Author Topic: the public's fascination with my skis & random musings about "expensive" hobbies  (Read 6599 times)

Zamboni

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2576
I have an "expensive" hobby: skiing.  Or so I am told.  But here's the thing: it's really not. Okay, okay, it is if you deck yourself out in all new equipment and a new outfit and only ski for a couple of days per year.  Many people apparently go this route.  Alas, I no longer ski as many days as I would like (because I moved somewhere warm to take advantage of another hobby; trade offs.)  But if I was at my preferred location, skiing at my preferred area, I'd be paying under $400/year for a season pass that even includes weekends.  Heck, when I'm officially a senior citizen, the same pass will be <$100 per year!

Oh, and that pesky expensive equipment.  I decided a couple of years ago that my old skis were too banged up even for me and were no longer safe.  So, instead of popping for a new pair of skis, I use some relatively old but almost never used skis that I bought for a song off of Craigslist from a guy who decided he liked snowboarding better about a week after he bought them.  They are long.  They are fairly skinny (first gen parabolics.)  And people seem to love them.  It's like I'm driving a classic car or something.  Seriously, these skis have a more magnetic pull on men than a froofy little dog has on pretty women.

2ndTimer

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4616
Wow, it's really true.  Expensive toys do attract the opposite sex.  Congratulations on having the experience cut rate.

Gone Fishing

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2771
  • So Close went fishing on April 1, 2016
    • Journal
Yep, they are not old they are "vintage"!  I used to get lots of comments on my 1985 Honda Shadow.  I just bought it because it was all I could afford!

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
When we lived in Alaska as kids (3 years), my parents decided they needed to do something to enjoy the winter or they'd go crazy.  Usually pretty frugal, they splurged on a family ski pass and a locker at Eaglecrest).  They then took us skiing and even got us lessons: (1) racing lessons - much cheaper than private lessons, and 2) some irregular private lessons - they / we made friends with a private instructor who would tell my parents to sign us up for the next to last lesson of the day, and if no one else took the last slot, he'd keep us for a free second lesson.  (He liked us because we weren't spoiled brats and also actually wanted to learn.) 

My dad kept track the first year of how often we went skiing, wanting to make sure we got sufficient value from it.  Total?  $3/day (usually skiing Saturday/Sunday and midweek evening skiing on Wednesdays through to Easter).  That didn't include the used skis from the ski swap though I think (first year we got free hand me downs from friends), resold each year.  Yeah.  It paid off.  :)

Cromacster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1696
  • Location: Minnesnowta
Yep, they are not old they are "vintage"!  I used to get lots of comments on my 1985 Honda Shadow.  I just bought it because it was all I could afford!

Hah! Same reason I had an '83 Shadow!

Cromacster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1696
  • Location: Minnesnowta
When we lived in Alaska as kids (3 years), my parents decided they needed to do something to enjoy the winter or they'd go crazy.  Usually pretty frugal, they splurged on a family ski pass and a locker at Eaglecrest).  They then took us skiing and even got us lessons: (1) racing lessons - much cheaper than private lessons, and 2) some irregular private lessons - they / we made friends with a private instructor who would tell my parents to sign us up for the next to last lesson of the day, and if no one else took the last slot, he'd keep us for a free second lesson.  (He liked us because we weren't spoiled brats and also actually wanted to learn.) 

My dad kept track the first year of how often we went skiing, wanting to make sure we got sufficient value from it.  Total?  $3/day (usually skiing Saturday/Sunday and midweek evening skiing on Wednesdays through to Easter).  That didn't include the used skis from the ski swap though I think (first year we got free hand me downs from friends), resold each year.  Yeah.  It paid off.  :)

Season Passes are usually a good deal, especially when you buy them the season before.  At the hill near me growing a season pass was 150$ if you bought it the previous season.  If you went 5 times you broke even.  The years I had them I usually went 3-4x a week throughout the season.

Zamboni

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2576
Quote
My dad kept track the first year of how often we went skiing, wanting to make sure we got sufficient value from it.  Total?  $3/day

That is awesome (both the price and the effort to calculate.)

Skiing is one of the great pleasures of life, and we are lucky that our parents invested in that for us.

Longwaytogo

  • Guest
Yeah funny how half the people telling you skiing is too expensive Golf 30-40 times a year? And unlike golf I ski with my family instead of leaving them home to go chill with my buddies.

Lodging is def the worst part which is why this year we got Season passes to the closet place and choose more days over better skiing with less days/lodging costs.

Used equipment is where it's at. Got both my kids set up for under $50 (skis/boots) and I'm sure I will resell fro almost as much.


dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2367
Nice.  A friend of mine takes his kids on the hill with his old school 215cm Head GS skis.  Those things will turn heads!  I think my parents finally disposed of my old Rossi 4S Kevlars (205cm).  Dropped skiing years ago to snowboard.

I've been a boarder for the last 24 years or so. I'm pretty rough on my boards, but I generally don't pay more than around $300 for them, and typically get three seasons out of them.  My bindings are now about 12 years old, same with my boots.  I did splurge though recently for a splitboard and bindings, brand new, and it did cost -- and I broke one of the bindings last week during my trip to Hokkaido, Japan.  Argh.  Sending that shit back this week.

I can get a season pass for $360 at my "local" hill (2 hour drive) with a veteran's discount.

My early retirement plans include lots of snowboarding in the winter (including teaching it).

tomita

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Location: Toronto
unfortunately skiing not so cheap in Ontario

Longwaytogo

  • Guest

I can get a season pass for $360 at my "local" hill (2 hour drive) with a veteran's discount.

My early retirement plans include lots of snowboarding in the winter (including teaching it).

Yeah my "local" hill is a 1.5 hour drive as well and its pretty small (southern PA) but 1 good thing is 3 resorts fall under same pass. Mine was $450 and wife's $350 (if you buy before Halloween then they go up $100 each). Luckily my kids (2 and 4) are still free. Going to be tougher when they need a pass.

I volunteer ski patrolled for 6 years, could be an ER plan for me as well (if I manage to ER)

catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1683
  • Location: SE PA

I can get a season pass for $360 at my "local" hill (2 hour drive) with a veteran's discount.

My early retirement plans include lots of snowboarding in the winter (including teaching it).

Yeah my "local" hill is a 1.5 hour drive as well and its pretty small (southern PA) but 1 good thing is 3 resorts fall under same pass. Mine was $450 and wife's $350 (if you buy before Halloween then they go up $100 each). Luckily my kids (2 and 4) are still free. Going to be tougher when they need a pass.

I volunteer ski patrolled for 6 years, could be an ER plan for me as well (if I manage to ER)

I used to live 45 min north of DC in MD, and I would buy a "night club card" for Ski Liberty, which could also be used at roundtop and whitetail resorts.  You could use it any night after 5 and after 4 on Sundays.  I would go about 2-3 times a week.  I think it was $185 for the season, and it included lessons, which I took every time I visited.  It was a good 5-6 years ago, but I think they still have a similar deal.

OSUBearCub

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tackling student loan debt/not saving dryer lint.
This thread is reminding me of one of my chief regrets moving south.  I really miss skiing. 

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the physical benefits of skiing.  In ski season growing up (was always a chunk), I'd easily drop 10-15 pounds.  If finances are such a concern for some, just drop that 10-25 dollar a month gym - one barely attends - for the season. 

There are other trade-offs too.  In college, we'd night ski and then drive back to campus, missing the bars and $30-50 Friday and/or Saturday night bar tabs.

Also, people who don't ski will never "get it". :-)

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4727
  • Age: 12
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Nothing like longer skis for a few days to snap back into impeccable technique and get that old school cool vibe going. 

takeahike

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Location: Alberta
My husband has been skiing for a couple of decades on non-parabolic skis. So vintage lol. We hopped on a lift next to a young snowboarder and he said "Whoah nice sticks dude!" Now hubby feels pretty cool on the slopes.

JLR

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 499
  • Location: Australia
We started skiing last (southern hemisphere) season. Bought ex-rental skis for almost nothing. They are good enough for us.

Bought season tickets for this year. Need to ski 6 days to break even. We are only an hour from the snow and my husband has a long weekend every second week, so we are definitely going to make it.

The knitter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
In Connecticut they have ski clubs. For $30 bucks each, DH and I join at the beginning of the season. Then we save $10-$15 bucks a pop on many slopes each time, and enjoy bigger savings on Vermont slopes on a rotating basis. We skied Killington once for like $25 each.

We always make our money back, and then some.

We got our skis six or seven years ago off Craigslist. We fell into a bunch of high quality ski gear (goggles, hats, gloves, pants, under armor) for free around that time. (End of season stuff donated to a non profit to auction. No one bid on them!)

This probably seems obvious, but the thing we do to keep skiing affordable is pack our own lunch each time. A thermos filled with hot soup. A second thermos filled with hot tea. A couple of PB&J sandwiches. Some granola bars to fuel us on the mountain. And a water bottle to keep in his pocket for drinks on the way up the lift. Our friends always drop another $20 to $30 on food each time we ski. We enjoy a much better lunch, don't wait in line and save that money.

While skiing is really fun, I've been more interested in snow hiking this year. We pack the same lunch, but pay $0 for a trip up the mountain.

JLR

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 499
  • Location: Australia
I agree, a packed lunch at the slopes is key.

kiwigirls

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Agree with all this. We ski.  Its a fantastic day out for the family - the car ride there 90 mins, ski together for an hour in the morning.  Then kids in ski club whilst Mum and Dad ski together & have a coffee.  Then lunchtime pickup, picnic lunch and skiing in the afternoon together. 

Cinder

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
  • Location: Central PA
I live 15 min from a nice, small mountain here in central PA, my wife and I both have season passes and used equipment... I'm actually still using my brothers board he got sometime around 2003~2005!   

It's pretty awesome to have the season passes (which we buy at the tail end of the prior season) because we can just pull up to the bottom of the parking lot near the beginner hill, put our gear on and hop directly on the lift, then hop on the real lift to go the rest of the way up the mountain.. At the end of the visit, we just keep going to the bottom of the beginner hill right to our car. 

Another nice side-effect of the pass is that if you go, and only end up going down once or twice due to the snow being to icy, or it being to cold (some days just feel so much colder then others), you don't feel like you 'wasted' your trip, and you generally enjoy it more. 

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1955
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Pueblo, CO
Over the past 20 years I have purchased 6 snowboards total. My last purchase was about 7 years ago. I think the average price was around $350 with bindings. I am still on my second pair of snowboard boots.

My season pass purchase has averaged around $300 and I get about 10 days a year. When I lived in Colorado I bought the 5-mountain pass for $450 and averaged 20 days a year. My A-Basin/Keystone pass cost me $299 and I will get about 15 days in this year. I ride with 2-3 other people and we take turns driving. Average commute is probably around $10 in gas. The drive is about 1.5 hours each way and rarely do lodging.

Is this expensive? By MMM standards this is expensive. However, this is not being ridiculous wasteful. Buying a lift ticket at $125/day would be a different story. 

I am not going to attack golf, because golf can be affordable just like skiing if done correctly. Golf in the summer in Florida is super cheap. I golf country clubs for $28 with a cart in the summer. It is hot, but if you tee off by 8:00 am you will be done by 11:30 am. In the winter, you will pay $110 for the same course and it will take 5 hours.

Longwaytogo

  • Guest
Best part of skiing is keeping the winter blues/cabin fever at bay!

Heading out tomm and Sat myself. Then next weekend I'm going to park my parents RV (hopefully they don't kick us out, I used to do this all the time but heard from friends they have been cracking down) at the resort and ski 3 days in a row. Have not paid for any lodging yet this year so will be nice to get a couple days in a row in without the drive.