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The cost behind snowboarding

By Lexy Cassell, Staff Writer

It is no secret that snowsports will run your wallets thin. However, with its rise in popularity, the question is, how do individuals get into the sport without breaking the bank? 

Jackie Dorney and Kenzie Ulrich from Woodward Tahoe both give their insight on this issue.

Snowboard instructor at Woodward Tahoe Dorney first got into snowboarding when her parents took her to a resort at around ten years old. At the resort, she had the choice to either ski or snowboard. She thought snowboarding looked cooler, and went with that. 

“Back then it was still super inflated and super expensive,” she said. 

Although it was hard to get into, she fell in love instantly, and began taking lessons. Dorney got involved with Woodward 15 years ago, when she went to Woodward East as a skateboard camper. Throughout the years, she stayed in contact with the company. 

“I enjoy teaching kids, and I wanted to do it with snowboarding. It is a lot harder to do it with snowboarding than skating, since they are mostly first timers. With skating I am usually teaching tricks. I just wanted to expand my teaching experience,” Dorney said. “I think my board was like $600, and my bindings were like $200.” 

It doesn’t stop there either. The gear is one part, there are so many other aspects to riding, such as lift tickets. Lift tickets are incredibly expensive, which is why it’s so beneficial working at a ski resort. 

“I went to another resort called Sugarbowl yesterday and the lift tickets alone were around $100,” Dorney said. 

Those prices don’t include all the winter gear you have to wear to snowboard. Proper attire includes thermals, outwear, goggles and beanies. However, an option for lower-income individuals would be to go to a thrift store or consignment shop. Dorney recommends websites such as Facebook marketplace and Craigslist, although the quality of gear and sizing may not be accurate. 

Snowsports instructor and retail expert at Woodward Tahoe Ulrich started snowboarding at a young age; her brother and family got her into it. As a kid, she had smaller gear which she eventually would grow out of as she progressed with the sport. 

The board Ulrich used as a child was around $600-$700. As she got older, she got into snowboarding every season through middle school and high school. However, she ended up growing out of her kids gear. 

“It’s so expensive because the clothes have very good functionality because it’s such an extreme sport. But why? I just bought a board today that was $500. Just by working, I want to buy a lot of the stuff that surrounds me,” Ulrich said.

With snowboarding, there are so many layers. These include goggles, helmets, thermals and different jackets. For the rentals at the mountain she works at, a single person spends $70 for a helmet, boots and a board. Which is a good option, however the board is not the best quality. 

“Before the season started, my friend had no gear, and we spent around $1,500 for a setup.” 

In the end, snowboarding and other winter sports will always be expensive, since it is an extreme sport. 

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