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Snowboarding Deals from Tokyo
I am about to go on a snowboarding trip to Japan and instead of renting gear i'm intending to purchase gear while im in Tokyo.
I haven't snowboarding in quite a while (8 years) and when I did snowboard I was around intermediate level.
I know very little about which gear to purchase which is why I am asking you guys for advice.
I have read that a whole set of gear (board, bindings and boots) can be purchased in Tokyo from shops like London Sports for ~ US$350 which is around my budget for new gear.
What I want to know is will this amount be sufficient to buy standard beginner - intermediate gear for use once a year without disintegrating.
Take into account that my girlfriend will also be purchasing skis and we will both be purchasing jackets, gloves etc so we would expect a decent discount
I have read advice on the forums like "Don't buy Lamar gear" etc which I will heed, any other specific advice you guys would have?
My first snowboard was from London Sports, back in 1997. It was a special deal for about $190 including board boots and bindings, so understandably i wasnt expecting much. The deck was an embarrassing looking "Rated R" thing, and thankfully the bindings/boots were tastefully non-descript. That setup lasted me about 8 years of maybe 2 board trips a year. Binding strap snapped on one of the bindings, but it was repairable. Boots were like jelly by the end of it, but since i was (still am) a recreational boarder, it didnt bother me
Just last month I was boarding in Niigata, and i saw one of the rental boards there was the same deck i had in that setup. That would be 17years since its release!
Looking in London sports now, i see they *still* have a bargain setup for under $200. It uses a soft flexing camber board with loud pop art styling. This isnt a bad deck; i replaced my first setup with that+salomon bindings/boots a couple of years ago. Bit painful on the eyes though.
BUT, moving onto the $350 budget, they will most likely provide you with a last years model K2 deck/bindings. Most of their stuff there is K2, 5150 and Salomon. They are generally past season models, or rental market models, but definitely not stuff that will just disintegrate with yearly visits. I still go in there regularly to look for stuff i might want to add to my (now quite expensive) snowboarding gear cache. Good luck!
That whole street is filled with stores; though mostly full priced (and thats Japan priced - $$$) stuff. There is another store on that street called Spazio, last year when i was looking they were selling Burton stuff cheaper than the rest (i think its grey market imports, so not sure about warranty), but compared to London sports, all the others will seem fairly pricey
Towards the start of the season there were a lot of stores offering big discounts on last season stuff, but now it would be slim pickings.
London sports had about 4 or 5 different K2 boards, cant remember which ones but they did have flat rocker models. But its definitely not the full range, so i wouldnt go there with a specific board in mind because there is a good chance you will not find it. But if you are just looking for a K2 rocker, or Salomon rocker then they will probably have something.
Apart from Spazio and London sports, i found many of the other stores to be similarly priced; some have specials on certain decks etc or different ranges, so its hard to recommend any specific stores. Best to just go and look.
Thanks for all the info btw really useful
About the same amount if i recall (4-5 models). All up about 10 or 15 or so types of decks and possibly the same amount of bindings (some bindings, as well as some decks were only in specific sizes, so that is a factor - for example they had K2 Cinch CTS for 12,000yen, but only in XL. The other one i remember (because i was interested) the K2 Hurrithane binding.
Boot choices were not super great. If you are anything over size 9, you will probably only have 1 or 2 to choose from.
Its really a bargain bin type of place, full of people looking for a cheap bit of gear. If you come during a busy period, you will be scrounging through massive bins of clothes with 50 other people, and the sales people may not have too much time to haggle with you. Also, the wear section (second floor) is a separate cash register to the first floor with the boards etc. Lets say if the total is 350, you might be able to get them down to 300 if you are lucky but dont expect miracles.
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