Ski swaps may be a cheap way to enter skiing, but only if you find a good deal on excellent (preferably shaped) skis. No skier's first pair should be dated equipment. Old skis suffer from wear and breakdown as much as other material goods. This is very important. If you want to go places skiing, spend a little money on your skis. If money is tight, try your local ski shop's clearance rack (or ebay, of course).