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Tuesday November 8, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

For the first time in years ski and snowboard gear is cheaper in the UK than in Europe, with savings of up to 25 per cent. No wonder we're being urged to buy before we go.

With the weak pound and prices already fixed before Brexit, some top names in the industry say this winter is the time to buy kit in the UK. 

Their message is supported by an equipment price comparison published by the trade association, Snowsport Industries of Great Britain (SIGB).

It found big price differences between UK snowsport and outdoor shops and their European counterparts.

The Commercial Manager at Amer Sports, Jason Summerfield, says buying kit right now in the UK is a great option compared to the deal we'll get either buying or renting it in Europe.

But he's warning that the savings won't last forever.

"If we look a bit further into the future, the currency situation will inevitably put upward pressure on consumer prices for the 2017-18 season," he says.

"Although brands, including Salomon and Atomic, will try and minimize the impact, some price increases should be expected."  

Specialist boot fitting, AtomicBuying in Britain















Steve Wells, Head Ski Buyer at PlanetSKI partner Ellis Brigham agrees that now is the perfect time to buy. 

"We placed our orders and fixed our prices before Brexit, meaning that we're now significantly cheaper than any of the European competition, and North America," he says.

"Not only that, but the UK snowsports industry has had some tough years meaning only the best companies remain, so skiers and snowboarders can be sure they're buying from dedicated specialists who supply the best information and products, from the keenest staff, all backed up with easy to access warranties."

Footbed at Ellis BrighamGetting the right fit at Ellis Brigham




















Clothing at Ellis BrighamClothing at Ellis Brigham
















Retailers such as Ellis Brigham, which offer specialist boot fitting services,  also argue that it's far better to buy ski boots where you can have your feet analysed by a professional who speaks your language and can tune the fit of your boots.

Well, they would say all that, wouldn't they?

However, it is difficult to argue on the cost front, if you look at the price comparison produced by the SIGB for some leading manufacturers. 

The figures are based on an exchange rate of £1 to €1.12.

Price comparisonPrice comparison













The SIGB, which has 166 member organisations from the retail, supplier and travel sectors of the industry, says the question of whether to rent or buy skis or snowboards this season is by no means clear cut. 

Ellis BrighamTo buy or not to buy?
















The cost of hire in resort is escalataing due to the weak pound, but some airlines still charge extra to carry equipment.

Swiss Airlines have a free allowance for skis and snowboards and many other airlines allow passengers to take their gear as part of their overall baggage allowance.

They include British Airways, Air France*, Austrian Airlines**, Alitalia, KLM, Lufthansa**, Wizz, American Airlines, and United.  

The cost of ski trips is set to soar this season with in-resort prices up by around 20 per cent, as we reported in this article, so it's likely many people will choose to economise and make do with what they've got.

But if you do need that crucial new bit of kit, then it is probably worth thinking about it now and buying before you go.

*Sports equipment can be included as part of normal baggage allowance on a classic flight ticket 

**Sports equipment must be pre-booked on the telephone even if part of baggage allowance

For an earlier PlanetSKI article on when is the best age to buy ski boots for children then see here.

PlanetSKI at ProfeetPlanetSKI at Profeet
















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