Five Cheap Pieces of Equipment for Downhill Skiing

by on February 12th, 2011
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One of the troubles with downhill skiing is that the equipment can be rather pricey. Indeed, a set of top-of-the-line gear can cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, a savvy shopper will be able to find similar high-quality equipment for only a fraction of the price.

So for anyone looking to get a good value on downhill skiing equipment, I recommend buying these five items:

K2 Press Skis, 2011/2012 edition ($299.95)

Some people spend over $1,000 on a single pair of skis, meaning these are quite modestly priced at $300. While they aren’t particularly fancy, they are versatile and good for many different types of skiing. This includes doing jumps, as they have a twin tip design that allows for switch riding, and they also have metal tip plates to dampen the impact of landing. The K2 Press Skis come in 149 cm, 159 cm, and 169 cm sizes, and the respective recommended weights are 140-170 pounds, 150-180 pounds, and 160-190 pounds.

Smith Cascade Classic Snow Goggles ($28)

These goggles are just as good at protecting your eyes from bright light and UV rays as a more expensive model. They also have a helpful anti-fogging treatment to help you see. In addition, they are helmet and eyewear compatible, and they come with either gold or clear lenses. The gold ones are best for daytime skiing, and the clear lenses are useful for a night on the slopes.

Rossignol Experience Ski Poles ($26.95)

Unless you are a competitive downhill skier, I recommend choosing these poles instead of a premium type. This will save you around $100 with only a minimal change in performance. The specs are fairly standard, as they weigh 220 grams and are made of a strong aluminum alloy. These ski poles also have a good grip, and there is an adjustable strap to support the wrists. If there is a downside, it’s that you can’t adjust the length.

Nordica One-45 Ski Boots, 2010/2011 edition ($169.99)

The Nordica One-45 ski boots are a great value at around a third the cost of the most expensive boots. They are as warm and comfortable as any ski boots, thanks to a fleece lining and polyolefin shell. Additionally, these boots are easy to take on and off since they have aluminum buckles and a Velcro closure strap.

K2 Rant Ski Helmet ($59.95)

This K2 helmet shows that you don’t have to spend over $100 to sufficiently protect your head. Indeed, it makes the risk of injury much lower by using a hard-shell, and also by protecting your eyes against blowing snow with a low-profile brim. Furthermore, this helmet minimizes moisture by using a ventilation system and by having a mesh wrap liner.

Floyd Saunders is a native of snowy Minnesota. He has been a downhill and cross-country skier since childhood, and he has dabbled in snowboarding, snowshoeing, hockey, and ice fishing.


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