3 Tips For Buying Ski Gear On A Budget
Thousands of people around the world will hit the slopes this year. Not only is skiing great fun, but it can also help to keep you fit. Lots of us like the idea of going skiing, but it can be quite expensive, particularly if you don’t already own any of the gear. If you want to learn how you can buy your ski gear on a tight budget, then you’ve come to the right place. Below are some of our best tips for saving money on your ski gear this year.
1. Shop out of season
Photo by Artem Beliaikin
One of the best ways to find good deals on your ski gear is to purchase it once the main skiing season has finished. You will usually find the best deals in March when ski gear companies are trying to offload their old stock ready for the new stock that will come in the next season. Most things are reduced by at least 20% and can even get to around 50% off! Companies want to sell their stock as next year there will inevitably be new trends, a new colour or new style. If you are in a resort and have been thinking about buying a certain item, if you can wait then do!
2. Decide what you want
Photo by freestocks.org
It’s a good idea to do some research and make a list of what you’re looking for before you go shopping, be it online or in a retail store. Reading customer reviews on products will give you a good idea of how good they are. Most customers are honest when they write reviews, so reading these will give you an idea of whether the item is suitable for you or not. Think size, fit, warmth, comfort, waterproof, wind resistant etc
Some of the items all skiers need include:
- Skis - This is the big ticket item. There is a huge array of different skis to suit your style of skiing and your ability. We recommend you try before you buy. i.e head to a mountain ski shop and ask to test a pair that you have researched and are keen on.
- Ski poles - These are used for balance and don't need to be very flashy at all. They need to be the right size is all.
- Ski boots – It’s a good idea to do some research into your ski boots. Nobody wants cold or cramped feet when they're trying to enjoy themselves. Make sure that you try on a few different types of boots before choosing which ones are right for you. Remember, it's essential that ski boots fit you correctly so don't prioritise how they look. You can get the boots heat moulded to your feet at any store you buy them from and we would recommend some insoles too.
- Ski gloves - Ski glove quality makes a lot of difference when you’re out on the slopes, so make sure you choose a good quality pair that are not only warm but waterproof. If you do suffer from cold hands then mittens are the best type as your fingers can rub against each other.
- Goggles - How big do you want them, how do they wick and breath, what lenses do you prefer? We would recommend getting two lenses, one for poor visibility and one for sun.
- A helmet – you will need to find out what size helmet you need before you go shopping. Think about comfort and ventilation system you want.
- Ski clothing – you need to choose items that will keep you warm and dry. How baggy do you want the fit and how thick do you want them for warmth? It's very important in our eyes to ensure you have vents under your arms and by your inner thigh. It can be hard work on the hill and cooling down is important. Just like an engine, you can overheat and you will suffer! Also think about pockets for useful things such as lift pass and phone etc.
Lastly, one thing to note... it's very easy to get carried away when buying items. Make a list of things you NEED and stick to it!
3. Buy second hand
Photo by Simon Migaj
There are lots of sites online where you can buy used ski gear, but some sites are more trustworthy and more reliable than others. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Look closely at the pictures the sellers place on these sites to see how damaged or worn the gear is. If it’s got a lot of damage, then don’t buy it.
Ask the seller questions about the item if you’re unsure of its condition. If you're buying used boots, then you need to pay extra attention to the sole. You should be able to see the traction pad on the toe and heel of the boot; if you can't, then they probably won't do the job properly.
There’s no point in purchasing something that doesn’t do its job. But, don’t let the odd untrustworthy seller put you off using these sites as there are often some great deals to be found if you know what you're looking for.
There's no doubt about it; you will need a lot of gear to go skiing, and it doesn’t come cheap. But remember, bargains are everywhere - you just need to know when and where to look. Just because items are reduced in price, doesn’t mean that they’re poor quality, but it's important to know what you’re looking for before you go shopping.
No one wants to spend their time on the slopes feeling cold, miserable, and uncomfortable. The best secret to finding decent quality, low-cost ski gear is patience. If you’re able to start shopping after the skiing season has finished, then you’re likely to find some great deals. Good luck and have a great time shopping for your new ski gear.