS system will creep into their kit at some point. Personally, I’d rather leave my sat-nav device turned off unless I need it, and the same goes for my phone, or what if you were skiing with a guide so didn’t bring the satnav at all. How do you track that oh-so-important off piste route you did so you can show it off in Google Maps on your tablet in the pub later on? How can you see what your highest speed was? But even simpler, wouldn’t it be nice to tag exactly where that photo was taken, where that wee mountain cafe was or just where that immense crash happened that left you hunting for buried kit for hours. The simplest answer is a GPS logger. No bigger than a keyring, and charged via USB, you can just leave it in your pack, on a keyring, whatever, and be assured you’ll always know where you’ve been.
- If there’s the slightest whiff that they might be into the off-piste, then it does open up some more options. I’d not suggest going for a transceiver,shovel or anything like that. While there are standards and consistencies in much of that kit, personal preference does come into it and it’s quite likely that they’d have it already. It’s unlikely, however, that the average recreational off-piste skier will have a Snow Study Kit. If they know how to use it, then great. If they don’t, then it would be a convenient way to suggest to them they might like to get a bit of training on offpiste skills with such things like avalanche awareness and snow-pack analysis.
- I’d be loathe to suggest a first aid kit normally, it’s like being given an oven-glove or tyre tread/pressure gauge. They are all useful and have a sensible purpose, but they aren’t really ‘pressies’. But this first aid kit is compact enough to fit inside a ski-crampon, which immediately means it qualifies for a few points of gear freakery. The Dynafit Crampon Sized First Aid Kit was specially designed to use the empty space created when crampons are stored away and contains everything that might prove necessary on a tour, and weight only 110g.
- It’s the law that you should have something to read en-route to the skiing, whether that’s in the aircraft, coach or train, and what better to read than the new book by Belle de Neige. Belle de Neige started out as a blog, telling tales of what it’s really like to be a ‘chalet bitch’ seasonaire, working in the alps. The book is available for download on Kindle and we hope to see a real life paper version soon.