With the holidays practically upon us it’s time to get serious about shopping for the ski enthusiasts on your list. If you’ve put off this dreaded task for as long as we have, the good news is that shopping for skiers is pretty easy. There are so many products and pieces that go into the whole production, all you have to do is cast around and pick one (or five). And if all else fails, remember: one can never have enough socks.
We’ve broken up our gift guide into five budgetary segments: Under $20, $20-$50, $50-$100, $100-$200 and $200-and-over. Happy shopping!
10. Madshus Voss Backcountry Skis ($210). It would be easy, in this limitless budget category, to list a bunch of fancy skis made out of fancy materials. These backcountry skis let you get back to basics. No grooming or kick wax required — just take them outside and play anywhere with snow. Available at BNS, Gear West, Skinny Skis and Ski Rack.
9. Woodskis World Wax Table (Starting at $449): Made of aluminum, stainless steel and baltic birch plywood, Woodskis has thought of everything with their new table. A side basket holds your iron and tools while you work, the detachable ski rack can hold up to eight pairs of skis at a time and it even has snow feet that can be attached to each leg to prevent it from sinking down in deep snow. Available at Woodskis.
8. Suunto Quest ($252). There are cheaper monitors out there, but the Suunto Quest both well designed and nice to look at. Create and download training programs, get real time feedback on intensity and speed, analyze data with accompanying software…all the usual things you’d want in a heart rate monitor. Available at Moosejaw.
7. Inca Runners trip ($2,950): This isn’t your typical Peru tourist experience. Discover Machu Picchu, Choquequirao and Sacsahuaman on one of these all-inclusive running and hiking tour of the Andes. By the end, Inca Runners promises you’ll know what it was like for the Incas themselves to cross the mountains!
7. Concept2 SkiErg (starting at $730). From the company that makes the ubiquitous rowing machines comes the upright version for skiers. Work on your upper body all through the summer with this well-made ergometer. Whether you’re an elite skier looking to improve your poling power, a weekend enthusiast wanting to get into shape for the ski season, or just someone looking for a great workout, the SkiErg will help you achieve your goals. Available from Concept2.
6. Ercolina Poling Machine ($975). The same idea as the SkiErg, but more compact. The stainless steel body mounts easily on the wall and resistance can be set individually on each arm. Perfect if you don’t have room in your house for a bigger machine. Available at BNS.
5. Canon EOS Rebel t4i ($899.99). Nordic skiing is a beautiful sport, and a DSLR can help you capture that beauty in still imagery. We happen to like this model from Canon, but there are many other options out there.
4. Enter the Canadian Ski Marathon ($285 and under). On February 9 and 10, you could go on an epic overnight ski adventure from Lachute to Gatineau, Québec. It’s the longest and oldest ski race in North America. 160 kilometers in two days! Do it, just because. Register online.
3. See the 2013 World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy. (price varies). The biggest world-class ski event of the year is in one of the most picturesque settings imaginable. Cheer yourself hoarse for your favorite athletes in the morning then enjoy the mountain town by night.
2. A Sauna ($4,800 and up). How could you say no to this fantastic pre-fab sauna from Finn Sisu? “Made in Finnish style exclusively of fine grained Nordic White Spruce” with “a subtle hint of deep Finnish forests.” Treat yourself!
1. PoleCat Snow Maker (price on request). This hot new nordic accessory comes in kid, standard and super sizes. Snow hasn’t come to your town in two years? No problem! Set one of these up in your backyard and be skiing circles around your house in no time. Groomer, water, and solution to climate change not included. Available from SMI Snowmakers.