10 Skiing Gifts for Experts
What could the expert skier in your life possibly need? Turns out, a few things! Expert Abe F. offers 10 suggestions, from the extravagant to the budget-friendly.
Buying the right gift for a great skier doesn’t have to be a challenge. There’s so much fun and practical gear out there, and in my experience, die-hards are always in need of something! Here are 10 great options, from the extravagant to the budget friendly, that are sure to please the expert skier in your life.
1. New Skis
If it’s a big occasion or if you’re buying for someone you just really, really love, a new pair of skis is the ultimate gift for an expert skier. For a lot of experts, you’ll want to make sure it’s something that can really ski hard and aggressively like the Nordica Enforcer 104s, or the Blizzard Bonafide 98s. Others will want a big powder ski like the Icelantic Nomad 115s. For most, however, you’ll want to find something a bit more specialized—and the easiest way to find that perfect ski for anyone in your life is to contact a Curated expert and tell us all about them!
If it’s a smaller occasion or if you’re buying for someone you don’t love quite as much (just kidding!), poles are a great gift option that won’t break the bank. The most important features of a quality ski pole are durability and lightness. If the expert you’re buying for loves carving up groomers at super-high speeds, then something with small aerodynamic baskets like on the Leki Carbon 14s will be a great fit. If your expert is a backcountry traveler, then adjustable-length poles like the Black Diamond Expedition 2s could be an awesome pick. As always, a Curated expert will be happy to help you find the perfect ones!
3. Charging Station/Jump Starter/Air Compressor
A lot of the great skiers I know spend good chunks of their winters hitting the road chasing after the best snow the country has to offer. Long miles on tough roads and long nights at frigid elevations are brutal on car tires and batteries, and an all-in-one power supply with an air compressor is the backup they didn’t think they’d need but are dang sure glad to have. Quickly and easily jump start your car or pump up sagging tires with one of these bad boys. Convenient outlet options let you charge up your phone or other devices if they’re dead and your car won’t start—great for emergency situations. A solid option for under $100 is the Cen-Tech 4-in-1 Power Pack with Jump Starter and Air Compressor.
Goggles are just about the flashiest accessory on the hill, and every season awesome new designs turn heads and help the best skiers navigate the toughest slopes because if you can’t see, you can’t ski! Okay, some amazing blind skiers would beg to differ, but for the rest of us there are a lot of factors that go into picking the perfect pair of goggles, like typical weather conditions where you ski and how much face coverage you want. Of course a Curated expert will be happy to help you find the right ones, but two of my favorites are the Smith I/O MAG Goggles which can swap lenses quickly and easily, and the Oakley O-Frame 2.0s which are a great everyday budget option with a huge field of view!
If the expert skier in your life still isn’t wearing a helmet, then it’s time you talked some sense into them! Helmets have been proven to decrease head injuries on the hill, they are super warm, and are now more comfortable than ever! This model from Bern with the sun visor has been very popular in recent years: Bern Watts MIPS Helmet.
6. GoPro Camera
GoPro dominates the action sports mounted headcam market because they are ahead of the game and have the most advanced stabilizing technology. It’s almost impossible to get a bad shot with a GoPro because the field of view is so wide and the picture is always crisp. There’s no easier way to capture some gnarly runs. Plus, if you can’t keep up with the expert in your life anymore, but you still want to see where they’re skiing, then a GoPro will be a gift for them and you!
7. Ski Socks
Socks are a tried and true gift for all skiers, experts and beginners alike. There’s nothing better than cozy feet on a cold day and you can’t have too many great pairs if you don’t want to be constantly doing laundry! Socks with padded shins can be particularly nice for really aggressive skiers. Smartwool makes great options and so does Darn Tough. The former is a Colorado brand and the latter is from Vermont, so if you have a region you want to rep, choose accordingly.
8. Skins and Snow Shoes
Skins and snow shoes are great options for backcountry skiing and winter hiking and exploring in general. Skins attach to the bottom of touring skis to create a rough surface in one direction so a skier can hike up without slipping back down, and snowshoes provide optimal maneuverability on steeper, challenging, snowy hikes. Moderate snowshoeing is also a favorite activity on longer ski trips when legs need resting. I’ve had great experiences with Black Diamond skins in the past as well as MSR snowshoes.
9. Gloves or Mittens
Gloves or mittens? It’s an age-old question. I’m a mittens guy myself, but if you’re shopping for a gloves purist there’s probably no way of swaying them to the other side. Fortunately, you won’t have to because there are some excellent options in both categories. Obviously you want something warm and waterproof, but these days there are also some added features to get excited about like pockets for handwarmers, sewn-on goggle lens cloths, touch screen compatibility, and even battery heated options! These rugged looking Hestras are supremely warm and very popular among expert skiers, and these Swany mittens are a personal favorite of mine that keep my hands toasty warm on the coldest days Big Sky, Mont., has to offer.
10. Hiking Pack
Whether your expert skier spends time in the backcountry or not, a good adventure pack is always a valuable tool! Sleek day packs allow you to bring water, snacks, and extra layers along with you without the hassle of a bulky hiking bag that needs to come off on every lift. Great big hiking packs are awesome for backcountry excursions when you need that extra room to fit your crucial, life-saving gear or if you want something that can double as luggage for all your clothes and belongings when you’re traveling to the mountain. Hydration packs are also a great option that can keep your skier feeling strong and healthy all day. Contact a Curated expert to find the perfect option for your pro!
11. Local Trail Guide Books and Resort Guide Books
I had to include this as a bonus number eleven pick because I can’t recommend a specific option for where your expert is or is going to be, but I can tell you that there are some amazing guidebooks out there written by some really passionate local skiers. The quickest way to get a sense for a new mountain or backcountry spot is to find an in-depth guide book written by someone who really loves the area. I purchased Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky by Ben Werner about five years ago when I first moved out here and still reference it every season. The Skier’s Guide to the Biggest Skiing in America by Dr. Jeff Strickler is the painstaking Big Sky encyclopedia by a 40-year local that includes an entry on every single run on the mountain. You couldn’t pick a better read on the flight out to Montana! If the expert skier in your life is traveling somewhere new this year, a great local guidebook could be the perfect present!
Still looking for some advice? Chat with any of us here at Curated for free advice and recommendations. We'll help you find the perfect gift for that skier in your life. We also offer the option of a Curated gift card which can be used towards making a winter sports purchase with free expert help finding the right gear for your skier's needs.