As if skiing was not expensive enough, ski racing is perhaps the most expensive hobby you can have. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to alleviate at least some of the costs. While the most obvious examples are the annual ski swaps that are held across North America, you should keep in mind that these swaps cater predominately to recreational skiers. The same thing applies to the popular ski shop event known as Sniagrab, (which, in case you have not figured it out, is “bargains” spelled backward) While these events are a great way to get what is often barely-used ski equipment, you will not usually find race-related gear at these sales.
To get real bargains on ski racing equipment, consider traveling to one of the events that is often frequented by ski racers. A great example is the Park City Ski Swap in Utah, which usually takes place in early November. People come from all parts of North America to attend this event. Considering that per capita, Park City has the largest number of United States ski Team members in its resident population, it makes sense that this would be the best place to find ski racing gear. When you add the fact that the U.S. Ski Team headquarters is located in Park City, it makes even more sense.
If you can’t make it to Park City, another option is to attend a ski swap that is sponsored as a fundraiser for your local race team. However, you should make sure that the ski racing gear is still in compliance with FIS rules, which rend to change periodically. Also, when purchasing used race ski apparel, be sure that the zippers are in good shape, and that there are no rips in the seams.
Finally, when all else fails, a number of local or online ski shops might be willing to offer discounts to your ski racing team. It never hurts to ask.
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|Sheri Ann Richerson|