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Advice needed for first time purchase of gear

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello, I recently bought a season pass at a mountain near my house and I'm confused as to what gear to buy, how much to spend or just rent. I'm a brand spanking new to skiing and snowboarding and plan to learn to ski first by going to a lesson or two and just learning on my own for a bit until I would need more advanced lessons. I also plan to go once maybe twice a week.

Question 1
Should I buy or rent my gear? They have a rental season pass for 250 but I would still have to buy clothes and accessories. I'm worried if I buy skiis this season, I may make a mistake buying them and/or outgrow them quickly. I'm really leaning towards renting (skis) because then I can figure out what I do or don't like. However, I'm not sure if I'm making a big financial mistake considering my frequency.

Question 2a
When buying my skiis, should I go to a ski swap and get a cheap pair there, Craigslist, go to the store and try to get last season skiis? This kind of what worries me because considering my lack of knowledge, I don't want to invest a few hundred dollars and grow out of the skiis quickly or straight up get the wrong ones.

Question 2b
In regards to goggles, clothes, and gloves. When or where would be the best time or place to buy them. I see some half decent sales on last year stuff in stores however they have a ski swap comming up in a week where I heard they have good deals. And I feel with these items, if I get a decent deal on them, it wouldnt hurt as much if I bought the wrong gear.

Question 3
How much do you think should I be spending on goggles, gloves, clothes, and skiis if you think I should get them? Without skiis I wouldn't want to spend more than 500, however, considering my lack of experience I'm hoping I wouldn't have to spend too much on gear. For skis, boots and bindings I wouldn't want to spend more than 600.

Question 4
What do you think I should be buying first?

Thank you,


P.S. I'm from Vancouver
post #2 of 6

This is a loaded post. I would suggest doing some searches in the gear forum (search bar at the top), where this thread will soon be moved.


Most important: Get good boots from a local shop that knows how to do bootfitting. In Vancouver, this shouldn't be a problem. If you have good boots, you can do a season renal on skis your first year and you will be much happier. Last year, I rented my wife skis for the year (also her first on the snow) because I knew that the skis that would be best for her to learn on would not be what she would want later on. Its all about the boots!

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Alright I'll do that when I get off work. I have spent hours and hours researching on google and I think I just got more confused than got questions answered. I mean I got a general idea of what to do via reading other posts and articles, but considering my specific situation, I thought I would be better off asking. But hey, I already got a good bit of advice so it's working so far.

Thank you,

post #4 of 6

I think the thing thats key to your situation is you really haven't discovered what you want out of skiing. As such, its going to be hard to find specific recommendations. As a total beginner, its not a bad idea to experiment with things and find out what you like, which takes time. The benefit of buying things at ski swaps and other used equipment is that you can sell it again if you don't like it without losing much money. The reason I suggested a season rental for skis is that the skis that are best to learn on (a more forgiving ski) will quickly become useless to you as you get better (especially skiing 1-2 times per week). Also, after you get decent at skiing, the type of skiing you like to do (e.g. groomed, off trail) will influence your ski choice. Also, you will spend most of the $600 that you wanted to spend buying boots. Don't buy on pricem but buy on fit. If the better fitting boots are $100 more, it will be the best $100 you ever spend on skiing. Just get out there and have fun; you'll learn the right questions to ask. Warning: It's one of the most addicting things on earth.

post #5 of 6

1) Correct, boots first. Also, do not scrimp on sock - get very good thin ones -  thick socks are not advantageous.


2) I assume you're going to be at one of the North Shore places, so see if they'll offer you a season rental where you can try different things (although they may have a limited rental selection). Something's you'll like better than others.


Gear - well if you're in Van, then you probably already have a decent winter jacket. I usually use Arcteryx (they have an outlet store on Dollerton Hwy), but maybe you don't want to make such an investment, so you can second tier gear from a number of outfits that will work OK. You can look around places like Sierra Trading Post.com for good values.

post #6 of 6

Strongly advise you read the wiki on boot fitting (shell fit and all the rest). Read as much as you can on boots, then go get some boots from a good boot fitter.  Buy well fitting boots.


Rent the skis, until you can tell they are not good enough for you, which should happen within a year.

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