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With the weak pound and prices already fixed before Brexit, this winter is the time to buy your ski and snowboard kit in the UK, finds a snowsport equipment price comparison published by the Snowsport Industries of Great Britain.
For the first time in many years, UK snowsport and outdoor shops can offer prices cheaper than their European counterparts, meaning Brits can save money on all their winter essentials by buying on home soil. With considerable savings of up to 25 per cent, now is the time to buy in the UK, with experts saying these prices won’t be around for long.
Jason Summerfield, commercial manager at Amer Sports explained the situation: 'For British skiers and snowboarders the weakening pound means that buying in the UK right now is a great option compared to the deal they will get in European shops and when renting in resort. If we look a bit further into the future, the currency situation will inevitably put upward pressure on consumer prices for the 2017-18 season, and although brands, including Salomon and Atomic, will try and minimise the impact, some price increases should be expected.
'This does however reinforce the feeling that now is a smart time to visit your local ski shop if you are considering buying new winter kit.'
Working alongside some of the leading snowsport brands, the Snowsport Industries of Great Britain finds that prices of well-known pieces of kit and equipment are currently consistently cheaper in the UK compared to prices in European shops (based on exchange rate £1/ 1.12€):
For skiers or snowboarders who have toyed with the idea of buying a pair of boots, skis or snowboard, now is the time to invest in their own equipment. Not only will they get the best price, owning their own kit will undoubtedly give them a better experience on the slopes. For example, having your boots professionally fitted in the UK by an expert who speaks your language, who can analyse your feet and properly tune the fit of the boots is a vital part of being ready for a snowsports trip. And greatly enhance your enjoyment.
Steve Wells, head ski buyer at Ellis Brigham says, ‘The currency issues that the country faces has created the perfect market to buy in the UK. We placed our orders and fixed our prices before Brexit, meaning that we’re now significantly cheaper than any of the European competition, and North America!
'Not only that, but the UK snowsports industry has had some tough years meaning only the best companies remain, so skiers and snowboarders can be sure they’re buying from dedicated specialists who supply the best information and products, from the keenest staff, all backed up with easy to access warranties.'
Adding to the argument to buy hardware in the UK, the decision between renting skis or snowboards versus buying is by no means clear cut this season. The cost of hire in resort is escalating, again due to the weak pound, and although some airlines still charge for ski carriage, Swiss Air Lines still have a free allowance for skis and snowboards and many airlines allow passengers to take skis as part of their overall baggage allowance. These airlines include British Airways, Air France, Austrian Airlines, AlItalia, KLM, Lufthansa, Wizz, American Airlines, United.
For more information about the Snowsport Industries of Great Britain’s Go UK Buy UK campaign and to find a list of SIGB retailers visit www.sigb.org.uk/directory/shops