Your ski-movie heroes might be fearless, but they aren’t stupid. So don’t think for a second that they aren’t padding up underneath that cool outerwear before they go huge in the pipe or charge that steep, rock-studded line in Alaska. In the past, lots of pro athletes have adapted padded motocross apparel to their uses. Now companies like Scott USA (which happens to have a motocross line, too) are offering ski-specific body armor. Example: the Compression Reducer X. Speed event racers have been wearing spine protectors like this for a while, and there’s no reason the average skier shouldn’t, too—regardless of age, ability, level of aggression, fitness, etc. It’s built to flex in all the directions your body flexes. Comfortable straps and a half-zip vest keep it securely in place. You’ll barely know you’re wearing it, except that it can be a little warm on sunny days. Parents can rest easier knowing their teens have some spine protection when they’re sessioning on those huge dude-booters in the park. For that matter, moms and dads who don’t bounce like they used to might like the idea of a little extra padding for their own aging bodies. ($175, scottusa.com)
Enter to win ski swag without being on the nice list.
The around town gear everyone needs and wants in ski towns this holiday season.
Holiday gifts for the ski enthusiast.
No joke, he’s on Full Tilt—and that isn’t as crazy as it sounds.
No more powder day back sweat.
New clothes. New rules on how to keep them clean.
Pick your pleasure. A fat, smeary surfer for steep-and-deep days? A precision scalpel for groomer days? A do-it-all generalist for anything and everything? Just be decisive, ...
Can we be honest? Because,truth is, while there's lots of great gear on the market, some stuff's just better than the rest.
You may never again feel such inner warmth over buying socks.
We caught up with our SKI test director to find out what goes into the most trusted ski test in the industry.