Buying skis or a board

Why choose a specialist retailer?

There are over 700 specialist snowsports retailers throughout the UK featured on The Outdoor Experts. These are local specialist shops which offer a choice of quality products combined with specialist skills and advice to meet all of your needs.

The Outdoor Experts retailers are owner run and managed, with a real passion for the sport running throughout their businesses, delivering true consumer choice, service and knowledge.

Find your local snowsports shop


Most snowsports shop owners and staff are snowsports experts themselves, who have a great deal of experience and invaluable advice to offer you that the guide books and how to guides can't offer. A specialist shop should also have the facilities to offer you maintenance for your equipment, something whcih the larger non-specialist retailers tend not to have. 

If you have decided to buy equipment rather than hire it then you may already be a fairly competent skier or snowboarder and know the type of equipment you are looking for. However, if you are a beginner or just want to refresh your memory, make sure you take a look through this guide to selecting a snowboard or skis. 

Use our find a shop tool to find your nearest snowsports specialist retailer. 

Choosing the right equipment

If you've decided to invest in a board or ski's you'll want to do you research first. A well maintained board should last you 100+ days of boarding and skis should be the same, so depending on how often you hit the slopes, you could have your equipment for a while, so choose carefully.

There are buyer guides and customer reviews widely available online. Your ski/snowboard instructor and shop staff should also be able to offer some good advice.

It is also a good idea to look out for things like suitability guarantees, breakage guarantees, and price guarantees to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.

Do not pick your board or skis for the way they look, make sure you talk to the shop staff about the best equipment for you. The different types of snow, your level of ability, how often you will be using it and your budget will all need to be considered when choosing what will suit you best. 

Once the board or ski's have been chosen the specifications need to be considered.

The basic rules of buying ski's and snowboards are:


Length: The length of your skis will be based on your weight and ski ability. Click here to see a ski sizing chart from Edge and Wax.

Flex: Soft to medium flex is best for beginner/intermediates. Stiff for more aggressive skiers.


Length: Board should come up to between your chin and forehead.
Width: Your feet should be just about flush with the edge of the board, not hanging over the side.
Flex: Choose more flex if you'll be doing freestyle moves in the park/pipe; more stiffness for all-mountain riding.

Remember, these are just the basic tips, be sure to talk to the retailers and give them as much information as you can about your requirements as everyone will have different needs.

How much should you spend?

Snowsports can be expensive, from flights and accommodation to lessons before you even get on the snow.

Snowboards and skis can range from £100 to over £1000, which can make it difficult to determine which will be the best investment. The price you pay will depend greatly on how often you are going to use them and your level of ability. Your local retailer can give you advice on what will be best for you, but it's safe to say that a beginner can get away with lower cost equipment to begin with and invest in more expensive gear once committed to the sport. 

If money is holding you back from trying a snowsport, then you could save money on your equipment by following these simple tips.

Get it on finance

Can't afford to splash out on pricey equipment all in one go? That's where Take it outdoors comes in. You can get the board, skis and accessories you want and pay for it over a period of 6 to 48 months, depending on the amount.  We have shops all over the country who offer finance options, read more about it here and find your nearest Take it outdoors retailer here

Hire equipment

Whilst not ideal for avid skiers and snowboarding, beginners can save a lot by hiring their equipment at the resort. This will not only save on the cost of buying the equipment but also the extra luggage fees airlines will charge you to take equipment onboard. 

Wait for the deals

The run up to winter will always be the most expensive time to buy snowsports gear. If you want a bargain, you can get up to 50% off if you wait until after the busy months. You can also find some good discounts on last seasons stock. Keep an eye out and you're sure to find a good deal.

Get a package

Sometimes you can get equipment cheaper if you buy the skis or board, boots and bindings all together. It's worth investigating especially as these are all things you will eventually need to purchase.

Find your local snowsports shop