I skied or snowboarded pretty much every weekend all winter long from when I was three until I was 18. I even got my snowboard instructor’s certificate. Then, I moved out, started working, went to University, and moved to Asia. I haven’t had a full season of snowboarding since.
This year, though, I’m going to be in Utah for the winter and I’ve also started writing About.com’s Snowboarding Guide (it’s not up yet though). Yesterday I realized that I needed to get all new gear in order to try out the epic ski hills in Utah. Since the season was still a little ways off there were still a lot of good off-season deals floating around, so I decided to try and find some cheap snowboard gear right away.
I consider myself pretty good at finding cheap gear. Since I didn’t have a lot of money to spend, this was going to test my skills.
Finding a Cheap Snowboard
First, I wanted to find a good all-mountain snowboard that wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg — something made for an intermediate-advanced rider that was proven to be good in all conditions.
I started by searching several of the discount gear websites that I normally use, like Altrec, Department of Goods, and Backcountry.com. I searched for all-mountain snowboards and sorted the results by the size of the discount on each item.
By doing this I narrowed my search to a few models with big discounts. Then I started reading reviews about those boards. After a bit of deliberation, I settled on last year’s 160cm Salomon Grip Team Edition, which sounds like an excellent ride.
Most of these discount websites get their gear from the same places, so they often carry a lot of the same discount items. So, next I used Google’s Shopping search to see if I could find a website selling the board for less than the one I was looking at. That took me to SolsticeSupply.com, which had it on sale for $240 (down from regular $480).
Next, I did a quick Google search for “SolsticeSupply.com coupon” to see if I could find a coupon that would get me an additional discount, but I came up empty. So, I bought my Grip for $240, satisfied with 50% off. If you’d like to order one, At the time of writing they still had some in stock.
Finding Cheap Snowboard Bindings
Next I needed some good all-mountain bindings. This time reversed my strategy. First I looked reviews of good all-mountain bindings. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any toplists of the best bindings, but I did find a forum where a few knowledgable boarders agreed that Burton Cartels, Rome 390s, and Union Forces are among the best.
So, I hopped onto Google again and started did a shopping search for those brands. Very few of them came up at a discount. I did manage to find a small shop in Maryland called Pitcrew that had a pair of Rome 390s in my size. They were also half price ($105 down from regular $210).
Again, I searched for a coupon for the website, but didn’t find one, so I went ahead and ordered the bindings. Now, I had bought a really nice full hardware setup for about $350. Not bad.
Finding a Cheap Snowboard Jacket and Pants
The last thing I needed was some good snowboard pants and a jacket. Since there are a lot of different brands and styles, I had a lot to choose from.
Again, I went back to my favourite discount websites and started looking through the discount bins and and outlet sections where the cheapest goods are.
I could have easily bought a good snowboarding jacket and pants for $100. But, I wanted to get myself something nice, so after some matching and comparing, I finally chose Burton Bit O’ Heaven snowboard jacket (it was 40% off the regular $190, which brought it to $114) and a pair of Burton Men’s Cargo Snowboard Pants, for which were $75 (down from $150) on Altrec.com.
Again, I searched for a coupon code. This time I found a 10% off coupon code. I entered it at the checkout and it saved me an addition $20. So, in the end, I got $340 worth of outerwear for $160.
Total Gear Cheaposity
After a few hours of research I bought:
1 Salomon Grip Team Edition Snowboard $240 | Reg. $480
1 Pair Rome 390 Bindings $105 | Reg. $210
1 Burton Snowboard Jacket $114 | Reg. $190
1 Pair Burton Snowboard Pants $75 | Reg. $150
TOTAL: I paid $534 USD for $1030 worth of gear for a total savings of almost $500.
So, this winter on the hill, I’m going to look something like this. Awesome sauce.