Tips on Shopping the Ski and Snowboard Swaps

Snowbird, UT - Now that cooler temperatures are upon us and leaves are changing color, the season of ski and snowboard swaps is upon us. The current ski swaps and equipment sale expos of today are a far cry from the garage sales of yesteryear, offering ample opportunity for enthusiasts to buy and sell used gear, as well as find great prices on new equipment. Scott Mathers, the Alta Ski School Training Director, former member of the PSIA Alpine Demonstration Team and organizer of this year’s Mountain Sports Expo at Utah’s Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, offers the following tips to effectively shop equipment sale expos.

Shop the sales early in the season for the best selection. The equipment liquidators attend several swaps annually. Therefore to get the best selection on premium equipment, shoppers should look for the sales that are held early in the fall.

Select a sale that provides knowledgeable and accessible sales people that are available to help select equipment that is in good condition, sized correctly and safe. Expos and swaps continue to be a favorite with families, allowing them to outfit everyone for less money. However, it is imperative that equipment is in good condition, safe and sized correctly.

Try on clothing. Ski clothes are often worn over base layers. Try to wear clothing similar to what you might wear skiing to get an accurate fit.

Enthusiasts can economically purchase a “quiver” of specialty equipment. Equipment is available for a fraction of what it would cost at a traditional store, allowing even the most casual skier or boarder to purchase specialty equipment for powder, terrain parks and the backcountry.

Look for sales that support local youth activities. Many expos and swaps benefit local winter sports teams. A portion of your purchase may be tax-deductible and exempt from sales tax.

The Snowbird Mountain Sports Expo will be held at the Snowbird Center. Expo hours are Friday, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Goods will be accepted for sale at all hours of the expo starting from 11:00 am on Friday; shopping begins at noon. Participants can pick up their goods from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday; all unclaimed goods will be considered a donation.

On Friday, an admission fee of $2/person or $5/families will be charged for entry to the expo. Saturday and Sunday, admission is free. Also, a tag fee of $3 for hard goods and $2 for soft goods will be accessed for participants who want to list equipment.

The Snowbird Mountain Sports Expo staffs the sales floor to assist shoppers in sizing and selecting the correct equipment for ability level and intended use. At the Snowbird Mountain Sports Expo, twenty percent of the purchase price is tax deductible and goes to the Snowbird Sports Education Foundation, supporting athletes who may have the desire and ability to participate but not the financial means.

Weather permitting, Snowbird will offer a full array of summer activities to keep the whole family entertained during the expo, including Tram and Peruvian Chairlift rides, the new four-station climbing wall, ZipRider, Alpine Slide, Bungy Trampoline, Kid’s Inflatables, Mechanical Bull, horseback and ATV tours, biking and hiking. Saturday and Sunday also features Snowbird’s annual Oktoberfest, offering music, food, beer, dancing and shopping for the entire family.

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