How to go snowboarding on the cheap

The cost of snowboarding

Frugal Brand new
Second hand Board $250 Board $700
Early bird season pass $350 Season pass $749
Helmet, Trousers and Jacket on sale $190 Helmet, Trousers and Jacket $510
Pre-made Lunch $5 x 12 weekends= 60 Lunch $20 x 12 weekends= 240
Total $850 Total $2,199

I recently seen a post on twitter from a Frugalist going snowboarding. Some of the comments underneath were of jealousy whilst others were critical of the spending involved with snowboarding.

As someone who has started boarding in the last year, I can understand the large costs involved with boarding. However, there are some easy tricks to get to enjoy the powder on a budget.


Second hand gear

I see so many posts about the depreciation in value of a new car off the showroom floor. The same is true (not quite as expensive) for snowboards, boots, helmets and clothes. A brand new snowboard can go for between $500-$900…….Not quite the FIRE purchase.

So sites like Facebook marketplace and local online trading websites are really helpful when looking for cheap, second hand gear. It does not take much either to spot bad equipment from quality ones……Just look for scratches and bumps.

Buy out of season

We go to Mount Hutt in Canterbury, New Zealand. This is a short drive from my apartment meaning we can get up most weekends. Mount Hutt run an early bird full season pass for $350. Whilst this sounds expensive, a day pass costs $104 and a regular pass costs $749. So the early bird is a no-brainer.

Clothes and boarding equipment are really cheap in the summer months too. People are looking for extra cash and the demand for snow equipment is low so you can often find yourself a bargain. This is not just contained to trading sites either, a lot of shops will have mid-summer sales for the previous seasons stock.

Bring packed lunches

I am the first to admit, a blue-sky sunny day is better with a bottle of beer on a mountain, however prices are high at ski resorts. Constantly eating out up there and having a beer or mulled wine will really eat into the budget.

We make sandwiches and rolls the night before and bring along some crisps and dips. We can even bring up a few bottles as the snow keeps them cold. Barring a few tumbles these should all be in pretty good shape by the time lunch comes around.

I understand snowboarding is definitely an elitist sport and it does cost money, however simple tweaks and changes can have a real impact financially. This can be said for anything in life. If we are more careful with our finances we can stretch the dollar a long way.

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