Author Topic: Mustachian Ski Equipment?  (Read 6593 times)

g3

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Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« on: October 14, 2014, 06:01:04 PM »
I recently moved to a cold weather town <1hr from a ski hill and have been contemplating purchasing a season pass and committing to skiing.  I've been grappling with the decision to get a season pass or not (~$500) but decided this ultimately is one of my top two or three hobbies and is worth shelling out the cash for. 

Now on to gear acquisition, I'm heading for an expensive winter since I have ZERO snow gear - no clothes, skis, boots, bindings, etc.  When I start looking up ski equipment on your normal skiing websites (Black Diamond, Salomon) etc., there is no way I can get outfitted with skis, boots and bindings for less than $1,000.  I'd be okay with spending that eventually, but not at my current financial stage and especially knowing as little as I do about skiing.

I've checked Craigslist -- virtually nothing.  We have a swap meet in town here, which my friends say the gear is super overpriced at.  I'm not sure what to do.  So I ask you guys, are there any Mustachian recommendations that will help me keep my costs down on starting up this incredibly expensive hobby???

jdmagaw

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 06:50:38 PM »
Check out renting at your hill.  Around here, NH, it costs around $35 per day for boots, skis, poles; some areas have seasonal rental rates in the $200 range.  End of the season is best time to buy cheap, as resorts and shops are unloading -- not now.  As you get familiar with your area, and what you like, you will discover deals.  Good fitting boots are the best purchase priority, IMO.

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 07:02:06 PM »

windypig

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2014, 07:36:47 PM »
g3,

What is your location.

Also are you familiar with liftopia.com

I would suggest seeing how often you really go for 1 year and finding out if you would have have been better off with a season pass.

nereo

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2014, 07:38:37 PM »
I recently moved to a cold weather town <1hr from a ski hill and have been contemplating purchasing a season pass and committing to skiing.  I've been grappling with the decision to get a season pass or not (~$500) but decided this ultimately is one of my top two or three hobbies and is worth shelling out the cash for. 

Now on to gear acquisition, I'm heading for an expensive winter since I have ZERO snow gear - no clothes, skis, boots, bindings, etc.  When I start looking up ski equipment on your normal skiing websites (Black Diamond, Salomon) etc., there is no way I can get outfitted with skis, boots and bindings for less than $1,000.  I'd be okay with spending that eventually, but not at my current financial stage and especially knowing as little as I do about skiing.

I've checked Craigslist -- virtually nothing.  We have a swap meet in town here, which my friends say the gear is super overpriced at.  I'm not sure what to do.  So I ask you guys, are there any Mustachian recommendations that will help me keep my costs down on starting up this incredibly expensive hobby???

skiing is our favorite wintertime activity, but it certainly can be hard to do it economically if you only look at the ski shops and even the swap-meets/gear sales.
thankfully, ski equipment can easily last a decade or more.

first off, do you know what kind of skis you are looking for (e.g. length, front-side carving vs. powder.  given you are in NH I'd suggest sticking with either front-side carvers or maybe a narrower all-mountain ski.  )?  If you're not sure I'd recommend finding a shop where you can demo a lot of different skis until you get a sense of what you like.  You might spent some $ up front learning what you like, but IMO that's far, far better than buying skis you don't particularly care for and then not using them.  Many resorts will do 'demo-days' where they let you change out your skis as often as you like... it's a great way of learning exactly what kind of ski suits your style, since you can ski different brands/styles one after the other.

boots - find ones that fit you, even if it means spending more money.  More than any other ski equipment your boots have to fit or you will be miserable.  My SO's had the same boots for 16 years.

clothing - no need to go overboard here, and you can find deals everywhere.  Layering is key.  A windproof, waterproof shell is a must, and then your midlayers and base layers.  I like merino wool for baselayers, and am always on the lookout for deals.  Midlayers can be anything that keeps you warm, like a fleece or puffy jacket you already own.  None of this has to be new.  I used to think "ski-socks" were a gimmick but since i got mine i've noticed i have a better feel for the ski.  just *don't* wear thick hiking socks like i used to...

Helmet.  Get a helmet - a single blow to the head is going to cost far more, and it should last you the rest of your life.  Plus, it helps keep your head warm.  If you think they look dorky put a bad-ass sticker on it, or flex your artistic muscles and paint a design on the thing. 

skis - as jdmagaw mentioned, the best time to buy is usually towards the end of the season when people are offloading their stuff.  Hopefully renting a variety of gear will let you know what kind of ski you prefer, and you can be on the lookout for deals.  I'd recommend looking for skis that have some scrapes on the top sheet but where the bases are still in good condition (no deep gouges or core-shots) - that's when you can get good deals.   Around Feb/March I'd start monitoring the usual suspects (ebay, craigslist, your local ski-shop).  Also, www.liftopia is a good source for discount tickets, especialyl during non-peak days.

Zamboni

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2014, 07:59:59 PM »
It's probably better to just rent for now because you'll probably need a different pair of skis as you get better anyway. I might say buy a pair of really well fitting boots, because rental boots can be a drag, but do you even know if you will prefer skiing or snow boarding? Each requires a different boot.  You need to figure that out before you invest any money in equipment.  Trust me, I just outfitted an entire family of 3 with complete sets of skis/boots/poles off Craigslist at the end of last winter for next to nothing, all nearly new stuff from people who thought they'd be into the hobby, but then really weren't/didn't have time/decided they liked to snowboard better.  Don't become one of those sellers.

For clothes, layers are your friend.  waterproof but thin outer layers.  Then you can put as much underneath as you need to keep warm on a particular day.  Get cheap stuff at goodwill or some other thrift store and then you don't even need to worry about locking it up as you peel it off when you get too hot.  It's going to get sweaty anyway, and no one cares what you look like at lunch time.  You do not need $200+ ski pants.  I've been wearing my ex-husband's shell pants for a decade, and they are too small for him but too big for me, and guess what?  No one cares.  Ski and snowboard fashion changes faster than you can sneeze anyway, so ignore it.

Get some decent goggles and a warm hat and good gloves.  If your head, hands, feet, and face stay warm, and you can see, then the rest of you will be okay.

Spartana

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2014, 08:22:21 PM »
Look for Pro deals either at your ski resort (at the ski rental place) or a nearby ski or sports shop, or online at a place like ProMotive and similar. These are often new, or maybe last years, equipment but new or very lightly used as ski demos. Things can be as much as half of the regular new prices. Also look for ski swap meets. They have a huge one in LA and there are literally thousands of people and dealers selling all sorts of ski equipment and accessories. If you have a Play It Again Sports place nearby check them out for used gear at greatly discounted prices. Also look at the local newpapers/pennysaver in the ski town as people are more likely to sell their last years model stuff thru something like that rather than Craigslist. I moved to a ski resort in Calif shortly after I FIREd and for me, getting a seasons pass was well worth it. I still have one as I go fairly often (and it's a multiple mountain ski pass) and it pays for itself in less than a week.

ETA: I also second those who say to rent first. Try different skis, boards and accessories and see what suits you best. Your local rental place will often have a package deal that allows you to try out as many different skis as you want for one price over a season. They also sell discounted rental skis at the end of the season so can get good deals there.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 08:27:31 PM by Spartana »

highcountry

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2014, 08:32:19 PM »
Ideas from my partner who grew up in a ski town: check out the swap meet in person, it will likely have a variety of prices, and used will be cheeper, even if relatively overpriced. Check steepandcheap.com. It's hit or miss, but you may find good deals. Be careful with this website, it's an impulse purchase black hole.

Also, if you can hold off on buying gear till the ski season is wrapping up, people will be parting with their stuff at a faster rate and a better price.

My addition: thrift stores in ritzy ski towns sometimes have some killer stuff. I don't know if the area you are in would qualify, and my experience with this was in the summer.
Edited to add: find out when REI's used gear sales are, if there's an REI one in your area. This would probably have the most ski stuff in mid to late summer, as they will be selling off the last season's returns.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 08:40:17 AM by learning »

livetogive

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2014, 10:40:51 PM »
How good are you honestly? If intermediate or better you can get away with used high quality gear for a long time or new on sale for an even longer time.  My daily drivers have probably close to 200 days on them and they're still fine.   If beginner buy used all mountain skis on ebay.  For the higher quality stuff used check out Teton gravity research' gear swap forum or new schoolers.  Buy boots new or nearly new.


And if you want to be super mustachian and aren't dealing with a continental snowpack you can find lightly used touring gear and skip the pass entirely...kinda kidding but it is something to consider.

Also lotsa folks who are tight on cash get a part time job as a liftie is a proven method for cheap passes.  Look into local passes as well that only require a local residence.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 10:52:28 PM by TurboLT »

Goldielocks

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2014, 01:42:35 AM »
Second hand sports store should have everything from former rental gear for very  cheap, $200 ski, boot, binding, poles set--  to only used one time fashion gear at 30% retail price of two years ago.  Eg high quality for $500 or less all in. 

You live close to a ski area, so should be easy to find in a large urban center.

Unless you are already skiing more than 12 times per year, go with the next step down of passes, like 10x passes or discount card.  We kept meaning to ski more but life got in the way.  I am so glad i did not buy an annual pass last year when the snow was in short supply, too.

Scandium

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2014, 07:39:30 AM »
Buy some good boots and a helmet. Rent skis this season, buy used in the after season if you're still into it. If you live in NH you should already own lots of wool clothes anyway so wear that. If you don't; get it asap!

Moby32

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2014, 08:17:13 AM »
I am in a similar situation, and bought a lot of my gear off of the website Steepandcheap.com. They are an outlet for backcountry.com, and have new sales every day.  Some up to 70% off.


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nereo

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2014, 08:23:29 AM »
I am in a similar situation, and bought a lot of my gear off of the website Steepandcheap.com. They are an outlet for backcountry.com, and have new sales every day every 25 minutes.  Some up to 70% off.
I love steepandcheap.com, but agree that it can be an impulse-buyers black hole.  To combat that I write down what I'm looking for and the maximum price I'm willing to pay (e.g. $30 for a 240g/m2 merino wool crew).  You can still return things bought on steepandcheap if it doesn't work out.

JoanOfSnark

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2014, 08:34:34 AM »
My dad picked a couple of pairs out of a dumpster in Jackson Hole as we drove through one summer... duct taped them to the top of the car for the rest of the drive back to PA. We then picked up boots and poles at a charity sale at my high school the next year!

We ski about once a year in the appalacians, but if nothing else it saves a couple of bucks and makes for a nice story! Only one person on the entire trip actually asked about them at a gas station.

nereo

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2014, 09:04:04 AM »
My dad picked a couple of pairs out of a dumpster in Jackson Hole as we drove through one summer... duct taped them to the top of the car for the rest of the drive back to PA. We then picked up boots and poles at a charity sale at my high school the next year!

confused... are you talking about ski clothing or actual skis being duct-taped to the top of the car?  If it's the former why didn't he just put them in a baggie *inside* the car.  If it's the latter... holy crap - duct taping something to the roof for a 2,000 mile drive at highway speeds?!  sounds like a wicked-dangerous idea.

mattchuck2

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2014, 11:41:07 AM »
Buy these:

http://store.colemans.com/cart/us-gi-cross-countrydownhill-skis-p-2119.html

Then attach a simple 3-pin binding, get some cheap used or new Telemark boots. Use this equipment at ski resorts where you learn the true awesomeness of the Telemark turn, then move on to the true mustachian sport of Backcountry Skiing. New Hampshire is phenomenal for it.

msnln7

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2014, 11:02:26 PM »
What level skier are you?  If you are intermediate or better, get a part time job at the said hill.  I have been a part time ski instructor for past five years and work just on weekends.  As instructor, you get a free skiing privilege for the season plus they will give you the gear, minimally jacket.  Previous mountain gave outer jacket and shell only, but new mountain I will be working from this season will provide outer jacket, shell, pants and helmet.  In addition, other benefits include deep discount on food (at least 50%), gear (20-30%), and if needed cheap employee lodging.  At previous mountain, I was able to rent demo skis for $20/day (vs something like $60 for general public), and seasonal rental skis (cheapos) were free for those who did not own their own equipment.  Also, family members get to ski for deep deep discounts between $50 - $100 for the season.

You are thinking, but I will be stuck with impossible students all weekend with no time to ski for me, right?  Good thing about part time instructor is that you are a second tier instructor.  Full time instructors are guaranteed x number of hours per week, so they get the teaching priority.  This also means, your work hours can be very flexible, as long as the supervisor is not a jerk.  Skiers are all chill people, so if you act cool and get along, you will not have any issues.  Unless I had requested lessons, I would get maybe two hours of lessons each day I am working, unless it is holiday weekend (Christmas week, MLK, President's day, etc).  For each requests, I get bonus added to my hourly rate so I did not mind those.  Also request lessons come with good tips (minimum $20 but I have gotten as high as $140 tip for an hour lesson).

Additional benefit I got was that my skiing improved drastically.  All instructors are required few hours of ski clinics with master instructors, so basically free lessons you are paid to take.  If interested, there are clinics daily but the mountain does not pay you for those but you do not have to pay for them either.  Interested in snow boarding? You can take free lessons, but you cannot wear instructor uniform because mountain does not want public to see instructor making fool of himself trying something for first time.  But, expect to be paid very little, minimum wage or slightly better.  After all, this is for ton of mustatian skiing, not a career move.

strongmag

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2014, 12:40:08 PM »
I've actually started putting together my mustachian ski gear package leading up to this winter after a year of renting. Here's how I put mine together:
Skis - town-wide yard sale this summer, big pile of skis and happened to have some in my size.
Poles - side of the road with a free sign, you can take off the handles and cut them down to size if too large.
Bindings - the yard sale skis had some weathered bindings that needed to be replaced. Found some at the REI garage sale this weekend. Would highly recommend checking one out of they have a store in your area for all kinds of ski gear.
Boots - yet to find the right pair, but check out swap sales at nearby ski shops, rei clearance (you can take them into the rei store for help fitting if needed)
Helmet - the only thing I've gotten new so far, have to make sure it fits and hasn't been in an accident. The most expensive item I've purchased so far!

Good luck and enjoy!


Fuzz

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2014, 09:48:01 PM »
Check out the evo outlet. (google) for gloves, hat and helmet you might consider a thrift shop in the town next to the ski hill. Some of the waterproof gear is overrated, people have skied in jeans for longer than they've skied in gortex.

If you think you'll ski more than 20 days, I'd get the pass and not look back. It's my vice of choice. I'd check craigslist in your area. Ignore the person suggesting you telemark. :) If you don't know what you want, ski with people until you do. I'd also think about how many other skiers you have to go with.

hyla

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Re: Mustachian Ski Equipment?
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2014, 05:18:41 PM »
Dumpsters at pricey resorts.  I used to work at Stratton, VT, the dumpster was full of perfectly good skis with broken bindings, and broken skis with good bindings... get one of each, and ta da, skis!  Boots are probably the thing most worth spending some money on (i.e. for a decent condition used pair or new but last years model that fits well) because while you can have fun skiing on so-so skis, skiing in uncomfortable boots is no fun at all. 

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!