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!

 

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Crankworx Whistler

Over the years, Crankworx has established itself as the party…cough…festival of the summer season. For ten days, mountain bikes, music and art take over the village with people travelling from all over to enjoy the revelry. Wether you’re taking part in one of the many races, events or cheering on the athletes from the sidelines, there is a proper way to do Crankworx. Here are the do’s and don’ts of Crankworx Whistler for maximum fun!

DO wear sunscreen

If you are watching any of the events, make sure you have fully slathered yourself in sunscreen. There is little cover from the elements and you wouldn’t be the first to come away with a sun burn!

McCoo’s suggests Sunbum sunscreen. It protects against all the rays and doesn’t contain any hidden ingredients. 

DON’T forget an external battery

Your going to need all the battery power you can get to snap, insta story and upload to Facebook. There’s just too much action going on and it would be tragic if friends did see all the fun that you’re having!

McCoo’s suggests the Outdoor Tech Kodiak 2.0 power bank that boasts 6000 mAh of charge capacity!

DO bring sunglasses

Squint and you may miss a triple tail whip!

McCoo’s suggests Oakley polarized sunglasses with PRIZM technology which fine-tunes vision for specific sports and environments.

DO wear proper footwear

Getting to the best spot to view a Crankworx event often means walking and having the proper footwear will get you there safely.

McCoo’s suggests Reef Sandals or People Shoes for footwear that is both functional and stylish. 

DON’T carry your belongings in your pockets

You’ll be walking up hills, sitting on grassy knolls and probably ending up at a party or two when the events are all over. Putting your personal belongings in pockets is just asking for it. Smarten up and use a backpack!

McCoo’s suggests a stylish Herschel Backpack with enough room to carry water and snacks. 

DO bring an action cam

Make an edit of your Crankworx shenanigans or use an action cam to capture the most insane tricks that you’ve ever seen!

McCoo’s suggests a GoPro with the Karma Grip for smooth shots. 

DO wear a hat

As mentioned, it won’t be easy to find shade or cover from the blazing sun at many of the events. Bring a hat to protect yourself from the heat and ward off a case of sun stroke.

McCoo’s suggests a straw Coal sunhat.

The festival of the summer season is just around the corner. With these helpful tips, you are sure to have a memorable time. Need help getting outfitted for all the action? Stop by McCoo’s!

Why You Need A Power Bank

We’ve all been there before, your waiting on a text from someone important, your favourite song is about to drop or your relying heavily on google maps and then the unbelievable happens: Your phone dies. Only a few short years ago this would mean running into every establishment asking if they had a certain phone cord and if you could hang out at the bar while it charges. Not anymore, portable power banks are here. Before we get into why you need a power bank, let’s chat about what they even are.

The Technology

We’re not going to get all Bill Nye on you and lecture about how batteries work in case you’re interested, here is a summarized version: Power banks are comprised of a special battery in a special case with a special circuit to control power flow. They allow you to store electrical energy (deposit it in the bank) and then later use it to charge up a mobile device (withdraw it from the bank).

Types On The Market

  1. Universal Power Bank: These come in many sizes and varieties which can be tailored to your device requirements and to your budget.
  2. Blue Tooth Enabled Power Bank: Looking to run speakers and connect your music? This style of power bank is for you.
  3. Solar Charged Power Bank: These power banks have panels that can trickle-charge the internal battery when placed in sunlight. It’s known to not be as fast but hey, it’s eco-friendly and we like that.

How Many Charges Does A Power Bank Hold

This is a loaded question. You see, power banks come in all sizes and power bank capacities (this is the nerd term for “how much charge”). The power bank capacity should be stated on the packaging of your power bank but the power requirements of the device requiring the charge are not. So how many times a device (phone, tablet, computer, etc) can be charged cannot be accurately determined. This all being said, you should be able to get a few full phone charges of out of one power bank before it needs to be re-charged itself.

And finally…

Why You Need A Power Bank

There are a number of life moments that really can’t be missed as a result of your phone being flat. We’ve gathered a few to showcase when a power bank would really come in handy…

  1. Matched with Tinder dream girl/guy
  2. Sent a message to the wrong person.
  3. Need to check your bank balance to see if one more beer is possible.
  4. Phone flashlight required for navigating stairs.
  5. Going to be late for work.
  6. Lost all your homies while shredding the mountain.
  7. Being chased by a bear and require assistance.
  8. Your friend has lost their phone at Garfinkels and would like you to call it.
  9. The music at the party sucks and you know your playlist is way better.
  10. Directions to that little corner of Emerald that you never even knew existed.

If you’ve decided that a portable power bank is something you need in your life, just come on by McCoo’s, we’ll sort you out.

Making Friends On The Chairlift

Sure, skiing solo has its perks- you can ride at your own pace, go wherever you like and listen to tunes as you fly down but we all know that the more, the merrier applies on the hill. Sometimes your friends can’t make it or they want to partake in some of the other activities that Whistler has to offer and that leaves you in a sticky situation if you would rather ride with a crew. Never fear, there is a place that you can meet shred buddies as easy as getting a date on Tinder: The Chairlift. We are going to let you in on a few secrets that will make you an expert in the art to friend finding on the chairlift.

Step One: The Singles Line

Think about how many lifts you ride in a single day and how many potential opportunities arise to meet a riding pal. Now… we know you may not like this but the Singles Line lets you get more laps in thus scientifically increasing (we won’t bother showing you the algorithm) your chance tenfold to buddy up!

Step Two: Eavesdrop

Once you’re on the lift, you don’t want to be that awkward, chatty Kathy. Take a few moments and suss out your comrades. Are they talking about the snow quality and throwing down lingo like shred, gnar, drop? If so, you know you are among your people and the rest should follow naturally.

Step Three: Ask Where Everyone Is From

A great and easy way to initiate conversation is to ask where everyone is from. It’s light conversation and most people have no problem partaking in whether they are a local, happy tourist or pro. From here, you can dive into some more titillating conversation topics such as:

• Snow
• What run’s they have been riding
• Snow
• Equipment and gear
• Snow
• More about snow

Step Four: Boast About Your Rad Day

Don’t brag, just casually suggest that you found untouched pow and lines so deep you nearly drowned. This will surely spark their interest and have them keen to follow you around for some laps.

Step Five: Be Brave And Ask

Now that you have their attention, you can drop the big guns. Ask your fellow chairlift riders if they want to join you in the search for even more pow, some pillow popping, drop sending kind of runs.

Alright, we’ve got your foot in the door but now it’s all up to you to show them your skills and sick outerwear! Missing the last part of that sentence? Okay, okay…we can help you in that department too, just stop by McCoo’s!

 

How to Solve Cold Hands

We’ve all been there. It’s clear blue sky after a dumping of fresh snow and the temperature is well into the negative. You get on the chair and by the time you reach the top, your hands are so cold that they hurt. It’s an unfortunate reality of being on the hill but that doesn’t mean you have to let cold hands put a damper on your day.

When your body gets cold, it reduces blood to the extremities in an effort to keep vital organs warm and functioning. It’s a natural response and generally isn’t cause for concern but it can cut your day short or even cause damage if the temperatures are cold enough. Luckily, there are a number of things to do that can solve having cold hands on the mountain!

Stop It Before It Starts

Let’s get this straight- Once your hands are cold, there is no going back. Even the most expensive gloves can’t warm already cold hands. In order to prevent them from getting to that point, you have to nip heat loss in the butt! Hands lose heat fast because they have blood vessels close to the surface. Wearing a thin liner underneath your gloves will keep them toasty but be very careful with this option as it can compromise breathability- then your back at square one!

Protect Your Core

As mentioned, if your body gets cold then your hands are going to be the first victim. By preventing your core from feeling the freeze, you can reduce your chances of suffering from cold hands. A proper base layer and mid layer are crucial- heck, just layer and the insulation will do it’s job. Also, don’t forget the power of snacks. A fed body will have the fuel to fight the cold and the very act of digestion can give off energy.

Gloves

Gloves are the most obvious solution to keep the cool temperatures out and choosing the right ones for your needs can take it one step further. Here are a few things to take into consideration when purchasing protection for your frigid fingers:

  • Mittens are warmer than gloves but you sacrifice dexterity.
  • Down is the best insulator and is known for being light and breathable. However, synthetic insulation dries a lot faster and can be more cost effective.
  • One word: Gore-Tex. This is the Grade A of fabrics since it is both breathable and water proof!

No one likes cold hands and there are many options that can drastically improve your chances of making it through even the coldest of temperatures. Still not sure how to personally solve the age old problem of cold hands on the ski hill? Come in and speak to our staff, your digits will thank you!

 

Opening Day Checklist

Drumroll please…

The countdown has officially began to Whistler Blackcomb’s 2016/2017 opening day weekend!

Yes, we know it is very exciting, in fact, we can hardly contain ourselves but first thing is first: the nearing of opening day means that it’s time to assess your current winter gear. A beginning of the season assessment can prevent many annoying or even disastrous issues that may kill your good vibe on November 24th when the mountain opens. While you twiddle your thumbs in anticipation, take a peak at our opening day checklist to make sure your gear is ready for another season of fun.

Goggles

Everyone knows that not being able to see can instantly ruin your day. Have a peak at your current eye wear and make sure there are no scratches obstructing your vision and that they still have anti-fogging capabilities. Older goggles tend to not have the current technologies that help fight fog and light changes. Not sure if your’s pass the test? Include a back up pair in your pack on opening day.

McCoo’s Tip: Having problems with your goggle always fogging up? Keep moving!

Base Layer

Baby, it can get cold outside! Like real cold! Don’t cut your day short because you can’t brave the current weather conditions. Make sure that your current base layer is in good condition, free of tears and provides the necessary coverage to keep you warm and dry.  If you find a tear, patch it up, or just pop in to McCoo’s for the latest base and mid-layer technology.

McCoo’s Tip: The term “base layer” also includes your underwear (don’t worry, we got you covered).

Outerwear

Outerwear isn’t just for looking good. It’s your primary defence against mother nature. Thoroughly examine last year’s jacket and pants for zippers that aren’t working, tears and excessive wear in high movement areas such as the elbows and the bottom. If needed, apply a waterproof wash and don’t forget to empty the pockets. Reaching in and finding that sandwich from 2015 is great way to stop the ski stoke with an emergency hand wash.

McCoo’s Tip: Ask any of our staff members to help you determine what you may need in outwear, there is often more variables than you may think.

Gloves

Mittens and gloves may seem like they are easy to assess but in fact, the obvious holes that can lead to heat escaping are just the beginning. One of the biggest concerns is waterproofing. You can jump the gun and wear them out in the rain but this isn’t very practical. Bring them out on the first day and have a back up pair ready just in case they get soaked through on the first run.

McCoo’s Tip: Mittens are warmer than gloves but you sacrifice dexterity as a result.

Boots

After spending the summer season on the shelf, your ski boots might not feel like they once did on your seasoned winter feet. Stick those bad boys on and step into your bindings. Then take a peak at the current condition, are they in good shape? Are the buckles and soles in tacked? If you notice any loose pieces, damage or change in fit, take them to your local boot repair shop to get them tuned and ready to go.

McCoo’s Tip: Looking for a little assistance on ski boot fit? Bring them into our shop. Our seasoned staff members can help guide you to finding a solution.

Although it may seem like certain pieces of your set up are more crucial than others, there is no most important item of gear, they all play an essential role in keeping you on the hill and out of the lodge. Have some gear that didn’t make it through our opening day checklist? Stop by the shop, we can help you get ski season ready!