If you’ve got kids who ski, or your children are ready to start, one of the big decisions is how to equip them.
Buy, Lease, or Swap?
If you are going to go skiing or snowboarding more than a few times a season, it probably makes sense to buy or lease the necessary equipment. This will save you time and money you would otherwise spend at rental shops.
Leasing new or used equipment annually may offer you the advantage of being able to change sizes mid-season if you need to (check with the shop).
If you want to buy a ski package, look for a trade-in option: At many stores, you can return your child’s gear at the end of the season for a discount on his or her equipment for the following year.
For used gear, you can also try ski swaps and sales, which often occur in the fall.
Not sure which path makes sense for you? Here’s one mom's take on the choice, including her price comparisons (from last year) at Vermont locations.
What to Get
Your child will need skis or a snowboard, boots, and poles—and a helmet and goggles for the downhill activities.
Make sure the gear fits well. Have used equipment checked and the skis aligned before your child uses them.
And don’t forget all the important accessories for staying warm and comfortable, such as long underwear, good socks, ski pants or bib overalls, a warm ski jacket, a neck or head warmer, and mittens. These can often be found at swaps and sales too.
Boston.com offers a helpful roundup of ski swaps in New England. Ones still to come this season are in Okemo, Stratton, and Burlington, Vermont; Camden and Portland, Maine; Center Ossippee, New Hampshire; Westborough, Massachusetts; and New Milford, Connecticut. Check out each swap’s site to see if it is limited to downhill ski gear or includes a wider variety of winter recreational equipment and clothing.
Another swap, featuring cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes, will be held at Trapp Family Nordic Center November 22-23.
Great Kids, Great Outdoors is an Appalachian Mountain Club blog written by Heather Stephenson.
Photo by iStock.
Labels: clothing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, gear, Heather Stephenson, sales, ski, snowshoeing, winter