There are many reasons to love skiing & snowboarding -- our favorite winter sports are fun, active, they get you outside, and can be just as fun on your own as with friends. One thing they aren't, though, is cheap. The cost of boots, boards, skis, and layers upon layers of clothes adds up quickly, even before tacking on your season pass or lift ticket. For savvy skiers and riders, we've put together some of the best places to find discount ski gear and snowboard equipment in Vermont.
Ski Shop Tent Sales
Ski and snowboard shops that offer demos often have a stock of lightly-used gear at the end of each season that needs to go. As these shops make way for next year's crop of skis and boards, they often offer last year's fleet of demos at great prices. The same is true of their unsold stock, and many ski shops hold massive tent sales during the fall to sell older inventory, one of the best places to find ski gear for cheap.
When the leaves start changing, check out Stratton Mountain and Equipe Sport for news on their sales and specials throughout the fall. Aside from skis & snowboards, you'll likely find unbeatable deals on clothing, from base layers to shells, helmets, goggles and other winter sports goods like snowshoes and poles. If you do go hunting for discount gear at fall tent sales, try to get there early to beat the crowds -- the good stuff goes fast!
Another way to save some dough is at a ski swap or sale. Many of Vermont's ski sales are run by skiing academies like the Stratton Mountain School or Okemo Mountain School as a fundraiser (some are even run on a commission-style basis). The gear at these swaps is used, but often is very high-quality and in good condition at great prices.
Keep your eyes peeled in November for these sales, and the dates during which they accept drop-offs if you want to sell some gear of your own. And don't worry - just because it's called a ski swap doesn't mean snowboards aren't welcome. You'll find just as much cheap snowboarding equipment at these sales.
Ski and Snowboard Leases
A final way to get a good deal on ski gear is to lease it seasonally rather than buying outright. Typically, the gear is "yours" for the season -- you keep it at your house, take it wherever you want to ski, and return it at the end of the winter. Popular with parents for children will who outgrow equipment quickly, a lease is also a good option for adults who are still deciding how much they want to commit to the sport. Some ski shops offer special perks for leasing such as free waxing, edging, and maintenance. If you're interested in leasing in the Mount Snow area, inquire at Equipe and First Trax Sports Shop.
No matter where you end up getting your discount ski gear, fall is the time to go deal-hunting in southern Vermont. While you're planning your winter season, consider making your home base a winter seasonal rental at Chimney Hill. You'll have space and flexibility to enjoy the season to the fullest!