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18 years later - have things changed?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all - first post and seeking opinions on a couple of things...
My wife and I are in our early 50s and last skied in 2000 (when kids got in the way). We've decided to go on a family ski holiday before (a) they drop us for holidays with their friends in Magaluf and (b) our knees give way. It'll be their first ski holiday, and we oldies had about 8 weeks of experience in the days of luminous sunblock - red-run proficient, but not graceful.
First question is about boots: we bought shop-fitted boots on our final day in Andorra all those years ago, and only wore them for an afternoon... My pair are Salomon Evolution 7.0 and my wife's are Rossignol Salto GTX. They look as new but should we take them with us to the Alps (La Plagne)? Today's rental boots may be superior/lighter, the boots may have weakened or perished in some invisible way up in the hot/cold attic, or our feet may have changed/flattened in the interim. I imagine the cost to take them on Easyjet would be the same as hiring in resort?
Second question is about fashion: We had a lot of laughs last night after digging out and trying on our old one-piece ski suits. They were good quality in their day (Killy and K2) but rather 'bright'. Would a middle-aged lardy in a yellow one-piece be laughed off the slopes? Should we chuck them in the bin and chuck hundreds more on new gear, or would I get away with wearing my Berghaus goretex walking jacket over a base layer and fleece (and a pair of plain salopettes)?
Third question: We'll go for some family lessons (and try our boots) at the dry slope, but what's all this 'carving' ski style I'm reading about - do I no longer need to jump up to turn in?
Last question: is walking 10,000 steps a day and a few stretches fitness enough. If not, any in house exercises we can do to ready ourselves?
Thanks all in advance, and looking forward to reading your comments/suggestions/advice - please be gentle Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Definitely keep the ski suits!

Can’t really advise on boots - but if you can afford it may be safer to hire.

Exercises - do a search for ski exercises on YouTube or else where. I would do a bit more than you are doing. I actually find cycling (or indoor spin classes) has a good low impact cross-over benefit for skiing. So if you find that less daunting than weight training go for it. No doubt weight/strength training is best though. All the usual lunges squats deadlifts step ups etc. Get your core strong as well with core exercises.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Perfectly adequate and inexpensive ski wear is available on ebay and facebook sales pages (and here often) at a fraction of the new cost , definitely no need to splurge hundreds on new gear.
Almost everyone has "spare" gear they'd probably let go of if asked.

I'd agree that the boots are probably best left at home.
snow conditions     
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@Halitosis, Hi and welcome snowHead

1. Yeah, newer boots might be better, but it's all about the fit really. As this is your first trip in a while, hire some and see how you get on. Swap them if they hurt. As for the old boots, there are numerous threads on here about how attic storage is the best way to dissolve your boots into a small pile of core components, probably while you're wearing them. Just say no.

2. Can you still get into the ski suits? wink No reason why you can't use them, and if the weather is good it won't make much difference. Yes, the goretex walking jacket with adequate base layers will be absolutely fine, spend the money on decent gloves, goggles etc.

3. Dry slope lessons are a good ides, but get some on the mountain too. No jumping is involved unless you're in the park or a tight couloir.

4. Skiing is a sport and if you suddenly take it up having been inactive all year, you are likely to suffer from injury and fatigue. Do as much as you can to improve your general fitness levels, as well as ski specific exercises. E.g. gym, cycling, hiking, swimming, running
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Good on you for getting back in the saddle.

There was a thread here not long ago about old boots falling apart halfway down a slope. I'd ebay them for collectors.

Fashion; that's a trade-off between the size of your egos/thickness of skin and disposable income! No you don't have to splurge hundreds. Just buy a new headband and luminous sunblock. Wink Or used stuff, borrowed stuff or Decathlon stuff. Or your Berghaus.

Carving - no jumping any more. Tilt the skis to dig the edges in, and they turn naturally. Of course it's way more complicated than that.

Lessons lessons lessons. The more you are using the correct technique, the less you will rely on muscle strength.
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Welcome to snowHead s

This thread is useless without fartbag pictures.

Wouldn't trust the plastic in your boots not to let go at the worst moment.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The fartbags should sell on ebay if they no longer fit. The more garish the better. People still buy them to wear as fancy dress on the pistes. Of course most are totally UV faded by now.

Ski edges can't do their job if you're in the air. Jumps and pops are so 1980's. Now it's all about getting a good strong platform at the start of the turn, and not skidding, waiting it out for half the turn for the skis to grip before you gain proper control again. (although skidding and jumps are still a tool to use when necessary)

Also be prepared for ski lengths that come up to below your chin, not above your head. It feels like I'm carrying kids or ladies skis when I use my SL's, and they're the longest in the model range.
I still remember that day in Lech in my 2nd week when I was told I was not experienced enough for "carve" skis, so had to use "beginner" 195cm straight skis. How wrong they were. Stuck in the 1960s afiact.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If it's any consolation, the first time I went skiing I had no confidence that I'd ever go again, so I wore my walking waterproof with a thick fleece under (plus cheap plain black salopettes). It worked perfectly well, and I have continued to do the same ever since. Coming up for thirty years now.

(Obviously it is now the successor several times only to that early jacket, I buy a decent one and wear it for walking, cycling, skiiing and general wet weather until the Goretex starts leaking and it needs replacing).
ski holidays     
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Saying Y2K was 20 odd years ago makes me feel very, very old.
Boots - I'm still rocking a pair of Atomics from mid 2000s, although I do fear for their integrity at speed, and I'm sure my feet have changed shape since I had them fitted. TBH you'd be better off hiring rather than struggle with Easyjets luggage policy. See if they are still any good at the dry slope, like others have said - if they fit well then thats the main thing.
Unasuits - Why not. The kids will think you're being ironic wink
Lessons - if you can ski on a dry slope you can ski anywhere. Take a quick refresher using recent kit - you'll be amazed how much easier it is to ski using modern tech.
Fitness - Get squatting and stretching. Even try some simple yoga / body weight stuff off you tube to try and get the joints and muscles functioning.
Oh, and have fun!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Boots - I'd probably hire. Others have mentioned the possible deteriation of the plastic, but I've just replaced my 2010 boots and they types of plastic being used are quite different - and quite a lot lighter.

Fashion - wear them, they are old-enough to have the 'retro cool' factor. Plus they may be REALLY embarassing for your children which is also a winner.

Carving skis - the basics of skiing haven't changed but modern kit makes it easier. Carving ski are highly wasted (think Coke bottle) and when you put them on their edges and put pressure through them they bend, making the edge look like a banana, and when that moves through the snow it naturally wants to turn. You still need to get the weight forward and on the downhill ski, 'pop' up to make them go light and initiate the turn, then press down to turn, it's just the skis are more likely to want to turn than to fight you and need to be forced. You also get taught to use amuch wider stance these days (feet more shoulder width apart) but the skis will work just as well with the older, 'tighter' stance.

Exercise - there's loads you can do but if you're generally physically fit the main one I'd work on is your ankle flex, as it's not something you do much in general life/a lot of other sports. Stand back to the wall/heals against the wall and slide down, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Hold it as far as you can comfortably go, then slide back up. Repeat a few times each day and you'll slowly increase your anle flex, which is the whole get-your-shins-in-the-fronts-of-the-boots thing.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
If your wife has had kids since buying ski boots her feet might have "spread"! No excuse for anything else spreading though. There are plenty of fartbags to be seen in French resorts though usually on people who can ski well and have no need to look fashionable (and are not wearing them ironically, either). But yes, as someone said, lessons, lessons, lessons. If you are keen enough to have lessons on a dry ski slope, you'll ace it!
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Halitosis, despite your moniker, welcome snowHead to snowHeads.

I would be very wary of your old boots and suggest that renting is probably a better idea - also one less bag on the journey.

Regarding fashion, who really cares? While photos would be helpful to allow all of us to take the mickey, if your clothes still fit and are in decent condition, why worry? I wore my C&A one piece for far longer than it was fashionable because it was still doing the job I bought it for. I found a jacket in a cupboard a while ago that I will certainly wear just for the hell of it. Mind you, it's a long time since I cared too much about what others thought!

Yes, skis have changed to what will probably appear to be extreme shapes, and are skied in much shorter lengths. You say you're planning family lessons at a dry slope and you'll see/feel the difference.
ski holidays     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ thats changed Very Happy Very Happy
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Halitosis, Go for it! I work at a dry ski slope, and you would not believe how many of our customers are in the same position as you, haven't skied since a world before kids.
You will remember lots of it, but good private lessons will mean you remember the good bits, and leave the naughty bits buried - be prepared to be taken back to a snowplough!
Decent hillwalking gear works fine, I skied in mine for 15 years till I got given a proper ski jacket for my 40th birthday. But it's possibly as sartorially inappropriate as the one piece, just at the other end of the spectrum?
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Welcome to the mayhem.

As someone who is now skiing in his 6th decade Shocked, I have seen fashion change (usually leaving me behind) and have constantly been told "You don't want to ski like that!" .

Skis have got smaller, Goggles have got bigger and now a half day of group lessons costs the same as a full day used to, while the cost of lift passes for a family requires taking out a second mortgage.

As to your questions:

1. Hire your Boots - and if going to ski regularly, get properly fitted Boots, from a recommended Bootfitter - by asking on here.

2. Wear your Fartbag if you want, but I would go with Jacket and Ski Pants....anything else you need, look to places like TK Maxx and Sport Pursuit. Your Berghaus should work and how many other layers you need depends on time of year.

3. Piste skis are now more shaped than ever, making turning so much easier. Old school Up- Unweighting and Foot Steering still works - but misses out on what modern skis can do. All you need is a good instructor to guide you through how to adapt your technique. I would go with Private Lessons, as the instructor can deal with how you ski now - rather than being in Group Lessons, where everyone may have different needs to you.

4. For getting your legs ready for skiing see this thread - much of which can be done at home - especially the Leg Blasters:
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=150953#3517834

Good luck.....and I strongly suspect it will all come back, like riding a bike.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Fri 24-01-20 13:32; edited 5 times in total
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Look in Decathlon for decent cheap ski jacket/trousers, Aldi/Lidl do equally good and cheaper kit but you've missed this years offers. To pull of the farbag look you really need to ski well enough not to care!.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hire boots.

Sports Direct or Decathalon for inexpensive, but really quite decent quality.

Sell me your luminous one piece if it is a mens XL.

Have a couple of lessons

Enjoy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Halitosis, Taking your children skiing is an absolutely certain way of continuing to have holidays with them, we've just got back from a ski holiday with our children and their families, a wonderful 3 generation holiday.
Boots? Sell them on Ebay and hire, not worth the risk of failing.

One pieces? As long as their are bright enough and have maintained their insulating and waterproofing properties then why not? If not then no need to spend big money on premium brands lots of perfectly adequate kit available from Mountain Warehouse, Trespass, Decathlon, Dare2Be and many more. Lots of brand new but last seasons kit available on Ebay.

Lessons? Absolutely. Try and get a couple of sessions at one of the "snowdomes" dry slopes are completely different to indoor snow which can be similar to the real stuf.

Fitness? It helps, but you don't have to be superfit to enjoy it. Like a lot of sports when you are learning you use a lot of energy to do the basics things, snowploughs are very tiring. As you get better the amount of energy expended reduces as your technique improves. The bigger need for fitness may be generated by the need to keep up with your children by the end of the week.
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I recall many years ago someone said the most skiing injuries they saw was from middle-aged overweight German women. I'm not sure the nationality was causal but I guess the implication was bread beer and sausages...

Nice comment in the linked thread, try to get rid of excess kilos before you go, your body will thank you for it. You give no indication of your current physical condition. Those leg blasters look intense, I wouldn't recommend them to someone who doesn't have a decent level of fitness already, I think they'd pop a knee on Day 1.

For me, one thing is "fitness" like huffing and puffing, where your 10 000 steps may help, but another is your body's ability to react to unexpected physical shock, whether going over bumps, one leg running away from the other, or losing balance and falling over, perhaps being twisted by 6ft of plank stuck on the end. If your body (suppleness/muscle reactions) is able to react better, you're less likely to get injured. Toe touches, leg stretches, torso twisting in various directions, will all help.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Oh and you don't say when you are going but if it spring skiing once Feb half term is out of the way all the big outdoor chains will have their ski gear on clearance!
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I’ve just checked in on the forum and am blown away by all the advice and humour - what a friendly bunch you are, and fun lunch break I’ve had (fart bag - lol)
The resulting plan then, is:
- hire boots
- stretch and strength exercises
- Ditch the “Banana Man” suit and get inexpensive/used gear (and my teenage kids may even allow me to be with/near them)
-lessons, lessons, and maybe a few more lessons
For what it’s worth, we’re not going until Christmas 2020 - I’m just prematurely excited. Haven’t booked yet but La Plagne appears to suit our needs (high, lots of blue runs, and ski-in/out).
I was very surprised at managing to get into the one-piece but much of the credit goes to its bat-wing sleeves and 90s baggy design!
Cheers all
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Halitosis, be worth booking some lessons over the summer as you can get some good discounts then as the snowdomes and dry ski slopes are much quieter.

Check Groupon for example for lessons at Hemel Hempstead if that is local to you.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@NickyJ, we’re in Scotland not far from Hillend (used to be the UK’s longest dry slope - no idea if it still is) so will start there and maybe give the Glasgow snow slope a try. The hope is to be good/safe enough not to need lessons in resort and just cruise the blues
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
This may sound cruel but if you are prepared to ditch the suit, ebay it NOW as half term is coming up and many like to put on fancy dress for Carnival etc.

Christmas - a fun holiday time, but sadly sometimes lacking in snow, and usually quite crowded. But sounds like you have a relaxed attitude Smile
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Some great advice given already. Decathlon would be my choice for a wide variety of gear.
The L'Arpet run left of Bellecote would be a good place to get your skill back. Avoid the steep bit at the bottom by skiing through Belle Plagne. The Roche de Mio and through the tunnel back to Bellecote is another.
Enjoy.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Halitosis wrote:
I’ve just checked in on the forum and am blown away by all the advice and humour - what a friendly bunch you are, and fun lunch break I’ve had (fart bag - lol)

Many of us are old Duffers and Dufferettes, held together with bits of string, bolts and screws, and a variety of metal joints, often with braces and supporting springs. We need a sense of humour, or we wouldn't get out out of bed in the morning, let alone slide down a mountain at 30+ Mph. The one thing we do have, without fail.......is copious amounts of advice . Toofy Grin
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
As mentioned above you are best renting boots and skis.

As for clothing there is lots of good advice up thread. I know people who ski in one piece ski suits just to be different, but seriously if they are in decent shape and are nice and bright and you are not planning on using them then you should be able to sell them, retro ski gear is quite popular.

If you already have a waterproof shell and walking gear, consider wearing that and using layers underneath, base layers, fleeces, insulator jackets ect.

As you are not skiing until Christmas, If you need to buy things have a look round the end of season sales. Aldi often sell salopettes for round the £20 they are nothing special but quite usable. (i think they had some in fairly recently so they may still have some). Sports pursuit website is also looking through sometimes.

As for the skiing consider booking a couple of private lessons at the start of your tip to help you get back in the swing of things, or as others have said have a couple of lessons on dry ski slope.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Old Fartbag wrote:
Halitosis wrote:
I’ve just checked in on the forum and am blown away by all the advice and humour - what a friendly bunch you are, and fun lunch break I’ve had (fart bag - lol)

Many of us are old Duffers and Dufferettes, held together with bits of string, bolts and screws, and a variety of metal joints, often with braces and supporting springs.


I'm not sure whether to politely invite you to speak for yourself or suggest a day out together.
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Alastair wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
Halitosis wrote:
I’ve just checked in on the forum and am blown away by all the advice and humour - what a friendly bunch you are, and fun lunch break I’ve had (fart bag - lol)

Many of us are old Duffers and Dufferettes, held together with bits of string, bolts and screws, and a variety of metal joints, often with braces and supporting springs.


I'm not sure whether to politely invite you to speak for yourself or suggest a day out together.

I am absolutely speaking for myself, being held together with 4 x 3" Titanium Screws......and........I am hoping to meet up during the first week in Feb. At least I am introducing some younger blood into the equation, in the form of my Daughter.

Ps. You are an Old Duffer! Toofy Grin

Will be in touch.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 24-01-20 18:23; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Old Fartbag, from you I am honoured to accept the formal title of Old Duffer. I look forward to seeing you!
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Halitosis wrote:
Should we chuck them in the bin


hell no!
Wear them or Ebay them
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Can I suggest your top priority should be toothpaste!
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
BobinCH wrote:
Can I suggest your top priority should be toothpaste!

Provided there is still teeth to clean....otherwise - Mouthwash!

Same applies to shampoo.

Madeye-Smiley
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
BobinCH wrote:
Can I suggest your top priority should be toothpaste!


And for you, glasses Smile
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Lidl have some ski stuff in the middle this week, base and mid layers, also think about bluffs and balaclavas if you do early season as there’s less strength in the sunlight.
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@Halitosis, Being of similar vintage but usually with 6-8 weeks a season on snow, I'd suggest you look at a resort that has plenty of things to do on your (inevitable!) rest day. La Plagne is a good venue but if you and Mrs H want a day off there's not much to do. You didn't say if the mini H's can ski or not? If they can't then looking at "family" ski lessons may be a good idea. If they can, then they'll leave you behind pretty quickly and just arrange a RV so you can pay for lunch!! Very Happy
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Old Fartbag wrote:
Welcome to the mayhem.

As someone who is now skiing in his 6th decade Shocked, I have seen fashion change (usually leaving me behind) and have constantly been told "You don't want to ski like that!" .

Skis have got smaller, Goggles have got bigger and now a half day of group lessons costs the same as a full day used to, while the cost of lift passes for a family requires taking out a second mortgage.

As to your questions:

1. Hire your Boots - and if going to ski regularly, get properly fitted Boots, from a recommended Bootfitter - by asking on here.

2. Wear your Fartbag if you want, but I would go with Jacket and Ski Pants....anything else you need, look to places like TK Maxx and Sport Pursuit. Your Berghaus should work and how many other layers you need depends on time of year.

3. Piste skis are now more shaped than ever, making turning so much easier. Old school Up- Unweighting and Foot Steering still works - but misses out on what modern skis can do. All you need is a good instructor to guide you through how to adapt your technique. I would go with Private Lessons, as the instructor can deal with how you ski now - rather than being in Group Lessons, where everyone may have different needs to you.

4. For getting your legs ready for skiing see this thread - much of which can be done at home - especially the Leg Blasters:
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=150953#3517834

Good luck.....and I strongly suspect it will all come back, like riding a bike.
Good post!
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Halitosis wrote:
Third question: We'll go for some family lessons (and try our boots) at the dry slope, but what's all this 'carving' ski style I'm reading about - do I no longer need to jump up to turn in?
Last question: is walking 10,000 steps a day and a few stretches fitness enough. If not, any in house exercises we can do to ready ourselves?
Thanks all in advance, and looking forward to reading your comments/suggestions/advice - please be gentle Very Happy


(1) Me, I'd hire boots in the resort, then you can change them if they don't work out.
(2) I thought one-piece suits were out by 2000, but wearing them would ensure you don't have to ski with your family.
I would not personally wear walking gear on the slopes, but I'd also probably not come here for fashion advice.
(3) I don't think you actually ever had to jump, but modern gear is easier.
(4) Pack Ibuprofen and use to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
My contribution:

2. Unless you are very self-conscious, I would keep the fartbag. I was in the same position about 10 years ago. I was really chuffed to have found a Patagonia one-piece in a sale, back in the 90s, but then became a parent soon after and skiing stopped. Jump forward several years and I was dismayed to find that my hardly-used, prized one-piece was no longer in fashion. I did have some ski pants so I bought a cheap new jacket, but I still stubbornly wear the one-piece a few days each holiday. I've never been openly mocked for it. Perhaps some people smirk inwardly, but if so I'm happy to have brightened their day.

4. Since getting a dog several years ago, I do 10,000+ steps most days and I find that I cope much better with skiing than in my pre-dog days. No more aching thighs and quads on the morning of day 2. I'm sure the recommendations that others have made are a really good idea, however. I really ought to do more conditioning.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
gordonmurdoch500@gmail.co wrote:
Some great advice given already. Decathlon would be my choice for a wide variety of gear.
.


But go soon if you want some gear for your summer lessons, once Feb half term is out of the way Decathlon will be replacing their ski kit with hiking gear.
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