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early_season

The Best Gear For Early Season

Early season in the mountains can mean anything and that’s exactly why you should be prepared as possible. Variable temperatures, changing snow conditions, and fluctuating weather are all par for the course. Despite the knowledge of what early season entails, many riders go out expecting similar conditions to deep winter while also expecting their gear to pick up the slack where necessary. Well, we’re here to help you navigate early season and nail down the best gear for the job!

Soft Shell

The temperatures can go from cold, to colder, to even warm when you start working up a sweat. To save yourself from sweating excessively, opt for a soft shell. Soft shell jackets provide water resistance with good temperature regulation, making them prime for early season conditions.

GEAR MUST HAVE: Oakley Silver Fox Soft Shell

Gor-Tex

In addition to temperature changes, early season skiers and snowboarders might also contend with wet snow. To make sure you stay dry while on the hill, it’s best to wear outerwear made of Gor-Tex. Not only has GORETEX product technologies been the waterproof gold standard, they are also known for being wind proof, breathable, and light weight.

Layers

You might encounter epic winter conditions at the top of the mountain, and warm late fall conditions at the bottom. To help you regulate your temperature and stay dry, layer up! This means having a good quality base, mid, and outer layer as well as back pack to take off or put on clothing as necessary.

GEAR MUST HAVE: Rip Curl Fall Hooded Anti Series Jacket

Merino Wool

Merino Wool is one of the best materials out there for base layers. It is finer than regular wool, which means it won’t itch and will stay comfortable against your skin all day long. It can also absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water before it starts to feel wet, making it crucial for changing conditions.

GEAR MUST HAVE: Mons Royale Base Layers

Leather

Another wonder fabric is leather. It is one of the few materials used to make gloves. Leather can be waterproofed, break in nicely, provide a good level of dexterity, even in a thick, severe cold weather style glove. Leather also lasts the test of time.

We’ve been waiting for the start of the winter season since it closed for summer but that doesn’t mean we’re going to get ahead of ourselves. Being prepared for early season conditions will just lead to more enjoyment in the long run. If you want some help gearing up for early season, just come by McCoo’s.

 

Skisocks

Everything You Need To Know About Ski Socks

It’s common knowledge to invest in a visit to the boot fitter to make sure that your ski boots fit perfectly. What’s not given much attention in terms of ski apparel, is socks. Wearing appropriate socks can be the difference between cold feet and toasty toes that can last the day and keep you on the slope. So what do you need to keep in mind when purchasing the layer between you and your boots? Here’s everything you need to know about ski socks.

Material

Ski socks are made from special materials that can aid in wicking away moisture while holding heat in. It’s also important that they are anti-microbial which helps to reduce bacteria that can lead to smelly feet. Materials commonly used include polyester, nylon, lycra, acrylics, or double-spun merino wool.

Fit

There’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to ski socks. Socks that are too big can bunch, cause blisters, and have reduced warmness. Socks that are too tight can cause a decrease in circulation which can in turn, can result in cold feet. You want your ski socks to fit snuggly, have no extra material, and allow for free movement of your toes. Some socks on the market are designed with fabric that causes the sock to stay snug and move with the foot.

Breathability

This could be one of the most important aspects of choosing sock. The key to warm and happy feet is keeping them dry. Most performance socks keep this in mind and are made with fabrics that promote breathability while not sacrificing warmth. The fabric works by pulling moisture away from the foot to the exterior of the sock so that it is not trapped between your skin and the inside of the sock. This allows sweat to easily evaporate.

Durability

Your socks are logging the same vertical as you are and with just as much force. Ensuring that your socks will last the season or more is also part of the selection process.

Technology

Length, cushioning, reinforcements, padding, and flat seams and are just a few of the modifications out there that can help with warmness, comfort and of course, performance. A thicker sock doesn’t always mean warmer. Advancements in fabric technology have improved the thickness-to-warmth ratio, enabling skiers and snowboarders alike to get thinner socks.

Have more questions on what ski sock will work the best for you? Stop by McCoo’s. We can help outfit you from head to toe.

winter_stoke

5 Signs Winter Is Just Around The Corner

We’re always looking for an excuse to get excited for winter. As soon as the days begin to shorten, there’s only one thing on our mind and that’s snow. But when is too soon to start fuelling the winter stoke fire? Is it when opening day is looming or perhaps when you start pulling out your winter gear? No, we have found evidence that getting excited for winter can happen much, much sooner. Here are 5 signs that winter is just around the corner!

Dropping Temperatures

Feeling the need for an extra jacket? Chances are the lower temperatures are responsible for that. Once you see the thermometer drop into the single digits, it’s safe to say that winter is not far away. Grab a RipCurl flannel or one of their trendy light jackets to brave against the cold.

Frost

Better start leaving time in the morning to defrost your vehicle windows and make sure to bring out the salt to salt the stairs and driveway. The first frost of the year means that it’s cold and when it’s cold, snow is sure to soon follow. If you’re waking up to frost more mornings than not, it’s time to pull out your warm Hestra gloves.

Snow Line

As the saying goes, if it’s raining in the valley, chances are, it’s snowing in the alpine. And there is nothing quite like waking up to a new snow line. Watching the snow line creep closer and closer towards the valley is probably one of the most exciting and also frustrating parts of winter arriving. Can’t it just be in the valley and opening day already?

Ski Movies

Traditionally, every fall, a number of new ski movies are released. This is meant to initiate thinking about the up coming ski and snowboard season. Attending the premieres is a sure fire sign that winter is coming and a fun way to enjoy the anticipation with friends.

The Turkey Sale

The annual Whistler Blackcomb Turkey Sale is held every Thanksgiving long weekend. During the Turkey Sale, attendees will find unbeatable deals on ski and snowboard gear. It is a great opportunity to replace old gear or upgrade. Once you’ve got what you’ve needed, there’s no reason to not get stoked for the up coming season, especially with new gear in front of you! McCoo’s is excited to also be part of the Turkey Sale. Make sure to stop by to get your hands on the best gear at the best price.

 

Goggles

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.

 

Ski Gear Upgrades

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.

Goggles

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.