Part of the GB Park and Pipe squad, Peter Speight knows the value of having reliable kit. The Halfpipe British Champ shares his knowledge on what to consider when buying new kit, packing and the essentials you shouldn’t forget.
1. Comfort and warmth
It sounds obvious, but I always try to prioritise comfort – as well as function – when choosing my clothing and outerwear. When out on the hill you don’t want to get caught out in sub-zero temperatures, or be constantly uncomfortable.
I learned this the hard way during a competition in Colorado, mid-December, a few years ago – I didn’t pack an extra layer and the temperature dropped to -27° out of nowhere. I spent the whole day just trying to keep warm. Your gear should serve you and be the last thing on your mind so you can just concentrate on what’s important – the skiing.
2. Get custom footbeds
Custom footbeds make a huge difference to both the comfort and performance of a ski boot and are worthwhile investment, especially if you are skiing for most of the year. I have just got my Rossignol All Speed 130s fitted and footbeds help me get even more out of the boot. They also help with big landings in the halfpipe as they cushion your foot in the right way. Whether for high performance or general skiing, getting your boots fitted properly is a must!
3. Trust your gear
I have been riding Rossignol Scratch ski with FKS 180 bindings for a number of years now, so I have learned that having faith in my skis and bindings can give me extra confidence when trying bigger tricks in the halfpipe.
Peter flies high doing what he does best
Reducing doubt is a huge part of trying a new trick; I like to make things easier by making sure my gear is the last worry on my mind. Building up knowledge of how your gear works, knowing it’s right for you and what you are doing can make a big difference to confidence and ultimately your performance.
4. Don’t skimp on the essentials
Skiing is an expensive sport. But if you’re doing it a lot then its worth investing in quality key items to get the most out of it. These will be specific to how much, and what type of skiing you’re doing.
For me, always having functioning and new skis, bindings and boots is essential when competing all winter. But other essential equipment includes flat-light lenses for goggles, warm baselayers and a good helmet. Some things simply aren’t worth skimping on!
5. Pack light
I have definitely learned this the hard way when it comes to airlines charging for extra baggage on long trips abroad. Now I try to just travel with a core set of key items. There’s a lot of gear involved in skiing, but when I’m travelling all winter between resorts and competitions, not taking much over the essentials keeps things simple and straightforward. This is true for carrying your gear, avoiding being ripped off and for simplicity and speed during those early morning starts.