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.
Seven rope tows hoist skiers and snowboarders to the top of the trails at Four Lakes Snowsports, helping them take a panoramic glance before the pristine powder and carving their way back to the bottom. Five zones make up the skiable expanse, increasing in difficulty from a pair of bunny hills to a terrain park, where a gauntlet of boxes and rails slake appetites for jumps, grinds, and extreme cold-weather picnicking. As a proud member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, Four Lakes’ ski school helps aspiring skiers and snowboarders stay safe and in control while zipping and darting about the slopes.
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.
The idea behind Shred Shop was conceived over cocktails after an intense snowboarding session in Jackson Hole, circa 1988. Since then, Chris Bachman has evolved the notion of bringing a snowboarding store to the Midwest from a tiny mail-order company into a 10,000-square-foot, all-encompassing snow and skate shop. Passionate shred masters help customers to choose from a massive inventory of gear from top industry brands such as K2 and Lib Technologies snowboards and Never Summer longboards. With an inventory dedicated to latest in shred capability and style, the two-story retail space stands as a colorful emporium of action sports equipment that also stocks up on gear for watersports and accessories for the futuristic realm of gaseous sports.
At Two Seasons Cycle & Ski, the 7,000-square-foot store stays well stocked with gear, apparel, and accessories to prepare customers for outdoor adventures any time of the year. Men, women, and youngsters can peruse racks full of snowboarding gear by major brands such as Burton and K2 Snowboards and skiing merchandise from top brands including Atomic and Völkl Skis, or call upon Dr. Robert S. Steinberg, podiatrist, for help with finding a properly fitting ski boot. When the ski lifts stop running and snowmen melt back into lifeguards, skiers can put away their gear in favor of the extensive inventory of bicycles and accessories by brands such as Shimano, Cannondale, Trek, and Schwinn.