By: Jackson Hogen
Published: March 3, 2020
Before we dive into the details, let it be known that none of the products touted herein were selected because they won something, even if they have. There was no rigorous selection process. The only unifying thread that connects them is that I either use them or I’ve tried them and found them worthy. Some serve a special need while others have the potential to appeal to skiers of every stripe.
Permit me to present, in no particular order, seven products that real skiers should at least be aware of, even if they don’t fit a particular need at the moment.
Leki’s Slate S spring glove can be used with any of Leki’s sexy Trigger grip poles. The pole here is the Spitfire 3D ($119.95)
I have the metabolic rate of a hummingbird, and I ski mostly in the Sierras, so I always use gloves (vs. mittens) and often can pare down to a spring glove. I love how Leki combines an all-leather palm and fingers with a partly synthetic back and cuff for light weight and breathability. The other reason I use Leki’s spring glove, the Slate S ($89.95), is because a little ring between the thumb and forefinger clips into any of Leki’s sexy Trigger S poles, to which I am thoroughly and happily addicted.
Ever wonder why someone hasn’t affixed a sole to an inner boot to make the ideal, waterproof, insulated après-ski boot? Wonder no more, as Full Tilt has converted an Intuition liner into exactly that. A yummy lining adds to the cushy feel of this versatile, indoor/outdoor slipper. Pictured here is Après Bootie 1.0 ($69.95); Après Bootie 2.0 ($119.95) features a higher cuff for more advanced après maneuvers.
The spring-loaded metal rods that give Ski-Mojo its mojo are housed in comfortable braces. It’s easily disguised under ski pants.
Ski-Mojo is essentially a pair of spring-loaded rods that serve as an exoskeleton to both support the skier and alleviate pressure on battered knees. I’ve never skied with an exoskeleton before –Ski-Mojo isn’t the first of its kind – but from what I can tell, Ski-Mojo ($750) provides a viable, palliative solution for many skiers with chronic knee pain. While it also provides support for tired legs, it’s not a substitute for all muscular support. (If you don’t have any knee pain and your legs only get a little tired, you should exercise more, not less.) Its principal benefit is to limit knee joint movement in some directions and allow it in others, so the skier can make normal edging actions. It also absorbs up to 30% of the skier’s weight, so it mitigates stress in general. Any Realskiers members interested in trying Ski-Mojo, please contact me via the site Consult function.
Lé Bent makes underwear that feels so good you won’t want to take it off, ever. Pictured here is Le Base 200 Crew, $85 in men’s and women’s.
It may not sound like a compliment to say I consider Lé Bent to make the best medieval underwear ever. In the Dark Ages, one wore the same shirt every day; if I had to wear the same shirt every day – or long underwear – I would want it to be made by Lé Bent. Their merino and bamboo blend feels so good you have to start rubbing yourself just to enjoy it more intensely.
I can’t imagine that there exists a compendium of one skier’s travels around the world that is as complete, authoritative and personal as Jimmy Pettersen’s two-tome odyssey, the aptly titled Skiing Around the World. It reminds me of how one might compose a detailed letter to a friend about one’s travels, a long-lost art that gives Pettersen’s travelogue a sense of place that goes beyond trite “resort reviews.” As a bonus, his observations happen to ring true, at least to this local’s ears. At $89 per volume the price may seem as steep as the top of the Hahnenkamm downhill, but they’re the ultimate, jumbo-sized, coffee-table books for skiing aficionados.
POC’s Fovea lenses use a technology called Clarity that’s superb for sensitive peepers, seen here in Spektris Orange ($180).
I don’t know squat about the latest lens technology, but I can tell when I can see. You might consider this more of an accomplishment if you knew I had surgeries for a detached retina, a torn retina, cataracts and a LASIK procedure during which I, the ophthalmologist, everyone else in the OR and in the waiting room learned that I’m violently, Exorcist-style allergic to Valium. And my eyes are baby blue. Point being, if I can see clearly even in a sudden transition from bright sun to flat light, I’m guessing everyone else will, too. I’ve never had better definition in low light combined with squint-free skiing in the Sierra sun than with POC’s Fovea lens in Spektris Orange.
A 2.5-degree Cantology shim installed on a Lange boot. Note how the top of the boot sole has been leveled with a router to maintain standardized dimensions.
Skiing is quintessentially a balance sport and balance begins with what’s under your feet. If you were a serious racer, you’d have the soles of your boots planed to the precise angle that optimizes your stance. Cantology offers the Everyman solution in the guise of shims that fit between any boot’s removable toe and heel and the shell, shifting the foundation inward or outward to align the skier with a flat ski. While this may not sound like a big deal, it’s often the difference between being an asymmetric skier who turns better one way than another and one who is always in balance. Like most of the items I’ve touted here, Cantology shims are under-distributed, so you may have to nag your favorite specialty shop to get them for you.