Gearing up: Doc offers ski and board sale shopping advice

Original Post by Elana Ashanti Jefferson on September 3, 2012

If it happens on snow, you can bet Tom Hackett has tried it.

An orthopedic surgeon with Vail’s Steadman Clinic, Hackett also serves as physician for the U.S. Snowboard Team and the U.S. Ski Team, and consultant to the Colorado Rockies.

It follows that the doctor is himself an athlete. Yes, he skis and snowboards, but Hackett also just completed a swim of the English Channel, sharks and all.

So while Labor Day sales of all kinds unfold throughout the retail industry, Hackett is well-positioned to offer some basic tips for the local snow-sports enthusiasts who pack this holiday’s annual equipment sales, such as Sniagrab at Sports Authority, Ski Rex at Colorado Ski & Golf, and Powder Daze at Christy Sports.

Here, he offers some gear shopping and safety advice:

Exercise a healthy skepticism when buying gear with fancy new features.

“I’m pretty involved in the industry, and it’s even difficult for me to keep up with all the (equipment) changes” and updates, Hackett says. “Be cautious when you first get on that new equipment. Take it easy, and learn it first by practicing on a lower grade than you’re used to being on.”