Whether you're jetting off to Vail or hitting the slopes at nearby Sugar Mountain, you'll need ski gear for the season. Find it locally at these outdoor suppliers.
VIBE This chain feels like a mom-and-pop store: friendly staffers host frequent family camping classes and PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) presentations.
THE GOODS Find splashy graphic-print skis from Roxy ($449) and Volkl ($399).
SPLURGE The cheery blue insulated jacket from Betty Rides Nicole ($190) is outfitted with a faux fur collar, perfect for sipping hot toddies at the lodge or racing through the snow.
9755 Northlake Center Pkwy., 704-921-0320, rei.com
Alpine Ski Center
VIBE Alpine has just a handful of stores in the Southeast, but you'll find nationally known brands like The North Face and Atomic. THE
GOODS Not a frequent skier? Rent skis here for just $15 a day.
SPLURGE Be noticed in a sea of bulky neutrals: Roxy's Ruby pullover jacket ($180) is bright green with white polka dots. Plus, it's waterproof and insulated.
1501 East Blvd., 704-332-2824, alpineskicenter.com
Ski Country Sports
VIBE You'll find all things ski related in this warehouse-style, outdoor emporium, where old skis and sleds are displayed as decoration.
THE GOODS Find comfy long underwear from Hot Chillys ($45), Head ski boots ($199 and up), and helmets from K2 (starting at $60).
SPLURGE The Obermeyer Revert snow pants are available in crisp winter white ($199). They're water repellent but sleek.
4151 Park Rd., 704-523-2553, skicountrysports.com
VIBE This surf shop is totally relaxed: Riley, the company dog, is frequently seen padding down the aisles.
THE GOODS You won't find skis here, but there's a deep selection of snowboarding gear from brands like Burton, Forum, and Special Blend.
SPLURGE The Burton Custom ($500) is one of the store's top-selling snowboards and is great for beginners or seasoned boarders.
8334-106 Pineville Matthews Rd., 704-341-3414, wallerbears.com