Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

10 Tips to Get Ready for Ski Season Now and Not Pay For It Later

The ski season has started. Instagram is covered with the white stuff. Do you have your passes? Do you know where your gear is? Have your legs done anything more than walk around the office in the past six months?

These tips will help you prepare so your first day at the resort isn’t all yard sales and cursing.

Track Down Your Gear

Time to find your gear. Pull everything out and confirm it’s all in working order and fits like it did last season. Jacket? Check. Ski boots? Check? Goggles? Check.

skis boots gear
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If credit card statements are showing a few extra trips to craft breweries over the summer, some gear might not fit like it used to. Or maybe you lent something to your buddy Tim and never got it back. Now’s the time to find out, not the morning of your ski trip.

Creating a checklist in a service like in Evernote or Google Docs will make packing for the mountain a breeze.

Treat Your Feet

Ski boots have a bad rap for being torture devices but it doesn’t have to be like that. Visit a boot fitter with new or old boots and have them adjusted to exactly what you need. While they may not be as comfortable as snowboard boots, they can be comfier than bear traps. When you’re checking out your boots, make sure all the buckles work and that the toe and heel pieces fit in your bindings.

Tune Up Those Skis

Skis get thrashed every season. That’s what they’re meant for. So don’t forget to take them in for a tune-up before hitting the hill. A ski shop will sharpen the edges, remove rust, fill any holes from rocks you may or may not have hit, and apply a fresh coat of wax (most waxes are only good for a few days of skiing). Afterward, check over your bindings and all the screws. Make sure everything is tight.

Adjust the DIN setting; it might be set low for storage or just bumped since last season. Flying down a black diamond with your DIN set to 2 might cause premature ejection and a visit to your doctor. (Don’ know what we’re talking about? Head here.)

Consider Buying New Goggles

A small hole in a base layer or gloves that aren’t quite waterproof won’t kill you, but goggles you can’t see through will make for a terrible day. Consider investing in a new pair of goggles this season.

skiing snowboarding goggles gear
Fezbot2000 / Unsplash

New models boast better peripheral and they tend to fog less. Many, like the Spy Legacy goggles, have easy systems to swap lenses depending on the light and conditions. Don’t suffer through flat light with dark lenses — throw on a yellow or a Happy lens from Spy for different light and you’ll actually be able to see those death-bumps moguls.

Check the Brain Bucket

You might be a good skier, but many of the people on the hill are not. A collision with an out-of-control newbie or little bobble straight into the tree and you could have a concussion. If crashed at any point last season and thought, “I’m glad I’m wearing a helmet,” it might need to be replaced.

Helmets these days are lightweight, come in any color, and fit with most goggles. Accessorize with GoPro mounts, headphone ear flaps, and sun visors.

Configure Your Rack

All this talk about skis but how do we get them up to the mountain? If you’ve got a ski rack, it’s a good time to collect all the pieces and get it configured on the car.

kuat car ski rack
Kuat

If you’re missing a screw or a mounting tower, you’re not leaving. Thule, Yakima, and Kuat all make great ski racks.

Wash Your Wool

The secret to staying warm and comfortable is a good base layer. Double-check your clothing for holes. If your clothes still have a scent from last season, wash them up with Nikwax Basewash or Wool Wash.

If you need a warmer option, Icebreaker Bodyfit merino wool base layers will keep you toasty, wicking moisture and keeping the smell away with Merino’s natural odor resistance. If you need to get loads of sweat wicked as fast as possible, try something like the Patagonia Capilene base layers; the polyester dries very quickly and is smooth to layer over.

Wash Your Jacket and Pants Too

Waterproof jackets and pants need to be cleaned regularly to work properly. If the durable water repellency (DWR) coating on the outside wears off, water won’t bead and your jacket will be soaked, reducing breathability. When the jacket doesn’t breath, it will feel like wearing a plastic bag. What’s worse, dirt and oils from your skin work their way into the layers of the jacket, tearing it apart.

Clean your jacket regularly with something like Nikwax Tech Wash. Most of the time it just needs a turn in the washing machine and a cycle in the dryer. If water is still soaking into the outer fabric, it’s time for a re-proof with Nikwax TX.Direct spray.

Buy Cheap Passes

You can stand in line and spend extra money to buy your lift passes at the resort if you want, however, most offer deals if you buy passes early or in packs of four or six. Sometimes you can get them cheaper through a grocery store or gas station by purchasing certain items. A little research about the resort and you’re going to can save you good bucks.

Skiing Snowboarding Lake Louise Ski Resort Canada
Lake Louise Ski, Resort Canada. Veronica Kei

Websites like Liftopia also provide discounted passes if you buy ahead of time and book during slower times, like the middle of the week.

Don’t Skip Leg Day

Walking to the pub after work and skiing all day are not the same leg workout. If you’ve already been doing at least 15 to 20 minutes of cycling, running, or exercising three times per week, then you’ll have a good base to build on for skiing. If you haven’t, jump to it. Your body will thank you after.

Need a place to start? Redbull knows a thing or two about skiing and the right exercises. The big-name brand suggests working on your core and legs with squats, squat jumps, wall squats, lunges, and planks.

Ross Collicutt
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ross is an outdoor adventure writer, amateur photographer, and computer programmer based on Vancouver Island, British…
Want to climb to the top of the world? Here’s how long it takes to climb Mount Everest
How long does an ascent of Mount Everest really take?
Mount Everest with prayer flags in the foreground

The prospect of standing on top of the world has lured thousands of mountain climbers to Mount Everest since the first successful attempt by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay 70 years ago. Commercial expeditions began in the 1990s, and since then — not counting the 2015 season disrupted by the catastrophic earthquake or the recent Covid-affected seasons — the number of climbers has increased dramatically.

Climbing Mount Everest may be popular, but the difficulty of reaching the highest point on earth should not be underplayed. Ignoring the hefty price tag associated with an Everest expedition, there's the sheer physical exertion of climbing to that altitude. Unless you plan to recreate Killian Jornet's feat of summiting twice in one week without supplementary oxygen — don't try this — then you'll need to set aside serious time for your ascent to the top of the world. So exactly, how long does it take to climb Mount Everest?
Mount Everest climbing timeline

Read more
What does par mean in golf?
What does par mean in golf? Better understand golf lingo to up your game
A person taking a swing on the golf course.

Trying to keep score in sports like basketball is pretty simple. There are only a few ways to score, and it's all number-based, so keeping track of what shot gets you what points isn't hard to remember. But in a sport like golf, not only is the scoring a little different, the points aren't always tracked in numbers. Get a birdie? Have a handicap? What about par? What does par mean in golf? Here's how to understand this golf term so you can focus on your swing.
What does par means in golf

In its most basic definition, par is the predetermined number of strokes it will take a player with a zero handicap to finish a hole, round, or course, with room for two strokes on the putting green. To completely understand it, you need to know what a handicap in golf is.
Handicap rundown
A handicap is simply the number of strokes a golfer will take over or under the par number. If the 18-hole round you are playing is a 72-par course, and it takes you 85 swings to finish, subtract 85 from 72, and you are left with a 13 handicap.

Read more
These are the can’t-miss golf courses to play in Ireland
Check out one of these incredible golf courses on your next trip to Ireland
Ballybunion Golf Club

 

The "Emerald Isle" is not only celebrated for its lush landscapes, historic castles, and vibrant culture but also for its world-class golf courses. For golf enthusiasts seeking a memorable challenge, Ireland should be next on your list. From the rugged coastlines of County Kerry to the rolling hills of County Wicklow, each region boasts unique courses that blend natural beauty with rich golfing heritage.

Read more