In 1952, downhill pioneers Mr. and Mrs. Keyser—fresh from helping establish Vail, Colorado as one of the nation’s preeminent skiing destination—opened King Keyser to outfit Midwesterners with quality ski equipment and expert advice. The shop continues to carry on the couple's vision while also embracing innovations in the sport. They have stocked snowboard equipment since 1982 and currently carry a full supply of Burton boards and bindings, K2 boots, Giro helmets, and Anon goggles. Skiing gear is well represented as well, including Völkl skis, Lange boots, Look Nova bindings, and K2 poles.
When not busy equipping riders with proper equipment and rentals, staff members preserve personal gear with in-house maintenance services. The team stone-grinds and waxes skis to enhance glide, and they also provide complete tune-ups to keep snowboards’ motors from breaking down on long trips.
NAC Ski may be based in sunny San Jose, but its ski tours reach more than 100 cities and ski destinations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Pickup points scattered across each city gather groups in the wee hours of the morning to board charter buses and drive to nearby ski resorts. Each coach bus is tricked out with a bathroom, TV screens for movies, and sometimes WiFi. Passengers can relax or snooze on the way to the slopes, arriving around 9 a.m. for all-day skiing and snowboarding. At 4:30 p.m., buses load up passengers and undercover snowmen and return home to the pickup point.
Building on winter sport know-how for four decades, Viking Ski Shop boasts an educated staff that custom-fit boots and outfits winter sports enthusiasts of all ages with quality gear. Prevent a case of frigid digits with Kombi waterguard gloves ($38) or keep warm with Hot Chillys Underware for men or women ($38). Children can keep cozy on the slopes or all winter long in T-neck pull over fleeces from Spyder Speed ($49), named for arachnids whose eight legs power them down slopes faster than conventional skis. Killtec Namara men's fleeces swaddle torsos in downy and fashionable comforts ($49) while collisions with obstinate snowmen are softened when wearing a Giro G9 helmet ($99). Both shops are closed on Wednesdays.