You have to be ready for the start of a new season, and that doesn’t just mean being physically and mentally prepared. You have to have the right tools for the job, too! This is the time of year I start making a list of all the new equipment, gear and other must-haves I need to get for the upcoming season.
Rollerbag:I’m fortunate enough to log a lot of airline miles during the season, but baggage handlers show no remorse for those rolling gearbags, so I wear mine out in just a couple of seasons. A nice new bag to accommodate all of my gear is a must for me! Sometimes the ridiculously oversized “body bags” can be a little ergonomically challenging, but a medium-sized roller that’s rugged, such as a Sparco, OMP or even Ogio, make great options.
Driver Gear:First of all, I need a generic, plain driving suit. One of those can go a long way compared to one that’s plastered with sponsor and manufacturer logos. It’s always a fun game when showing up to an event and looking at your suit, wondering what conflicting logos you might have to tape over. Sometimes, if you’re testing with a new team or in a different series, going unadorned is a more respectable way to go. A generic suit is the perfect solution for all of those new opportunities.
Shoes and gloves are two items that, for me, really start to show their wear after a season. That was especially true when I was in the Mazda prototype, between the fingers wearing on the paddle shifters and the shoes getting especially beat-up in the cockpit. Having good gear makes a difference when it comes to comfort and performance. Some of my favorite shoes, and the most comfortable in my opinion, come from OMP and Sparco.
Supplements:An item that is indispensable for my peak performance, especially in the grueling summer months, is a good electrolyte supplement. Hammer makes a good product called HEED, typically used by cyclists, but I’ve found that it’s a great alternative to Gatorade, with less sugar.
The other supplement is amino acids (BCAA). For me, this seems to really heighten my mental alertness and reaction with muscle coordination. It’s something I’m sure most workout enthusiasts are familiar with, and having a couple squeeze packs on hand for an event is always a bonus.
What are some of your favorite must-haves for the start of a new season?