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. Wax Box ($7). At a certain point one accrues too many corks and cannisters of kick wax to contain in the pouch of a drink belt. Enter the beginner’s wax box, also known as your average handyman’s tool box. If ever you graduate to more sophisticated organization systems, this one will always good to hold the practice kick. Available at Home Depot.
9. Ski ties. ($5 – $8 per pair). You can never have enough of ‘em. No matter how many you start the season with, by April your entire supply could have migrated to Alaska. We suggest tagging yours liberally with Sharpie and/or glitter paint to make sure you can spot the thief. Available at your local ski shop or at Gear West, Skinnyskis, BNS or Ski Rack.
8. Wax Scraper ($5 – $7). A good scraper is another one of those things you can never have enough of. They come in 3 mm, 4 mm and 5 mm versions and are absolutely necessary for, well, waxing skis of any kind. BNS, Gearwest, Skinnyskis and Ski Rack carry a full range of sizes and brands, and Caldwell Sport just introduced a 3 mm from Red Creek with Peter Johansson’s signature on it. Kikkan Randall’s wax tech-approved!
7. Honey Stinger Energy Waffle ($15 for sixteen). A good choice for those who just couldn’t stomach the idea of another bar or gel. Just make sure to unwrap it stealthily, as your teammates are likely to want one, too. Available from Amazon.
6. Reflective Vest ($8 to $20). It’s no longer rollerski season (we hope), but it’s never a bad time to think about safety on the roads. There is no excuse not to have one. Brooks makes an excellent vest available at L.L. Bean.
5. Holmenkol Natural Wax ($18 liquid or paraffin, $15 solid). Holmenkol’s biodegradable wax line reduces environmental impact while still keeping your skis fast. Guilt-free wax, what’s better than that? Available online in solid, liquid, and paraffin from BNS.
4. Klister Kover ($19). For the super-lazy athlete that doesn’t want to clean their kick zone right after the race. This piece of fabric velcros around the middle of your skis to prevent, as the website says, klister from “oozing out on your car, ski bag, other skis or anywhere else you don’t want it.” Available at Motoring Guard.
3. Wax Apron ($19). Aprons will keep you from accidentally waxing the front of your outfit, and have handy pockets for scrapers and brushes to boot. Available from Swix ($24) or Holmenkol, they’ll keep your clothes clean (thought we can’t say the same for the tops of your shoes).
2. Smartwool Socks ($19). Cold feet are the worst, and can ruin an otherwise perfect day on skis. Smartwool has a full line of wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry all winter long. Available a a variety of colors and styles in men’s and women’s sizes.
1. Holmenkol snow/air thermometer ($15). For everyone’s inner wax guru, Holmenkol has equipment to better test snow conditions and determine which waxes might run well on a given day. This thermometer measures both snow and air temperature. Available at BNS.