The Expert Selects: Ski & Snowboard Gear

Smith Quantum Helmet and I/OX Goggles. Product Photos: Smith Optics

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Former pro skier and owner of Bradley Ski Pro John Bradley shares his picks for the best in winter gear. 

Montana Crystal Glide Tuning

A good pair of skis is a serious investment, and regular maintenance is vital for getting the most out of your purchase. For superior performance, Bradley strongly recommends Montana Crystal Glide Finish. The three-phase system delivers exceptionally precise tuning to maximize speed and handling.

Elan All-Mountain Ski Rentals

The casual skier may have no interest in purchasing their own skis, but there’s no reason they can’t enjoy top-tier quality when renting equipment. Bradley Pro Ski offers a fleet of cutting-edge Elan All-Mountain skis. Hand-made in Slovenia, Elan skis combine the traditional craftmanship perfected over seventy years with the latest in sports technology. At Bradley Pro Ski, Elan rentals start at just $39 for a day­—a perfect way to experience some serious quality, even if you aren’t a serious skier.

Hestra Gloves

Photo: Hestra Gloves

For discriminating hands, Bradley recommends Hestra brand ski gloves. Designed in Sweden since 1936, Hestra gloves are made from raw materials hand-selected by master glove makers. The attention to details results in world-class fit, comfort and durability, with styles carefully designed for specific uses, including skiing, climbing, and cycling.

Smith Ski Helmets

Smith Quantum Helmet and I/OX Goggles. Product Photos: Smith Optics

Smith makes “one of the best helmets in the industry,” Bradley says. Smith helmets are engineered to perform in four impact scenarios: low speed, high speed, rotational and multiple-impact. They are specially designed to pair with Smith’s own line of goggles (see below) in a way that maximizes visibility, comfort, protection and ventilation. Independently adjustable front and rear vents allow for easy temperature regulation during a hard day on the slopes.

I/OX Goggles

Designed to mesh perfectly with Smith helmets, Smith’s I/OX goggles are another of Bradley’s favorites. The quick release lens change system and included bright and low light lenses make them especially versatile. The 5X™ anti-fog inner lens keep vision crystal clear throughout the day. An ultra-wide, silicone backed strap and floating foam membrane are designed to eliminate pressure points, for a fit so comfortable you may just forget you’re wearing goggles.

About the Expert:


John Bradley has been in the ski gear business for decades, as a merchant and a user. His family opened their first ski shop in 1958. He went on to become a professional ski racer, competing on the international World Pro ski racing circuit and earning himself a spot in the New England College Sports Hall of Fame. Bradley Pro Ski, he says, is a dream undertaking because it allows him to spend his time immersed in his own personal passion. “I love relaying my knowledge and talking skiing all day,” he says. From beginners to seasoned pros, Bradley is happy to offer up his expertise for anyone interested in taking to the slopes.

Bradley’s Pro Ski is located at 2012 Depot St., Manchester Center, Vt. They are open seven days a week and offer extended hours during holiday weeks. For more information, visit their website at or call (802) 367-3118.

Vermont Country magazine

Vermont Country has a hyperlocal focus on the Green Mountain lifestyle, its personalities, events, attractions and culture. The magazine appears six times a year, designed to complement the state and four-season living. VtCo magazine is a Southern Vermont publication of Vermont News & Media.

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