I know you’re training hard during the off-season and more than likely, your workouts are pushed to early hours of the morning or late hours of the evening just to beat the dog days of summer. It takes even more focus and dedication to stay motivated and honestly, sometimes the best motivation is a brand new pair of shoes you know will make you look like a gym-hero or a sweet new swimsuit to rock on long lake days in the boat. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite pieces of gear to throw in your dryland training bag this summer to add that extra pep in your step you might not have even known you needed.
Ok, confession. We understand that rollerblading isn’t for everyone. If you have any aspiration to give up skiing and become a leg model, I wouldn’t recommend strapping these skates to your feet. When you blade, you fall down. It’s part of the deal. You just start to learn how to fall a tad more gracefully and then the positive workout elements kick into gear real fast. I can’t speak more highly of this alternative mode of passage in terms of combining dryland training with a social element and of course speedy transportation.
Speaking of making it from point A to point B, when you go out on your blades, bike or by foot you realize pretty quickly that you don’t have anywhere to store your wallet, phone, keys, you name it. A hip pack is the best way to tuck away your items and skate hands free. It does have hints of some ‘80s flashback roller disco, but those guys had the practical elements dialed, clearly. Hip packs are ideal for hiking if you don’t want the weight of a day pack and the extra stowage is handy on a bike too. This pack is slim and made with super-light and rugged nylon fabric.
Based in Northfield, Vermont, Darn Tough uses ethical merino wool all sourced in the United States to produce some of my favorite durable socks of all time. If you’re doing any mountain biking this summer to cross-train for on-snow time, their bike socks are super light weight even on the hottest days when all you want to wear is a swimsuit and the thought of stuffing your feet into a sock makes you turn your nose up. I promise, it’s been hotter than a pistol this month here in Oregon.
You might recognize this brand as a yoga specific company, but they actually sell quite a few recovery tools for athletes. It seems I’m often on the road, pulling over off interstate 80 on my way from Oregon to Park City and fitting in a run on some old Nevada backroad. It’s not always pretty and recovery can be few and far between when you’re stuck in a car for another few hours, but that said, the best thing for me is finding recovery tools that don’t take up space and still function. The GAIAM Restore mini muscle roller isn’t the best roller out there by any means, but it does the job when you need something small to pack with you and have a boat load of IT band kinks to roll out. The tool is just over half a foot long and weighs next to nothing.
The highest compliment I can pay to this Eastern Sierra based mountain town brand is that it would honestly take a village to get these clothes to retain sweaty stink. And I know you skiers know how fast that can happen after a day on the slopes, or more applicable this time of year, after less than an hour of working out under the July sun. The Women’s Frankie Tank is stretchy, loose fitting yet flattering, and has been a staple for me in winter and summer for the last three years. I wear it running, use it as a regular tank when traveling across the country (remember, it doesn’t stink like all my other workout gear…), and rock it under my puffy in the winter months. Of course I don’t wear the men’s clothes, but I know the same things can be said of the Men’s Journey T-Shirt. I know it’ll be a worthwhile purchase for the price tag. Hmmm, it looks like I seem to have an affinity toward merino wool this summer….
There’s a reason TOPO Designs is crushing it right now. The brand just makes quality products. Their packs are trendy and maybe not for everyone as far as the fashion-forward design goes, but the classic duffel is a throwback to the ‘80s racquetball-playing-dad style and I love it. The bag is about two feet long, and has interior zipper pockets for keeping track of your headphones when you go the gym. I promise it will fit all of the above gear we’ve talked about and yes, you might get a few hipsters to stop and stare…
Ski Racing Media has no official relationship with any of the brands listed above. This is gear we actually use!