It’s that time of the year when we start to think about the best climbing, best camping, and overall best time to be outdoors on the East Coast. The humidity is gone and the temperatures drop just enough to make it perfect for hanging out and climbing at the crag.
It’s also time to start planning for our winter activities.
Fall is Ski Swap Time
Yes, this is the time of the year when ski shops start to get their left over inventory in order, and they often provide a few special weekend dates for turning in your old skis, and purchasing used skis from previous seasons. These skis can be personal skis used only once a year, they can be only a year old but completely pock ridden from demo testing, or they can be the previous season’s rentals. For the picky and the selective, this is not the way to purchase skis.
But for those of us with kids, it is the perfect time to hit the ski store and start identifying what will be needed for our ever growing child/children.
Children’s Snowboards & Kids Skis
Ski swaps are one great place to purchase skis or snowboards for the upcoming season. A few others include a visit to Ebay or Craigslist (now is a great time to start looking for that hidden gem). My personal favorite has been the used/less than perfect outlet at Evo.com. The prices are great and the options go from the highest end newest line/brand/technologies to the most dinged up and used skis out there at a really fair price.
Renting versus Buying Skis for Kids
We have priced it out and have found that it is particularly worthwhile to buy vs. rent (especially since we can hand them down from one kid to the other). It saves money with only a second or third visit to the slopes, and it saves so much time at the rental shop while you wait to be helped, sized, and waited on while your child impatiently waits to be outdoors. . . sweating and watching the clock tick away on their beautiful ski day. Renting for the season is another option – it tends to be less expensive and time consuming than renting per day, but you pay anywhere from $80 (at the very low end) to $150 for the season. A set of used boots and skis are not much more money, and you can use the skis (and boots) for more than one season, and more than one child. It’s all in what you think you have the time, energy, and money for now, but in my opinion, making the effort to purchase a used pair is well worth the time spent bargain hunting (and I hate bargain hunting).
So while right now I’m looking forward to a long season of fall climbing, I will keep an eye out for the best deals and opportunities to get great prices on kids winter sport equipment. Where do you find your ski/snowboard gear?