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Skis for Entire Family

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Background: Family of four,: Dad - 42, Mom - 40, two daugthers - 8 & 10

I got the family started skiing last season - none had before. Objective was to provide an outdoor activity the family could do together in the winter - we stay very busy outside in spring, summer, fall. Did a few days in North Carolina and a couple in West Virgina last year. Everyone enjoyed the activity.

I tried to set the hook in the family this year with our first trip out west - Utah, Deer Valley and Park City. Hook set worked. All of family wants at least one trip out west a year.

My delimenia now is when to buy ski equipment and should the equipment be new or used. I want to get out of the rental business for two reasons; 1) rental lines are a pain in the back side 2) feel like I am throwing money away.

I have read many posts on this forum about buying boots first. One thought that I had was to buy new boots for mom and dad and used skis. The boots will last for many years and we may want to change to more advanced skiis later on. If I go this route, what is the opinion of some of the rental skis for sale on sites like galactic snow sports.

For kids, I was thinking used equipment. I hate to buy new boots when they may need changing each season. Given my kids slow growth rates that might not be a real problem. 10 year old is 4' 2" and 52lbs. 8 year old is just a little less. I suppose that another option here would be season rentals.

If purchasing new, what is the best time to buy. I have actually heard that September is good - my guess would have been May or June.

Appreciate any input to my situation.
post #2 of 4

One family's solution

I am in a similar situation except that I have been skiing since I was 5, but the rest of the family is just taking it up seriously. They have been skiing under a half dozen times for the past couple of years, but this year have been much more. So for the kids 9 and 10, we have done seasonal rentals at a local shop to avoid the mountain rental lines. For the wife, we bought new boots this year so she would be more comfortable. We bought strong intermediate boots that will last as she improves. I held off on buying skis for her (seasonal rental also) with the hopes that she improves quickly and I can buy higher level skis (off season) that she can grow into, but won't be too unforgiving. I might try to find off season deals for at least my oldest figuring I could pass them down. It is working out great so far. We have been skiing maybe a dozen days with at least a dozen more planned. Well worth the $110 seasonal rental. Oh yeah, I got all new equipment this year.
post #3 of 4
My local ski shop has a deal where they will buy back new boots the next year at half price. They also sell used boots and skis on consignment.

By all means get everybody booted up. The advantage in getting boots in the fall is you don't have to guess how much the feet will grow over the summer. Get good boots for Mom and Dad.

You might want to look into buying new left-over skis that are a few years old to save a few bucks, without having to worry about buying a worn out ski.
post #4 of 4
Our shop has a kids program where our shop buys back equipment when the kids outgrow it. If they bring it in in September of the following year, we give them 70% of the purchase price. In October-Dec, they get 50%. If they wait two years they get 40%. This applies to equipment purchased new or used. I would call around to see if the shops in your area have a similar program.

The best way to find used adult equipment is to find a ski swap. These usually happen in November.

Originally Posted by knoxski View Post
If purchasing new, what is the best time to buy. I have actually heard that September is good - my guess would have been May or June.
May or June is a terrible time to find equipment. Most shops have very little inventory by this time and you will have to settle for what is left. You could get lucky and find some insane deal, but I wouldn't count on it. It's not even February and we are already in short supply.

Our shop always has a sale in September to get the season kick started. We have a full selection of new gear at the lowest prices you'll see until late February. We'll also sell any leftovers from the previous season at huge discounts.
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