Downhill Skis and Boots: 3 Tips to Save You Money
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/24/2006 | Sports
If you want to ski every weekend or every other weekend it's to your advantage to get the most out of your skiing dollar. You know the slopes, now it's time to learn the ropes. Here are three tips to help you save money so you can ski more often this winter.
Shop at the Right Time and Place
You might think that the Christmas week starting with Boxing Day would be a good time to pick up a bargain on a new pair of skis or boots. Think again! It's true that during this time of the year, you can find big discounts on items like clothes and electronics. But ski equipment and accessories are different. Why?
Because this is not the end, but the beginning of the ski season, and most retailers will not put their ski gear on sale this early. That being said, you might find some bargains if you venture over to your local Sporting Goods store.
However, most of these places do not have a complete range of skis nor do they have experienced boot fitters on staff. It's best to visit the Ski Shops that specialize in ski gear and accessories in the winter. They also have trained boot fitters so you can get a customized fit if you need ski boots.
You can always get a deal in the spring at most Ski Shops providing they still have the type of skis or boots that you are after in stock. However, begin your search in mid-February, since most of the shops begin dropping their prices around this time of the year, which is closer to the end of the ski season. In addition, you are more likely to find the skis or boots that you had your eye on earlier in the season.
Take Care of your Boots
Ski boots are very durable, but they are also expensive, so you want to extend their life, especially if you have custom-fitted boots that fit comfortably and perform well. Avoid walking through parking lots after the snow has melted away. Rough surfaces will eventually wear the plastic soles to the point that they will no longer fit in your bindings properly, which brings us to the next tip.
Many boots now come with removable pads on the toe and heel, which can be replaced before they wear down beyond the safe limits. If you are in the market for a new pair of ski boots, make sure you buy boots that have replaceable pads, especially on the heels. Replacing a pair of worn, heel pads will save you a ton of cash versus buying new, ski boots.
Get a Lock for your Skis
When you buy new skis and if you do not already own a lock or your old lock will not fit your new skis, buy one before you leave the shop. Why?
Because, you may forget to get one before you lay the first tracks with your new boards. You will definitely be putting your skis in jeopardy of being stolen when you prop them up in a ski rack and head into the lodge for lunch. New skis are an easy prey. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Spend a few extra bucks up front for a ski lock to protect your initial investment for skis and bindings. It would be very painful to head back to the shop to replace a pair of skis that have been pilfered. Ouch!