Pro-skier Daniel Loots talks to Nikwax
- How have you enjoyed this year’s winter snow season? Where did you go for your annual ski/ board snow fix?
It’s been a great season so far, probably the most snow I’ve seen since I started skiing, spending most of my ski-time in the 3Vallee or Les Arcs.
- What clothing and equipment have you chosen to use this season, or bring back out of your wardrobe and why?
I have a couple of ‘go-to’ outfits depending on the weather, an Oakley Gore-Tex 3L jacket and pants that are great in most conditions as you can layer up underneath them with something down or Polartec Stretch if it’s warmer, I tend to use Merino base layers as they are great for multi day trips. When it is really cold I’ll switch to a synthetic down jacket and pants.
- How do you store your ski clothing and equipment out of season and what advice would you give to people who want to keep it at its best?
At the end of the season I usually Tech Wash my outer layers and then use TX-Direct so they are ready to go for the next season, then I’ll pack them away in plastic bags somewhere dry so they don’t get damp. Some of the base layers get used throughout the year for cycling so I BaseWash them regularly.
My skis get fully dried out and cleaned before they go away in a bag. If the bases are dry I’ll put some wax on them to keep them good, I take the liners out of my boots and store them somewhere warm and dry.
- What piece of ski clothing have you had the longest? And why do you think it’s stood the test of time?
I’ve had one of my Oakley jackets for over 10 years. It’s 100g Thinsulate filled so it’s great for cold weather. I must have skied almost 100 days in it, but it still looks great and works well. Every once in a while it needs reproofing with TX-Direct then it’s good to go again.
- What effect do reproofing and protection products have on skiwear and gear? And how do you choose to use them?
Reproofing and proper cleaning makes a massive difference to modern breathable fabrics. Whilst most membranes will still stop water getting in even if the outer fabric is soaked through, the breathability is quite badly affected meaning you get damp from your own perspiration. When you are out skiing in the cold this can be really uncomfortable especially when you start to cool down. Fortunately skiing is a relatively ‘clean’ sport in that your kit doesn’t tend to get dirty all that often, I just keep an eye on how well the outer fabric is beading and if it looks like it needs a refresh I’ll give it a Tech Wash and TX-Direct treatment.
- Why is it important to keep your skiwear waterproof?
Keeping your kit waterproof obviously has performance benefits for breathability and comfort but it also means that the fabric is protected from dirt that can degrade it over time. If you’ve spent a few hundred pounds on a jacket you really want to get a few seasons out of it, if you can, so keeping it clean and proofed is important. It’s nice to know that Nikwax products don’t have fluorocarbons or phosphates, so there’s no nasty stuff going into the environment.
- What’s your favourite Nikwax product?
TX-Direct is probably my favourite Nikwax product, it really brings waterproof or water resistant kit back to life. If you’ve got an old jacket that seems to have lost it’s proofing, give it a Tech Wash and TX Direct and you will be surprised how well it works again after.
- Do you use protection and reproofing products in other elements of your life?
I use Nikwax products on cycling kit too. Softshell proof works well with jackets like Castelli’s Gabba or Sportful’s Fiandre and TX Direct is really good on Gore-Tex & Event fabrics. The BaseWash is good not just for base layers but for cycling jerseys too, as with conventional washing liquids sometimes you don’t get rid of all the sweaty odours.
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