LINK: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/amateur_adult_sports/78942282.html

Skiing: Christmas gift ideas for skiers

Thursday, December 10, 2009



By MITCH KAPLAN
COLUMNIST

By Mitch Kaplan

Special to The Record

If you still have holiday shopping to do for your favorite skier or snowboarder, all is not lost. I’ve done some Web searching and ad perusing to come up with a few unique, relatively inexpensive, "I hope it’s not too late" gift suggestions for snow sliders and those who travel to the snow.

For those who indulge in electronic snow sport games, there’s an impressive list of gift possibilities. Among the cutting edge items are Shaun White Snowboarding Wiki and We Ski Wii ($30/$20; Amazon.com), each of which simulates downhilling in that unique Wii way. For Xbox enthusiasts, there’s the Transworld Snowboard Game for XBOX ($50; Amazon.com and Hitgaming Video Games).

Snowsliding apps for iPhones and smartphones also are proliferating. REALSKI from Resort Technology Partners (Rtp.com/realski) and Perfect North Slopes allows riders to view their surroundings through an iPhone’s camera. The app displays on-screen nearby lifts, trails, terrain parks and resort facilities in real view and real-time. The full version (due later this month) will include about 80 North American resorts.

Meanwhile, Super Happy Fun Fun’s Snowboarding TnT lets iPhone gamers "snowboard" seven unlockable tracks and perform tricks (99 cents from the App Store).

For those who travel afar to ski, La Fresh Travel Packs contain readily transportable essentials such as deodorant, anti-bacterial wipes, make-up remover, hydrating lotion and lens cleaner in small towelettes ($8-$20; Lafreshgroup.com). The Idox Traveler iTouch Platinum supplies a protective iPhone hard case for traveling, while doubling in your hotel room as a portable stand for browsing music, photos, movies and Podcasts ($35; Idox360.com).

What to do if you drop your cellphone or digital camera in the snow and it gets wet? Put it in the sealed Bheestie Moisture Removal Bag; it removes the moisture and saves the device’s life ($20; Bheestie.com or REI).

Hearkening to simpler times, how about a ski calendar ($15; Cafepress.com; Snowboarding Monopoly ($30; Amazon.com and Areyougame.com); a cool poster ($15; Allposters.com); or action and instructional videos ($20-$25; SportsFlicks.com).

Veteran skiers like the New England Ski Museum’s (Skimuseum.org) vintage ski movie offerings, or novelty items such as ties and sun catchers.

For something more pragmatic, the Raxstars ski rack attaches to your vehicle’s roof-top rack cross-bars, carries a pair of skis and poles, is easily removed and stores in the glove compartment ($20; Raxstars.com).

When slopes-bound, I always carry a folding shovel in the car—just in case. Among the choices: the Gerber 22-41578 Gorge Folding Shovel ($20 with nylon storage bag; Amazon.com), and the Ames True Temper 1518000 Penguin Collapsible Emergency Snow Shovel ($16; Tru Value Hardware stores).

On the more whimsical side, Vermont Ski Recyclers offers a Recycled Snowboard Clock ($30; Skishack.com). Or, for budding terrain park maestros, Back Yard BoxRails creates kits from which to make ski/snowboard table tops, boxes and rails for backyard use (from $75; Backyardboxrails.com).

And lastly, perhaps $38 is expensive for a pair of socks, but the Injinji Ex-Cellerator Compression Toesock (www.injinji.com), designed for competitive runners, aids lower leg circulation, aligns toes and reduces muscle soreness.