From high-tech clothes to zippy sleds to piles of cranium covers, youll find gear your mother never imagined for having fun in the snow.
Remember those old leaky nylon jackets and snow pants? Throw em away.
Your old knit hat is going in the trash, too.
At Petoskeys Bahnhof Sport you can zip into the highest of high-tech Spyder iPod two-piece ski suit. Control your iTunes right from its specially equipped sleeve! Holy tunes Batman, what would Dick Tracy think? Gary Hunter, veteran Bahnhofer, also notes that the new designer Rossignol Pucci clothing line is very sexy and sure to be a hit under the tree.
There goes your nylon parka with that Walkman skipping along in the pocket.
Johan Roth from Traverse Citys Don Orr Ski and Beach Haus heads right for your feet and your head. Best at Don Orrs? The new Tecnica Diablo ski boots. The Diablo is the only boot to combine performance with recreational comfort, claims Roth.
Johan also sees a big gain in helmet sales. Who is buying helmets? Lots more adults and professionals like instructors and patrols says the Don Orr staffer. Guess helmets arent just for kids and racers anymore.
Time to replace that old stretched-out knit toque.
Brick Wheels owner Tim Brick, one of this authors personal favorite crazies, says the latest and greatest winter toy is the new Airboard Sled. Calling it an inner tube on steroids, Traverse Citys #1 Brickhead says the bullet shaped body board has a hard rubber bottom for sledding over rough spots. Fist grips allow you to hang on for dear life and supposedly steer the Airboard like a luge sled. Watch out Olympics!
So much for your Flexible Flyer.
Graylings Cross Country Ski Shop is all about function and maximum fun. The semi-fitted, 4-way stretch Sporthill ATV pant blocks wind up to 35 mph according to funster and shop owner, Dick Fultz. Its fancy polypropolene pulls moisture away from your body and the ATVs new bell-bottom design makes if fit great over skating and telemark ski boots. Fultzs best stocking stuffer? The Swix beverage (make that beer) opener with blue Swix shot glasses and pint mugs.
Its the end of your wet butt. Or at least you wont care.
Tim Webster in Gaylords Dan Webster Pro Ski and Golf Shop combines technology and safety. The new Giro IPod compatible helmet features interchangeable ear pads for your headphones. The lightweight snowboard and ski model known as the Bad Lieutenant is Cayenne hot according to Tim. With your iTunes blazing in your ears, youll be riding like Hannah Teter starring in First Descent, a full-length snowboarding docu-drama in a theatre near you.
Now youre going to have to learn how to download music.
At the base of Boyne Mountain, Boyne County Sports Dan Turcott says his hottest items are Nordica skis and, well, helmets. The new Nordicas ski well and have the best shelf appeal says Dan. He prefers the Speedmachine 10 and the Hot Rod models because they ski great in all conditions. Theyre slightly wider with lots of shape. Dans other top seller? Helmets, helmets, helmets. Sound familiar? New helmets are more fashionable and widely accepted with sales divided about 50/50 between kids and adults.
So, this winter your head will be warmer, safer and full of song. Youll be drier, turn easier and have comfortable feet. Sounds like a great winter on the slopes. Once youve finished shopping.
Ski Bum and Express contributor Scott Stillings does it daily on the slopes around Northern Michigan.