Have you had the emails dropping into your inbox telling you about new clothing and equipment for the forthcoming season? Maybe you have been seduced by social media when you have scrolled through your Twitter feed. Perhaps it’s been the more traditional magazine adverts which have lured you into considering some new purchases. Either way it is unlikely you have not noticed that 2015/16 product is about to hit the shops and online stores as well as the forthcoming snowboard/ ski shows. Have you been tempted by the techy-talk of snowboard construction or is it the cool graphics which have caught your eye? Before you put your hand in your pocket or click on that checkout icon have you considered the following?
Is your equipment or clothing still fit for purpose? Just how old is your stuff? Remember that technology moves fast and chances are if you have a snowboard over 10 years old it should be in a museum rather than on a slope. A friend of mine had an old Nitro board and when it had its inaugural outing in the park she wondered why she found it such hard work; examining how stiff it was she should have been ironing on it rather than riding it! Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and update yourself so you can have more fun.
If your gear is broken, is it repairable? We all get dings from time to time but these can be fixed unless you have a catastrophic, deep gouge out of your board. As always my husband is the exception to the rule as he rode his old Burton board five years after he was told it was un-rideable.
How much will it cost to repair broken equipment or clothing? My snowboarding jacket, which is at least six years old, ripped along the seams last season. It could have been a good excuse to get a new one, but I resisted and, on recommendation from a friend, found a great repair service (Scottish Mountain Gear) which cost much less than a new jacket would have done. However, there does come a point where it is more cost effective to invest in the new rather than repair the old.
How important is it for you to have on-trend items? Fashion is not just for the catwalk if you believe the marketing hype around the snowsport clothing business. Trends change over time regarding colours, patterns and fit but essentially all you need is comfortable, waterproof threads. For some of us though looking up-to-the-minute is all part of the scene, but that is an expensive pastime and you may need to consider the next question.
How much spare cash do you have? Have you got enough savings or money left at the end of the month to allow you to indulge in new product purchases? If you need to update safety equipment or your snowboard pants are no longer waterproof then you can justify the expense but if it’s just a whim then you might think differently.
How much do you really, really, really want that equipment or clothing? Sometimes we just want something because we want an updated look or we get seduced by the glossy photos. I decided I really wanted a new snowboard as my DC Biddy board, although fun to ride, was not great at holding an edge in icy conditions. After advice from Tammy Esten at MINT Snowboarding I bought a Roxy XOXO which I got in the Surfdome sale. It was not essential that I had a new snowboard but after riding it at my local fridge (Snozone at Castleford) I have not regretted the purchase. It is like going from a beginner pony to a thoroughbred racehorse; I cannot wait to get onto a mountain.
We live in a throw-away society and it is tempting sometimes to discard items when, with a bit of effort and minimal cost, we can continue using our gear. If you are determined to get something new then checkout Snow and Rock, TSA, Two Seasons and The Reason’s Snowboard Buyer’s Guide 2016 which is just out. But remember do you really, really, really need that product or are you falling for the latest marketing? Whatever you do enjoy the shred, be safe and have fun whether you are in old gear or new.
Ta Ta For Now