As September winds down, the beginning of ski season is quickly approaching. It may seem forever away, but in a short while it will be time to hit the slopes.

For college students, skiing can be viewed as an expensive sport. While it will never be cheap, there are ways to make it affordable for students. Several upcoming ski swaps will provide a great opportunity to gear up.

A ski swap offers the chance to sell ski and board equipment, giving the equipment a chance to see more days on the slopes. Since the equipment is used, students can pick up merchandise for around 50 to 70 percent off.

Students who don’t mind traveling up Weber canyon will have the chance on Sept. 26-28 to catch the Snowbird ski swap.

The gear that is donated does have a 10-year limit on how old it can be, ensuring that participants walk away with higher quality gear.

Growing up in the ski industry, I have attended more than a dozen ski swaps in my lifetime. As a kid I hated going because it meant I would be putting on and taking off ski boots over and over. It wasn’t just ski boots though. It was also jackets, which often got pretty toasty.

Snow-making operations go high tech
Snowboarders relax in chairs outside the Tamarack Lodge at Heavenly ski resort in South Lake Tahoe, California. If you’re looking for some new ski equipment at a used price, try a ski swap. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

It does take some time and effort to find what you are looking for, but look at it this way: A little bit of time saves you quite a bit of money in the end.

From Oct. 24-26, 2nd Tracks, a used ski and board shop in Ogden, is holding a swap. This store has provided me with a variety of ski equipment through the years. From goggles to boots and skis, the store has a large array of equipment.

Last year a friend and I attended a gear swap at the old Best Buy on Riverdale Road. My friend had a hard time finding board equipment because of his shoe size. With a size 15, he struggles with finding any kind of shoe.

Sitting on the snowboard boot table was a pair of brown leather, Burton snowboard boots. By this time my friend had searched the store for a pair his size, and until right then had found nothing.

These boots, barely worn, were on sale for $50. Blown away he swiped them up before anybody else could snag them. The boots in a regular store would have run him around $400 to $500.

That day I purchased, a pair of boots, ski poles, socks and multiple beanies. This purchase ran me around $300, which would normally be the price for boots alone.

Coming up faster than we know it will be the Weber State Gear Sale and Swap on Oct. 10. This is a great way to keep it local on campus. Having this gear swap on campus makes it easily accessible to students, where they can shop between classes.

At the gear swap last year I purchased two beanies for only $10. In a regular retail store you could never snag that kind of deal. You couldn’t even buy the first beanie for only $10.

Weber students, now that you know my secret on how to save on ski gear, snag some deals and lets shred the resorts this year on our new and inexpensively priced gear!

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