A Complete Guide to the Right Time To Buy Skis

It can cost quite a lot of money to buy a high quality pair of new skis. These things can cost from $400 to more than $1000!

Not only that, but it can also be quite challenging to buy the right skis, since it’s not really possible to test them out before you buy them as you would do with any other kind of sports equipment.

 For that reason, it is absolutely vital that you know what you want before you even buy to ensure that you make the right decision for you. 

Thankfully, you can find a bargain if you are clever. Specifically, if you choose to stop towards when the skiing season ends during the February to March months, it will be much easier to find skis for a cheap price.

In comparison, things are much more likely to be expensive if you buy them when the season is just beginning. During the Fall months you should also look for skis that are on sale early on, as this will be a time before people are really thinking about winter sports in general.

Finding the Best Ski Deals

There are very few better ways to exercise in the cold winter air than skiing. You will feel such an adrenaline rush and a lot of joy, meaning that you will keep being called back to the slopes every year. Of course, you’re unlikely to find a cheap skiing trip.

Lift tickets can cost a small fortune, not to mention ski gear. Pretty soon you will find yourself spending thousands of dollars on your trip. Even just saving a couple of bucks in a few places can mean a lot in this respect.

The biggest way to save yourself money is to buy your equipment at the correct time of the year.

Make Sure That You’re Shopping at the Right Times

If you want to find the best deals, look for your gear during the off season. This is the time between February and March, and then during late summer and early fall. At this point, many ski gear retailers will be starting to get in the gear for the next season.

Many of these places have limited space in their warehouses, meaning that they are going to need to clear space and fast. How does this work in your favor? Well, it means that things will be discounted in order to avoid wasting valuable stock. 

You will often find that there are a lot of deals on Presidents’ Day in the US since this is when they will do massive sales before they welcome in the new stock.

You can find gear up to 60% off during the weekend of Presidents’ Day, and you can usually still find deals in the couple of days following the time, mainly during the middle of February.

If you look in the off season of late summer and early fall, you will find many retailers are trying to make room for new stock again.

This means you are likely to find some great new deals at this point. You should try looking for deals on Labor Day in specific, because they tend to have a lot of sales during this time.

If you are looking for gear in the later pounds of the offseason then you are going to be finding much better deals. This is because retailers will want to start introducing their new stock so they will be eager to get rid of any old inventory.

The problem with waiting until the last minute is that you are often limited in your options. Sure, you will find gear for cheaper prices, but you may find yourself struggling to find gear that works for you in particular.

Have Flexibility in Your Selection Criteria

You will find it much easier to find the right gear for you if you know what you want. When it comes to skis, it’s always good to know the style and length that you want.

You may be unsure what skis will work best for you - in this case, it’s worthwhile to rent a few pairs to figure out what you prefer. This will help you to figure out if you will be comfortable using a particular pair of skis when you have purchased them.

As time goes on prices will drop, but it’s worth keeping in mind that finding the perfect pair of skis will likely be much more difficult. If you are dead set on finding the best possible deal then you need to make sure that you have some flexibility in your selection criteria. You aren’t going to have as many size, color and model options.

If you have a particular pair of skis in mind then it’s a good idea to buy them as soon as you can. Don’t keep waiting for them to get cheaper because they will be snapped up very quickly when they go on sale.

Don’t Be Picky About Using Last Season’s Stock

It’s the number one rule of buying anything. If you want to save money, then it’s usually better to buy the previous season’s stock. If the stock is older then it will be cheaper. You’re still going to be getting a good deal even if the skis are like one to two years old. 

Skis from 1995 for instance are very different from ones made this year, but there usually isn’t a huge difference in products made from one year to the next if you are simply a casual skier.

Another great thing is that you won’t need to buy another pair of skis for a couple of years once you have bought a pair. Marketing dictates that you can’t have a good time skiing unless you buy the latest and greatest skis, but this simply isn’t true.

Basically, if you buy the skis from last year you aren’t missing out on anything too different from the ones of this year. The changes are very minute, so you likely wouldn’t even notice the difference.

Of course, it’s always important to do your research and know what you’re getting into. This will help to ensure that you aren’t missing on any important changes or improvements that can make you enjoy the skiing experience even more.

Don’t Use Preloved Skis

It should be pretty clear by now that there’s no need to buy the current season of skis to have a spectacular time on the slopes. You can get a lot of great deals if you look at the product lineup from last season. With that being said, used skis are very different from brand new skis that are only a season or two old. 

The chances are that you are going to save a lot of money when you buy used skis, but it’s definitely a bad idea to buy used skis. The exception to this rule is if the skis have only been used one or two times.

Buying used skis means that you are more likely to get something that has been scratched to pieces, and this means that there may be some damage to the structure of the skis if the previous owner didn’t look after them well.

Only think about getting used skis if they are in a ‘like new’ condition. Have a decent look at the skis before you flash the cash. Don’t trust any dark pictures on used item sites - you need to look at them in person if you can. If this is not an option then it’s a better idea to move on and look for others. 

Get Your Skis From the Rental Shop

Sure, retailers are going to give you some great deals, but they aren’t the only ones that need to get rid of old stock. You will also notice that rental shops tend to have the latest designs in their stock. In the event that you prefer to buy used skis, the best way to buy them is from a ski rental shop when the season is over.

The great thing about buying your skis from a rental shop is that you can try them out before you buy them. All you need to do is rent them for just a day. If they find that they are a good fit for you then you can buy them.

Not only that, but you can see what kind of condition the skis are in, and you can experiment with lots of different styles and lengths which is useful if you’re prepared to use a more advanced set of skis. 

Another good thing about rental shops is that they can alter the skis and bindings so that they perfectly fit with your ski boots, weight and your current level of skill. Thanks to this, all you need to do is get on the lift - no need to go to the repair shop. 

Know About Ski Prices

The best thing to do before buying skis is to make sure that you have done plenty of research. It’s worth knowing that there will always be some brands that cost far more money than others do. You need to know why the price is so high.

For instance, the skis may be made from an elite brand, or may have a particularly cool feature that you don’t want to miss out on. In these cases, it’s usually worthwhile to spend the extra money.

Not only that, but the final price of your skis will be largely dictated by your experience levels. It costs a lot less money to buy beginner level skis than it does to buy skis that have been made for people with enhanced skins.

This is primarily because skis for beginners consist of much more flexible and soft materials and this usually results in easier and smoother turns. 

This is in contrast with skis that are made for advanced skiers. These skis tend to be made out of stiffer materials, and as such you can go faster and make sharper turns with them. They provide more stability, and as such are going to cost more money.

Get Some Assistance

It’s usually better to shop in a store instead of online. Why? Well, you can ask for a little bit of help if you need it. This is very useful, since you will usually find that ski shop staff also have a lot of experience on the slopes.

They are there to ensure that you get the best set up for your particular budget. You can ask questions like how the set of skis will be good for you, or you can ask why the prices are so different between different sets.

Not only that, but you can do some additional research on the specific brands before you even buy the skis. It’s pretty obvious that everyone is going to have different tastes, but reviews can give you a decent idea of how good the skis are and whether they’ll be a good choice for you.

Don’t let a couple of bad reviews put you off - look at the bigger picture. If the vast majority of the reviews have high ratings then you can be sure that you are likely to be looking at a good set of skis. Make sure that you are looking for reviewers with a similar level of skiing experience as you.

Look for reviews from people that ski at the same frequency as you. This will give you a better picture of whether the skis in question will be a good choice for you.

Bad Times For Buying Skis

It’s always a good idea to buy skis in the off season and at the end of the season since it will allow you to get some real bargains. Likewise, there are also some occasions when it’s a bad idea to buy skis.

The worst time to buy skis is most likely going to be the time of year when you’re likely to want to go skiing. Avoid buying skis during the late fall and early winter - basically, the time just before the new season is about to begin.

At this point the retailers usually don’t need to sell a lot of their stock, so the prices are much higher. This is because they know that people will be willing to pay big money for skis at this time. 

The prices are usually the highest during the winter since more people will want to buy ski gear at this point. Businesses charge a lot more money during this time because the product is in demand.

You should especially avoid buying skis during the Christmas season because this is the most popular time for skiing. In addition to this, skis are often bought as Christmas gifts. Black Friday isn’t going to help you much either. 

When Do I Need to Replace My Skis?

There’s no need to buy new skis every one to two years. You can save a lot of money by remembering this. Skis last a long time so you don’t need to replace them all that often.

As a rule, skiers tend to replace their equipment from every eight to ten years. If you are skiing a lot though your skis will get damaged much faster, so you will likely need to replace them much sooner.

Skis can change a lot after around 10 years, so buying a new pair after this point is a good idea. This is because safety and performance features are improved with time. They will be outdated at one point, and it is then that you will need to get new skis.


Make sure that you do some research before buying new skis! Shop during February and March, and during the late summer in the off season. This will give you the best possible deals.

James Apfel