Today is the day after Turkey Day and that means it’s the biggest shopping day of the year. About a year or two ago I was in a board shop and I overheard these two girls asking the sales guy for their best deal on snowboarding gear. They had a price limit, but I forgot what it was and it seemed unlikely that they would be able to get new gear during the midseason at a board shop such as this one, that would meet their budget. It seemed that they were newbies to the sport and didn’t really know what they were looking for. If the sales person wasn’t around, I would’ve told them where to go for getting good deals, and that a retail store at this time of the year (January) was not their best choice. Possibly obtain their digits too.
Regardless where I am, and who the manufacterer is, I have never paid full price for any board that I have ever owned. They can be costly, up to several hundred dollars apiece. Of course there are ways of getting around paying full price. For example, I bought my first setup in an after season sale at a sports shop in May. Like buying last year’s car model, buying winter sports gear in the spring can save loads of cash because the main season has already passed. My second board I got from a special unadvertised mid season 40% off sale at my local shop. (Right place right time). The next one I bought from an employee discount program. It was a brand new Burton board too. My current board I bought used from my neighborhood sports store. And I recently got new bindings from the annual ski/snowboard show at 60% off. They were last year’s model but that was perfectly cool with me. Buying used, last year’s model, or from special limited time deals, the customer can save loads of cash.
Online services like ebay and Craigslist are also excellent alternatives. What I like about Craigslist is that you get to meet the seller, and sometimes the seller could provide you with some helpful insight into the item, based from their personal experience. Plus CL is local, whereas ebay is not. Typically, sellers sell board gear because they’re upgrading, moving, or just needing cash. CL is what I would’ve suggested to those girls I overheard in the board shop.
There are other, specialized, online sources for getting good deals on gear. Unlike the previous aforementioned online sources, these sites cater entirely to the action sports market and focus specifically on selling products for boardsports enthusiasts at discounted prices. These are Websites that were brought to my attention from the sales person that sold me my current board and include whiskeymilitia, dogfunk, and brociety. I have no idea what whiskeymilitia or dogfunk means, and these names sound like they would have nothing to do with snowboarding gear, but as you know, snowboarders are always thinking up random shit. These online retailers mostly feature skateboard and snowboarding gear, and on rare occassions, you might find surfing and wakeboarding stuff. Unlike other online action sports retailer, these sites sell new gear at great discounts, typically between 40%-60% off regular store prices. I think they function as a sort of “clearing house” for items that were leftover from last year’s stock, suplus items, or items that didn’t sell too well, because I notice sometimes that the items were tagged as “discontinued” or “2008 model”. I guess it would be kind of like a “Nordstrom Rack”.
A unique feature of this system is that only one item is displayed on the page at any one time, with different items rotated about every 25 minutes or so. You never know what’s coming up. One minute you might see Skullcandy headphones, the next minute DC skate shoes, and the next a high-end Burton deck. You never know. A downside to this is that they may not always have your prefered size/color/model available, however. But the advantage of this randomness and unpredictability is the great discounts off the regular retail price. I have the whiskeymilitia site bookmarked in my browser.
On the right side of the page is where you enter your choice of size/color/style/model and the options for your shopping cart. Below that there is a column that displays which colors/sizes are available and how much of each are remaining in stock. The stock quantities are displayed in real time, a real nice feature. In the left side are the
pictures of the item, a description, and comments from users, if any. There’s usually a helpful sizing/conversion chart and multiple pictures of the item can be viewed in a popup.
But what I really like about these sites, and which I find very amusing, is the product description. The descriptions are almost never boring, stuffy or stale, because they usually consist of some witty remark or comment, which refers to how this product is going to make you “cool” and accetable and how it will help you reach your life’s goals, which in the boardsports world is the attainment of women and booze. These witty remarks reflect the boarder’s need to be rebelliously independent and to party. They are mostly aimed at males, aged 17-24, who live in suburban or semi-urban households, and who participate in skateboarding/snowboarding/surfing or any combination of these. They are most likely to be active social networkers and the types to go into a Walmart and commandeer the PA system. Here are a few examples:
Chocolate mousse just doesn’t look as good without a sprig of mint on the side, and your getup doesn’t look as good without the DC Men’s Garnish Hoody. This full-zip reversible sweatshirt lets you choose between dots and stripes. That cute girl in your Urban Planning class will never guess that you’re been wearing the same hoody every day for the past two weeks.
The DC Men’s Watchin Hat gets 72 channels. Of those 72 channels, 67 show strictly skateboarding, three feature naked pie-fights, and the last one is so dirty, we can’t describe it here. You’ll have to get this fitted New Era cap and find out for yourself.
It takes balls to face the cold. Wear the DC Men’s Brave II Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt to give yourself the manly motivation needed to bundle up, sprint to the corner mart, and return with a case of cold ones when the warm weather is on vacation.
Stash the DC Men’s Duffy Polo Shirt in your bag so you can change identities when you finally leave the park for the day. Your girlfriend will appreciate the soft cotton threads and your mom will thank you for finally showing up to a nice dinner without blood all over your shirt.
Who ever writes these descriptions must certainly be very creative and know whats up in the boardsports community. I always enjoy reading them even if I don’t intend to buy anything. If you’re a boarder and looking to buy new stuff, and don’t mind the surprise and random show and tell, knowing that you’re not always gauranteed your size or color preference, these sites might be an excellent choice for scoring new gear for cheap.