09 Feb 5 weird and wonderful ski gadgets you probably don't need
A new season, a new ski gadget – so the pattern seems to go. Naturally, as one of the male species, I can't help but get drawn in, however, even I have to question the real need for some of the more ‘niche' winter sports devices in 2015!
1/ Cat Tracks
Anti-slip soles which clip on to your ski boots for walking on anything other than snow. The theory is they stop you from slipping of course and also protect your ski boots. The question is do they protect you from the head injuries almost certainly incurred when you fall over trying to put them on without the palava of taking your boots off? And do they come with bandages for squashed fingers too? Most boots come with a decent amount of grip these days. I think I'd rather take my chances!
2/ Snapdry Boot and Glove dryer
I get it. No one likes a soggy boot but most chalets, especially at the luxury end, come with boot and glove warmers as standard, typically located by the entrance where you need them. The marketing for Hotronic's Snapdry boot and glove dryer boasts of a quick, quiet drying and pre-warming device but it doesn't mention having to drag your dripping boots through the chalet in an effort to find a plug! On the other hand, it does look the business for a game of chalet Star Wars…
3/ Custom flag buckles
Now if there were one thing on this list I might succumb to it would have to be these custom flag buckles which are racing quality, premium aluminium alloy extruded ski boot buckles on a steel base. The selection of flags covers the UK, USA, Switzerland, France, Germany, Russia, Canada, Pan Africa and Italy. The only challenge is they're only suitable for replacing the two lower buckles. Still, as long as you keep your salopettes pulled down and you're not from Jamaica…
4/ The Ski Walker
Sadly while I admire the practicality of the ski walker, a nifty clip on, clip off rubber attachment that gives a you a ‘carry handle' for your skis, I can't help but feel that how you carry your skis sorts the real skiers from the wannabes. Having said that, it would really help with children and when you have to carry multiple sets at once. Hm – it could be a winner yet.
5/ The Helmet Holder
Both Evoc and Deuter offer these helmet holders which are essentially, mesh or rubber slings that clip onto the back of your pack. Helmets are awkward but for the most part you should be wearing it or failing that you can usually clip it onto your pack without too much difficulty! For the ski tourers among us, possibly handy for going uphill when things get a little hot and sticky? Is it needed for air travel? Not in my book. I could fit a small elephant in my kit bag.
Time to find my hand warmers. Now that was a good invention.