First Timer Questions: Gear Guide

First Timer Questions – What To Look For When Buying Gear

Get Dressed For Success on the Slopes!

We get it. If you’re brand spanking new to the world of skiing or snowboarding, when it comes to the gear, it can feel like you’re getting set to go to the moon rather than the local ski hill.

“So, what am I going to do with those poles?”; “Fat skis, long skis, all kinds of skis, aren’t they all just the same?”; “are my boots supposed to feel this way?”

But trust us when we say, it’s not that complicated. Really!

With a little know-how on your gear list, and in time, confidence with how to use it, it’ll be plain sailing – ahem, skiing.

So, here’re the basics of your beginner equipment 101: Poles, check! Boots, check! Ski or board, check! And don’t forget the goggles and helmet!



But, if you’re prepping for your very first time clipping on skis or strapping on a board, how will you even know if you’re going to like it? What if your slope debut isn’t quite what you think it’ll be? What if you’re not cut out to be living the #skilife?

These are all questions we hear from beginners all the time (and completely understandable). Again, we totally get it.

Perhaps as you get a feel for the skis beneath your feet, you can take advantage of renting all the gear – from head to toe, helmet to skis?

Enter the rental shop. You’ll find ski and snowboard equipment for rent across the Province’s many ski areas, it’s an easy way to get kitted out right there at the resort – without going to the expense of having your own stuff right from the get-go; this is try before you buy!

“Rentals are such a great, stress-free option for beginner skiers and snowboarders”, says Connor, from Winsport’s rental equipment team.

“You can rent a full package for a day at a very cost-effective price, so it’s a good way to see if skiing or snowboarding is going to be something you’re interested in before making the financial commitment to buy your own equipment,” he adds.

And that’s not even the best part. The rental shops are the perfect spot to ask questions! Yes, ask away! The gear experts that are on-hand to find the best fit and very best match of equipment – from your size to your skill level – can guide you on how that gear should feel for that first run.

“Everyone working in the rental shop would be more than happy to guide any beginner on what gear’s right for them and explain how to use it, like putting on and taking off their boots, for example.

When you’re new to the sport, to have someone support you who knows the gear and can guide you on your way is key; it can really make a difference to your confidence to have an expert assist – so take advantage of their knowledge!”, Connor advises.

And here’s an expert tip from Connor: if you’re a beginner looking to get your flow on snow and don’t yet have your own gear, by booking onto Winsport’s ‘Discover Lesson’, rentals come free.

“For beginners, rentals and lessons go hand in hand. We’re here to make the entry into the sport as seamless – and enjoyable – as possible. The ski resort has everything a beginner needs.”

And speaking of rentals and getting geared up for a fun day out in snow, don’t forget that outside of skiing and snowboarding (although this is our all-time favourite way to spend any winter day), some ski resorts across Alberta, such as Lake Louise Ski Resort and Norquay Ski Resort, offer other types of gear rentals for family-approved snow days; say hello to snowshoes!

These strap-on-and-go winter walkers are the very best way to get out and explore any trail, and as long as you’re all wrapped up, there’s no other gear required; just get ‘em on and go find your adventure!

And, if you’re itching for a day outside here in Alberta that comes with no equipment checklist whatsoever, then look no further than … tubing!

Yes, this slope sliding pastime is becoming increasingly popular, and with all the gear provided (we’ll give you a clue: a giant inflatable tube!), plus zero experience or skills required (except the ability to lean back, smile, and enjoy the ride!), you and your family can get an instant ticket to a great time – no matter your age.

And for a tubing thrill that lasts, Mt. Norquay boasts the longest tube lanes in Alberta, and Red Deer’s Canyon Ski Resort 6-lane, high-speed tube park comes complete with neon lighting for a fun night tubing glow! Winsport, Lake Louise Ski Resort, Edmonton Ski Club, Sunridge, Rabbit Hill Snow Resort, Tawatinaw Valley, and Drayton Valley Brazeau Snow Club all have tubing lanes waiting for you.

Go Ski Alberta
Author: Go Ski Alberta