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August 30, 2007

Ski Sales Season Kicks Off

This from the Deseret News today:

The first sign of winter is upon us — the Labor Day ski sales. Actually, the traditional opening day for the Utah ski season is roughly 80 days away in mid-November. But now is the time when skiers and snowboarders and would-bes take an accounting of their equipment, or lack of, because now is a good time to buy new. And skiers and snowboarders know it.

The three Sports Authority locations expect to see more than 30,000 people over the weekend, pulled in by promises of ski and snowboard gear "up to 70 percent off." It's also a good time for parents to take inventory. Unfortunately, skis, boards and boots don't grow. Taller kids with longer feet need to upgrade. When buying taller and longer, do it in inches not feet.

I'll never forget my time selling ski gear at a now out-of-business ski shop. A buyer I was helping couldn't understand why I argued so strongly against him buying 7-foot skis for his 3-foot-tall daughter. His argument was why pay for the shorter ski when he could get the taller pair for the same price, "and she can grow into the skis."

It's a fact of skiing, though. Old equipment needs to be replaced. Binding parts start to wear and become unsafe; boots wear, especially the toes and heels, which work in cooperation with the bindings; and skis, well, if not new ones then at least get them tuned before the season.

What comes after the sale are the annual ski swaps, at least a half-dozen good swaps Snowbird and Park City. Starting it off this season will be the Snowbird swap, scheduled for Sept. 21-23. Smart sellers mark their gear, some only slightly used and some new, to sell rather than go to the trouble of having to reclaim it.

The argument has long been that skiing and snowboarding are expensive sports. With a little preseason effort, starting with the Labor Day weekend and extending to preseason passes, skiing and snowboarding suddenly become far less expensive.

Dead on. I bought Jake's boots last week. I probably need to get him some 150's and maybe some new bindings, though I have a couple of pairs. I might stick him on Tera's skis that have rarely been used because despite my efforts to coax her into skiing, she steadfastly refuses. She prefers to shop while we ski. No, she prefers to stay home while we ski actually.

Posted by Justin at August 30, 2007 11:45 AM