The mountains have opened, fresh powder is upon us, and, if you consider yourself a true West Coaster, it’s time to hit the chair lifts. And with the start of every ski, snowboard, and winter-sporting season comes a welcome excuse to upgrade—or invest in—your equipment stash.
From super slip-resistant gloves to street-style-approved boots, we’ve rounded up some of the year’s hottest gear from a few of our favourite local shops, so you can fly down those slopes or conquer that rock ’n’ roll grind and look good doin’ it.
Shredding on a budget? Don’t forget to check out Vancouver’s many recreationally oriented consignment stores, including Sports Junkies (102 West Broadway) and Cheapskates (3644 West 16th Avenue), where you can find gently used coats, helmets, and more, at reasonable prices.
My fair lady
Christmas may still be a month away, but who’s to say you can’t get into the holiday spirit a little early on the slopes? Tempered by a moody palette of burgundy and navy, the “Stellar” Fair Isle print on Burton’s women’s Park glove ($69.99) is an apt nod to the most wonderful time of the year.
Better yet, the mitts are equipped with all sorts of proprietary technology from the premier snow-gear manufacturer, including Screen Grab, which allows you to navigate fussy touchscreens with your gloved fingers, and the very-fun-to-say Sticky Icky, which promises a slip-resistant grip on anything you get your hands on. Yes, that includes your smartphone during impromptu chair-ride selfies and beers during the après-ski rush.
Find them at Comor Sports (1766 West 4th Avenue).
Eyewear has the ability to make a statement and ski and snowboard goggles are no exception. That’s why we love Spy Optics’ unisex Doom goggles ($249), which feature an oversized design—always flattering—and two coloured lens options that can be swapped out depending on your mood.
Ideal for both skiing and snowboarding, the dual-layer glasses are antifog and antiscratch, and amp up the contrast in heavy rain or snow, allowing you to shred safely in even the most challenging conditions. Plus, the super-dense face foam zaps unpleasant sweat and moisture in a snap.
Choose from grey with violet and green lenses or black with red and yellow lenses. Find them at Mountain Equipment Co-op (various locations).
Given the fanfare surrounding Adidas’s street-style kicks of late, you’d be forgiven for being completely oblivious to the brand’s snowboarding line.
We’re here to tell you, however, that the German sports company makes some of the best winter sporting gear around. And with the popularity of Stan Smiths and Originals at an all-time high, there’s no better time to get in on the game.
Start with the men’s Tactical ADV boots ($399.99), a comfy snowboarding shoe boasting ultra-responsive cushioning, a flexible cuff, and foam lining that snugly shapes to the contours of your feet. A striking colour scheme and the label’s recognizable three-stripe trademark running down the exterior are the powdered-sugar icing on the cake.
Find them at Pacific Boarder (1793 West 4th Avenue).
Stay safe, stylish, and visible in snowy conditions as you’re ripping through terrain with Giro’s Essence MIPS women’s helmet ($329.95).
Equipped with the industry-approved Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, which reduces impact on the brain tissue better than traditional helmets, the Essence is armed with handy features like venting that functions as warm, audio-compatible ear pads and an integrated movable visor that protects you from cold and slush while keeping your glasses and eye makeup intact.
Plush foam offers comfort against the bridge of the nose and cheekbones and adjustable ventilation allows you to let cool air in as needed so you can ride and relax at comfortable temps.
Find it at West Coast Sports (1675 West 4th Avenue).