The latest ski gear for the new snow season

Conservative fashion rules take a holiday on the ski slopes. When you're thundering down a black run, you can afford to take a few risks.

If you're investing in your own gear – which is far more reasonably priced than, say, cycling kit – it's best to work inside out. "You always think of the skis as the exciting part, but you have to remember your base layers," says David Kershaw, manager of Melbourne's Auski on Hardware Lane.

Start with snugly fitting thermals and quality socks, and work out to a second layer such as a fleece or a vest. Then add waterproof ski pants and an insulated jacket or shell, and finish with gloves and a full helmet.

"Goggles and gloves are great to purchase because you can't rent them," says Kershaw. "But the boots are the number one thing you can buy – it's the most important piece of equipment. If you've got numb feet, sore feet, tired feet, your day is over."

Never skied before? This is the year to try it. This snow season is shaping up to be the best Kershaw has seen in Australia for 15 years. "Every couple of years we get an OK start. A cold June and snow on the ground this early is not a common thing, so we're very happy this year," he says. "If it can just keep rolling, that would be perfect."

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