My pockets are wadded full of Ben Franklins and Im checking out local ski and board shops for the ideal gift. This will save a lot of valuable shopping time, getting you on the slopes before the holiday crowds appear.
This must be the season for underpants.
Missy Kruskie from Petoskeys Bahnhof Sport says to buy your sweetie some Snow Angels long underwear.
So soft, so warm.
Snow Angels skivvies come in two weights: cybersilk and doeskin. No, its not little Bambis against your skin. Its an incredible blended fabric that feels like cotton, but its not.
She also recommended Roxy goggles for those female carvers and riders on your list. Roxy is new, hot and part of surf giant Quiksilvers big push into winter sports. Vented, Italian made, theyre fog free with Roxy logos everywhere!
Missy says youll be a very cool parental unit if you stuff anything Roxy into a Christmas stocking.
THE WOOL OPTION
Graylings Cross-Country Ski Shop is celebrating 30 years of dedication to cross- country skiers.
Owner Dick Fultz claims his store has been under the same mismanagement and owner-ship for all 30 of those winters. He also says you need new SmartWool long underwear.
Yes, says Fultz. This SmartWool product is the only Merino wool fabric that you can actually throw in the washer and drier!
Wool? In the drier?
Testers say this new fabric is not only bachelor proof but it doesnt itch and doesnt stink after multiple days of wearing.
Im not certain I want to be there when they run those stink tests.
Fultz notes that serious backcountry skiers and campers have always complained about the aroma of synthetic fibres after perspiring winter workouts. Not so with SmartWool.
According to testers you can wear this under layer for up to three days before it, and you, need a bath.
If you love your SmartWool socks youll love this stuff. The medium weight zip t-neck can be worn as a next-to-skin base layer or as your new favorite shirt.
Inside Don Orrs Shop in Traverse City Ali Rice says hot holiday items are packed into Burtons Shaun White Collection.
You remember our U.S. Olympic carrot topped halfpipe gold medalist. Shaun White now has a complete clothing and snowboard line from Americas #1 snowboard company.
Its all top of the line stuff with great graphics. The Shaun White snowboard is a great all mountain model thats also fantastic in the park and pipe. The clothing features great fabrics and designs. Its da kine.
Ali says all the Burton Shaun White gear is a great price for the product youre getting.
Parents take note.
Boyne Mountains Boyne Country Sports salesman Casey Powers says that grownups skiing with young tykes will love the new Leki ski poles with releasable straps.
A special clip on the strap between your thumb and forefinger snaps in and out of the grip with the flick of a finger. Casey says to imagine this feature as you approach Boynes High Speed chairlift with your little skier by your side. Any parent who has ever wrestled with ski poles and children in the lift line will love this convenient invention.
These Leki poles are made from carbon fiber, are extremely lightweight and come in three models. To quote Casey, Just click and hold. All parents teaching kids need a pair.
Owner Joe Host at Cadillacs Sun N Snow says the foolproof purchase for the holidays is a gift card. That way, Joe claims, you cant go wrong.
Such a boy answer.
Host highly recommends Volkl Skis new Attiva 5 Star performance ladies model. 20% softer and lighter, yet more stable than any previous model, Joe says that on Northern Michigan slopes, these skis have no top end. Let er rip.
Volkl even installs the built-in Marker ski binding slightly forward of normal on the Attiva. Its specifically placed to enhance balance and performance for women.
Joe also noted that Roxy gear for skiing and snowboarding women is flying off the shelves. He says young ladies who love their summer Roxy wear are gobbling up this new winter line. Its very cool whether youre a skier or a rider.
Brickhead Brad Morgan at Traverse Citys Brick Wheels says the gift of the season is the new Fuse helmet from Giro.
IPod and cellphone compatible, it is one of the lightest and most comfortable helmets ever made. You simply plug in and adjust all your IPod/cellphone settings within pocket volume and phone controls.
Brad also notes that while helmets are certainly warmer than hats, some rider and skiers think they are too warm for spring conditions.
The Fuse solves that problem with adjustments for ventilation geared for either cold or warm days. Giro is the worlds leading helmet maker for boys, girls, moms and dads.
Marty Blank in the huge Traverse City MC Sports is blown away by the new Rossignol Mini snowboard.
A do anything, take anywhere, pipe and park snowboard, Blank rode it last season and says, Its a blast.
Whats new is The Minis size. A mere 128 centimeters long, it is enough ride for anyone from 75 to over 200 pounds.
Noted for its lighter swing weight, The Rossignol Mini is springy, holds a great edge and doesnt chatter or bounce around. As soon as the first Mini hits the slopes, Marty predicts a quick sell-out.
At downtown Petoskeys new Ride 45 snowboard shop, Chris McKay says the coolest holiday items are the new Rome snowboards and bindings.
Chris says after testing all this seasons hottest boards, Rome gear is unmatched.
Very rideable, Rome boards are constructed for the freestyle snowboarder. Rome bindings are precise and durable, yet their forgiving design eliminates a lot of unwanted vibration.
New Rome gloves provide great movement due to their hand friendly design. Great stocking stuffers include a thinner pipe and park model and a heavy glove for cold days.
Tim Webster, manager at Gaylords Dan Websters Pro Shop, says the insulated soft shell jackets from the Columbia Titanium line are super even if youre not a winter lover.
Dont worry, these Columbia beauties are not made from some exotic metal. Youll still be able to get through airport security.
The Titanium line is lightweight, and as Tim tells it, these stylish coats have warmth without weight with rockstar good looks. Perfect for the street and the slopes.
Ready? Its your turn to shop now.
Even if youre not a skier or snowboarder your local winter sports store has a bunch of great stuff for anyone who lives in our snowy climate.
See you on the slopes, but please wash your long johns.
Scott Stillings is an Express contributor and plastic boot wearer.