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October 06, 2006

Ski Bargain Hunting Advice Online

An absolutely awesome article on about.com regarding ski shopping and bargains that can be had. Couple of quick nuggets, but read the whole thing at the link above:

Become familiar with the skis you are checking out online. If possible, find a pair of skis in the brand and model that you are looking for, and make sure you are comfortable with the heft and feel of the skis. Remember, buying online you give up the touchy, feely part of ski shopping, but the money you save may very well counter the hugs and rubs you usually give a new pair of skis before you buy them. ... More than a few skiers buy skis in lengths recommended by the testers in ski publications. A lot of this is strictly a fad that can go out of style the following year. If you don’t mind being seen on a super ski that is a leftover in 167cm when everybody that’s anybody is skiing in 160cm, you can save big money. A rule of thumb is the longer the last year’s ski the cheaper you can buy it.

I have posted several times about e-Bay'ing equipment and the deals that can be had. You usually won't find the hotest, greatest stuff for a bargain, unless you time shopping just right. Honestly, if you are not already geared up for this season, you missed the best opportunity that comes along as shops clear their inventory in April. By now, the prices start rising again and there are less choices. It is like going to a yard sale--and that is a reference to the places where old folks hang out on Saturday morning to buy your old crap, not to following me down the mountain--the early risers pick through all the good stuff first thing, so if you want a deal, get there early.

For point of reference on skis, let's compare the skis I am currently using--Atomic AFT Stomp Mid Fat Twin Tips. These are a hybrid somewhere between a Park and a Powder ski. This is the guy that sold me mine on e-Bay:

2005-06 Atomic AFT Stomp 186cm - $379.00
2003-04 Atomic AFT Stomp 186cm - $189.00

Now I am not saying that these are the best skis in the world, but essentially, the only difference between the 2003-04 and the 2005-06's is the graphics. I normally don't care all that much about the graphics, but about the performance. If you are willing to ski with a 3 year old graphic, why buy the latest greatest? Save the $200 or so for lift tickets. You need Powder skis, make sure you have enough money for the powder days.

Honestly, you have to know what you are looking for. You have to know the differences and do the research. Talk to people. Demo stuff. Then check e-Bay for bargains. That is my approach. And get there early... just like when I go Yard Sale.

Posted by Justin at October 6, 2006 12:01 AM