Updated: Oct 11, 2019
Skis: Three things to check—base, edge, and topsheet. Check for deep gouges and core shots in the bases. Beware the claims of shoddy-looking “professionally filled” core shots. Your friend doing it in his garage for a six-pack doesn’t count, buddy. In terms of edges, a pair of season-old park skis versus a pair of season-old powder skis can mean a world of difference. Unless you’re buying a pair for late spring skiing, steer clear of any park ski older than a few seasons. Some chipping on the topsheets may not be the end of the world, but any excessive abuse could lead to internal water damage and a generally bad time.
Boots: The good thing about used boots is you get to skip the painful process of breaking in a new boots. The weird thing is someone else’s feet have gotten pretty acquainted with the inside of that liner. Fortunately, many liners can be re-molded multiple times (or you can buy new liners). As long as a little pre-existing boot stank doesn’t scare you off, a pair boots a year or two old are a solid way to save some coin.
Helmets: NEVER buy a used helmet. No matter how much the previous owner swears they only crashed once, the risk is just too high. A general rule is that you should replace your helmet every five years.
Waterproofing: No matter how sick your kit looks, when it’s dumping snow and everyone’s about to go ski the line of the season, the last thing you want is to be the one stuck in the lodge drying out your jacket under the bathroom hand dryer. Checking the waterproofing on a used jacket is as easy as it sounds. Pour some water on it. If the water beads on the fabric to form small droplets, you’re good to go. If it begins to soak in, the material has lost its waterproofing. If the jacket or bib is just too good of a deal to pass up, companies like Nikwax offer products that help return waterproof properties to used gear.
Zippers: Even though rocking an open jacket may make you look cool in front of the 14-year-old kids riding the park, adults zip up their coats. Don’t forget to check pit zips. Broken? Cure frosty midriff with this easy zipper repair.
Taken from POWDER Magazine article:
"A how-to guide on finding gear when money is tight."