Once again the FasterSkier staff has weighed in on their favorite gift ideas for the 2011 holiday season. Today’s installment of the Holiday Gift Guide features items priced from $20 to $50.
Previous 2011 Holiday Gift Guide Suggestions:
FasterSkier’s picks for the top ten gifts between $20 and $50:
10: Sauce or Skida Hat. Price: starting from $28.00. Whether you’re just looking for a little flair and individuality or a team looking to create an identity both Sauce and Skida have a selection of prints from which to choose. The FasterSkier crew prefers the fleece-lined option, but you make the call on that one. Available online at Sauce Headwear and Skida.
09: Swix Garbage Bag Holder. Price: $40.00. For the person on your shopping list who seems to have everything the Swix Garbage Bag Holder is a good choice. Tricking out your wax table is fun and helps you work more efficiently. This accessory just attaches to the edge of your work table, allowing you to just sweep the waste right into the bag. Available at your local ski shop or online at Boulder Nordic Sport and Gear West.
08: Rubber Encased Dumbbells. Price: starting from ~$25.00. It’s winter so the days are short and it is hard enough to find time to get out for a long ski, let alone find time to get to the gym. However, it is important to keep up with your strength work. A pair of dumbbells (or a few pairs) will let you maintain your strength though winter right in your living room. Once or twice a week, while you are watching your favorite television show, get up off the couch and do some lunges, overhead presses, rows, curls, etc. The hex shape will also allow you to do pushups on them… just don’t forget to change up your hand positions.
These aren’t the blocks of rusty metal that you remember from high school. The ergonomically designed handle fits nicely in your hand and the weighted ends are encased in rubber incase you forget them outside. Available online here.
07: Swix Iron Holder. Price: $30.00. If you have ever knocked your wax iron over while working on your skis then you will know why this is an important accessory. Just attach it to the edge of your wax table to give your wax iron a little nest in which to hangout while you work. Available at your local ski shop or online at Boulder Nordic Sport and Gear West.
06: Toko Nordlite XCold Powder. Price: $30.00. If you will be racing somewhere that has the potential of being really cold, then you should have some Toko Nordlite XCold Powder in your wax box. This additive is used with your other cold glide wax to make it harder and more durable. Available at your local ski shop and at Gear West and Skinny Skis.
05: Rubber Medicine Ball. Price: starting from ~$35.00. Medicine Balls are probably the most useful piece of gym equipment for a cross-country skier. From kayakers to throw-downs to push-ups, they’re great. Make sure you get rubber ones so you can use them outside in any weather condition. 6 to 8 kilograms is a good place to start depending on your strength. Available online here.
04: SportHill Ranier Knee Tights. Price: $50.00. There has been some debate amongst the FasterSkier team as to whether guys can/should wear these, but at very least these are a great gift for the ladies. They’re really nice for running and rollerskiing in fall/spring weather. Of course you could always just bust the rolled-up-race-suit look of a certain Team Homegrown skier… Available online here.
03: SkiGo HF Kick Wax. Price: $25.00. If you haven’t spent time learning the SkiGo line of kick wax… what are you waiting for? Not that it is the be-all end-all wax, but it is good to have in your wax box because this stuff works. Available online at BNS.
02: Toko Digital Snow Thermometer. Price: $39.95. It is easy to look at a thermometer and see what the air temperature is, but there are a lot more factors to determine the best wax of the day. What was the air temperature overnight and how quickly is the snow surface going to be warming up. A snow thermometer can help you answer these questions. There are other options to consider, but the Toko Digital Snow Thermometer is a good value. Available at your local ski shop or online at Skinny Skis.
01: Foam Roller. Price: starting from ~$30.00. We recently had the pleasure of having the USST’s Liz Stephen take us through some strength exercises. She told us about how her and her teammates love these foam rollers and even travel with them in their ski bags when they are on the road. You can use them to stretch out different muscle groups or roll around on it to massage your sore muscles. Available online here.
Bonus gift ideas:
These items just missed our top ten and deserve an honorable mention.
– Propane Torch: The person on your list might already have one, but it is probably covered in klister. Plus, they should have a backup because it might stop working right when they need it most. If they don’t have one… they should! You can’t always rely on having electricity to apply klister or soften up base green. Available at your local hardware store or online here.
– Body Stick: These are a great tool for injury preventing, working out lactic acid and increasing circulation to your sore muscle groups. They come in both a standard length and travel size. Available online here.
– Toko Irox Fluoro: The Irox spray is said to offer the same resistance as tradition hot wax and at this price it’s totally worth a try. Available online here.
– Holmenkol Pro Groove Scraper: This was in the Holiday Gift Guide last year, which is the only reason why it did not make the top ten this year. f you already have one, get another for a backup. There are others out there, but this is the best one. Enough said. Available online here.
– Erik Sports Snowman Junior Ski Set: This is just what the junior members of the FasterSkier team have (no, not Nat). They are an inexpensive way to introduce your future World Cup skier into the sport. Available online here.