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  • Writer's picturezelechowski mathieu

How Our Gears Are keeping Us Warm

a physio osteopath in courchevel snowboarding

It's the first of april today and still winter is here !! It snowed yesterday on Courchevel and it is still cold. It looks like this endless winter is not gonna end anytime soon. I have learned trough all those winter seasons that equipment is matter of efficiency, productivity, and enjoyment as being well equiped makes your winter season in Courchevel better. I work in the resort as a physio, osteopath and sports massage therapist, therefore i know how important body care is in order to enjoy you ski or snowboard session on the slopes of Courchevel.


Winter means snow in the french alps, snow means cold. The first thing you have to think of is keeping yourlef warm. But have you ever wonder how winter clothing manufacturers are working to keep us warm ? How thoses clothes work ?

First the best thermic insulator is air. When i step out of a chalet after a physio or osteopath home visit, the first thing i do is to put on my bulky big DC vest, so big but so warm. It is big and bulky because it traps air. The trapped air in my vest insulates me from the cold, so the more air the better the cold insulation. But that's not it, my body heat is warming up the air in my vest, which again improves insulation. There are 2 types of down or duvet in french, synthetic or natural one, usually goose down ones. The synthetic one is good but the natural one is better as it retains more air so therefore a better insulation. The problem is synthetic one as well as natural have a tendency to compress then retain less air in humide climate or when under water. So manufacturers found a way to protect that, but i will talk about it later on this post.

To keep it well on the vest, manufacturers have to stitched et sew the garnement. Problem sewing make thermal bridge that conducts cold so keep an attention on that, your vest got to have as less sewing as possible.

Humidity is a treat, for the garnement so it has to be protected from water than comes from the outside, manufacturers use fluor molecules like teflon, problem again our body is producing steam and it needs to get out, textile need to breath. The solution comes from micro holes, yes your vest is full of micro holes, like our skin water drop are 20 000 times larger than those holes so under rain or snow water doesn't get in. For breathing meaning getting the steam of sweat out the holes are 700 times larger so steam can get out.

Remember before going to your ski or snowboard session in courchevel to wear either a bulky vest or a polar fleece as the more air you have the better insulation is.

Remember physio and osteopathy, sport massage is important for your courchevel trip, but stay warm is essential.

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