Swap till You Drop
by Elizabeth Folwell
For families with growing interest in cross-country and downhill skiing and snowshoeing—as well as growing kids—keeping up with equipment can be tough. Also, as adults learn new techniques they discover the skinny skis and squishy boots of decades past are lousy on backcountry trips. Outfitters like Lake Placid’s Cascade Cross-Country Ski Center allow you to buy packages of boots, poles and skis so you can trade up when you need new gear. Plattsburgh’s Wooden Ski & Wheel allows customers to trade used skis, snowshoes and skates in good condition for new, so there are often bargains there.
Consignment shops like Re-Play Sports (Route 9, Queensbury, 518-793-6427); Play It Again Sports with stores in Plattsburgh, Albany, Utica and Syracuse suburbs; and North Creek’s Gear Source offer demos, overstocks and used skates, snowboards, snowshoes, and Nordic and alpine equipment and clothing.
The real deals, though, are often community ski swaps sponsored by clubs and small ski areas. On November 3, at Old Forge’s McCauley Mountain, the Polar Bear Ski Club is holding a consignment sale that starts at 9:00 a.m. Bring your outgrown alpine boots, helmets and lots of other snow-fun items to sell or trade.
At Albany’s Empire State Plaza from November 2 through 4 the New York State Ski and Snowboard Expo includes a swap shop, chances to win free lift tickets and displays of what’s new in the downhill world.
Thanksgiving weekend is the annual open house at Benson’s Lapland Lake, with sales of used cross-country-ski equipment among the festivities.
New York State Ski Education Foundation takes the swapping digital on www.nysef.org/ski_swap.html, where you can find or sell racing suits, performance skis, aerodynamic poles and other specialized gear.