Gear & Equipment

Gear up for your winter adventure with Blizzard! Here’s how:

All Blizzard members MUST have their own equipment.

Rentals at snowsports areas are not available for Blizzard members. Take advantage of special discounts for Blizzard Families at participating specialty retailers! Buy new gear at great prices or rent a season-long ski or snowboard package. You can also check out local “swap” sales for gently used equipment. See the calendar for a list of events.

Why can’t I rent equipment each week at the snowsports area?

Blizzard staff are unable to supervise the rental process and legally cannot sign waivers or liability releases for minors’ rental equipment. Plus, it’s not a very fun way to spend the first and last hour of every Blizzard trip standing in rental lines, which significantly impacts quality lesson time. Most importantly, it’s really hard to learn when your equipment keeps changing.

How can I get gear inexpensively?

Our retail partners offer special discounts on new and sometimes used equipment. Their expert staff will make sure you get equipment that fits and matches your ability. Some shops offer “buy-back” programs or season-long rentals that can offer great savings. Another option is to pick up used equipment at pre-season swaps, which are usually sponsored by local nonprofit groups such as race teams or local snowsports areas or retail partners. A complete listing is on our calendar.

How do I dress for the slopes?

Layer! Layer! Layer! Wear three or four layers up top, including thermals. Fleece is your best friend; cotton is your worst enemy. Remember to put your name on everything!  See our Gear & Apparel Guide for full details. Here’s a super cute video that’s shows you and your child(ren) how to dress for winter fun! And here’s another great video from PSIA-AASI!

What should I bring to eat?

Members bring their own lunch and snacks. Bring healthy snacks and a big lunch. Pack snacks for the bus in the morning, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, and munchies for the bus ride home. We typically recommend packing a lunch double the amount of what you would send to school. They really will eat it all! If members in 5th-12th grades prefer to buy food at the area, we recommend about $20 which is typically enough for lunch, drink and a snack.

How do I carry my stuff?

The best way to carry your gear is to wear it! Our “Direct To Snow” approach means we head right from the bus to the slopes — with a quick stop to drop your lunch in the chalet. That means anything you aren’t wearing stays on the bus (except your lunch). It’s fine to pack a small bag of things to do on the bus (we like reading and Mad Libs!) but please keep it light.

Wear your ski or snowboard boots on the bus. Take them off during the bus ride to keep your feet comfy and dry, or bring some light shoes to wear. If you’re driving, remember that not all areas allow bags to be left in the chalet. Anything you need during the day (including extra socks or mittens) should go in your lunch box, which you’ll drop off when you check in at the Blizzard Table. Please use a typical school-sized lunch box.

All members must have a clearly labeled ski or snowboard bag. Use your Blizzard luggage tag! This bag protects your equipment in the trailer and prevents everyone’s equipment from getting damaged or mixed up. Your luggage tag will be sent in your membership packet. Visit one of our retail partners to purchase a quality ski or snowboard bag using your Blizzard member discount!

Blizzard is all about independence and responsibility, including carrying your own gear and equipment. We will have staff around to help our younger members, but make sure you practice carrying your gear!

How do I protect my equipment?

Whether it’s pre-season, pre-vacation or end-of-season, be sure your equipment is in top condition to ensure great performance and lasting quality. Blizzard’s specialty retail partners make it easy to keep your skis and snowboards tuned up at a great discount.

What’s “Tuning?”

Ski and snowboard tuning generally involves sharpening the edges and waxing the base. Special machines are used to precisely grind the base (until it’s flat) and the edges (until they’re at the proper angle). It’s also important to have a “clean” edge free from nicks and burrs. Hot wax is then applied to the base. The more wax the base absorbs, the better the ski or snowboard will glide.

Why should I tune my skis or snowboard?

Like your car, preventive maintenance helps keeps it running smoothly and safely.  Same with your skis or snowboard.  Edge sharpening helps you carve better turns with more accuracy and control and helps cut through the hard Minnesota snow and ice. Grinding the base puts a texture on the bottom of your equipment and keeps the snow from sticking, giving you a better glide across the snow surface. Waxing is the finishing touch that helps you slide better with a smooth on-hill experience.

How often should I tune my equipment?

We recommend tuning your equipment at least once pre-season, before your first trip, and at the end of the season, to clean it up to prepare it for summer storage. A mid-season tune can be helpful for intermediate to expert skiers/snowboarders.

Got everything?

Don’t know what gear you need for Blizzard? Looking for a handy checklist to pack up each week? Print our Gear & Apparel Guide and use it each time you pack for Blizzard!