End of Season Ski Sales: What to Buy for Next Year
Do you love a good sale? Something about a sign that says 50% off or "Blowout Sale" stops me in my tracks. It's a little bit sport, and a lot about saving money. In particular, I find great satisfaction from discount ski gear and outerwear. Most women love shoes and purses; I have a collection of ski jackets. My husband either hasn't noticed or is just trying to block out this hobby of mine.
"I find great satisfaction from discount ski gear and outerwear."
With the ski and snowboard season coming to a close, the sale signs are up in the shop windows. It's always a highlight of spring skiing for me!
When to Buy
For my husband and myself, no time like the present! Ski sales are in full force in March and April. I used to buy everything for my kids during this time period, but I've adjusted that strategy. Teenagers are fickle, kids grow. Learning from past mistakes, I do my best to hold off on purchases for them until late summer. Many stores still have some great sale items left to get rid of before the new stuff arrives. The selection will be smaller, but the savings bigger. Don't wait to long, however; in the blink of an eye the new season of merchandise is out and you will be paying full retail. Check your local store and ask for details about their sales.
What to Buy
Some items are size flexible and are always necessary, and it even helps to have a spare or two. If you are looking to hand down to another kid, try to buy in unisex colors so that anyone in your house can use. Here's a list of things I am always in search of:
- Ski Socks
- Neck Gaiter, Balaclava, or Face Mask
- Good Ski Mitts - Although you may be tempted to buy gloves, they are not as warm. Inside tip: Buy pairs with wrist straps...it's easier to carry them, harder to lose them.
- Glove liners
- Base layers - long underwear, turtlenecks, performance layers. No cotton! Choose breathable fabrics that keep moisture away.
- Boot or ski bags - Favorites include Transpack boot bags. If you are flying, double ski bags with wheels are the way to go.
- Hydration Packs - Great for all year...hiking, biking and skiing! Invaluable at higher altitudes and larger resorts.
Try It On!
Not everything can be purchased haphazardly...you should try these items on in person. When buying for a growing child, hold off as long as possible!
- Goggles - Helmet compatible
- Ski Boots
- After ski boots
- Ski Pants and Jackets
Live in a cooler climate? It doesn't hurt to have an extra pair of ski pants. You can never go wrong with a black pair - they go with everything. If you own a heavyweight jacket, you might want to check the sales for a lightweight one. (Or perhaps I'm just trying to justify all those extra jackets I own?)
The Internet Dilemna
We've all done it. Sometimes it's just easier than driving from store to store, and the savings can be huge. When it comes to helmets, boots, and jackets, I would advise against it. Boots and helmets in particular need to be tried on for a perfect fit. The last time I bought a helmet I tried on at least 20 before I found just the right one. Always remember a bargain isn't a bargain if it doesn't fit right!
The Big Purchase
New skis are a huge investment, on sale or not. Take the time and spend the money to demo for a day at your local resort. Find what you really love. You would be suprised how different they feel when you ski different pairs back to back. Take the recommendations of friends with caution. Everyone has a different body type and ski style. What works best for one person may not be ideal for another. If you can't get out to demo but are set on buying, I often refer to the Ski Magazine Annual Gear Guide. The reviews are pretty accurate. Does Mom need new skis? Snowmama Heather has some great advice...read here!
Often times the sales at your local ski shop can be just as low as the internet, except you won't have to pay for shipping, and possibly a reduced rate for mounting bindings.
Think you don't need anything new? Before you pack away all of your things for the season, take an inventory. Missing anything or need a backup? Hit those sales! Whenever you can, support your local specialty ski shop. Ask them when they run their "big" sale. Most have them, as well as "swaps" where you can sell your old equipment on consignment. You will find the best service and selection, and with the right sale, some great bargains.
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Killiington Resort and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' will receive compensation for their participation as an author.