Has anyone ever been to any of the annual preseason sales at the local shops? Would be interested in getting some feedback on some of these to see if it's worth the trip (i.e. are there some genuinely good deals or is it just an extra 5-10% off XXXL sizes from last year's gear). One that sticks out in particular that I consistently haven't been able to make is Ski Chalet's "Dilly in Chantilly" (Sept 28th this year, according to their website).
I bought a board, bindings, and boots last year from Ski Chalet's annual event in Chantilly.
The deals are decent, but I wouldn't say that they're any better than the deals you see on clearance items online. If I remember correctly, they do give a small discount on current season boards and stuff, but it's pretty small, maybe only 10 or 15%.
All the stuff I got last year was gear from the previous season so it was pretty decently marked down, but like I said before it wasn't anything significantly beyond what you'd see online. They also don't carry as wide of a selection as online retailers or places out west. I bought a K2 Raygun there last year, but I actually went in there looking for a Rome/Never Summer boards which they don't carry. Of the brands they did have though, there was an okay selection of sizes, but it largely depends on how early you get there when the sale starts. Same goes for clothing and stuff, it's not all XXXXXXXL crap that they're just trying to unload at any cost but you'll have to get there early for prime pickings I'd say.
The big advantage is buying discounted, previous season gear in person and getting to bring it back with you right on the spot. If you're going to buy boots I'd suggest going there since I would never buy boots without trying them on and they're pretty friendly with helping you try on a whole different bunch ones so you can get the feel for them. Don't forget to bring your own riding socks though. Same with gloves and accessories, they have boxes of them just lying around on sale and it's nice to be able to try them all on before buying.
I think going there is definitely worth a look, Willi's in Fairfax also has an annual sale, but I don't remember the date on that but I'd imagine it's somewhat similar. Good luck!
The "Ski Center" in DC by American University did some price matching for me last year...
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