I want to get boots & skis for my wife and 3 sons. They have been renting for the past couple of seasons. I'm planning to buy basic equipment given their intermediate skill level. With the kids the issue is of course that they outgrow their equipment. I am looking for suggestions regarding where to buy. Options:
* Online -- bad for boots; might be okay for basic skis.
* Used gear/ski swap -- not against the idea, but hit-or-miss regarding being able to outfit 4 people.
* Dick's Sporting Goods -- I have been told there is the possibility to trade up kids skis in future years with a 50% credit, but have not been able to confirm this yet. However, this would be a point in that store's favor. Do not know what kind of selection they have for skis & boots, though they seem to have a good selection for summer gear.
* REI -- like the store a lot, including their lifetime guarantee, but have not heard they have a trade-up policy.
* Local ski store -- 2 in the area; nice to support local business; probably no trade-up policy. Maybe better support, boot-fitting, etc.
* Sports Authority -- nearby store, but for some reason it seems like a bad place to buy skis.