As I was starting to review my gear needs for the upcoming season, it occurred to me how far the clothing has come since I was a kid. It didn’t matter how much hot cocoa we drank, we were downright cold by the end of the day. Looking back on this, it is amazing that we actually stuck with the sport. We didn’t care though, we were having the time of our lives!
A base layer in my youth was a good long sleeve t-shirt, and some thick jeans overtop of maybe some long johns handed down from my dad… None of it was against the skin, and we had never heard of today’s common saying that “cotton kills.”
Over the top, we either bib overalls pants and coat the hardly went past the waist or wore a bright neon “onesie.” Ladies, I can hear your chuckle… your choices were to either adopt one of the above options, which were far from flattering or wear skin-tight leggings that were cotton or polyester with limited protection from the cold.
Not only was the clothing lacking the thermal benefits of today, but they were also poor at staying dry and the concept of wicking moisture away from the skin not yet been introduced. Only a few high-end manufacturers were using Gortex back then, and most people couldn’t afford it. So most of the clothing was Nylon mix or treated with a spray that would lose its effectiveness the first wash. Gloves back then barely covered your hands and snow notoriously found the exposed skin at your wrists. God forbid you’d fall and get snow up the arms or down your back under your jacket, those little snow pellets would freeze to our shirts and just stick with you til the end of today.
Our feet were where covered by thick or multiple pairs of socks… then we’d shove them into ski boots that cut all circulation off. To keep our heads warm and “safe” we used a stocking cap with a pom on top. Helmets were not even an option, and I’m sure you’d be the laughing stock of the slope if you tried to wear something like them back then. Eye protection as a joke, we wore either blade style sunglasses or nothing at all. Googles were just coming out, but they fogged horribly, so they were often raised on top of your hat. I suppose protecting your eyes from UV or cold was not as understood as well as today.
In short… we did everything wrong!
That said, if someone offers you their hand me downs from the eighties, don’t automatically say no… use them! They can get you out there and on the slopes, and they will also look epic at a Hot Tub Time Machine party! If you don’t have someone to look up to, want to make a fashion statement, or just are tight on budget, check out Retro Colorado for a diverse selection of onesie options which are available for purchase or rent.
This set of sessions is dedicated to getting you on the slopes by helping you prioritizing which gear you need to purchase and which can be deferred by renting until you fall in love with the sport. We have found some great ways to save on purchases and some great options to rent what you don’t own. We are super excited to bring you these deals and to share the partnerships we are forging to help!