Do you realise that George Fisher Ltd is the last remaining ski hardware shop in the Lake District? When I started here in 1990, there were two on our street alone! Across the country the number of stand-alone ski retailers has declined as their owners have found it difficult to remain profitable. So why are we sticking at it?
We see that ranging and selling ski hardware not only helps differentiate us from the other outdoor retailers in the Lakes, it is also a natural extension of the work we do on customer service; in particular functionality, performance and fit. Our experience in fitting tens of thousands of walking boots over the years has built our understanding of feet and fit to an extremely high level, and that means when we come to fit ski boots we can help you identify the perfect boot to match your skiing style, experience and, crucially, your feet.
Correctly fitting ski boots are far and away the most important piece of kit for every skier; uncomfortable boots ruin a holiday. Our boot fitters have built their knowledge over many years. Their understanding of boot shape, volume and performance, combined with biomechanical knowledge of how feet behave whilst skiing, means that we can ensure you go on your next ski trip with correctly fitted, comfortable boots.
Three of the Salomon boots benefit from their 360° Custom Shell technology; the X Pro 100 (£290), Quest Pro 110 (£320) and the women’s Quest Pro 100 (£320). The 360° Custom Shell allows us to mould the entire boot to your foot shape, not just the liner. If you have struggled to find boots with ‘that perfect fit’ then these will offer a swift solution and instant comfort.
Rossignol boots give us a variety of flex and width options; the popular Alltrack series is back, with the Alltrack 90 being a great recreational piste boot (with a very different fit to Salomon) and women can try the Alltrack 70, both offering great value at £215.
Lange boots are new to us this season. The company says that its “consistent anatomical fit guarantees the highest levels of comfort and performance”. We say that Lange boots give us new options for people who are looking for a closer fit or have lower volume feet. The RX100 LV and the women’s RX80 LV (both £260) are low volume boots on a narrow last, certainly NOT the right fit for many, if not most, but people with skinny feet will love these!
As usual, we are carrying a range of children’s boots from size Mondo 19 (UK size 12). Remember our kids ski boots benefit from the Junior Boot Exchange scheme we use with walking footwear. Boots bought from us, once outgrown, can be returned and we will offer up to 50% of their original price when you buy a new pair. This reduces the cost of giving your children the benefit of enjoying their ski holidays in their own well-fitted, comfortable ski boots.
Over recent winters we’ve spent almost as much time talking about helmets as boots! The growing awareness of how a ski helmet can give protection has prompted a significant increase in interest.
Salomon has introduced an interesting option with its Phantom and Women’s Aura helmets using Auto Custom Air technology, both £120. Auto Custom helmets feature a foam-filled airtight bladder that allows some air to escape when you put the helmet on, creating a precise fit all around your head.
Last season I enjoyed trying Bollé’s Backline Visor helmet (£190). Instead of using traditional goggles, the Backline comes with two interchangeable visors (Category 1 for flat light, and Cat 3 for bright days). After years of being happy to ski in goggles, I wasn’t sure how I would get on with a visor. I was pleasantly surprised to find I felt just as ‘protected’, with no sense of being more exposed to the elements, plus extra air circulation eliminates condensation.
Heads come in all shapes and sizes, so with helmets from Salomon, Bollé and Smith we offer a broad selection with variations in fit, features and colour. Take your time, get your head measured then try all suitable options – you’ll find the one that fits best.
Finally, a quick word about my favourite ski glove; the Salomon Even (£85). I’m currently on my second pair. These are leather gloves lined with Primaloft synthetic insulation making them tough yet dextrous and, despite them not having a waterproof membrane, they have kept my hands warm and dry much better than any ‘waterproof’ glove. The women’s version is the Native, also £85.
Before you head off of your next ski trip come in and talk to us, we have been equipping skiers for years, we work hard to select a range of hardware that is suitable for our customers and our breadth of knowledge is second-to-none. Between us, our ski techs have skied all over the world, in all sorts of conditions – come in and pick our brains. We’ll help you get the most out of your next trip to the snow.
Don’t forget to bring your skis in for a service so you’re ready for that first day on the slopes. Ours ski workshop is open at all times except the Christmas period and during our annual sale (closed from Tuesday 22nd December to Monday 4th January).
Edge & Wax just £25 | Full Service £35
Photo credit: Salomon
3 December 2015 by Andy Airey
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