Choosing The Right Ski Goggles For You

Goggles are arguably one of the most important pieces of gear you could have. They can easily make or break a day on the hill and can cause dire consequences if malfunctioning. If they are so important, how come so many of us sacrifice for the ones that look the best or have the best price tag? This is often because the time when you need goggles usually means you’re about to go up the hill. Consequently, you’re in a rush. Take it from the staff at McCoo’s, shopping for goggles can be fun and pay off in the long run when you have the visibility you need, in varied conditions. To help you on your journey, here are some tips for choosing the right ski goggles.

Ask Questions

There are so many different products and features out there that it can be hard to choose on your own. Ask our staff as many questions as you need so that you know what goggles have the technology that you’re looking for.

Choose The Lenses That Work For You

Before going into the store, think about where you usually ski or ride: Are you hitting the park? Touring? Lapping groomers or shredding moguls? Also, consider what time of day you usually ride and if you are interested in switching lenses depending on the light.

Asking yourself these questions will help you determine what tint will provide a good combination of colour definition, contrast, depth perception and eye fatigue protection, all with the right visible light transmission (VLT) for your specific needs.

Learn About The Technology

Ah, good ol’ science. It’s helping many brands develop styles and technology that help to maintain visibility in even the most terrible conditions. Before you come to the store, nerd out a bit on what features brands are currently offering. Or, be prepared to get your very own science lesson when you come in. Upgrades in scratch-resistant coating, anti-fogging, colour contrast and even built-in GPS are just a few of the developments being seen in models on the market.

Try Them On

Goggles are like a pair of shoes: they might look good but they might not fit how you want them to. Don’t be shy, try on every pair. Bring your helmet and take the time to adjust the strap. Make sure that the goggles fit snuggly on your cheek bones and don’t inhibit your peripheral vision.

If you have any questions, which, we’re sure you do, come on down and let our staff help you find the best goggle for you.

Gearing Up For Opening Weekend

We’ve been waiting long and hard for the start of the season. Counting down the days in fact. Our gear has been sitting beside the door ready to go. Has yours? Gearing up last minute can lead to missing key pieces and ultimately put a kink in enjoying the first few days fo the season. Ride with ease and eliminate any unnecessary stress by gearing up with our handy Opening Weekend Checklist.

Goggles

You don’t want to leave this item behind. Sunny, windy, you name it. You’re going to need to see through every type of conditions, making goggles extremely important.

McCoo’s Recommendation: The Spy Ace Snow Goggle with the Happy Lens.

Action Cam

You’ll want to catch every first. First bails, first face shots, first après! Make sure your action cam is on your helmet or on a handheld gimble and ready to capture all the moments.

McCoo’s Recommendation: GoPro Hero 7.

Gloves

It’s no secret that ski gloves might be one of the most essential pieces of equipment in your pack. If you leave yours at home, you might as well not even go up the gondola. Well-fitted gloves provide greater dexterity, warmth, and comfort allowing you to ride all day long.

McCoo’s Recommendation: Hestra Army Leather Patrol Mittens.

Base Layer

The real secret to staying warm is having the right base layer. Forget wearing yesterdays sweatpants or even just your unmentionables. Believe it or not, you need fabric that can wick away sweat and breathe. That’s where Merino Wool comes in.

McCoo’s Recommendation: Mons Royale Merino Wool Yotei Tech LS Jersey

Outer Wear

It’s tough to leave these key pieces of your gear at home but never say never. If you did, you might just have left the house without pants. Stay warm and dry with the right outer wear. It’s also a bonus if you look good and can go right from the hill to après.

McCoo’s Recommendation: RipCurl Rebound Fancy Jacket and Pants. 

Battery Pack

Losing your riding buddy right before après is the worst! Don’t miss a beat because your phone is dead. Make sure your battery pack is charged and ready to keep you connected.

McCoo’s Recommendation: Outdoor Technology Kodak Ultra Battery Pack.

We’ve been ready for this weekend since closing day last year. You’ll be ready too with our handy Opening Weekend Checklist. If you left gear on the kitchen table, pop by the shop. We’ve got what you need to gear up for any Opening Day adventure.

4 Tips For The Best Ski Season Ever

The countdown to the start of the ski season is on. With less than a month until opening day, it’s safe to start getting excited. It’s also time to begin to prepare. Preparation for skiing and snowboarding season is key, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the best powder day ever? But what does it entail and how can it help you have the best ski season ever? Read on for tips and tricks that will keep you shredding right until spring.

Get Fit

It’s not too late to get your ski legs ready. Hit the gym armed with a total body workout and get ready to sweat. Once a week might not be enough for you to be able to charge right out of the gate. Commit to a few days, and you’ll see the benefits on opening day. What’s more, being fit can help prevent injury. So stay strong and you’ll cash in on as many powder days as you please.

Get The Right Gear

At some point, your gear is going to be the limiting factor in not just having fun but also progression. Before opening day, go through everything (jacket, pants, goggles, helmet, poles, gloves, etc.) with a fine tooth comb. Damaged gear can end the party early and even be dangerous. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to an expert to find what could do with an upgrade. Investing in certain parts of your kit can make all the difference.

Find The Right Crew

There is such thing as a friends on a powder day, just the right kind of friends. Find some peeps that will wake up for first chair, encourage you to challenge yourself, and are at a simialr skill level. With these kind of buddies in tow, everyday no matter how much snow, will be a good one.

Make Some Goals

This is one of the biggest secrets to having the best season ever. You see, if you set some goals and work towards them, even achieve them, you’ll look back at the season with a satisfaction like never before. To make sure you follow through, write them down or tell a friend to hold you accountable.

Staring the ski season off on the right foot is key to having a memorable few months on the hill. Get fit, check your gear, and find some rad people to shred the Whistler powder with. Don’t forget to stop by McCoo’s for the latest gear for any of your mountain adventures.

 

5 Gear Upgrades You Need To Do This Winter

We know how much a beloved piece of gear makes you feel. It’s trustworthy, reliable, and worked in. That stinky old base layer that you’ve been holding onto since you first moved to Whistler. That shirt has kept you warm through countless pow days and après. You know the one we’re talking about. Its lifespan has been reached, possibly even exceeded. Do yourself a favor and upgrade it to newer technology for the best ski season yet. While you’re at it, here are 5 more gear upgrades you definitely need to do this winter.

Gloves

Your gloves see a ton of action. Through all the strapping in, and doing up ski boots, they can lose some of their durability. Retire last seasons gloves to the status of ‘back-up’ and grab a new pair of Hestra Gloves. The design and material choice of Hestra gloves will even see you into next season and beyond.

Socks

Socks are one of the most washed parts of your winter gear. This means that over time, the fabric weakens and their adaptability to changing temperature conditions can be altered. Invest in a decent pair and it can make a huge difference to your experience on the mountain.

Goggles

Goggle technology is always improving. There’s no need to suffer through fogging and light distortion issues associated with many of the older models.  Ditch what you’ve got and check out the Oakley PRIZM Snow Goggles. The lenses enhance contrast and visibility over a wide range of light conditions.

Action Cam

GoPro has recently released the GoPro Hero 7 and a Hero 5 just won’t do the trick anymore after you hear about the new features. On the Hero 7, you’ll find improved audio, live-streaming to sites like Facebook, and a new time-lapse mode. All necessities when it comes to making edits of your latest mountain antics an getting them on social ASAP.

Beanie

If you’re anything like the average Whistler local, you’re most likely wearing your beanie day in and day out. At work, the bar, and of course on the hill, it’s just part of your mountain wardrobe. Freshen up your look with this year’s colors and styles by snagging one of the latest COAL headwear toques, found at both of our locations.

We at McCoo’s know how important it is it to have gear that you love. Why not make the gear you love, also the latest technology by upgrading some of the essentials this winter?

GEAR FEATURE: Hestra Gloves

It’s that time of the year when you start to think about your winter gear. What shape is it in and what’s missing are often the most common questions that begin to pop up. One of the more frequent new purchases is gloves. Keeping a set together is always a challenge and since your hands are required to do up boots and manipulate gear, gloves take their fair share of wear and tear. Hestra offers high-quality gloves in over 400 styles. While McCoo’s focuses primarily on the Hestra gloves required for sports, it’s no secret across all their lines why we continue to stay dedicated to their brand.

History

Hestra Gloves was started by two brothers, Claes and Svante Magnusson in Sweden in 1936. They begin developing gloves for everyone from mountaineers all the way to lumberjacks. Warmth, protection, and finger tip sensitivity were important in many of these fields and so the associated technology began to appear in the Hestra designs. The company is still run currently by third and fourth generation family members.

Technology

Glove making is considered a craft by Hestra. Having mastered the art of glove cutting, which is a skill possessed only by a few hundred in the world, Hestra starts with durable leather and then finishes the gloves by hand sewing them together. They continue to choose leather as it has both insulating and protecting properties, ideal for keeping hands warm as well as helping them maintain dexterity. Elk from either Sweden or Finland is a popular source of the leather used. Polyester is also introduced into the gloves for its wind proof nature.

Design

According to Hestra, the biggest source of their inspiration is nature. Simple and clean lines lend a classic look to many of their gloves. The timeless nature of their designs continue to keep them relevant year after year. Well placed inseams and additional features are found on all their gloves, making them well equip for whatever task they are meant to tackle.

Gloves are an essential part of your winter gear. Cold hands can turn the best day into the worst very quickly. For keeping out the conditions, maintaining use of your hands, and reliability, Hestra is a brand we at McCoo’s have grown to trust and be proud to offer. If you have any questions about what style of glove is best for your sport, come stop by the store where our knowledgable staff will help you choose the gloves right for you.

Buying The Right Ski Or Snowboard Helmet

Skiing and snowboarding can be full of hazards. You have your airtime, trees, cliffs, and of course, other mountain revelers. While many of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how to protect ourselves from these risks, it should be more than food for thought. Head and facial injuries are just some of the consequences of not wearing the proper equipment when on the hill. Even if you consider yourself a conservative rider, all skiers and riders can enjoy the benefits and warmth that a helmet provides. But where to start? Here are some tips for buying the right helmet.

Ski And Snowboard Helmet Components

Inner liner: This is typically made from EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam, the material that looks like Styrofoam®. It’s designed to absorb impact. A helmet is considered no good after a direct blow to it.

Shell: The shell, or outer layer of the helmet, is a rigid surface (typically high-impact plastic) that can help protect the head against sharp objects, knocks, and abrasions. It also helps spread impact energy over a larger portion of the helmet during a fall.

Certification: There’s a new buzzword in the helmet world, MIPS.  MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and it is the current gold standard for helmets.

Ski / Snowboard Helmet Sizing and Fit

Measuring for your size: You can find your correct size by measuring your using a tape measure or come on down to the store and have one of our staff help you. To do it yourself, position the tape measure just above the ears and about 1″ above your eyebrows. Measure around the largest part of your head to determine the circumference of your head. The measurement will help you select from extra small, small, medium and large helmets.

Checking the fit: A good helmet should feel snug but not tight. If the helmet can rock back and forth, the fit is too loose. Shake your head from side-to-side. If the helmet shifts, try a smaller size, adjust the sizing mechanism or use thicker sizing pads. Push up the front and back edges. If they move, tighten the straps.

The helmet should be positioned low enough in the front to protect your forehead. It should sit level with its front edge no more than 1″ above the eyebrows. Finally, check to make sure there are no gaps between your head and the helmet lining. If there ae gaps, pads can be used to decrease them.

Chinstrap/buckle: The chinstrap needs to fit comfortably against the throat to reduce the chance it will come off. The strap should fit snugly but loose enough for you to not feel choked. Make sure to always fasten the strap before riding.

Now that you have your helmet picked out, you can add extra features such as audio, camera mounts, and warmer liners. There’s really no excuse for not protecting yo’ head!

10 New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Your Skiing

January 1st marks the first day of the year, and that’s a natural reason for committing to new beginnings. Rather than the usual attempt to save money or cut back on drinking, why not use this time to really make some self-improvements. From stretching after a day on the hill to eating properly – our suggested resolutions are ideal for anyone looking to improve their skiing or snowboarding.

Stretch

It’s simple, yoga can decrease your chances of injury. Even a short stretch routine can aid in prevention. So find a class or search for a video online, there’s really no excuses.

Improve Your Gear

At one point, your gear is going to be the limiting factor. Don’t fall victim to having to leave the mountain because you’re wet or goggles are fogged. Get gear that works and works for you all day long.

Take A Lesson

Yeah, yeah, we get it. Lessons aren’t really where you want to spend your free time. But if you are serious about improving your ski game, then taking a lesson is a sure fire way to get tips that will have you moving in a forward direction (literally). Bottom line, there’s no substitute for the impartial advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Wake Up Early

After a night out, this is the last thing you probably want to hear. Waking up early will allow you to ride longer, get in more laps and get the best snow. No brainer right?

Eat Your Greens

A steady diet of Kraft Dinner isn’t going to provide enough (or any) nutrition for you to ride day in and day out. Think about adding some broccoli or spinach to that pasta dish.

Challenge Yourself

Now, we don’t mean go out and take risks but do go out and ride with better riders and on more challenging terrain.

Have Friends On A Pow Day

Keep your friends close and your ski buddies closer. Having a good friend that is always down to ride, even if it’s just groomers will help you log more hours and more days than if you are always flying solo.

Get Your Hike On

Not only can you access some incredible terrain but hiking or touring is a great way to get in shape. The better shape you’re in, the better your overall riding will be.

Tune Your Equipment

The last thing you want is to deal with a broken binding or rough edges on a powder day. Schedule in those regular tunes and perform regular maintenance!

Educate Yourself

Every one of us can learn more and should focus on learning something new every day. Take another avalanche course, learn how to tune your own skis, or get certified in first aid.

What’s So Great About Oakley PRIZM Lenses?

Goggles are crucial. You need them to navigate your way around the mountain and with the current technologies, that’s possible in virtually all conditions. You’ve probably seen or heard about the Oakley PRIZM lenses, but do you really know what it’s all about? Oakley has launched their PRIZM lenses with vision fine-tuning technology and they’re the talk of the town. But really, what’s so great about these PRIZM lenses anyway?

What is a PRIZM lense?

PRIZM is a new Oakley lens technology that fine-tunes vision for sport-specific environments. The lenses work to emphasize colors, specifically contrast, where the eye is most sensitive to detail, which in return, helps to enhance performance and safety. What’s more, this now happens through a wide range of light conditions whereas other goggles have specific lenses for certain light conditions. Even then, many of them don’t work as well as we need them to.

KEY BENEFITS OF OAKLEY PRIZM LENSES:

– Sharpens visual perception to help you see more clearly and react faster.
– Enhances color recognition to help you quickly spot what you need to see.
– Optimizes your ability to better see the important moving objects in your periphery.

How Do Oakley PRIZM Lenses Work?

Tons and tons of research but more specifically, the lenses provide unprecedented control of light transmission resulting in colors precisely tuned to maximize contrast and enhance visibility. This happens through the use of specially engineered lens tints. Basically, light that could interfere with vision is filtered out while emphasizing the colors that aid your brain creating a more precise visual understanding of the surrounding area. A simpler way of looking at this is in terms of contrast. Oakley achieved this innovation by utilizing “hyperspectral imaging,” a technique used by spy satellites that helps analyze light in real-world environments with levels of detail and precision that is previously un-heard of. What’s more, their design allows for increased peripheral vision.

Sport-Specific PRIZM Lenses

There are PRIZM lenses for all sports as well as daily wear (sunglasses). And for the eyewear to perform at the highest level, they have been tested until the cows come home. Oakley made sure that each sport specific eyewear had the capability to see the perfect colors in the environment that the sport is performed in. In each environment, the lenses enhance the colors you need to see for maximum sports performance and filter out the rest. The improved color contrasts leads to better vision and ultimately, performance.

Do you have more questions about what the Oakley PRIZM technology entails and how it can help you on the hill? Be sure to speak to one of our staff members!

How Long Should Gear Last

Being comfortable in your gear could be the difference between the best day ever and the worst. And sometimes, it takes time to work that beloved jacket or pants into the point of fitting you in all the right places. Now, those favorite ski boots or even long underwear may be nearing the end of its life and it could be sooner than you think. Just how long should gear last?

Ski Socks-Approximately 1 year depending on the brand

According to Smartwool, their socks should last a year if the washing directions and fit are properly executed.

Tips to prolong life:

  • Avoid wearing on the carpet.
  • Do not use fabric softener.

Helmet- 1 Impact

This is debatable but generally speaking, if you have taken an impact on your helmet, experts suggest it’s time for a new one. This is because most helmets are designed to only withstand a certain amount of force in order to perform optimally

Tips to prolong life:

  • Don’t crash on your head. Duh.
  • Store away from factors that can alter the effectiveness of the materials. This includes heat and extreme cold.

Outerwear- Anywhere from a season to a lifetime

How long your outerwear lasts depends on how often it is being used, how well you take care of it and the material that it is made out of. Current technologies can see Gortex jackets lasting years and years, even lifetimes in some cases.

Tips to prolong life:

  • Wash them. Really it’s okay. The sweat and beer will degrade the waterproofing faster than an occasion spin cycle.

Goggles- A really long time

Goggles can last a really long time but that really depends on the quality purchased and the level of care given to maintain them.

  • When you get snow in your goggles, don’t brush it off with a jacket sleeve or glove. Snow is made with abrasive ice crystals that can actually scratch the lenses. Use a special cloth.

Ski Gloves- A season

Your gloves take quite the beating and it can be hard to maintain the durability as well as the waterproofness of the fabric.

  • Hang dry them out after each use.

Most ski gear can last more than a season but the key is to take really good care of it. With these helpful tips, you should be able to prolong the life of some of your most beloved items. If you’re finding that some of your gear needs an upgrade, come to McCoo’s. We can help sort you out so you won’t have to live through another ‘breaking in’ period and can go right to into wearing the most comfortable gear ever!

 

How to Solve Cold Hands

We’ve all been there. It’s clear blue sky after a dumping of fresh snow and the temperature is well into the negative. You get on the chair and by the time you reach the top, your hands are so cold that they hurt. It’s an unfortunate reality of being on the hill but that doesn’t mean you have to let cold hands put a damper on your day.

When your body gets cold, it reduces blood to the extremities in an effort to keep vital organs warm and functioning. It’s a natural response and generally isn’t cause for concern but it can cut your day short or even cause damage if the temperatures are cold enough. Luckily, there are a number of things to do that can solve having cold hands on the mountain!

Stop It Before It Starts

Let’s get this straight- Once your hands are cold, there is no going back. Even the most expensive gloves can’t warm already cold hands. In order to prevent them from getting to that point, you have to nip heat loss in the butt! Hands lose heat fast because they have blood vessels close to the surface. Wearing a thin liner underneath your gloves will keep them toasty but be very careful with this option as it can compromise breathability- then your back at square one!

Protect Your Core

As mentioned, if your body gets cold then your hands are going to be the first victim. By preventing your core from feeling the freeze, you can reduce your chances of suffering from cold hands. A proper base layer and mid layer are crucial- heck, just layer and the insulation will do it’s job. Also, don’t forget the power of snacks. A fed body will have the fuel to fight the cold and the very act of digestion can give off energy.

Gloves

Gloves are the most obvious solution to keep the cool temperatures out and choosing the right ones for your needs can take it one step further. Here are a few things to take into consideration when purchasing protection for your frigid fingers:

  • Mittens are warmer than gloves but you sacrifice dexterity.
  • Down is the best insulator and is known for being light and breathable. However, synthetic insulation dries a lot faster and can be more cost effective.
  • One word: Gore-Tex. This is the Grade A of fabrics since it is both breathable and water proof!

No one likes cold hands and there are many options that can drastically improve your chances of making it through even the coldest of temperatures. Still not sure how to personally solve the age old problem of cold hands on the ski hill? Come in and speak to our staff, your digits will thank you!