Small business Saturday might’ve just happened, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still buy your gear from a local shop. The next question though is why not just buy through the internet? Typically, it’s cheaper, has free shipping, and shows up right at your front door. Why even waste your time heading to a shop? Here are five reasons as to why you should still buy from a local shop:
Size does matter
Regardless of how much you WANT to fit into those “sick” or “cute” boots that match your outfit, just know that there is a good chance your feet will either go numb from the cold or they’ll hurt the entire time you’re riding. Be like Goldilocks and find the boot that’s “just right.” Take it from personal experience after trying 15 pairs of boots… I finally found my pair that fit like slippers instead of torture devices.
Bo Jackson may know Football, but he don’t know snow
No matter how much you save up front based on cost, there is a good chance you won’t get the type of customer service you’d get at a local shop. First, they’ll be more honest with you that the Super Duper Deluxe board that is 192 cm long might be a bit too long or that the deck is so narrow that you’ll be dragging the snow every time you make a turn. They’ll know better than any internet “Joe Schmoe” could ever know that a particular deck can be trusted for your style of snow sliding.
Ski/snowboard companies may give you a warranty, but what happens if you damage your board two years after it expires? Will the company even care? Most likely they’ll say “Too bad so sad…” This is when buying from a local ski/snowboard shop is critical. They’re the voice of reason for these companies and when there is a manufacturer issue even outside of warranty, they’re going to listen to the shop.
In the Eye of the Beholder
The world might be going digital but skiing and snowboarding still exist in reality meaning until you pick up the deck, flex the wood, and hear comments from the store reps, you might be too worried about “HOW” the board looks versus how it performs. Seeing the gear in person will give you a MUCH better idea of what you’re getting.
Tuned equipment is music to a Schusser’s ears
If you do finally pull the trigger and buy your stuff from a local shop, you’ll have a good chance for a discount on getting your gear tuned up. Sure, you can wax it yourself, but when you ride through the trees and hit everything in sight besides snow, odds are you’ll need to get some P-Tex filled in and they’ll do it right.
Caveat Emptor! (Buyer Beware)
Of course we aren’t saying that buying from the internet isn’t a good option, but just beware that at the end of the day, the level of service and warranties can really put you in jeopardy. AND, if you buy from a local shop, you’re not helping some mega-corp make money, but rather someone who is passionate about the sport and working hard to live the dream of a ski-town life.