Equipment needed for alpine skiing

Steep tracks, icy bends, not always favourable weather. One thing is clear: alpine skiing demands a lot from you and your equipment. In addition to all this, it is mainly the speed that makes this winter sport so attractive. Success on the slopes requires refined skiing technique, courage, a lot of strength and the right equipment. Today we look at why ski equipment is so important and how the right products can help you reach your full potential.

1. Skis and bindings

If you are a beginner, our advice is to rent skis with the bindings already mounted. The rental shop technician will help you choose the right skis and fit the boots to your skis, depending on your body weight, your skiing experience and your plans.  

If you prefer to buy skis, there are several factors to consider when choosing your skis. First of all, it is very important that you are aware of the type of skiing you do, your technical level, your fitness level, the type of terrain you like to ride… Be honest in answering these questions in order to select the right set of skis and bindings you need to buy.

2. Ski poles

Ski poles help you keep your balance on the slopes. In general, to choose poles that are the right height for you, turn them upside down and place them on the ground. Place your hand under the basket of the pole, your elbow should form a 90-degree angle. If the poles are too short, the balance could shift too far forward when planting the poles in the snow during turns.  If the poles are too long, the balance is likely to shift too far back, increasing the likelihood of a fall.

There are also a multitude of telescopic poles that allow you to change the height as needed. The choice of material is an important factor and only by testing the different options will you be able to make the final decision. 

3. Ski boots

Ski boots should fit snugly on the foot. When lacing up the boots and bending the knees, there should be some room for the toes to wiggle. Boots that are too wide, for example, reduce control over the skis. The lining of the boot will shrink during skiing, so make sure there is no extra space in your boots.  The fit of the boots can usually be altered later to allow for more space, but it is impossible to make them smaller.  It may be necessary to try on several boots, of different brands or male and female models, to find the right fit.

As with skis, when choosing your boots, you must be honest and analyse your skiing level, your fitness level, the type of skiing you do.

4. Socks

For maximum comfort, wear only one pair of socks, preferably those that are higher than the height of your ski boots.  There is no alternative: socks must be technical.

5. Helmet

What was an optional extra a few years ago is now an obligation. Research says that ski helmets reduce the risk of head injury by at least 29%. 

Ski helmets are insulated and protect against impacts, but only if they fit on the head. Once fastened, the helmet must not move when the neck is turned. Be careful because helmets do not last forever and, especially if they have already suffered an impact, they need to be replaced.

6. Goggles and sunglasses

Whatever the weather, you will need eye protection. Even on cloudy days, you will be exposed to UV rays, not only from above, but also reflected by the snow. For skiing in mild conditions, sunglasses with 100% UV protection are usually sufficient. For colder conditions or in snow, wind or rain, goggles offer better protection.


For alpine skiing you need three layers of clothing: a base layer such as thermal underwear, an insulating layer usually consisting of a fleece and/or down jacket or something similar such as Polartec, and finally a windproof and waterproof outer layer. Weather conditions can change rapidly, as can body temperature: one minute you’ll be hot from the exertion of skiing, the next you’ll be cold sitting on a chairlift that has stopped. Even in good weather conditions you are likely to end up in the snow, making waterproof equipment necessary at all times.

Ski suits or jackets and trousers are made of materials that keep water out and allow the skin to breathe.  

8. Gloves or mittens

 Ski gloves or mittens protect hands during falls and keep them warm.  Choose waterproof gloves or mittens that wick moisture away from the skin.  Mittens may detract from dexterity, but they tend to keep hands warmer in cold conditions.

9. Protection against sun and wind

Apply sunscreen and lip balm before skiing. Keep the sunscreen in your pocket for reapplication according to the instructions on the pack.  If you decide not to wear a helmet, wear a cap even in not too cold conditions. 

10. Hydration

Staying hydrated helps you stay alert while skiing, can help prevent muscle cramps and aids recovery after skiing.

The easiest way to meet your hydration needs is to use a hydration pack.  It is recommended to drink 300-400 ml before skiing and 250 ml (1 glass) of water or sports drink every 20 minutes of skiing and for one hour after skiing.  

Find all the equipment available to enjoy skiing at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *