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Old 01-07-2010, 11:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
seattlelite
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Default Can I afford to Snowboard

I just bought a snowboard setup for my 14yr old son w/ lift tickets, lessons, and all the equipment clothing/boards. Cost me $1k. I have never invested in such an expensive sport ever. Though I did buy a boat last year but that was for the entire family. I have family and friends that snowboard and my wife and I would like to get into the sport as well. It's just so expensive though. We like to bike, rollerblade and do other outdoor activities so, I'm like 99% sure we'll enjoy snowboarding. How can I get into the sport without breaking the bank? Give me your ideas? I mean, c'mon college students can afford to snowboard!

EDIT: I forgot to add that we have NOTHING for gear.

Last edited by seattlelite; 01-07-2010 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A LOT of college students also have Mommy and Daddy's credit cards.

But I'm gonna go for a wild, off-the-board, outside-the-box strategy here. Buy used.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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im a full time college student and a part time worker, i get between 20-30 hours a week and i make it work. i bought real cheap gear at first, my first board set up only ran me 100, pants were like 20, jacket was a gift, gloves and gogs were from costco haha. i have since upgraded all my gear. also, buy your stuff in the off season, everythings like 70% OFF
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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For better or worse it's a disposable income sport. Generally speaking, if you wait for the late season sales you can get the best deals. Of course, if you have to buy outerwear, board, boots, bindings, $1k per person is probably going to be around the price tag. Maybe you can squeak it out for $600-$700. Watch sites like Brociety, steep and cheap for some great deals. Evo, and Sierra snowboards also have some crazy sales online. Your local shop should have good deals at the end of season too. I'd especially use them for boots.

Then there is the whole lift ticket thing. $40-$100 a day depending on where you are at. I take it you're from the Seattle area which overall is one of the more less expensive places for day passes. If you are going to get out and ride a lot, get a season pass. It seems these days a lot of places have a season pass for around $400 and that is a real good deal. I remember in the mid 90's when the same areas were getting $800-$1k for a season pass, usually just for one resort. Several of the $400 deals include multiple resorts. If you plan on riding more than ten times a season it's the way to go.

The good news is, once you have the gear, you won't need to replace it all at once. A board here, boots there, etc. I typically spend less than $500 a year on gear and often times much less than that. I think I am in for about $100 on this season. Pretty easy to swallow on a working man's budget.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The start up cost of snowboarding is definately pretty high, but if you are a savvy shopper you should be able to find stuff online or on closeout at ski shops, thats what I usually do, I never buy stuff for full price.

The next most expensive thing is lift tickets but you should be able to find deals around or if your gonna go enough invest in a season pass, thats one of the main reasons college students can get out so much is that college season passes are so cheap, thats how I did it.

Overall its definately worth the money, good luck getting into the sport
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When I was in college my parents were still buying my passes. I paid for my gear

Shit's expensive. Last time i counted up how much my current setup was worth it came in well over $2000, then passes are on top of that.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My first snowboard was a hand me down, probably 4 years old at the time that was heavy and barely moved on the snow. I bought everything else used, boots/bindings. I had an old marlboro 'winter' jacket, wore an old fleece sweater under it. Bought cheapo ski pants with suspenders. Goggles were also a hand me down, but it fogged up a lot and had scratches....lol That was back in 1994.

Defintely go used and hit up ebay, craigslist etc... I'm sure some of your friends can spare some stuff in until you purchase later in the off season. But yea, check out gearscan.com, it has listings for steep and cheap, brociety and other places that can give you good deals.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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starting up is definitely very hard .. when I moved to slc from alabama i was like wtf!! in the Seattle are craigslist and other resources should be a great start... also check out shops for last years discounted gear... there are also numerous discount sites like the backcountry family of sites ... backcountry.com dogfunk.com whiskeymilitia.com brociety.com etc etc. I know you said you got your kids stuff but maybe look into a seasonal rental for your kid and return that gear .. seasonal rental are usually a couple hundreds bucks for board boot bindings and it saves you from rebuying each year cause your kid grows out of gear so fast. seasonal rental stuff is normally a bit better than daily rental gear.


for riding some resorts have kids ride free with parents tickets and others have huge discounts for good grades etc so check that out. other than that plan during the year and for sure get season passes.. although the front end cost is high in the long run itll come out in your favor .. also brown bag that lunch .. never ever buy resort food lol its like buying food at the theater or airport
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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best idea's....ski-swaps and rental shops....when you first start out you don't need the top of the line shit...you have no idea what you will even like until you get it down....some like soft boots some like em stiff....some like short boards some like long ones......it's all personal preference. When I started I bought a 6yr old lib tech and rocked fleece....absolutely hilarious because I spent a lot of time on my face, I looked like a giant snowball most days.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When buying coats in future get snowboard jackets. You can get ones that look good on and off the piste. They work better as well being warmer, more waterproff and breathable than most jackets.

It costs me around $250 just to get to a mountain where I can snowboard, it's definately worth it. When you think of the cost rember its not just one winter you'll use the equipment for.
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