Why Snowboarding Is So Expensive & How To Save Money

Why Snowboarding Is So Expensive

So you’re trying to get into snowboarding and have realized that it can be a pretty expensive sport to get started in. A lot of people are hesitant to get started snowboarding due to the high price tag that is associated with the sport, and it’s totally understandable. So why is snowboarding so expensive? And how can you save money when getting into the sport?

Snowboarding is so expensive because of the gear required to get started. Snowboards, bindings, boots, goggles, helmets, clothing, combined with the cost of travel to a ski resort, lodging, and your day pass to access the slopes. The money it takes to get started with snowboarding quickly adds up.

Snowboarding can be expensive to get into, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to cut costs down and save money. Making it much more affordable for everyday people like you and me. Be sure to keep reading to learn different ways you can cut down the costs of snowboarding.

Let’s get started!

expensive snowboards

How to save money snowboarding

Snowboarding rules. The dent it can leave in your wallet? Not so much. Luckily, there are a few different ways you can enjoy the thrills of fresh powder without having to break the bank. Let’s take a look at some ways you can save money snowboarding.

1. Buying can be cheaper than renting

The first thing you should do is ask yourself how often you’ll be hitting the slopes. If you are planning on snowboarding more than 8 times a year, it may actually be cheaper to purchase your own gear. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of costs.

For this example, I will be using rental prices from the ever popular Vail ski resort. At the time of writing, they charge $68 per day for a premium snowboard package, and I’ll be going with the Never Summer Snowtrooper Snowboard, which would currently cost $549.99 if you were to purchase it.

Days Snowboarded

Rental Costs

Day 1

$68

Day 2

$136

Day 3

$204

Day 4

$272

Day 5

$340

Day 6

$408

Day 7

$476

Day 8

$544

As you can see, it will take 8 days of renting snowboards to reach the cost of purchasing the same snowboard you would be renting. Keep in mind, prices for rentals can be substantially cheaper if you rent off ski resort grounds, we will dive deeper into that in a minute.

So if you plan on getting out there any chance you get, purchasing may be the best option for you. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price!

2. Know when to buy

Knowing when to buy new snowboarding gear is essential if you are looking to find good deals. Typically, from March through summer months is when you will find the best deals on snowboarding gear. This is because shops are trying to clear out their inventory to make space for this year’s newest gear. So keep your eye on your local snowboard shop!

You’ll often find discounts anywhere from 25% all the way to 50% off.

It’s July 1st at the time of writing this and look at the savings on snowboards, snowboard bindings, snowboard boots, snowboard pants and even a snowboard jacket or two! All on evo.com one of the biggest snowboarding gear suppliers out there.

cheap snowboard gear

3. If you’re renting, don’t rent from the resort.

If you plan on renting snowboard gear, you are better off doing it before you get to the resort you plan on snowboarding at.

Resorts hike up equipment rental prices with a convenience tax. You can save a substantial amount of money by renting gear from local shops before you head to the mountains.

For example, we will use Northstar California Resort, which charges about $50 a day for their snowboard rentals. If I were to rent off-resort from a local shop you would be looking at somewhere between $20-$40 per day, let’s go right in the middle with $35 per day and take a look at the cost breakdown.

Days

Resort Rental Costs

Off-Resort Rental Costs

Day 1

$50

$35

Day 2

$100

$70

Day 3

$150

$105

Day 4

$200

$140

Day 5

$250

$175

Day 6

$300

$210

Day 7

$350

$245

As you can see, if you were to snowboard 7 times in a season, you would save over $100 by simply renting off-resort. This is why I recommend taking the time to find a local shop that will rent you snowboard gear. It will save you money in the long run.

4. Pack a lunch

One of the fastest ways you can go broke snowboarding is heading down the mountain and going right into the ski resort to eat.

It adds up fast, especially with the prices resorts charge for food. Don’t pay the tourist tax, always pack a lunch and drinks so when you’re done on the slopes you can get back to your car and chow down with your friends for free.

5. Buy used!

Buying used snowboard gear is one of the best ways to save money. You can save hundreds of dollars picking up used gear that will work just as well as new gear.

You don’t always need that exspensive snowboard, a used snowboard will serve you just as well!

That said, there are some pieces of gear like a helmet for example that you never want to buy used. This is because helmets are only designed to take one major impact before it becomes compromised, and you have no way of knowing if that used helmet you’re buying has already been compromised. It’s not worth rolling the dice with your noggin to save a few bucks.

Buyer Beware! How to buy USED GEAR

Why is snowboarding gear so expensive?

Snowboarding gear is so expensive because each individual piece of gear quickly adds up. Goggles, Helmet, Bindings, Boots, Board, Jacket, Pants, Gloves, the cost of each of these individually isn’t overwhelming but when you add it all up it becomes fairly expensive.

Let’s take a look at the lowest prices I was able to find for each piece of gear you’ll need and calculate the total amount it would cost you to hit the slopes if you were to purchase gear rather than renting.

We’ll look at buying new and buying used, and I will be using evo.com a major snowboarding outlet to find the best prices as of the time this article was written.

Snowboard Gear

Lowest Price if buying new

 Lowest Price if buying used

Snowboard

$329.99

$229.47

Boots

$129.99

$75.99

Bindings

$129.95

$129.95

Goggles

$16.00

$16.00

Jacket

$56.76

$56.76

Pants

$59.95

$59.95

Gloves

$12.99

$12.99

Helmet

$51.99

$51.99 (never buy a used helmet)

Total cost

$787.66

$633.1

Prices in bold mean I was able to find a brand-new product that was cheaper than any used product, likely due to an ongoing sale. (Be sure to browse sales in the off-season to get the best deals!)

As you can see, you can save upwards of $154.56 if you were to buy used snowboarding gear. I say upwards because you are likely to find better deals on gear using things like Craigslist or gearswap.

Why are snowboards so expensive?

Snowboards are so expensive to purchase because they are expensive to make. Materials used to make a single snowboard (base, edges, inserts, sidewalls, core, tip/tail spacers, glass fiber, epoxy, carbon fibers and top sheet) cost between $50-$200 dependent on if they are bought in bulk or individually.

Stores pay the manufacturer a wholesale price that is roughly 60% of the retail price and have a margin of 40% to play with. For example, if a snowboard costs $240 for a store to get in stock, it will then cost you and I $400 to purchase.

However, you can often find great deals on snowboards in spring or summer when no one is really out doing any snowboarding, this is so shops can push out last year’s boards to make room for this year’s ahead of peak season.

Is it cheaper to rent or buy a snowboard?

It is cheaper to buy a snowboard if you plan on snowboarding more than 5 times a year, every year. When you purchase a snowboard and keep it for multiple seasons, you are actively saving hundreds of dollars that you would have otherwise spent renting. It is better to spend the money upfront, saving you money in the long term.

If you only plan on snowboarding a few times and have no clue if you will be back snowboarding again next season, your best bet will be to rent.

How much does it cost to make a snowboard?

Below is a chart showing each material that goes into making a snowboard and how much it would cost if an individual was to make a size 159 cm snowboard using the lowest priced materials available.

Snowboard Materials

Material Price

Source

Base Material

$15.80

Top Sheet Material

$17.50

Snowboard Cores

$39.95

Snowboard Sidewalls

$17.90

Binding Inserts

$0.40

Fiberglass

$11

Epoxy Resin

$48.95

Snowboard Edges

$3.75

Foil/VDS

$3.80

Tip Fill

$42.00

Total cost

$201.05

Data provided by snowboardmaterials.com

As you can see, the total cost of raw materials needed to make a snowboard was $201.05.

This does not include the cost of machining and labor.

Now, this example was for an individual making a snowboard. If a big company was to use the same materials, they would likely be buying in bulk and receive the materials for a fraction of the cost.

Are expensive snowboards worth it?

Not always. When it comes to snowboards, cheaper doesn’t mean worse, in the same way that expensive does not mean better. If you are just getting into snowboarding, spending lots of money on a top of the line snowboard that has minimal differences than a middle of the road priced snowboard doesn’t make sense.

If you have the money to spend, go nuts! Some people enjoy having top of the line things. But, I can tell you from experience, there are very little technological  differences between the high-end snowboards and more affordable models.

It all comes down to feel, how do you feel on the board. This is why it’s recommended that you rent a snowboard when you are first starting out to get a feel for what you like. You may even end up liking the cheaper models than the more expensive, gimmicky ones.

How much does a decent snowboard cost?

You can get a decent snowboard that will last you a few years for between $300-$500. Sometimes, you will even be able to find deals for even less than that.

I recommend looking into older models as there is hardly much of a difference between last year’s and this year’s models other than some new designs, a fancy new name and a jacked up price tag.

When looking for a good board for a decent price I usually hit up TheGoodRide.com, below I’ve broken down some decent boards for the price for you to check out.

(Prices as of time this was written. They may change and these frequently go on sale for even less)

Snowboards for men

Board Name

Price

Board Review

Arbor Formula

$379.99

Capita Spring Break Slush Slasher

$379

Rome Warden

$389

Burton Kilroy Twin Camber

$399

Snowboards for women

Board Name

Price

Board Review

Capita Space Metal Fantasy

$379

YES Emoticon

$399

Rossignol Frenemy

$399

Salomon Wonder

$400

How much does a snowboarding trip cost?

After polling 5 different travelling snowboarders, it’s been determined that the average 7-day snowboarding trip will cost you around $900. This price includes travel, lodging, lift tickets, your day pass and or season pass as well as food.

This number will obviously vary based on where you are from/going and how many people are in your party. The data collected is meant to give you a ballpark estimate of how much you can expect to pay for a 7-day snowboarding trip for one person.

Polled Snowboarders

lift tickets / passes

Lodging

Food/drink

travel (gas/flights)

Days

 #1

$1,300

$300

$300

$200

26

 #2

$2,250

$750

$500

$1,100

30

 #3

$850

$1,000

$400

$550

35

 #4

$400

$1,000

$400

$500

18

 #5

$550

$2,500

$750

$160

25

Average

$1,013

$1,313

$513

$578

27

7 day trip

$263

$340

$133

$150

7

Final thoughts

Snowboarding can definitely seem like a super expensive sport to get started in, but there are more than a few ways to save money and get shredding on a budget. I hope this article covered all the bases to help get you out there on the slopes.

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