The Park City Ski Team will host one of the largest and oldest ski and snowboard swaps in the United States this weekend, with 30,000 square feet of floor space dedicated to new and used skis, snowboards, poles, boots, clothing and accessories.
The Park Record asked the Park City Ski Team, the Park City Nordic Ski Team and the Park City Snowboard Team for some tips on how to shop the swap.
"The first things that go are our screaming deals on skis," said Jesse Hunt, Program Director of the Park City Ski Team. "If you're looking to get ski boots, go on Saturday or Sunday you'll have more time to look through the boots, try them on and make sure they fit."
Hunt said the swap has a whole range of skis, from all mountain skis to twin-tip and race skis. Specialty race items like U.S. Ski Team race suits he said tend to go fairly quickly, while cross-country ski gear goes fast as well, as their inventory is smaller.
For those looking to try on helmets and coats, Hunt again said that Saturday or Sunday would be preferable days.
"It's more of a hectic atmosphere on Friday night so if you're more of a soft goods shopper, you might want to shift into a Saturday or Sunday," Hunt said.
Hunt added there will be ski team coaching staff as well as industry salespeople on the floor to answer questions. Items such as backpacks and coats will have to be checked before entering so he suggested leaving those items in a vehicle.
Gordon Lange, cross-country Elite Coach with the Park City Nordic Ski Club, urged shoppers to ensure that when buying used nordic boots that they are not "broken down or sloppy" and said one's foot should not skid while moving in the boot.
"You have to make sure you have the boot-binding combination figured out," Lange said. "Some boots don't fit with other types of bindings, which is something that is surprising to some people if they're buying equipment for the first time."
Lange added that shoppers should pay attention to the weight rating on skis and make sure they don't buy a pair that is too stiff.
For snowboards, Dave Reynolds, Head Coach of the Park City Snowboard Team recommends selecting a board that comes up to between one's chin and nose heightwise. A shorter board, he said, would be preferable for park riding, while a longer board is better for mountain riding.
For board flex, Reynolds said a rider wants a softer board for all-mountain boarding and a stiffer board for halfpipe and big mountain riding.
For boots, he said a brand-new pair should let one's toes brush almost to the end. The more one rides, the more packed the boot will get, he said, while used boots should fit "just right."
Reynolds suggested getting goggles with multiple lenses if possible. If not, he said to shoot for a lower-light lens such as an orange.
For outerwear, Reynolds said choosing between insulated and non-insulated depends on the type of riding and how active a rider is. If purchasing a thin jacket, he said, make sure there is room for layers underneath.
Hunt suggested that if you don't want to wait in line, plan to arrive between 9 and 9:30 p.m. and get in the door right away. He said many people check their gear in the afternoon, have dinner in Newpark and come back for the sale in the evening.
Bringing cash, he added, is preferable and quicker. Admission is $10 on Friday, $5 on Saturday and $2 on Sunday. Those under 12 get in free.
The ski swap acts as the largest single fundraiser for the Park City Ski Team, which funds a comprehensive year-round ski program to develop young athletes in the Park City area. A 30 percent sales commission on sold used equipment also benefits the team.
The 41st Annual Park City Ski and Snowboard Swap, presented by Zions Bank, will be held at the Basin Recreation Field House, 1388 New Main Street, from Nov. 8-10. Sale hours are Friday 8 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, visit parkcityskiswap.com.