With the holidays now upon us, you’re probably shopping frantically for gifts to give to your friends and family. If there is a skier or a snowboarder on your list, it may be challenging to find gear or accessories they don’t already own or will actually use. If you are not a winter sports enthusiast yourself, then this task triples in its difficulty.
You always can go the gift card route, but we want to help you do better than that. To make it easier for you, we’ve gathered a list of the best gifts for skiers and snowboarders. You’ll find everything from heated gloves and cutting-edge goggles to the best winter sports accessories available. Whether you are looking for a small stocking stuffer or a show stopper gift, there’s something here for every skier or snowboarder.
Wave Tool – $50
Created by a rock climbing physical therapist, the Wave tool is an excellent recovery tool. The all-in-one soft tissue release tool has nine different surfaces– some straight and some curved — for massaging your achy muscles after a day of skiing or releasing adhesions from a nagging injury.
Pump up the volume while cruising through the powder with the Chips 2.0 Bluetooth speakers from Outdoor Tech. The helmet audio system drops into audio-ready ear flaps on many helmets and frees you from the tangled web of wired headsets. You can control your music right from your helmet and even make or receive phone calls.
Spy Optic Ace EC Goggles – $275
Don’t let changing weather conditions leave you in the dark. Grab a pair of the Ace EC googles from Spy Optic and see things clearly. The google embeds electrochromic technology in the lens that allows you to transition between sunny, mixed, or flat weather visibility at the press of the button. For what it’s worth, these goggles were our 2018 Innovation Award winner from January’s Outdoor Retailer.
Once you dabble with the GoPro Fusion, you’ll find yourself saying If it’s not 360-degrees then it’s not worth recording. The Fusion goes beyond the single lens, fixed frame recording of the traditional GoPro cameras and expands it to a full 360-degrees. The Fusion action camera uses two lenses – one in the front and one in the back — to film everything around you. No more worrying about camera angles as the Fusion allows you to capture every angle at once.
You can’t appreciate the power of this recording style until you start editing your clips. You are not stuck watching the video from one perspective. You can pan to watch the action from the front or back, the left or right, or the top or bottom. You can even change perspectives on the fly as you compile the video using OverCapture into a flat file that everyone can watch. You don’t have to be a photographer or videographer to enjoy the creative power of the Fusion. You just need to send your hardest and let the camera do the rest for you.
Phoozy – $30-$50
Don’t let falling temps drain the battery life from your phone. Wrap it in the insulating warmth of a Phoozy. Created with NASA technology, the Phoozy keeps your phone warm when it is cold and protects it from overheating on a sunny summer day. The spacesuit-inspired pouch also floats and is impact resistant up to six feet. With a price tag of $50 or less, it’s a no-brainer purchase.
HeatTouch Hellfire Gloves – $425
Cold hands are the bane of every skier or snowboarder which is why every ski area stocks hand warmers at inflated prices. Don’t waste your money on those disposables. Invest your cash instead in a pair of HeatTouch Hellfire gloves from Seirus. With heating elements that extend over the fingers and thumbs, the Hellfires are some of the warmest gloves we have ever worn. They also have a battery life of up to 12 hours, which isn’t too shabby, either. You can even get them in both men’s and women’s sizing and as a mittens, too (Men’s/Women’s).
The Switcher MIPS helmet from Sweet Protection is the Cadillac of ski helmets. No detail was left unturned in the development of this badass helmet. It is lightweight, among the lightest helmets we have worn, and is well-ventilated thanks to the 22 combined front and back vents. The magnetic chin strap is pure genius and the ear pads are to die for — they fully cover your ears without painfully squishing them. To top it off, the helmet is equipped with MIPS, a safety feature that protects your noggin in case of a crash.
Best known for its electric scooters and hoverboards, Swagtron is jumping into the ski helmet market with a smart helmet to beat all smart helmets. The Snowtide has integrated Bluetooth audio for listening to your tunes as well as making and receiving phone calls. Download the compatible Snowtide app and you can use the push-to-talk button on the helmet to chat with friends and family anywhere on the mountain.
Safety while skiing is vital so Swagtron went one step further and developed a smart SOS system that can detect a crash when your full send goes full jerry. In case of a crash, the helmet will activate an alarm that must be turned off in a short period of time. If a skier is incapacitated and can’t turn off the alarm, then helmet will send out an alert to the skier’s emergency contact.
Face mask or balaclava — which is better for a cold day on the slopes? Don’t agonize over the decision, choose both with the MagneMask Combo TNT from Seirus. As its name implies, the MagneMask uses magnets to attach a a wind-protecting neo-fleece face mask to a thin balaclava that fits under your helmet. A warm layer of fleece wraps around your neck and rounds out the package. Wear the face mask and balaclava together on frigid days or easily remove the magnetic face mask when the temperatures start to climb.
Want to improve your skiing, but don’t want to pay for private lessons? Then check out Carv, an in-boot wearable and external Bluetooth tracker that analyzes your technique as you ski. The boot hardware analyzes your position and the pressure you apply as you carve up the mountain. These stats and more are sent to a connected smartphone app that provides real-time audio feedback as you ski. It’s like having a coach with you on every run.
GoPro Hero7 Black – $400
GoPro and skiing go together like apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Alone they are great, but together they are something special — and that didn’t change with the recently launched GoPro Hero7. The latest in the Hero lineup pushes the boundaries even further offering live streaming so everyone can watch as you drop into Corbet’s Couloir and a new in-camera stabilization system that’s a game changer. Add to that the voice commands for hands-free recording and you have a new champ in the action camera market.
From its sunglasses to its snow goggles, Smith’s reputation in the optics industry can’t be beaten. Smith’s latest goggle is the I/O Mag, a rimless goggle with a magnetic lens attachment system. What sets the I/O Mag apart from the competition are the two locking tabs on either end of the google that help to hold the lens in place when a send goes horribly awry. You may have yard saled your skis and poles, but your lenses will stay firmly attached. A few well-placed AirEvac vents keep the goggle from fogging, while the Chromapop lens technology brings clarity and color to a whole new level.