Where Are the Best Places to Buy a Used Snowboard?
Looking for some reputable places to buy a used snowboard? There are several different avenues you can explore when searching for a used snowboard. Each option comes with its pros and cons. With the right knowledge and bargaining skills, you could find yourself the perfect setup at a steal of a deal.
Your local or on resort snowboard shops are known for selling shiny new equipment, but one of the best products they will sell are ex-rentals. Ex-rentals are snowboards that a snowboard shop rents out over the ski season. Towards the end of the season, shops are known to clear out their ex-rentals at a steep discount to make room for the new fleet of rentals next season.
Depending on how much the snowboards have been rented, you can find equipment that looks and feels nearly new. Another great thing about buying an ex-rental is they are expertly maintained throughout the season. Fresh wax and edge tuning was a regular step for these snowboards. Some shops even throw in a free tune up that you can take advantage of in the following season.
Because of the service and maintenance on ex-rentals, you stand to pay a bit more than if you were to buy a used one privately. Another con of buying an ex-renal is you don’t know exactly how much it’s been ridden. Usually, a visual inspection can tell you a lot about that so just be mindful when inspecting the board prior to deciding on your purchase.
Online Shops like EVO
Evo is known as one of the largest online retailers of sporting goods. Oddly enough, the company was actually started by a guy who went around buying ex-rentals in Canada, crossing over into the US and reselling them for a nice profit. Although they sell mostly new gear now, they also have a dedicated section on their website devoted to used snowboard gear.
You will save a considerable amount from new, but you’re never able to inspect it for yourself prior to purchasing. Some snowboards are lightly used, new with visual defects or damaged packaging and some are well used. They do have an excellent gear condition guide that you can reference, though.
Used Online Marketplace
The used online marketplace includes sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace etc. This is where you can find a lot of snowboards for sale at fairly reasonable prices around your area. This is where a majority of used equipment is purchased, but you will need a keen eye and some price knowledge about what you’re looking at to not get ripped off.
On online marketplaces, you can find everything from brand new snowboards to ones destined for the bin. Just make sure you view and inspect the item before any money exchanges hands. Buyer beware in these situations.
What to Look For in a Used Snowboard
Now that you’ve got an idea of where you search for a great used snowboard, let’s go over some important things to look out for when assessing a potential buy. Inspecting the snowboard is extremely important in finding the right snowboard that will last.
Just like when looking for a new snowboard, you’ll want to locate snowboards that align with your riding style and ability level. A few of the more popular categories of snowboards are Freestyle, All-Mountain and Freeride.
If you see a snowboard you’re interested in, Google it and see what the size range is for the length of the snowboard for sale. Ideally, you want something that comes between your chin and nose, but it’s more important to be within the weight range for that particular snowboard.
Does the snowboard come with bindings? If so, make sure the bindings and your snowboard boots are compatible. If you don’t have snowboard boots, figure out your size and make sure your size fits in the range of the binding.
A used snowboard can show slight changes to performance as it ages. It just depends on how much it’s been ridden. To check out the performance potential of a used snowboard prior to buying it, there are a few things you can do.
Check the Camber
Snowboards that are well used won’t have much of a camber profile left. Excessive riding relaxes the snowboard, which reduces its snappiness and performance. Place the snowboard on the flat ground. Does the snowboard have camber? Can you press it down and see it return with power? Any signs that the camber is gone or minimal means the snowboard has lost its potential and should be avoided.
Are you new to snowboarding and are unsure what camber is? This guide by REI breaks down what camber is and how it affects your riding. Give it a read to determine what camber profile is best for your riding ability and style.
Flex the Snowboard
Stand the snowboard up on one end and press into it with your hand. Does it still feel responsive? No matter what the flex rating of the snowboard is, you should feel a forceful return to rest. If the snowboard feels delayed and very soft, give it a pass.
Interpreting Wear and Tear: What’s Acceptable in a Used Snowboard?
When looking at used snowboards, what’s considered acceptable wear and tear for a snowboard? No matter how well someone takes care of their snowboard, wear and tear is inevitable.
Small scratches on the base and topsheet are considered normal. Small chips around the nose and tail are too. Deeper scratches on the base and edges can be repaired and should not affect performance too much. Depending on how much the snowboard has been ridden, the responsiveness of the snowboard’s flexibility might be slightly reduced.
How to Inspect a Snowboard for Potential Damage and Defects
Damage is the number one variable you have to consider. Damage on a snowboard could drastically shorten the life of the snowboard. It can also affect a snowboard’s performance or it could cost you a lot in repair bills. If you’re going to see a used snowboard in person, check it for some of the following.
Are there any signs of delamination?
Delamination is where two or more layers of the snowboard begin to separate from each other. This usually happens around the topsheet or the base of the snowboard. Delamination can allow water to seep into the core of your snowboard, causing additional problems like warping, and swelling, and can eventually destroy the snowboard.
Are there any chips on the nose or tail?
Chips formed around the nose and tail of the snowboard can expose the core and lead to delamination as well. Carefully look around these areas because when someone holds a snowboard, they usually rest it on the nose or tail.
Do you see any cracks in the edges?
Cracks in the steel edge can happen from hitting objects or terrain park use. These cracks can eventually crack the whole edge, which can lead to edge separation.
Are there any big scratches in the base or repaired core shots?
A few scratches in the base are normal for a used snowboard. A lot of the smaller scratches can be removed by a base grind. You want to be on the lookout for any deep scratches or core shots that can affect performance. If there has been base repair, know that this spot could be a potential issue as less-than-perfect base repairs can fail, costing you additional money.
Can Old Snowboards Still Be Worth Buying
Is an old snowboard worth buying? Well, that depends on what you define as old. A snowboard that has seen light use over a couple of seasons is still a great opportunity to purchase, as snowboard technology doesn’t change too much year over year. Even a snowboard with considerable wear and tear at a cheap price can be helpful for someone trying to enter the sport on a budget.
As snowboards age, even with no riding on them, they will still eventually lose stiffness, and their camber profile will flatten. It would be wise to avoid any snowboard more than a few seasons old because the potential for lost performance increases with time.
Is There a ‘Best Time’ of Year to Buy a Used Snowboard?
There are two times of the year that tend to be best to buy a used snowboard. Those are Spring and Autumn. In the Spring, riders who are eager to get rid of their gear can be found selling their snowboards at a discounted rate. If you live in a resort town, international workers heading home are selling off their gear as they can’t return home with it. This is when snowboard shops also sell their ex-rentals too so be sure to visit the local shops around this time.
Autumn is another great time to look for deals as new snowboards become available to the public. Riders eager for new gear look to sell off their used equipment before dropping hundreds on a new setup.
For both of the times stated above, snowboard shops will also put last year’s models on clearance. This is an excellent opportunity to find a new snowboard at a great discount.
Buying a used snowboard can help you get into the sport at an affordable price. Why not take advantage of the used market? Luckily, the used market is so flooded with high quality and lightly used snowboards that you’re bound to find something that’s suitable.
Take time to research different snowboards you come across and scour the internet for used ones. Make sure you look over the snowboard, ask questions about how much it’s been ridden and see why the owner is selling it. Although buying a used snowboard comes with risk, doing your research and asking the right questions will set you up for success in finding the best-used snowboard for you. Happy riding!