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Posted on November 2, 2012 by There have been 1 comment(s)
I have 3 children with 1 on the way. One thing I didn't realize before having children was how expensive they can be. Extracurricular activities like skiing or snowboarding is often just too expensive for many couples to afford on top of all the basic expenses. I'd like to offer some tips that will make it possible for anyone to afford to get their children into skiing or snowboarding.
The first thing you'll need to do is get the right gear. Skiing and Snowboarding have been around long enough that there is a lot of used gear out there. At the very beginning and at the end of the snow season, many people will get rid of their used ski and snowboard equipment. Often there is nothing wrong with it. They have purchased new stuff and don't want to hang onto their used stuff. A lot of this perfectly good equipment is just donated to thrift stores like salvation army. Here in Utah there are stores like Savers or Deseret Industries. I have been able to find everything my kids need at these stores. Snowboard boots for as little as $2 a pair. Ski goggles for $4. I picked up a nice Salomon snowboard with bindings for only $15 bucks. You have to check back often with these stores because you never know when someone will donate stuff. One day you might not find anything and the next you'll find everything you need.
There are several options to consider when it comes to getting on the ski slopes. Many resorts offer discount lift tickets for locals. You just have to find out where and how to get them. Most of the time they are pretty simple to track down. The easiest way is just to go to the lift ticket window and ask where to get discount tickets. Even with these local discounts, the price is still a little steep if your budget is tight. It usually takes a good number of runs before your child even starts to catch on. Paying a lot for lift tickets just doesn't seem worth it while your kids are just learning to ski or snowboard.
Most resorts realize that kids that learn how to ski for free will become paying customers as they get older. Here in Utah, each of the resorts offer either a substantial discount for children under a given age or they have a tow rope that anyone can use for free. Brighton Ski Resort up Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah provides free lift passes for kids. Sundance Ski Resort up Provo Canyon in Utah has a tow rope that anyone can use for free. Many other resorts have similar programs to get newbies out on the slopes. If you dont' know how to ski or snowboard yourself, then you can often follow close to a ski instructor and listen to what they are telling their students to work on. That's actually how I learned to ski.
Skiing and Snowboarding are not easy sports to pick up. Learning involves fall after fall and often many bruises. It is a good idea to be picky about the days you choose to hit the slopes. Windy, stormy winter weather makes the learning experience even more difficult. Warmer sunny days will reduce the cold hands and feet that cut short an otherwise fun day on the mountain. Warm thermal underwear is essential if your kids get cold easily.
So, even if your budget it tight, you can still enjoy teaching your kids to ski or snowboard. You just have to do a little research and smart shopping. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy this winter season.