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Best ski gear for a total novice?

(10 Posts)
BestestBrownies Mon 15-Sep-14 17:19:18

Hi all

I have been offered a job as a Chalet Host in the French Alps for the 2014/15 ski season and am very excited as I have never been skiing or boarding before in all my 37 years.

I would really appreciate some insider knowledge and tips from experienced skiers as to the best clothing/equipment to kit myself out with. I am happy to spend a bit, as I'd rather buy quality than buy twice, and I'll be using it for a full 5 months.

Thank you in advance

toomuchcoffeetoomuchwine Wed 24-Sep-14 07:56:46

If you are out there for 5 months you will be skiing in very cold as well as much warmer slushy conditions at Easter. You should therefore look at getting separate salopetters / trousers from jacket and get a thinner shell-type jacket under which you can put more layers for colder weather. If you get just one thick padded jacket you will be absolutely boiling at Easter.

At the Ski & Snowboard show in London in October quite a few companies seem to sell off last season's stuff at reduced prices so worth looking there.

Good brands I have tried include North Face, Helly Hansen & Columbia.

toomuchcoffeetoomuchwine Wed 24-Sep-14 07:57:01

Oh - get good gloves. Cold hands = misery.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 24-Sep-14 08:04:29

Tk maxx is good.

You'll need a buff to keep your neck warm.
I get thermals at millets or blacks.
Goggles, socks from tk maxx. Gloves as well. They'll do jackets and trousers which are decent makes but you can sometimes struggle finding a "matching set" if that bothers you.
Think my ski trousers are from Trespass. They have discount shops in some of those retail villages where all the discounted shops like Next, Clarks are.

LIZS Wed 24-Sep-14 08:18:21

Decathlon do everything from inexpensive basics to mainstream brands. Buy more than one set in standard colours so you can mix and match and you can top up as you go as they also have branches in France - jacket/trousers, thermal layers, light fleece layers, goggles, uv sunglasses, helmet, gloves. Go for technicality (goretex type fabrics , waterproof, windproof, breathable) rather than bulk. Will they provide a jacket for everyday use (some companies have a uniform) and good footwear will be a must, waterproof and with a good grip. Don't buy ski equipment, get it on a seasonal hire basis from a resort sports shop then you can swap as you improve or if it doesn't suit. If you like it you'd probably be able to buy at a discount at the end of the season.

trackydacks Wed 24-Sep-14 14:19:29

Wool thermals are much more comfortable than synthetic ones and worth the investment. I have icebreaker brand and swear by them.

PauletteTheTart Mon 01-Dec-14 12:56:38

No-one's mentioned equipment yet, so here goes:

Start off by renting because your skill level will change dramatically over a whole season then take advice from your instructor.

The first things you should buy are your own boots as they will make the most difference to your skiing and if you find your rented boots suit you, don't be afraid to ask if you can buy them: it will save money and they will be good for at least one season.

As for skis, they become cheap part-way through the season, by which time you may know what kind of skiing you prefer but a low to mid range all-mountain carving ski could be a good investment if you progress quickly. Don't go for one with too tight a turning radius though, it's a common mistake.


PauletteTheTart Mon 01-Dec-14 13:19:45

blush My unreserved apologies to LIZS who DID mention equipment and gave good advice. wine

rosierelala Mon 01-Dec-14 13:20:01

Your employer should have a preferred supplier in resort who will normally give you free equipment hire all season and should offer discount on clothing purchases etc. I
wouldnt buy anything pricey before
you go clothing wise, as a beginner
you are likely to carve slices into your trousers. If you get a branded jacket from your employer you won't be
allowed to wear that on french pistes,
so you definitely need your own breathable and waterproof jacket. Decathlon and lidl are good in france but you may not get much time out of resort to properly shop. Take plenty pairs of socks and gloves, these alwats go missing. Merino wool base layers are the best. Dont forget your apres ski wear, being a saisonaire is a lifestyle not a job!

Linseed Tue 02-Dec-14 15:22:23

One thing I have learned is that decent quality ski mittens with a second pair of lining gloves underneath are much warmer than fingered ski gloves.

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