Winter isn’t over yet.
Punxsutawney Phil made it official on Groundhog Day last month, but the weather predictions of a rotund rodent aren’t the only reasons to hang onto your gloves and hat. There’s still tons of snow in the mountains — particularly in the Western states — and more weeks of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and winter play to be had.
The further good news is that this is the time of year to get bargains on winter sporting goods.
Start with second-hand clothing stores
Before you start looking at new winter sporting goods, take a minute to think about winter clothes. We’re far enough into the season now that many of the people who have tried on last year’s winter clothes — and found they don’t fit — will have dropped them off at Goodwill, Value Village or other used clothing outlets.
This is a particularly good option if you are buying winter sports clothes for kids — since things like winter boots, ski jackets, snowboard pants may not fit for more than one season. You may also be able to find a good pair of skates or a toboggan second-hand, although you’ll want to carefully check the condition before buying.
In general, however, it’s rarely a good idea to buy winter sports equipment second-hand as you just don’t know what stresses and strains it has faced before reaching your hands. Skis, snowboards and helmets can all be more worn than they look.
Get cash back on your sporting goods buys
It is possible not only to get great deals on skis, snowboards and other winter sports equipment, but also to get cash back while doing so.
The place to do that is Ebates, where you can register to receive cash-back rewards by shopping with affiliated stores. Ebates has a guide to winter sports equipment shopping on its site — which offers some great tips, such as making sure that you get free shipping codes for Back Country and pointing out awesome deals at other outlets if you register for their loyalty programs.
Deals on skis
This time of year can also be great for sales. Sun & Ski, for example, currently has a Spring Break sale that will let you buy good-quality brand-name equipment at sharply reduced prices.
You can currently get Rossignol men’s Pursuit 200 Carbon All Mountain Skis with Xelium 110 bindings for $299.98 (and they regularly sell for $500). There’s a wide array of winter boots and other winter gear marked down as well.
Great deals on skis are also available right now from REI, which is currently having a clearance sale on skis and snowboards. For example, REI is selling Nordica Enforcer 93 Skis that normally go for $649.95 and are now offered for $519.93.
Meanwhile, women’s Salomon Astra All Mountain Skis with Lithium 10 W Bindings are on sale for $359.84 (regular price $725). REI also is selling K2 Remedy 117 Skis for $244.83 — down from $699.95.
A good helmet matters
You need a helmet — and a good one. As someone who has suffered two concussions in the course of a long skiing career (and both times while wearing a good helmet), I can tell you that getting the right helmet is crucial.
That doesn’t, of course, mean that you need to overpay for it. Sun & Ski, for example, is currently selling a Giro Nine Snow Helmet — which regularly goes for $99 — for $69.83. Amazon.com sells the same helmet at a variety of prices, including some that are even cheaper than Sun & Ski.
Overstock.com is currently having a Winter Clearance Sale (with up to 70 percent off regular prices), featuring sporting goods deals such as a Lucky Bums Adult Silver Snow Sport Helmet for $32.26.
If you buy your helmet online, make sure that it fits properly before hitting the slopes — and send it back if it doesn’t.
The best equipment in the world isn’t going to help if you are freezing while you’re out enjoying the snow. As it happens, sportswear supplier Under Armour is offering a deal on “men’s leggings” (which you and I might know as long underwear) — with the UA HeatGear Armour Compression men’s leggings currently going for $22.49 (instead of the usual price of $39.99).
Check here for more deals and sales on winter gear.
Getting on board
There are also midseason snowboard deals if you look for them. Sun & Ski is currently offering a Rossignol Men’s Circuit Amptek Wide All Mountain Snowboard for $179.84 (regularly $299.95) and a Flow Women’s Venus Snowboard for $209.83 (regularly $299.95).
The biggest discounts are often for older models — so if you’re getting a really great price, it may be because you’re getting a board that was a new design in 2015.
And if you’re a fan of cross-country skiing, then check out the L.L.Bean sale where you can buy Rossignol BC X6 75-mm Cross-Country Ski Boots for $129 (regularly priced at $160).
Ride until the end of the season
If you’ve got equipment that’s good enough, then ski or ride on it until the end of the season, when you’ll see a whole lot more sales.
Where do you find your best late-season deals on winter sportswear and equipment? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.