Dress for Success on the Slopes - Stay Warm and Dry


CONTACT: Mary Jo Tarallo | mjt@learntoskiandsnowboard.org | 202-431-6950

November 2016 – Learning how to ski or snowboard requires listening to instructors offer pertinent information about basic skills before activity starts in earnest. As lessons evolve, staying warm and dry are important ingredients to a positive ski or snowboard experience. Knowing how to dress can make the difference between an enjoyable or a miserable time on the slopes.

Layering is the key.

Base Layer:  This is your next-to-skin layer and will “wick” sweat away from your skin, which keeps you warm even in cold temps. The closer the fit, the warmer you’ll feel.

Insulation Layer:  This is the next step to be worn over your base layer, and can be adjusted depending on the temperature. Fleece or wool vests and sweaters, and fleece pants or tights are all great options.

Outer Layer:  This layer meets the elements head on. The goal is to keep wind and snow out, and warmth in, with waterproof jackets and pants. Cotton should be avoided in the outer layer because once it gets wet, it stays wet, and snow sticks to it like a magnet.

Socks: Socks are an often overlooked but very important component of your base layer. If they don’t fit correctly or are too thick they can cut off your circulation in your feet, causing a lot of discomfort. They should be made from wool, silk or synthetic fabric, never cotton, and should be just thin enough for comfort and warmth without adding too much bulk.

“Accessories often are undervalued when dressing for success on the slopes,” said Mary Jo Tarallo, director of the snow sport’s industry’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard/Bring a Friend initiative. 

Helmets are more of a safety item than an accessory. They protect the head in case of a fall and also keep the head warm in colder temperatures. Other accessories include, gloves, mittens, and gators.

Some accessories can be found in one’s closet. The important ingredient for gloves and mittens is that they are waterproof.

More information is available at: Tips: What to Wear

A list of snow sports retail shops is located at Find Gear on www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org.

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