Where do you see your snow-passion taking you? There's equipment for every avenue... Image:: Harro
TECH TUESDAYS | Alex Horvath
TECH TUESDAYS are a new weekly installment that will aim to provide you with step by step instructions for often overlooked but super important techniques for getting the most out of your hard earned snow gear!
EPISODE 2: Purchasing your gear, things to consider
A quick survey of some of my local shop's rental prices points to a fairly logical conclusion, if you're planning to ride more then about 7 days per year and think that your likely to continue doing this then buying your own ski/ snowboard gear will save you money. Aside from the cash savings there are the other benefits such as higher quality equipment and perfectly fitting boots, and of course don't forget the pride associated with owning your own gear!
Now for the uneducated and uninitiated, laying down some serious $$ for a new pair of skis or a new snowboard can be a daunting process. I personally have spoken to many of my friends about this very topic and many people just don't know where to begin. Luckily for you, this weeks tech tuesday is here to help.
Choose your poison
Skiing or snowboarding? Once you make the decision upon which flavour of snowcraft you wish to pursue this is likely going to help determine which vendor you should visit first. Speak to some friends who might be "in the know" and ask them about what kind of experience they have had at your local retailers. Shops should be knowledgeable, friendly, professional and should always offer a hospitable environment in which to shop. Keep in mind that snow retailers have established relationships with various suppliers, for this reason the pair of skis that one store is pushing may not be offered by other stores you visit, shop around as much as possible and pick the brain of the shop assistants to really gauge what is going to work for your needs and budget. Keep in mind that you should also poke around in some online snow stores as well. Often an online snow shop will be able you offer savings due to their lack of a 'bricks and mortar' retail store.
Measure your sizes
Skis and board sizing is determined by a number of factors. The basis upon which to start is to accurately guage your height, weight and foot size. Knowing this information before you begin will really aid the process of narrowing down your options.
Know what type of riding you want to do
Even if your still scaring yourself on first descents of Friday Flat or Bourke St, or really nailing your snow plow technique, having an idea of what direction you want your progression to go will help make the decision of what type of skis or snowboard to buy. For example, are you aiming for corked spins in the park? Or maybe you just love the idea of nailing out high speed turns on perfect corduroy? Perhaps you just want to be able to ski from pub to pub around the resort? Having an idea of where you want to take your skill set will really help to narrow down the field of equipment available to you.
Where will you spend the majority of your time on snow?
This question is one that will be asked again an again in store. If you are only ever going to be riding resorts in Australia then you are going to be likely to consider equipment that is very different compared to someone who will spend alot of time riding bottomless snow in Japow! As much as there is gear tailored to these two very different destinations there is also a whole plethora of gear that is designed to be for more all-purpose riding.
Gear ownership isn't just for pros and hard core devotees. There's equipment suitable for every level and as we said earlier it can be far more cost effective, not to mention more comfortable (your own boots = heaven compared to sticking your feet into rentals) to purchase. Equipment life is measured by days on the hill more than passing of time so the less you ride yearly, the longer the equipment will last you.