5 Tips for Buying Snowboarding Gear Cheap!

It is no secret that many people, myself included, cannot resist a good deal. Saving money anywhere possible is important and that is no different when starting to accumulate gear for a new hobby. In my last post, I Guess I Snowboard Now, I talk about this year being pivotal in getting myself into snowboarding. Since shredding the gnar with my pals in the UP, I have started to gather my own snowboard with bindings, snowboarding boots, and helmet. As a newbie I have been looking for cheap ways to get myself on the slopes!

Charlie started snowboarding with a secondhand board when he was young!


I scoured secondhand shops and Facebook Market Place for cheap boards. This meant that I was looking at pre-loved boards from people growing out of the sport or just getting other specific gear. I also think it is important to consume second-hand items, you know, for the environmental impact (Sustaining Sara).

After looking through what felt like millions of 155 cm boards, a 145 cm came up from a pregnant woman whose husband was planning to buy her a new board to start her next shredding next season.

I lucked out because this woman obviously took care of this board and I was only out 75 bucks. Looking for second hand gear takes patients, but can be worth it to save out for nice gear at lower cost.

REI Garage Sale

I am the biggest advocate of becoming and REI member. I have gotten so many great, cheap pieces of gear for backpacking and snowboarding because someone had the nerve to take advantage of REI’s return policy. I am talking 40-60% off things like my jet boil, Nemo Hornet Elite 2 Tent, and now my Burton snowboarding boots with BOA system!

After adding on my REI Co-Op dividen, the boots were around $25. Seriously, these are the perks of a lifetime membership that cost me $20 to start with.

Grab End-of-Season Deals!

NOW IS THE TIME! I will admit I want the Smith Hoyt helmet because my husband has the Smith Hoyt helmet. Charlie got his helmet from the Smith website and used a coupon code (we are so proud!), but I was waiting for a bigger deal (and a different color). I finally got my deal on Facebook Marketplace when a company was getting rid of their stock now that the season is ending. I got a few more bucks off compared to Charlie’s deal and I will start next winter with a brand new helmet!

(it is important to note that at the time of publishing this article my helmet has not been shipped yet, it has been 12 days.)

Join Facebook Groups

I think this goes for any or your interests. I am in Facebook Groups for backpacking, camping in Northern Michigan, and now snowboarding to name a few. These niche groups often have different guidelines for selling items that one person no-longer needs but fits the interests of the group at large.

For example, I joined Girls That Board. Or the the group for this very blog; Sustaining Sara!

Talk about it

I have a lot of friends that snowboard. If I need a piece of gear I let them know and they will often have recommendations for me or even might have something to sell me. Even outside of snowboarding I have had friends tell me about something they want me to keep a lookout for just in case I come across their holy-grail item!

These are my tips for getting cheap gear. You may find different things work better for you or even get a chance to score brand new gear, that’s great! but on this blog, pre-loved gear and good deals are king,, so I hope this helped you out!



I Guess I Snowboard Now.

Hi all!

This winter I have had some amazing opportunities when it comes to winter sports. Thanks to a great friend group that came together for a snowboarding trip and a husband that already had a passion for the sport, I have now snowboarded for the second and third time ever and I do not want to stop!…which sucks because it is the end of the season, BUT WOOOO SNOWBOARDING!

Not a lot of people know this about my college experience, but in my senior year of college I learned that I was in a ”short major” and that while I had taken all my required credits, I needed to fluff my curriculum with electives. This lead to me taking over 20 credits my last semester of college and included a spring break snowboarding lesson! While this still seems like a joke to me, it was a great opportunity to get away for spring break and learn a new skill that I had hoped to fester into a hobby.

Charlie had let me borrow his childhood board and boots to help me lessen the financial sting of the trip, but they were definitely a little small on me. The lesson was great and I was decently successful at carving, falling, and getting up again, but after a week on the hill I was discouraged by my bruises and aches. Between rental costs, moving to SoCal (and not venturing up the mountains), and just being busy with other adventures, that lesson was my first and last snowboarding experience until 2022.

When Charlie told me that some friends wanted to head north to the UP to shred the gnar, I was in! This avalanched (not literally) into buying new winter snowboarding gear, GREAT times, and a new appreciation for snowboarding.

First, I want to share the snow gear I got because a) you know I cannot resist a good gear list and b) your girl is always looking for the best bang for her buck and I think I found it in the jacket and snow pants I chose!

Gracefully getting off the lift

For my outer layers I wore a MOERDENG ski jacket (in pink camo, duh) and Arctix womens bibs (PINK) snow pants. Plus my Lisa Frank mittens Charlie got me for our first valentines day…they are old but stylish! I get so many compliments on those mittens!

I was on the slopes for under $150 with a new jacket and snow pants!

I also wore a good amount of merino wool. I am obsessed with merino wool. This means I wore a merino buff, smart wool merino socks, and smart wool merino leggings that I bought at the ski lodge. I was not planning on buying the leggings, but they were a great price compared to REI and DANG ARE THEY WARM!

My gear was great and kept me warm when used correctly. When I started pulling my buff up and down over my mouth, the moisture from breathing on it would freeze, making it very uncomfortable. Same for my goggles; they were awesome but condensation froze on them if I pulled them on and off my face. I am mentioning this to hopefully save a few people from the same fate, because once your gear starts freezing up it becomes useless for its intended purpose.

For these trips I rented my gear. While continuing this sport and renting every single time would become expensive, it just made sense to considering we were not sure if snowboarding was something I would continue to do. I have spent some time looking around for used gear now, but renting just made sense for the time being!

Picture from resortsandlodges.com

Once geared up, our first snowboarding trip of the season was at Ski Brule. From what I understand, this was better than any hills in our native southeast Michigan and I loved it! Ski Brule is family owned and I hope that that family and the locals are proud of this establishment. Ski Brule was so much fun and everyone that works there seems friendly and knowledgeable. However, even if the gnar was not gnarly (it was), we were up there with the best people and there was no way not to enjoy ourselves!

See more reels on the Sustaining Sara instagram

My second snowboarding adventure this year was a quick day-trip to Mt. Holly. I had entirely too much fun even after my rage-quitting breaks and Charlie took the above video of my progress! Since this last trip I have been acquiring new-to-me snowboarding gear, joining snowboarding groups on facebook, and in general consuming snowboarding content! I am falling in love with this sport and actually sad the season is already over in lower Michigan!

What about you, what are your favorite things to do in the winter? Do you snowboard or ski? Let me know in the comments!



What I do in a day – Snow Day Edition

Y’all. In 2020 I moved back to Michigan from California. While in California we chose to go on adventures and see snow, but this week in Michigan (and many other areas) the snow globe was shaken! Please read on to see a day in my life; Snow Day Edition.

Dog’s first snow day in Big Bear, CA with dog parents
Jupiter’s first snow day in Big Bear, CA

Everything begins the night before. My fiancé, Charlie, texted me while he was at work that he was planning to take the truck fro work the next day with the expectation of 6-8 inches of snow to accumulate through the night.  We also agreed to go grocery shopping after Charlie got out of work since we were low on food. 

After grocery shopping we sat in the living room, playing DnD with our virtual group and watched snow begin to fall. At first it fell softly in big flakes, creating the most beautiful atmosphere. Then the wind picked up and visibility became foggy. The winter storm was here. By the time we went to bed the winter storm was holding steady with no end in sight.  

In the morning before Charlie goes to work he always tells me good bye and that he let the dogs out and fed them, but this time this brief routine was interrupted with a funny story. Charlie went to take the dogs to the back door, but the snow was over the dogs little heads! Charlie had to take the fellas out a different door that was easier to shovel. My poor small Bingo had barely gone outside and Jupiter retreated to do his business under the porch. Really this all made me laugh and I was excited to see this winter wonderland after a little more sleep.

Now, finally awaking from my slumber, it was my turn to witness the work of the winter storm. I quickly put on my leggings and socks, raced to get my boots on, and lead the fellas to the back door. Charlie’s description did not disappoint. While overall I think we got 10-12 inches, the wind must have blown a lot of snow to settle in heaps on our back deck. The snow was over my knees! After marveling at being snowed in from the deck, I took my fellas to the other door and just as Charlie had said they were so skeptical of the cold snow. My mom’s dog and Jupiter showed off their bravery and found little paths to take into the thick of the yard, but Bingo just sat in the garage doorway looking at me in terror.

Oh, did I mention it was still snowing? Much less menacing than when I went to sleep and boardering on those big, romantic flakes. I spent the rest of my morning drinking coffee by our big front window and calming down the dogs all barking at our neighbors snow blowers and tractors. All the neighbors were removing snow from their driveways up until early afternoon which got me to thinking if it would make any difference for me to take out the measly snow shovel…which I decided was too much work for too little payoff Wrong.

By early evening my sister and I decided that we needed to play in the snow a little before the sun went down. We bundled up in hats and mittens and took the dogs outside. The paths I made with my slumpy steps became the start of the trails for our dogs to comfortably traverse the snow. While I was walking further into the yard my sister was testing a heart-shaped snowball maker and creating a lovely snow Arsenal. Once I finally turned back toward the house my sister was throwing snow hearts everywhere! It was both beautiful and terrifying; she almost pummeled me a few times!

Snow day tracks in snow
My first trek into the snowy backyard!

We did not spend much time outside (partially due to Bingo’s protest), and once we went inside we both  chose our specific places to rest. After watching a few YouTube videos I decided to cleanup in the kitchen. I got some dishes done before I realized that our snowy driveway was plowed in. I was devastated. I had already not shoveled the driveway, making it hard enough for Charlie to come home, but at this point Charlie wouldn’t even be able to get past the giant snow bank to park the truck. This is what I get for saving my energy and not shoveling earlier…more shoveling.

I woke up my sister from her catnap and asked her to watch me at the window to make sure I stayed safe near the busy road, put on my old work coat with reflectors, and laced up my boots tight. I walked through the driveway to the snow bank and began to shovel it away. At the first scoop I already saw progress and with hard work I could free my driveway! I was shoveling in small scoops because this snow was packed and heavy. I was using muscles I had not used in such a long time. My wrists were on fire, my back muscles were pulsing. I was taking frequent breaks to catch a breath or backup to let a car pass. It was exhausting. Right after I had finished and gone inside Charlie safely pulled into the driveway. 

I finished the night watching Netflix with people I love, beer in hand, body sore. Snow days are great! While I evaded a lot of work that comes with snow days, remember that they are not just fun and no school. If you are not doing the work to clear snow then someone else is. All I am trying to say is have fun, but have a plan to remove snow from your driveway!