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Gifts to make your skier happy – Boston Herald


As a lifelong ski lover, I’ve always been easy to holiday shop for. I mean, find a sweatshirt with a pithy ski phrase or a pair of durable warm après slippers and I’m sold.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate something special. Here’s my annual list of super cool, easy-to-access mountain sports enthusiast gifts that will absolutely delight. *Author’s note: This does indeed double as my own wish list, should a certain spouse be reading along.*

Fabulous and Historic Hats: While we all wear helmets skiing and riding nowadays, the thematic winter hat has become a pre-ski and après must; oft a conversation piece out in the ski world. One of the coolest lines of curated hats is at Rippin Kitten Hats (, a Massachusetts based company that was born slopeside in New England. The company has a remarkable supply of historic ski patches that they use as a centerpiece to create two styles: pom hats and beanies – male, female and unisex. Made from deliciously minky soft microfiber (the pops are repurposed fur), they’re comfortable and beautiful. Rippin Kitten Hats are like a morph of quality artisanship, cool ski history, comfort and style.

Turbo Gift It: Rippin Kitten Hats will custom design a hat for your ski lover, allowing you to choose a certain resort to represent and fabric and pom choices, making it a truly one-of-a-kind gift.

Warm hug of a base layer: The quest for the perfect base layer is a lifelong one. You want soft but sturdy, body-hugging but not smothering, easy to wash, wicking and of course, good looking. Check out BlackStrap Brand ( and their Cloudchaser series. Made from their own patented tri-blend fabric, a knit synthetic blend that is stretchy, wicks well and keeps you not just warm but temperature-regulated. Best of all: it’s machine wash and dryable. The hood design is perfect. On a chilly day, pull it up to seal in your warmth (it’s almost like a wet suit fit). When warmer, it drops comfortably behind your neck without pulling at you.

Turbo Gift It: Give the entire set-up, from base bottom and top to headband and hat. It’s a full set of comfort that will remind them of you the many times they use it.

Total access to Top Lessons: Imagine being able to give your ski lover access to instruction insight from one of the best skiers in the world any day of the week? You need not win Powerball to do that. Dan Egan’s newest book, “All Terrain Skiing II,” ( is the brilliant combination of an easy to take in book and an app that takes what you read right on the hill with you to put it into real time action. Egan focuses on all the vital parts of a good ski base: balance, power, upper body, fluidity and agility in a way that truly reflects his 40 years of sharing skiing with the world. Great tips and photos make the book’s tips click in your head; the app solidifies it. This one will be used often.

Turbo Gift It: Egan hosts in person ski camps all over the world as well as at his home mountain of Big Sky, Montana. Gift your skier with an in person program like his Big Sky Steeps Camp (

Love of Their Life Skis: Imagine gifting your loved one with a pair of skis that make them gaze into those ski’s bindings and say, “You complete me.” Picking skis for someone else is a risk, but when you gift them Parlor Skis ( you’re actually giving them the process of working to choose the absolute perfect pair for them – because that’s what Parlor Skis are all about. The company offers semi-custom and full custom skis. You’re skier – if they know what they are looking for – can choose their cut, style and size on line and then choose from a bevy of designs – all super cool and unique. Hot this year are their Phoenix – engineered with women in mind and a nimble ski in varying conditions, and their Cardinal Pro, designed to respond as well carving as it does when you hop into the trees. You don’t even need to figure out how to gift this “not in their hands yet’ gift: Parlor has a cool “You’re getting Parlor skis” box to take care of that. Bonus for lovers of New England: They’re made right in East Boston.

Turbo Gift It: Take this gift all the way to 11 but making it a “Build Class” gift. Your ski lover will work with a designer to create their custom ski and then attend a class at Parlor and actually have a hand in making them. Lift chatter: “Nice skis.” “Thanks: I made them” Priceless.


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