Being in such close proximity to local mountains—and world-class resorts that are a bit further away (we’re looking at you, Whistler)—means that we know one or a handful of avid skiers and snowboarders in our lives.
With the holidays and snow season approaching, plenty of sporting-equipment shops have already filled their window displays with the latest winter gear or thermal apparel. Shopping for presents for active individuals can get overwhelming, so we’ve made it a little easier by rounding up our favourites that are slope-appropriate.
Here are six gifts that every skier and snowboarder will put to good use.
The weather can get extreme on the mountains (think strong winds, heavy snow, blinding sunlight), so it’s best to protect the eyes whenever you head up. Von Zipper’s Jetpack Snow Goggle ($216.99) works as protective gear and serves as a fashion statement. With its ergonomic frame design and multihued lens—conveniently antifog, with 100 percent UV protection—whoever is wearing this will be the envy of everyone else on the slopes.
Find it at the Boardroom (1755 West 4th Avenue).
One of the first things that anyone attempting to ski or snowboard will learn is they will fall, a lot. It’s one thing falling onto your behind on fresh snow, but injuries can escalate if you accidentally hit your head on a hard patch of snow or other mountain hazard. Anon’s 2019 Raven Helmet ($139.99) doesn’t sacrifice style for security—three colour options (black, purple, and light grey) are available. Its Endura-shell construction guarantees durability and protection, while its magnetic-snap helmet buckle provides easy accessibility, and a built-in fleece liner offers warmth and comfort.
Find it at Pacific Boarder (1793 West 4th Avenue).
Even when a person is wearing the warmest snow jacket, pants, and tuque, one body part can still be exposed to cold conditions: the face. Airhole’s 2018 Ergo Polar Airtube ($20.99) solves that problem by providing comfortable face protection without affecting mobility. Its fleece fabric showcases a winter sweater pattern, is water-resistant, and features a silicone-airhole mouthpiece for easy breathing. Without a doubt, the receiver of this gift will appreciate your atttentiveness toward his or her facial well-being.
Find it at Comor Sports (1787 West 4th Avenue).
There’s more to cold-weather sports than just skiing and snowboarding—snowshoeing and winter hiking are also popular among Vancouverites. Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is the cult-favourite shop for adventurers, so we suggest heading there for any general outdoor-activity-related gifts. Its Unisex Pom Pom Hat ($29) is a good place to start—made of a merino wool and acrylic blend, it keeps heads warm while showing off the MEC mark. The co-op’s die-hard fans love flaunting the establishment’s logo whenever they get the chance, so don’t be surprised if your gift recipient never removes this headwear.
Find it at MEC (130 West Broadway).
There’s a fair number of high-definition videos that showcase skiers and boarders expertly carving down the slopes or showing off their impressive jumps. Filming oneself is also a great way to learn and improve technique and stance. Most of these clips are likely recorded on a GoPro action camera, but YI Technology offers a more affordable alternative that produces similar-quality results. The YI 4K action and sports camera ($190.99) is equipped with advanced video stabilization, touchscreen LCD, and built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for instant sharing. Be sure to pair it with a waterproof case and selfie stick for the ultimate gift.
Find it online at Amazon.
Sometimes the best holiday presents are the most straightforward ones: gift cards. Know someone who visits Cypress Mountain each year? Go for its Cypress Bucks (gift certificates), which are available in denominations between $10 and $200. For convenience, they can be redeemed anywhere on the mountain, and are valid throughout the season. The cash amount can go toward a lift ticket, season pass, and other activities. It’s more thoughtful than giving cash up front.
Find it online at Cypress Mountain's website.