There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet, and one of the most common perceptions is the expense of the sport. There is certainly truth to that. Skiing and snowboarding will always be more expensive than other sports like speed-walking or competitive wiffle-ball. The goal of this article is to help inform all skiers and snowboarders about some of the myths and facts pertaining to the costs of our beloved sports.
Okay, let’s be honest–skiing and snowboarding are NOT the cheapest sports in history. It does take quite a bit of pocket change to get all the gear you need: jacket, snow pants, helmet, goggles, gloves/mittens, base layers, proper socks, not to mention the cost of equipment. But, unless you are a rapidly growing child you should expect to have all of that gear for at least a decade. Just like owning a car, the better you take care of it the longer it will last. Interestingly, Time posted an article last year about the Astronomical Cost of Kid’s Sports where skiing and snowboarding do not even appear on the list.
In the long run, it is always more financially viable to buy equipment as an adult vs. renting. If you buy skis and boots that cost a total of $700 dollars (a reasonable price for solid intermediate level equipment) and you use them for 10 years, that is roughly $70 per year. On the other hand, if you rent at the mountain each time you go skiing you’re looking at somewhere around $40-$70 PER DAY! Plus, you will always have better fitting and better preforming equipment if you get the right gear from a ski shop.
Lastly, if you are an intermediate skier who only goes a handful of times per year, you won’t need to buy a pair of $699 ski boots and thousand dollar pair of skis. Like anything in life you get what you pay for. But what is most important if you are going to make the investment in the sport, make sure you find a retailer who can guide you on your choice based on your ability and who will help work with your budget. At Zimmermanns we commonly hear customers whisper to their spouse, “That wasn’t as expensive as I thought it was going to be.”
One of the most pervasive myths is that “everything” is cheaper Online. That is simply false, false, false–you can refer to a previous blog “Buy Local, Save Money.” To give the general gist of that article, most Online retailers sell things at MSRP price while Zimmermanns sells products at true MAP or “retail” pricing. So something that is advertised at 20% off Online is usually still more expensive than it is in-store, plus, we take care of the mounting and binding tests, and help our customers through any warranty issues they may have in the future. Buying the more expensive product Online, you’ll likely need to pay tax, shipping, and then at least $100 for mounting, and then if you need the boots you ordered molded that will cost an extra $50-$100. For ski or snowboard equipment you’ll rarely save money if buying Online, and unless you are a very savvy skier it is unlikely you will purchase the appropriate equipment for you ability if you order it Online.
Ski Swaps and Used Equipment are a great way to find cheap prices
There is usually a reason people are getting rid of old skis. Sometimes that person doesn’t ski anymore, but more often than not there is a reason their equipment cannot or should not be used anymore. Part of the problem is that ski bindings do not last forever. Over time the springs in the binding that cause you to release from the ski may malfunction, at that point no ski shop can legally adjust those bindings. Sadly, a few times per month people bring in skis they inherited or bought second-hand and then we have to explain why the skis they brought cannot be tested and are essentially worthless. In other words, that person who bought used equipment often threw their money away. Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often. Occasionally you can find a diamond in the rough, but those stories are far less common than stories of someone who spent a fair chunk of change on used equipment that is damaged, is not the right size, or cannot be used altogether.
We hope you found this article helpful. Zimmermanns employees have vast knowledge and experience and are ready to help you whether you’re new to the sport or have been skiing your whole life. One of the reasons Zimmermanns has been in business for 50 years is because we’re more interested in making sure you are the right equipment as opposed to just the most expensive equipment.