Q: Is skiing/snowboarding an expensive sport?

A: Not if you make savvy spending choices.

With a little research and selective focus, we believe skiing/snowboarding may be cheaper than other sports and that’s due to the sheer amount of options. I.e., there are lots of resorts to choose from and more gear options than you can shake a ski pole at. Here, we’ve gathered some intel on how to ski/snowboard smarter.

1. Use numbers to your advantage.

Got kids? All resorts offer bargains to get entire families together on their slopes. Many include “Kids Ski Free” incentives if you buy adult lift tickets or a youth rental package. (Some of these will be limited-time offers, so check the resort website well in advance of your visit.) There’s also the Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass, which allows 9 and 10 year old’s to ski and snowboard 3 times at each of the 150+ participating ski areas!

2. Think smaller.

Remember that cool little resort a friend told you about, but you have yet to visit? Chances are, the lift tickets, rentals, and accommodation will be better-priced than at a massive destination resort. Plus, you get the cachet of skiing/snowboarding at a niche mountain where all the powder isn’t shredded by 9:30 am.

3. With a bit of legwork, gear for less—a lot less—is a viable option.

Ski/snowboard gear and apparel are seasonally driven, so retailers need to move it quickly. If you’re willing to wait a month or more into the season, you can start taking advantage of deals. If you have kids, many retailers offer half-back programs, allowing you to return skis/snowboards at the end of the season to receive half of their cost back. You can also watch out for your local ski swaps (which tend to happen in autumn) and tent sales. The Canadian Ski Patrol, for example, run their Winter Extreme Ski & Board Swap events at over 20 locations across Canada. If you don’t need to try it on before you buy it, online marketplaces are increasingly popular places to buy discounted or used gear (keep in mind that you may have to pay extra for shipping and that heavily discounted items may not be returnable).

The fact is, everyone loves a bargain—and the world of skiing/snowboarding is full of them if you know where to look.

This post is also available in: French