The Czech Republic is well-known for its many cross-country skiing trails, but if you’re looking for something a little more adrenalin-inducing, then maybe freeriding is for you. Also known as back country or big mountain skiing, freeriding involves getting off the slopes and onto ungroomed snow. To do this successfully and safely, you’ll need a special kind of equipment, and where better to find that than at a freeride ski shop? One of the bigger French names in freeriding is Zag, based in Chamonix, in the heart of the French Alps. Although freeride skis are stocked in many stores around Europe, the shop in Chamonix is a special concept store offering perks such as the chance to try out your skis before deciding whether or not to buy them. Obviously, the full range of Zag is on offer here, including touring skis, freerando skis, freeride patrol skis and freeride powder skis.
All of these products are actually designed in Chamonix too, as this is where the company’s research and development hub is to be found. Freeride skis are technologically very advanced pieces of equipment, made to fit the very specific requirements of the freeriding environment. Long tip and tail rockers, fibreglass double layers, vulcanized rubber and ABS sidewalls offer the added impact resistance, vibration absorption, strength and floatability needed in freeriding conditions. The shop also stocks a wide range of ski-related accessories. T-shirts, pullovers, caps, ski bags, crampons and climbing skins are just a few of these. Also available is a high-tech anti-theft device, called ‘ze tracker’. This is composed of an electronic chip in a little case that can be attached to your skis and which is connected to your smartphone using Bluetooth technology. There are two modes, one designed to help you find your skis if you lose one or more on the slopes (tracker mode), another which tells you if your skis have been moved from a static position (anti-theft mode).