When purchasing ski equipment, it is hard to know whether you are better off saving your money and buying 2nd hand or putting in that extra money to buy straight off the shelf.
Your first priority when buying ski gear should be well fitted, comfortable boots. Boots that do not fit your foot size perfectly can cause a great amount of discomfort as well as badly affecting your ski or snowboarding performance. We therefore recommend buying new and ideally custom fitted boots before considering anything else. Although this may be your greatest expense, it is a worthy investment in the long run.
Next to consider is skis. Buying skis second hand is a good option for those looking to save cash, however there are a few things to consider…
1.) Although a 2nd hand pair of skis may look in pristine condition, they may have lost their rigidity over time. In general, a ski has an average useful life of about 3-5 seasons. Before buying, make sure to inquire about their past use and if in doubt, take to a rental or repair shop to test their quality.
2.) Check the conditions of the base of the ski. Superficial scratches are no cause for concern, but be sure to look out for deep scratches, damage to the edges or bubbles on the base. It is best to stay away from buying skis with damage as described, however check with your local repair shop, they may be able to fix them up for a reasonable price.
3.) If buying from a shop/rental company, why not ask to demo them? Shops will often be willing to provide a period in which you can test them and return for a refund or deduct the rental price if you have been renting.
4.) If possible, buy in late or off-season to find much bigger discounts.
Other things such as helmets, goggles, gloves, warm clothing and safety equipment are all suitable to be bought 2nd hand and can be purchased from stores such as Boarderline in Kutchan for greatly discounted prices. Alternatively, have a look on the Facebook page ‘Niseko Buy + Sell’ for everything from skis to cars for sale within the local area. Again, make sure to check the quality of the product in person before paying them.