This article originally appeared on Ski Mag
You don't want to brag, but you're kind of a big deal at your local mountain. Other locals have learned to recognize your kit and point you out to their friends in the lift line. "That dude absolutely charges!" they whisper. Even among your shred posse of local rippers, you stand out for your technical skiing prowess. The mountain is your playground, and the spicier the line, the better.
One thing you can't stand (besides people who don’t know how to ride T-bars) is gear that doesn't get the job done. You've had it with flimsy skis that buckle on landings from 40-foot drops, boots that feel way softer than their advertised 130 flex, and outerwear that doesn't stand up to storm skiing. You need top-of-the-line gear made for expert skiers who put their equipment through the wringer.
If this if you, we have what you're looking for right here.
The Best Gear For Hard-Charging Expert Skiers
Nordica Enforcer 104 Free ($850)
You spend most of your time charging the extremes, so you need a wider-waisted ski that is quick and nimble in tight, steep terrain. But it also needs to have enough backbone to bust up crud--after all, you ski the conditions, the conditions don't ski you. And of course, your skis need to be able to float in powder--you obviously catch first chair on pow days and you're first in line for rope drops. You don't make a habit of bombing down groomers, but you still expect your skis to perform on hardpack and handle extreme edge angles while carving. The Nordica Enforcer 104 Free checks all those boxes. Read the full review here.
Dynafit Tigard 130 ($899)
When the hybrid boot trend started, you refused to jump on board. You were skeptical that a boot with walk mode could ever hack it at the resort--especially the way you ski. So you stuck with your tried-and-true system: one dedicated alpine boot with a true 130 flex, and one dedicated alpine touring boot that actually had a respectable walking range of motion for long tours and big bootpacks. But the new Dynafit Tigard 130 featuring the Hoji Lock system might just change your mind. Not many hybrid boots pull double duty at the resort and in the backcountry the way we want them to. This one does. Read more here.
DB Snow Pro Vest with Safeback SBX ($700)
You don't like to ski with a pack at the resort if you can avoid it. No matter how well it contours to the body, it still gets in the way when you're bashing moguls and catching chair bumps to the extremes. But you're not about to leave your avy equipment behind when the resort ops team promises to open new terrain after a massive storm. Enter the DB Snow Pro Vest 8L featuring the revolutionary and potentially life-saving SBX Safeback technology, which provides clean oxygen in the event that you're buried under snow in an avalanche. Learn more here.
Stio Figment Bibs ($479)
Ski pants that don't fit right and don't move the way you move are not for you. You have more important things to worry about than constantly fiddling with suspender straps, like how much speed you need to clear that tree and rock band right below your drop. So try the Stio Figment Bibs on for size. Featuring thoughtful articulation in the knees (and burly 150-denier face fabric to stand up to wear and tear), gusseting in the crotch, stretchy shoulder straps, and plenty of pockets to stash your essentials and chair lift snacks, these bibs were tailor-made for hard chargers like you. Check out our full review here.
Trew Cosmic Jacket Primo ($499)
Ah, the jacket conundrum of resort skiing. You need something that's warm and weatherproof for storm skiing, breathable enough for bootpacks and hikes out of the back bowls, and burly enough to stand up to trees and the occasional tomahawk in chunky terrain (hey, if you're not falling, you're not going big enough). The Trew Cosmic Jacket Primo fits the bill. Read our field-tester's take here.
Flylow Super D Lobster ($125)
After getting frostbite while waiting for first chair a few seasons ago, you can't afford to mess around with your hand protection. The Flylow Super D Lobster won't let you down. A goatskin leather-and-polyester outer and generous over-the-sleeve cuff keep wind and moisture out, while a wool-blend lining offers warmth and helps wick moisture when your palms start sweating at the top of a gnarly line. Plus, the lobster claw cut makes it easy to transition without taking off your gloves in the backcountry. Read more here.
Giro Owen ($240)
You've taken your fair share of hard knocks, and chances are, there are a few more in your future if you continue to push your skiing limits. So it might be time to upgrade your dinged up brain bucket for a new one with bombproof protection that's on par with MIPS. The Giro Owen, featuring the brand's Spherical Technology to protect the brain against hard crashes, was built for shredders like you. Compare it against other helmets here.
More From the 2024 Winter Gear Guide
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