Ski Race Gloves
Great gloves are essential for ski racing, snowboard racing, ski and border cross. Free the Powder's whole concept is a better priced ski glove for serious skiers, like ski racers. Our design concept is maximum hand protection, dexterity, grip and toughness for the rigors of ski racing without forgetting about the essential warmth necessary for keeping your hands toasty during a lot of waiting around for your turn to race.
Ski racing requires a unique set of glove design variables for optimum performance.
Those variables include:
1) Hand protection from gates and the ground when you crash. Proper, thick padding is needed for all parts of the hand, including fingers, knuckles, back-of-hand and your thumb.
2) Toughness: Ski racing is so brutal on gloves that almost every racer we spoke to and worked with sacrificed dexterity, grip, and warmth for toughness.
So we use leather, 1-2 mm thick, with a reinforcement patch that covers all areas of high wear on the palm. The type of leather is also important: properly tanned and treated cowhide is the toughest and softest leather, with the best combination for grip and dexterity. It’s what cattle ranchers use.
3) Grip: strong pole planting is essential in ski racing to maintain balance and form. That means you need best-possible grip on your poles. For the best grip, the palms of your gloves need to be made of soft, grippy leather that has been tanned specially for that purpose. The surface of your hands need to be free of sweat or dreaded clamminess, so maximum breathability is essential.
4) Dexterity: The twin brother/sister of grip. The best dexterity comes from premium grain, soft, grippy leather that molds to the shape of the hand. That is greatly assisted by utilizing a liner and insulation that is thinner and less lofty, such as Breathefil™ with 3M Thinsulate ®. Dexterity is also assisted by a short-cuff wrist closure with Velcro. The bigger the Velcro patch, the better the ultimate fit.
5) “Waterproof”: Water-resistance is important, but not at the expense of maximum breathability. The water-proofing should come from DWR, durable water repellent that is engineered into the leather and fabrics of the glove. Current technology of water-proof insert membranes puts you on a slippery slope of functionality, which decreases the versatility of the gloves.
6) Warmth: Obviously ski racing is performed in the cold, but to make matters worse, most of the day at a race is spent standing around. Ski racing gloves need to be really warm.