The ski industry is like many other sports in that there is an initial investment in equipment and necessary items to "play the game." There are some obvious equipment that is necessary for either snowboarding or skiing including the board/skis, boots and bindings. These are the essentials - but what will really make your ski experience more enjoyable?
1. Socks. Perhaps one of the most overlooked items that really can make your day that much better. Great socks are probably the least expensive but the most important piece of equipment you can buy to make your experience better. If your toes are warm, you won't be disappointed and you will be able to stay on the slopes that much longer. Get socks that are wool based - they will not only keep your toes warm, but they will not get wet and "cling" to you. Expect to pay around $20-$30 for a good pair. Some of the best include: Smartwool, Fits, and Darn Tough.
2. Coat and Pants. There are so many options for coats it can be almost overwhelming. You want to choose a coat that is not only great looking (hello fashion) but one that will ensure that you will stay warm and dry though the day. Technology has advanced in coats - which include great down fill that is not too heavy or bulky. These seem sort of obvious - make sure you wear the right clothes. Yes, you do need ski pants (wear just base layers under them not jeans).
3. UClear Communication System. This wireless communication system is simple and easy to use and allows you to not be so isolated. You should always wear a helmet (Safety first) but this allows you a simple way to communicate with those you are with (and even those who are not with you). The system is blue-toothed to your phone so that you may listen to music, take calls (they really are crystal clear sound) and intercom to others you pair your system with (you can daisy chain up to 10 parties on the system).
4. Snow boots. Uggs my have brand name recognition (I love my Uggs too), but there are several other post snow sport boots that are worth taking a second look. Bearpaw has several fashionable options and newcomer on the scene is Packems (which are waterproof booties that can condense to a small bag making them easily packable).
5. Goggles. Having a good pair of goggles allows you to see your beautiful surroundings and not have the wind whip your eyes dry. Seeing your surrounds is as important as no riding blind. See those around you - don't have to quint into the sun. Top goggle companies are the same as several sunglasses manufacturers including Oakley, Smith and Optic Nerve.
For someone new to the sport, wading past what marketers will tell you NEED to participate can be difficult. Budget can be a great concern - don't let it be. Try the sport first. You can rent the more expensive equipment. Talk to others who have participated for a while and see what is on their list of must haves.