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Let’s face it, skiing and snowboarding are not without risk. There’s the cold, the wind, and the snow you’ve got to worry about. There are hazards such as trees, chairlifts, and other skiers you need to watch out for. And speaking of watching out, you need to be able to see even when the bright noon sun is reflecting off the snow and you’ve got a 30 mph wind in your eyes. Start with three items, though, and you’ll be coming home safely, then heading back out for more.

Snow-Ready Clothing

Water repellant on the outside, soft on the inside. This affordable jacket is windproof and has an oversized hood and adjustable wrist cuffs. Wantdo

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Unless you’re an expert skier on a warm day, you really don’t want to be out there in jeans and a flannel. Fall once, and you’ll soak right through, and be very cold for the rest of your (short) day. You want to find a jacket and pants that are built specifically for the snow. That means waterproof and windproof, first and foremost. Beyond that, does it have enough pockets to store you stuff? Does the material breathe, or does it at least have some zipper vents to keep you from getting sweaty? You’re going to want to layer, too, and it’s best to go with synthetic or wool. Staying dry and warm is your top priority.

Goggles

Available in tons of colors, these affordable goggles offer active venting to keep fog at bay, plus they’re warm, helmet compatible, and offer 100% UV protection. ZIONOR

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Trust me when I say snowboarding is a lot harder when you can’t see where you’re going. A bright day in the snow is extra intense because all of that sunlight reflects off the shiny surface. Ever heard the term “snow-blind”? This is why a pair of goggles that can protect your eyes from UV rays is extremely important. It’s also important to protect your eyes from wind as you speed down the mountain. It’s really hard to see when your eyes start tearing up. A good pair of goggles will be comfortable, helmet compatible, and ideally have some sort of anti-fog agent.

Helmet

Trusted by the U.S. Ski Team, this sleek helmet is highly adjustable, audio-ready, has great ventilation, a goggle strap holder, and is nice and light. Wildhorn Outfitters

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A head-injury is one of the worst things that can happen to you out on the snow. Conditions may be icy, or perhaps you find yourself in the trees or terrain park. Even if you’re risk-averse there’s always the possibility that another rider may crash into you. Helmets are mandatory these days, and thankfully they’ve gotten much cooler. Not only will they protect your brain, but a good helmet will have adjustable ventilation, so you can use it to warm up or shed excess heat. A cozy, soft liner is a nice bonus.

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