Best of Boston

2002 Best Ski Shop

Bob Smith’s Wilderness House

First things first: If you’re still skiing on old-fashioned straight skis, you should be ashamed of yourself. Skiing has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, thanks to improvements in equipment. Shorter, curved skis can make first-timers look like Picabo Street, and Bob Smith’s Wilderness House is where to find them. The accessible, knowledgeable staff begins by determining where you’ll be skiing (hard-core New England ice and rocks, or pansy-pants West Coast powder), your ability level, and budget, then points you to (and custom fits) the perfect pair. The wide selection—from Rossies to Völkl, K2 to Dynastar—means there’s a fit for everyone. The shop also stocks a wide range of apparel and accessories, with everything from glove liners to back-country ski gear, and its end-of-season sales are a favorite with skiers in the know.

1048 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-277-5858,