With most ski areas coming up and running but coming online, it’s a good idea to take time now – and not the morning you’re heading out for your first day of the season – to run through a checklist and make sure you’re ready for a great day on the snow.
At the end of each ski season, I clean everything and pack my ski and boot bags as if I were heading out the next day. Yet, I still find things I need to replace, repair or upgrade before day one. Here’s a working list to be sure you are ready for the season’s start.
Socks: As silly as it sounds, socks are one of the most important decisions when it comes to making a day comfortable and fun. First, it’s a great idea to ask your ski shop to help you pick just the right socks for your foot and your boot and then stick to that brand and thickness. Do not (Seriously: Just don’t) just grab a pair that feel warm and punt and never, ever double layer socks. Check to be sure you have at least two pairs of quality, thin, wicking socks.
Ski Edges: It’s a great idea to get a tune before your first day out. Even if you barely skied on them last season, those edges have been sitting out in the air getting damp, changing temps and more. Bring them in for either sharpening or a full tune, depending on what your tuner says you need. In a pinch you can usually get this done at most resort’s base shop, but on a busy day that could mean a wait. Find a local spot or, if you’re heading up the night before, drop them at a local shop for an overnight tune.
Jackets, mittens and more: Try on your ski pants and jackets to be sure they fit, zippers are still working and all is well. Make sure those pockets are cleaned out (old RIFD lift cards will mess up any new ones you use and hey – you almost always find money in there). It’s surprising what you can forget over the summer, and you don’t want to be stuck making a quick purchase for something that important. And, as silly as it sounds, make sure you have a left and a right mitten/glove in your bag – strange things happen. Check your glove liners too to be sure you know where they are and they still feel comfortable.
Try on your base layers with your ski pants and jacket and meander around your house a bit to be sure you’re still comfortable in it all. A good base layer in great condition keeps you comfortable most every day. Double check how any vents and zippers work so you’re ready to adjust while on the slopes.
Helmets: Make sure they still fit well and isn’t falling apart. We all tend to use our helmets for decades. The suggested safety replacement time, for a frequent skier or rider, is five years. Protecting our heads is important. Take it seriously,