The last-second snowsports holiday gift guide
Local options to stuff the stockings of the skiers and boarders
Anyone else wake up and realize Christmas is next week?
No worries, fellow procrastinators, the Vail Daily has you covered. In the sports and outdoors realm, we appreciate high quality, affordability, durability and style. We also like products made by people we know or sold in shops we can walk to. In our 2021-22 “last-second holiday gift guide,” we did our best to cover all of the bases.
The most important person on your list comes first for us, too. Hopefully, you’ve already found something, but for those looking to avoid the proverbial dog house, here are two locks sure to “wow” that special someone.
Krimson Klover Sela Vest
Krimson Klover is a clothing brand designed for women, by women and was founded by Vail resident Rhonda Swenson. The Boulder-based company has established itself as a leader in alpine sport style since launching in 2010, with over 500 retail accounts and counting. Krimson Klover’s fashionable, practical women’s base layers are perfect for a myriad of outdoor activities, and their bright, colorful designs are stylish enough for a night on the town, too.
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Outside Magazine rated this core warmer one of the best vests for 2022. It comes in four different colors and designs, all of which have both a classic solid and fully-designed side. Another tidbit: the recycled polyfill of this vest is made from recycled plastic waste.
Krimson Klover products can be found at Vail Sports, Christy Sports, Pepi Sports, and several other retail stores in the valley.
For the Nordie Nerd
Toko Polar Race glove
No pet peeve prevents outdoor fun like cold hands, especially when you are Nordic skiing. My never-ending search for the most reliably warm glove is about as critical to marathon success as finding the right skis, boots, poles, wax, and grinds. And when you add up the costs of those necessities, it becomes clear why gloves must be affordable and durable, too. Toko to the rescue.
The World Cup Nordic ski opener brought such frigid temperatures to Ruka, Finland that many athletes decided to forgo competing altogether. As frost formed on his facial hair, American Olympic hopeful Ben Ogden looked pretty comfortable in the sub-zero temps wearing his Toko Polar Race gloves, earning some well-deserved FIS points in the second day’s competition.
I recently tested these puppies out on a similarly frigid Colorado morning during a workout in Leadville. They passed the test.
You can find many Toko products at the Vail Nordic Center retail shop or online at tokous.com.
Scandinavia’s number one eyewear is another example of a top-flight brand Gerlach has exclusive North American distribution control over.
“World Cup winning technology — weekend warrior pricing,” Gerlach boasted about the popular shades. The reason half of the World Cup wear Bliz might seem too simple.
“The lens is the most important part,” Gerlach succinctly stated.
“Our optics are clear and precise. You wear the glasses for the lenses, not everything else. With Bliz, it’s all about optics at an affordable price.”
Bliz has great alpine and snowboard goggles, too. Find them at Breckenridge Nordic and Fuxi Racing USA at Copper Mountain.
For the skiers
Movement Alp Track 100
Ski Magazine and Backcountry Magazine have both named the Alp Track 100 the backcountry ski of the year. Alp Tracks is a limited ski series from Movement that requires a manual finishing process that squeezes fiber layers together to reduce weight. A 100mm ski has never been this light and robust. The best place to find these guys are at Cripple Creek Backcountry in Avon.
Dahu Ecorce 01 Ski boots
The 100% Grilamid shell delivers maximum power transfer at an optimal weight for “vertical chasing” skiers. This all-mountain boot provides high quality Italian nubuck leather, Primaloft insulation, Panatex technical fabrications and double-stitched construction for warmth and durability. Available at Gorsuch and Pepi’s in Vail and Gorsuch in Aspen.
Yniq White Rose gold goggles
With its Peripheral Vision Technology, which shapes the lenses at the edges to give a truer depth perception for all conditions, these goggles combine the sleek fit of a low-profile cylindrical lens with numerous elevated details such as the color-coordinated outriggers at the side of the frame. The fit and feel is flawless and the metal detailing around the lens puts a critical layer of protection between the goggles and the rest of the world when they’re not on your head. Of course, you’ll probably prefer to keep them there even when you don’t need to. Find them at Gorsuch and Pepi Sports.
For the snowboarders and snow surfers
Weston Eclipse Splitboard X Brooklyn Bell
Known for their high-quality splitboards, Minturn-based Weston’s Eclipse floats in powder, controls down steeps, and is nimble through trees. The poplar/bamboo wood core adds “sustainably harvested pop and stability.” The camber design underfoot gives excellent skin traction on the uphill sections and edge control on the downhill. Washington athlete/artist Brooklyn Bell adds an artistic touch to the design of this Backcountry Magazine Editor’s Select (2021) and Outside Magazine Best Splitboarding Gear (2020) winner. To top it off, every Weston board purchase comes with a free pair of gloves. Plus, a portion from every board purchase goes towards funding AIARE avalanche education scholarships.
Jones Mountain Pow Surfer
Buzz’s Boards carries this fun backyard toy in adults’ and kids’ sizes.
“If you are stumped for a gift, this is perfect for young and old,” Buzz himself said about the powder surfer designed by an acclaimed surfboard maker to provide a fun and easily controlled binding-less ride. The sintered base and full-wood core give the user a familiar traditional snowboard feel and the big foam stomp pad allows for both freedom and control.
For the whole family after a perfect day spent under a Colorado bluebird sky
Monopoly – Special Vail Edition
Also available at Buzz’s Boards (as well as Wishes the Toy Store, Gorsuch and other retailers across the valley) you could actually land on the space dedicated to the iconic local shop and own your very own ski and snowboard store. Sure, our attention spans are shortening, but maybe this gift, sure to provide long game nights filled with laughter, can get your family around the table during the holidays.