by Alicia Woodside, Modern Mix Vancouver Fitness Writer
Growing up, I was a wimpy skier, as my body didn’t adjust well to cold temperatures. Even now, I still feared those cold windy days on the mountain.
A couple years back, I was skiing in BC’s spectacular Kootenays and although the landscape is unreal, so is the temperature, at -20 plus wind chill! In an effort to help me still ski the area’s beautiful mountains, my mom presents me with the ultimate weather defense– a face mask! I was quite grateful for some protection for my neck and face, until I looked in the mirror, and realized that I was still cold, and now I looked like Darth Vader. Needless to say, there were some interesting photos of me up on the mountain looking scary.
This past Easter that I was able to revisit BC’s coldest corridor on skis, and thankfully, this time I was equipped with a Nibz Bandana, created by Whistler snowboard cross gal Sara Niblock. With Nibz, Sara has created a selection of vibrant, groovy “bandanas” to protect the face and neck on the slopes, in a clear stand against the Darth Vader-esque look that the previous face masks achieved.
My first impression of Nibz was a good one. Sara took something that could look nerdy, and made it into a fashionable accessory. Given my experience wearing Nibz’ Darth Vader competitor, I was ecstatic about the idea that face masks can actually look rad. Nibz’ online store was fun, with so many bright and fun prints to peruse. Finally I chose the ultimate fashion piece– the Marilyn Monroe print!
Immediately when I put on the bandana, I received a compliment, and I wasn’t even out of the parking lot. So at this point, I was happy to wear the Nibz, regardless of function. But how would it do on the slopes?
I was able to try Nibz with and without helmet, and with several jacket styles, too investigate use in different scenarios. On my first day, I wore the Nibz together with no helmet, and only a toque, and I found the bandana was great. It stayed in place, and succeeded to block the small amount of wind that lingered that day on the mountain. I was impressed, the three-layer construction provided a good layer of insulation against whatever came my way. On day two and three, I experimented with different uses. First I tried the bandana together with a helmet, with less success– I found that this particular helmet interfered with the bandana’s ideal fit on my face, because the chin strap forced it lower. Next, I tried the bandana with a jacket that comes high on the chin, zipped all the way up. In this case I found that the bandana was essentially redundant, as this jacket zipped up to the same level as the bandana.
Overall, the functional potential of Nibz has a lot to do with the combination of garments you wear, and I would recommend the bandana as most useful if your jacket does not come quite high enough to protect your neck and chin. But regardless of that, I’m certain that this little piece can go a long way to spicing-up your mountain fashion– and for only $29.99 and made locally, it’s a no-brainer. Nibz Bandanas are available for purchase online at nibz.ca.
Enjoy what’s left of Spring Skiing!