With summer a mere memory and the autumn leaves firmly underfoot, it’s time to get ready for ski season. Winter is best enjoyed with a little pampering – or a lot – depending on your budget. Here are five ways some of the more wealthy will be spending their money on the slopes this season:
Custom skis by Instinct Killer Ski Corp.
Crafted by artisans in the powder mecca of Rossland, B.C., home of Red Mountain, Instinct skis are all about craftsmanship.
Instinct hews and mills its own lumber, cutting their wood cores to optimize the grain. The cores used in the left and right skis are also matched for optimum grain alignment.
The specs read like a military-industrial supply promo: We are using Triaxial, Double bias, Biaxial and the highest strength IM7 unidirectional weaves in this ski. The carbon combines with a full Kevlar laminate underfoot and a high-end fiberglass called S2 glass. Our 7-layer construction with opposing weaves and composites creates a quiet at speed, playful and super strong platform that dwarfs the industry standard of 2 layers.
“It’s what sets us apart and it’s what makes our small company competitive on a world stage,” says founder Al Eagleton, whose background crafting high-end wood furniture combined with his lifelong passion for skiing turned into Instinct.
But nevermind the resin-infused honeycomb tips or the carbon nanotubes. Instinct has teamed with local artists to produce limited edition artist series. These skis are pretty. So pretty.
Available from Instinct’s online shop www.instinctskis.com and at select local Rossland ski shops. Price: up to $1,299.
Kindred Custom Snowboards
If you’re looking for a snowboard with your company logo and an artistic rendering of your dog, or one that matches your favourite tattoo, Vancouver Island’s Kindred Custom Snowboards is the place for you.
Starting with a core of locally sourced cypress wood, Kindred will work with you on every aspect of the look and performance of your board. This fully custom shop, run by husband and wife duo Angie Farquharson and Evan Fair, is the ultimate in luxury, all handcrafted and all about you.
“Everything from the top-sheet design to the performance design is fully tailored,” Mr. Fair says.
Ready-to-ride boards and skis are also available from Kindred’s online shop, www.kindredsnowboards.com. Price: around $2,000.
Moncler ski apparel
Named for the mountain village of Monestier-de-Clermont near Grenoble, France – and known for down jackets that helped Italian adventurers summit K2 in 1954 – this luxury Italian brand works whether your favourite sport is skiing or being seen.
Water repellent? Check. Lightweight and breathable? Check. Trimmed in silver fox fur? Oh yes.
Moncler S.p.A.’s 2019-2020 line combines high-end materials with advanced technical designs that look as good on the runway as they do on a ride.
Available from the Moncler online store for shipping to Canada https://www.moncler.com/ca/.
Swagtron’s Snowtide Smart Helmet
Known as a producer of electric rideables such as e-bikes and hoverboards, Indiana-based Swagtron has come out with a connected brain bucket with Bluetooth connectivity, built-in speakers, a microphone and push-button two-way communication with unlimited range.
The Swagtron app can track and store data about the day’s runs, such as speed, vertical drop and altitude.
But it’s the smart alert system that is truly cutting edge. Download emergency contacts into the app and if sensors detect a crash with no okay from the rider, the helmet will send out an SOS along with GPS co-ordinates.
And reviews say the helmet is pretty good, too. Available on Amazon for shipping to Canada. Price ranges from about $185 to $213.
Whistler Blackcomb Ski with an Olympian
Whistler Blackcomb remains one of the premier destinations in the world to experience the full beauty of winter. The resort nestled in the Coast Mountains north of Vancouver claims the largest ski area in North America, incorporating 3,306 hectares of skiable terrain with 35 lifts servicing more than 200 runs.
But there’s skiing Whistler and then there’s skiing Whistler and those who can certainly will want to take advantage of some of the posh perks the resort has to offer.
Private lessons with 2010 ski cross gold medallist Ashleigh McIvor are available for $2,500 per day. Hitting the slopes with Olympians such as Kristi Richards, Britt Janyk, Rob Boyd, Mercedes Nicoll or a host of other snow stars ranges from $1,099 to $1,229 per day.
For the adventurous skier, the resort offers a six-run Ultimate Excursion heli-skiing or snowboarding experience that comes with lunch and a $1,630 peak season price tag.