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?

Everything You Need For A Lit Day In The Park

Jump, berm, drop, repeat! Bike park season is going strong and chances are, you’re making the most of it. While it may seem like there’s endless riding, all good things do come to an end and winter is just around the corner. Don’t waste one minute shredding the gnar in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. To make the most of each and every day, go in kitted out in the best gear for the job. We’ve got everything you need for a lit day in the park!

POC Helmet

Your noggin needs protecting. Aside from the obvious, you can’t actually ride in the Bike Park without a helmet. We recommend a breathable POC helmet. State of the art technology combined with progressive design has resulted in one of the most breathable and safe helmets on the market.

Mons Royal Tee

Speaking of breathability, you’re going to want this feature in you’re cycling clothing. Sweat is no stranger but with Mons Royal, it can become more of an acquaintance. Using the latest German knitting and spinning equipment, the apparel helps to regulate your temperature, dries quickly and doesn’t stink. You’ll still probably want to change before hitting the GLC patio.

Stance Socks

Sure, black socks might seem like the go-to option for biking. With Stance socks, what’s covering your feet becomes a fashion statement. Get a few pairs and let what peeks out of your shoe do the talking each day. And just a heads up, when you’re sending the Canadian Open step-down under the chair, you can totally see your socks.

Oakley PRIZM Goggles

Years and years of research led to Oakley PRIZM technology. These goggles control light transmission resulting in colours so tuned, they maximize contrast and enhance visibility. No more glare or light distortions, you’ll see everything. Well, maybe not that bear hiding in the woods, but everything on the trail!

GoPro

Get the best POV with a GoPro HERO 6. You can make edits, post your big hits on social, or just relive the crash moments over and over again.

Much to our dismay, Whistler Mountain Bike Park season doesn’t last forever. Enjoy the hero dirt while you can and be comfortable in the latest and best gear from McCoo’s.

GEAR FEATURE: Outdoor Technology

Let’s face it. Most of our experience with music technology lies in headphones being tangled, getting lost, or just plain breaking. But what if we told you there was a brand that made a goal of blending a modern lifestyle in the age of technology with the drive to be outdoors? Outdoor Technology does just that. They make products that last through all your adventures, letting the song carry on till the very end. You see what we did there?

tags2-bluetooth

Outdoor Technology’s Tags 2.0 – Wireless Earbuds

Design

Outdoor Technology’s purpose is to create music products that serve real needs. This means their headphones, Bluetooth speakers, helmet audio, and earbuds fit active lifestyles. The design, style, and creation aims for comfort and durability.

Turtle-shell3

Outdoor Technology’s Turtle Shell 3.0 – Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Specs

Waterproofing/Water Resistance

Since Outdoor Technology aims to provide products that can endure all of your adventures, they possess some impressive specs. Many of the products vary in the level of water resistance, rated to at least IPX3 or better. That being said, most of the products are rated IPX6. For clarification, the IPX# refers to a products water resistance and waterproofing level, with IPX8 being the magic number and meaning the device can be submerged in water over 3 feet.

Bluetooth

Pretty much all of the Outdoor Technology devices come with Bluetooth technology. According to their website, if you own a laptop, desktop, crop top, carrottop, phone, bone, loan, tablet, phablet, or whatever else has Bluetooth, then it will connect. This is a great spec as no one wants to use their dirty hands to fumble with a button and that playlist you have for hiking, biking, shredding the gnar… it can be played no problem on whatever device!

rhinos-waterproof

Outdoor Technology’s Rhinos Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Warranty

The Outdoor Technology products come with a great warranty.  It entitles you, the original purchaser of the products, to normal use and/or operate as intended for a period of one year from the original purchase date and for goods to be free from defects in material and workmanship. This warranty is limited and is not applicable to damage caused by misuse or negligence, so don’t be throwing it off any cliffs and hoping it will still work!

We at McCoo’s pride ourselves on providing gear that you can adventure with and Outdoor Technology is perfect for all your Whistler activities. If you have any questions, come by the store and we’ll make sure we find you exactly what you need to play the background music to your most rad life.

GEAR FEATURE: POC Cycling Helmets And Apparel

Here at McCoo’s, we look to offer the best gear for all your Whistler adventures. What makes it the best is extensive research into what is needed to perform and play at all levels. We look for gear that lasts, performs in all conditions and of course, is safe. With all things considered, POC cycling helmets and apparel fit what we look to offer to our customers.

POC is a Swedish company on a mission to produce helmets and apparel that save lives and can reduce the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists. The company was founded in 2005 and initially, they broke into the ski racing market. POC’s new ideas and solutions to improve alpine safety, by reducing the force transmitted to the brain and body in case of a crash, gained a lot of attention. The need for such products quickly transferred into another industry: cycling. This led to the evolution and development of protection for different categories with each sport including freeskiing, snowboarding and mountain bike disciplines. Consequently, POC has become a highly desired brand by athletes and enthusiasts alike of both sports.

The concepts, technologies, and materials used and implemented by POC for the helmets and body armor are highly researched in the state of the art POC Lab. Throughout the research process and during testing, the equipment is scrutinized by POC’s scientific forum that consists of some of the world’s foremost sports medicine experts, brain scientists, and specialists in spinal cord injuries. As result, the products created by POC are scientifically proved to help reduce the severity of injuries in action sports.

In addition to protecting the user and decreasing the undesired results of crashing, POC has set themselves apart with their designs. Eye-catching colors and progressive structures have made their products distinguishable from competitors. What’s more, the aesthetics are an addition to a high-level of comfort. Vents and padding have been put in the perfect places so that users can focus on the task at hand and not their gear.

We hope you enjoyed this gear feature. As always, if you have more questions regarding the best gear for you and your sport, stop by McCoo’s. We’d be stoked to lend our expertise. Stay tuned for more gear features!

How To Spring Clean Your Gear

Spring is in the air. With the warmer weather comes an increase in activity and that means more sweat, more dirt, and more frequent cleanings. The frequent cleaning should be in place to keep germs, mildew, and other gross stuff under control. Not mention, prevent your gear smelling like a locker room. What’s more, not cleaning your equiptment regularly can actually decrease its performance.  Even if you’re regularly cleaning your gear, and you should be doing that, here’s a quick guide to making sure you’re keeping your equipment clean the right way.

Head Phones/ Ear Buds

Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and wipe it across the speakers of your earbuds. This works best for in-earbud that can gather wax as they nestle in your ear canal. The rubbing alcohol should take the wax right out, making your music instantly sound more clear. You only need to do this if you notice gunk buildup, or if the audio is noticeably quieter in one bud.

Backpack

Backpacks collect so much more than what you put inside them. First vacuum out dirt and debris. Then, add a delicate detergent to warm water and use a sponge or cloth to wipe the pack down. Some pack manufacturers also recommending avoiding hot water or spot removers, as these can damage the fabric. As you clean your pack, examine the zippers, which can fail if they’re jammed with dirt and debris. You can vacuum out the dirt, or scrub zippers with a soft nylon brush (like a toothbrush) and cold water. After you wash the bag, don’t put it in the dryer. A good way to dry your pack is to stuff it with newspapers and hang it in the shade.

Water Bottle

Hopefully, you’re not waiting until spring to clean your water bottle but just in case…pick your cleaning solution and get it ready. White vinegar is probably best for the job because it’s an excellent stain remover. Dilute 1-2 tablespoons of the vinegar with a cup of water. Pour the solution into your water bottle and let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse. Voila!

Sunglasses

Forget using your breath to remove streaks and residue. Rinse your sunglasses under warm water- not too hot, not too cold. Use a mild dishwashing soap to wash all over your frames, working it in with your fingers. If necessary, use a microfiber cloth to dislodge heavier grime. Concentrate on areas that are heavily exposed to your skin – the nose bridge and the ends of your stems. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal for cracks and crannies, especially the groove where the lens sits, as build-up is prone to occur there. Rinse off all the soap, dirt, and dust. Watch it swish satisfactorily down the drain. Dry your sunglasses thoroughly using a microfiber or lint-free cloth. If you use a towel, you may end up with lenses covered in towel fuzz.

Clean your gear to prolong its lifespan and also to stay fresh while adventuring. If you have any questions about how to clean any of your other gear, don’t ask Mom, ask McCoo’s.

Heated Clothing

The cold. Most of our winter gear is designed to combat its effects. Gortex, layers, breathability. These terms might sound familiar and don’t get us wrong, they do work. Despite the technologies improving drastically, there still stands a chance of the sub-arctic temps winning and leaving you out in the cold…no pun intended. Presently, there are a number of brands that have lead the way in creating clothing that keeps you warm no matter what conditions are on the outside. They rely on generating heat from an external source, most of them powered. We’ve got the low down on some of the current heated clothing technologies now available at McCoo’s.

Flexwarm Jackets

Flexwarm has spent over the last five years researching and developing patented new technologies that have enabled them to create a completely unique, flexible heating element that is so thin (0.5mm) it can be printed directly onto fabric. Because Flexwarm can be printed, it can then be layered directly onto fabric which enables 8K Heated Apparel to be ultra-lightweight, durable and washable (without the need for adding additional heavy and bulky insulation materials). You can expect upwards of 13 hours of heat from your jacket and when it’s out, just recharge the battery. To adjust the temperature, connect your phone to your jacket via Bluetooth and input your desired level of toastiness! And finally, topping it all off, these jackets are splash resistant, so you don’t have to worry if mother nature decides to change her mind from snow to rain.

Therm-ic Socks

Therm-ic have designed high-end socks that can offer up to 29 hours of heat. The heat is generated from an easily rechargeable battery that sits at top of the sock. The technology allows for even distribution of heat, easy attachment of batteries to the sock, and optimized integration of the heating elements for a guaranteed long life. What’s more, Therm-ic products connect to your smartphone! With the batteries’ Bluetooth function and the Thermic mobile app, you can adjust the heat setting for your sock at the touch of a screen. Now, that’s going to come in handy for turning it up a notch while on the chair lift.

Staying warm while on the hill no longer has to be a battle. With heated clothing technologies advancing, it can be easy to set a temperature and stay there, no matter what the weather is doing. If you have any questions regarding the heated gear currently on the market, come stop by McCoo’s– guarenteed a few of our staff members are probably wearing them right then and there!

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!

Is There Such Thing As Too Much Powder?

Whistler has received 191cms in the past 7 days.

Yes, you did read that right. That’s a lot of powder and for many, it spells ideal snow conditions. We’re talking waist deep, light, and fluffy pow pow just waiting for tracks to be laid into it. Now, as each day passes and the centimeters keep accumulating, you might be thinking, “I need a rest day!” So is there such thing as too much powder? As the ski legend, Doug Coombs would say, “there is never such thing as too much snow.” But in case you’re starting to feel the effects of being a full-time powder-hound, here are some tips to get through the heaviest of storms.

Eat Right

Snow sports require a lot of physical exertion and when you add in pushing through a meter of fresh snow, you’ve just increased your work load even further. To keep up with the demands placed on your body and recover afterward, nutrition is key. First step: A proper breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that include all the food groups

Sleep Well

This is a hard concept to take in but here we go…Pow > après. You see, après will be there all time during the season but the elusive powder, it can come and go. So get it while it’s hot and get a good night sleep to be in optimal condition for shredding the duration that the mountain is open.

Hydrate

You can feel like a million bucks until a dehydration headaches set in. If you’re having difficulty staying hydrated while you’re riding, load up a backpack and drink on the lifts or make sure to drink a lot after a day on the hill.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Stretch

If this is your third day in a row, your legs are going to be screaming as soon as you make a few turns. Combat the lactic acid and decrease your recovery time by performing a thorough stretch both before riding and after. Not only does stretching help you recover faster, but it can also help you decrease the risk of injuries.

Take Care Of Your Gear

Not only is your body taking a beating when you are riding every. single. day, but your gear is also maxing out its capabilities. No matter how tired you are, take the time to properly dry out your equipment. When you’re getting all the goods, your future self will be thanking your past self’s actions!

Powder days are the gold of skiing and you have to get out there while the getting’s good. Take care of yourself and your gear to make the most out of the best days of the season.

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.

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!