Ski Gear Trends for 2011/12
The new winter ski season is approaching fast, so it’s probably a good time to take a look at your ski gear and see whether you’re missing anything vital, or whether you need to replace or update something you already has. Ski clothing and equipment changes from season to season as ski technology advances, so if you’re looking to buy new ski gear it’s worth ensuring that you’re getting hold of the latest on-trend ski-wear and equipment. To point you in the right direction, here’s our guide to the new season’s ski gear fashions and innovations that could help you to become the trendiest beast on the piste.
- Skis – At the bleeding edge of ski technology are Salomon’s BBR skis. Designed to emulate the freedom of movement experienced in water sports, the BBRs feature a unique ‘V’ shaped design and oversized ‘surf-board tip which produce a ‘floating’ sensation on powder whilst the narrow waist and pintail, short radius and short effective edge on-piste provide a confidence-boosting grip on harder snow. Elsewhere, ski durability is taken to new levels by Rossignol’s Experience 88 skis, which are literally made from rock: igneous basalt to be precise. The basalt is melted, drawn into strands and woven into the reinforcing fabric of the skis. From rock to metal; ski manufactures Head have signed a licencing deal with legendary British heavy-metal outfit Motorhead (who else?) to incorporate classic album cover designs on their 2012 skis to provide the most fashionable combination of snow and rock ever.
- Boots – It seems as though the competition to produce the perfect ski boot is even fiercer than that to produce the ultimate skis. 2011/12’s boot innovations are no exception. Ever dreamed of a ski boot that fitted your foot and lower leg exactly? The latest range of boots by Fischer, named ‘Vacuum’, actually mould themselves to the precise contours and angles of your feet, ankles and lower leg to provide unprecedented levels of balance and performance. In fact, size and fit adaptability achieved via a variety of mechanisms is a common trend amongst the very latest ski boots. Hybrid boots suitable for both on-piste and ‘back country’ skiing are reaching maturity. Back country or off-piste skiing may require a degree of walking/hiking in terrain which is hard on the feet when undertaken in conventional ski boots. Now, so-called ‘side country’ boots by manufacturers such as Atomic, Salomon and Tecnica are set to become the next big thing.
- Ski Wear – It looks as though this season’s fashionable ski wear can be any colour you like as long as it’s green. That’s green in the ecologically-sound environmentally-friendly meaning, by the way. The winning combination of technical functionality and high-street style continues to be a defining factor of the latest ski wear, and the really good news is that clothing of the highest standards of performance, comfort and style can be created from entirely recycled and recyclable materials. Companies such as Patagonia, Faiise and Spyder prove that good looking high performance ski clothing doesn’t have to cost the earth. Continuing in this vein, faux fur looks set to be a big trend in this season’s ski wear. Fake fur has become indistinguishable from the real thing in terms of looks and warmth, and thanks to the vast range of colour options it’s a great choice for collars, cuffs and après-ski boots that can co-ordinate with any ski outfit. Meanwhile, bold colours and shiny metallic finishes are shaping up to be big on the piste for those really wishing to make a fashion statement in 2012.
- Ski Accessories – The importance of a good ski helmet cannot be overestimated but 2012’s protective headgear is all about combining fashion and comfort too. The ergonomic and adjustable Smith Varian Brim helmet (pictured) with its sleek lines is a sure fire winner and is fashionably black. However, there is no shortage of lightweight, breathable, stylish and effective ski helmets to choose from all of which can add to, rather than detract from, a skier’s overall appearance.
Continuing the trend for environmental friendliness, set a good example on the slopes this season by using ‘green’ ski wax. Eco-friendly wax which doesn’t contain harmful perfluorochemicals (PFCs) can be obtained from a number of specialist manufacturers such as Magic Potion, Green Wax and Enviro Mountain Sports and is no less effective than conventional ski wax.
Ski goggles have been given a makeover for the new season too. Forget black, forget charcoal and forget lenses that are reflective silver. The new season’s trend for goggle is – like ski wear – all about bright colours. New innovations include lenses which provide a greater field of vision and inbuilt thermal systems which help to reduce lens-fogging on those ultra-chilly slopes.