{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How do you make snowboarding trips more affordable? First timer and can drive to mammoth/lake tahoe so that saves on airfare, but b/w just the 2.5hr lesson, gear rental, clothing rental, and 3 day lift tickets, that’s $1000 alone. I wanna do it before my body can’t handle an activity like that (I have patellar tendonitis, herniated disc) but man, this trip is costing more than half of what I predict one of our Euro trips next year will cost. No wonder I never went growing up 😔", "post_id": "61475f3ddda84a00297d533b", "reply_count": 13, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5af0f2b1132f350013acdc55", "bowl_name": "Travel Recommendations" }

How do you make snowboarding trips more affordable? First timer and can drive to mammoth/lake tahoe so that saves on airfare, but b/w just the 2.5hr lesson, gear rental, clothing rental, and 3 day lift tickets, that’s $1000 alone. I wanna do it before my body can’t handle an activity like that (I have patellar tendonitis, herniated disc) but man, this trip is costing more than half of what I predict one of our Euro trips next year will cost. No wonder I never went growing up 😔

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If you’re renting gear, clothing, and presumably just starting snowboarding, skip huge resorts like mammoth and Lake Tahoe. Find a small local mountain/hill and go for a few day trips - you’re going to spend most/all of the day on bunny hills and greens, which are the same everywhere. Lift tickets and lessons will be way cheaper this way. Once you have your legs under you and start getting bored of the blues and blacks on a tiny mountain, start thinking about going to bigger resorts. At that point, it’ll likely make sense to get a ski pass like Ikon or Epic, which are expensive upfront but will save you a ton of money after a few days, especially in big resorts. Consider renting your gear for a full season from a ski shop or REI - this is considerably less expensive than daily rentals. For clothes, buy used stuff from FB marketplace. Get a new helmet online - they’re not very expensive and if you hit your head, they usually need to be replaced so it’s not worth the risk of a used one. Going snowboarding for the first time and going to Tahoe or Mammoth is a bit like wanting to try hiking and going straight to 14k footers. I’m not on the west coast so don’t have any recommendations but they’re definitely out there. I learned years ago on a “mountain” with like 300 vertical feet of terrain and 4 lifts. Last season, I skied over 550k vertical feet. Just gotta start small.

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A1 yeah that’s the problem. My SO has done it but doesn’t like it much (doesn’t like snow and cold) so I can’t see us doing this more than the one time. Plus he’ll go ski if we do go since he had an okay time snowboarding. And he said the same thing: by day 2 he only went down a couple times cuz he was so sore from falling the day before. That’s why he/other friends say just 3-4 days is enough for a first time but at the same time, that’s a lot. So yeah idk. I’m kinda leaning towards just waiting til we go to Switzerland one year and doing it there (that’s where my SO did his first time and it’s cheaper cuz the Swiss government subsidizes snow activities).

It’s expensive to get into but doesn’t have to be expensive to do unless you want to go to top tier mountains and stay at 5 star properties. Definitely helps if you live somewhere with snow that has decidedly non-resort ski hills (I grew up learning to ski at small hills in Minnesota where lift tickets were like $20). Weekday lift tickets are usually much less expensive than weekend. Shop around online for lift ticket deals - you will almost always pay a large premium buying the day of at the ticket window at the hill. As others have said - skip the mega mountains and ski at smaller more basic places. Definitely look to rent gear from somewhere other than the mountain itself (prices from nearby sporting goods stores will be better, and prices from sporting goods stores in metro areas not in ski towns will be best). If you do it a few times and like it - definitely buy your own gear (from a season or two ago) and look into epic or ikon season passes to multiple resorts. If you have them, use points to cover hotel stays (bonvoy has pretty good options at a lot of different large mountains in the US). If you’re traveling to ski and want to save money - consider staying further from the mountain - when I ski Utah I almost always stay in salt lake vs at a resort. Alternately - a lot of ski resorts are just that - excellent resorts that provide a great environment to get into nature in an alpine environment. Maybe it helps to mentally frame the trip as a luxury stay that just happens to include a day or two of trying out skiing with the rest spent at the spa, by the fireplace at lodges and just being outside in the mountain air. Also - 4 days is a lot for a first time trip - 2 days is plenty from my view. You’re going to be very sore just from using muscles differently before considering the inevitable learning curve wipe outs. I’m usually pretty beat by the end of a 2/3 day long weekend but maybe I’m just out of shape.

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Idk if it makes sense as a one time activity. It’s something that gets cheaper once you have gear and get an annual pass. It’s fine to check it out to see if you like it but it is prohibitively expensive to do one off trips as you describe. At this point all skiing costs is the $800 season pass which I usually end up using for 20+ days and the occasional gear upgrade once every 8-10 years.

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I bought my own helmet and boots and it essentially takes up most of my luggage when I go to a resort

Agree that snowboarding/skiing is definitely a rich person sport. The first time I went was after college. If you plan on going for more than one season, it’s good to buy your own clothes - ski jackets can also be worn casually depending on where you live. I also like to have my own helmet and shoes for hygienic reasons. Multi-day passes are usually cheaper than one day pass. If you are still learning, it’s best to go several days in a row to build that muscle memory. It also tend to be cheaper during the beginning and end of season.

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