How To Buy Ski Equipment

Getting Ready To Get On The Slopes

It?s November and that means that winter is almost here. So in turn, that means that it is almost time to go skiing or snowboarding. If you?re tired of renting equipment or you plan on going to the mountains more than once a year, it?s time to buy your own equipment. Since I?m in the same boat (as I just bought a season pass to Mount Baldy, which sounds much dirtier than it is) I?ll take you through the steps I?m going to use to buy my equipment.

Ski or Snowboard?

Well, for many people this is a no-brainer. They started skiing or snowboarding when they were young and will continue to do the same thing. (If you have fun doing it, you might as well continue.) On the other hand, I didn?t downhill ski or snowboard until later and so I?ve done some of both. The same decision could be for anyone that is tired of one or the other and want to go the other way. So, as part of the decision, let?s look at the cost and see which one comes out on top.

Ski equipment

To ski, you need skis (with bindings), boots and poles. Looking at Sport Chalet, Sports Authority, Skis.Com and Dick?s Sporting Goods, I see that a minimum of $350 (and as much as $1,300) would be needed to buy skis. Looking on Craigslist for skis that were made this century, I found a pair for $300. Poles look to be a minimum of $40. Boots look to be a minimum of $160 on most of the sites, but $100 on So, on your decision to go skis over snowboards, you?re looking at a minimum outlay of $550.

Snowboard equipment

On the other hand, you can find snowboards for $150 at Sport Chalet, $250 at Sports Authority, $200 at Dick?s Sporting Goods, and $100 on Boots start as low as $60, but generally on most of the sites around $100 and bindings start around $80. So, for the minimum to snowboard, you?re looking at $240, or less than half of the cost of skis. On Craigslist with just a little searching, I even found a snowboard and bindings for $70 (but it is at least 10 years old.)


If you live in a cold climate, you probably already have a ski jacket (or something that will work) as well as layers, a stocking cap and a pair of nice gloves to keep you warm. As a skier, I know that my legs will stay warm as long as they?re dry with only a pair of long johns on under a pair of waterproof pants but my upper body will need a heavy coat. I already have a warm ski jacket, but if you?re looking, has jackets starting at around $200. Trust me on the jacket, gloves, stocking cap, long johns, as well as the waterproof pants. Just those five things should be plenty at keeping you warm all day, and if you stay warm all day, you?ll ski or snowboard with only sore muscles keeping you off the slopes.

Other Equipment

After you?re warmly dressed, the only other thing that is a true necessity is a good pair of goggles. Look for ones that help eliminate glare, increase contrast and don?t fog up. You?ll spend at least $20 here. If you?re worried about your noggin, then a helmet will also be a key piece of equipment.

Well, I know I?m looking forward to a winter of snowboarding. I hope I?ll see you on the slopes.


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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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