With the first snowfall still weeks away, area ski enthusiasts are getting ready to upgrade their gear, learn about the latest trends on the hills and get advice from industry experts.
From Friday through Sunday, more than 10,000 people will do just that at the Ottawa Ski Show at Lansdowne Park.
According to show manager Steve Caron, it’s not as early as it seems.
“People are getting organized and the first skiing will start in early December,” he said.
The National Capital Region is a “phenomenal area for skiing,” said Caron. As a result, “we have a pretty sophisticated ski market.
“There are so many hills that are close to the city. Most people here do most of their skiing on local hills, and then plan a week away in the U.S., or Quebec City or the Laurentians. But all of the local hills are very popular and offer very good skiing. I’ve skied them all and they are all very good quality.”
Even with a crowd that can be tough to impress, the free show — which this year features over 100 exhibitors in the ski and snowboard industry — has been drawing enthusiasts from all over eastern Ontario since 1987.
About six or seven years ago, the popularity of snowboarding took over skiing, but with the development of new skis in the last few years, skiing has regained its popularity, Caron said.
Attendees can watch current ski movies at the ski theatre, check out area ski clubs and shop the popular new and used ski sale.
“Anyone who is looking for affordable equipment will find it here,” Caron said. “Retailers come to the show with last year’s (equipment) and they’re selling it off at big discounts. And people looking to upgrade their equipment can get rid of their old stuff for a small consignment fee.”