Do you talk about underwear? Long underwear? Short underwear? Socks? Ian McIntosh does. Not always a hot topic and it’s time to change that. Let’s talk about what’s under your ski gear. Pro, Ian McIntosh shared his favourite Smartwool layer systems.
Meet Ian McIntosh
Ian was born to ski, literally, his whole family skis including his grandparents. Growing up in the Kootenays McIntosh’s family shredded as many days as possible and we think it’s fair to assume Ian didn’t mind. Over a decade now as a pro skier, his name is known across the globe and for good reason – have you seen him ski?! Smooth, technical and oh-so-entertaining – all adding up to one unique style that’s distinguishably his.
Location: Pemberton, BC
Style of Skiing: Big Mountain/Freeride
Years Skiing: 36
Ian McIntosh’s Happy Feet Program
Favourite all-around sock and why?
For everyday use, I love the Curated crew socks. They are super comfy and come in lots of different/fun prints
Favourite specialty sock and why?
For skiing, I like the PhD Ski Light Elite socks. If it’s really cold I go for the medium thickness. I find that they regulate the temperature of my feet while I’m skiing and the different thicknesses help me adjust to the weather I’ll be facing that day.
Be honest, how often do you wash your socks?
I’m lucky that I have so many socks so it’s easy to always have a fresh pair. Even still I find myself wearing them for a couple ski days in-between washes. Otherwise, I mainly wash my socks after every three or four ski days. Merino wool socks are easier to care for because they’re naturally anti-bacterial.
What would you recommend to your friends when it comes to socks and why?
Having warm and dry feet is key so wool works the best. My only recommendation is to use wool or a wool blend sock. Cold and wet feet while skiing can deeply impact your performance. The merino wool socks will keep me warm, regulate my temperature, and help me feel comfortable at all times. It’s also a plus that Merino wool wicks away moisture, so they keep me dry during the day and dry much faster when they do get wet.
Any hot tips for keeping your feet happy?
Keep them dry and if you’re planning for multi-day adventures then carry spare socks so you can always have dry feet. Dry feet are happy feet.
What accomplishment did you squeeze into the shorter than expected 2020 season?
Stayed close to home last season and skied several big lines that I’ve been eyeing up for years. Managed to put together a great part for the new TGR film “Make Believe”.
Priorities for 20/21 ski season?
The more I explore the Coast range around where I live the more new lines I discover. I have so many big lines I want to hit that are all very close to my home. I’d also love to get a spring trip into the Canadian Rockies for some big mountain fun.
Let’s Talk About Underwear
What’s your go-to for base layers?
Most days I do a 150 layer for my first and a second layer of 250, I tend to go for a 1/4 zip on this second 250 layer. Depending on how cold it is I’ll switch up my bottoms from 150 to 250. I have many different styles and they all work great so for me, it’s more about the thickness and I adjust depending on temps.
I love the Merino 150 Print Boxer Briefs. They’re comfortable, breathable, and the prints are really nice too.
Do you talk about your undies with your touring partners?
Yes, but mainly it’s just about how awesome Merino wool is. We also talk about our layering systems. For example, I use a 150 long sleeve for my next to skin layer and usually a 250 1/4 zip for my next layer. After that, I’ll use either a Smartloft X-60 hoodie or a micro puffy jacket depending on how cold it is.
Why or why not?
It’s nice to hear what kind of layering system others use, especially if you under or over-dressed on any particular day.
Why are undies so dang important?
Because it’s your next to skin layer. It’s what keeps you warm and dry. If you’re hiking a lot you want all the sweat to dry out quickly so you don’t get cold. Also being comfortable makes the day better and more fun.