Despite Brexit related angst troubling holiday-makers, the weak pound means ski equipment is up to 25% cheaper in British ski shops this winter!
The news has been filled with doom and gloom lately, from Donald Trump’s election to the crash of the pound post-Brexit hitting British holiday makers right where it hurts (in the wallet); just how will we afford that next jägerbomb in the Mooserwirt?! Now though, it turns out there’s a positive to the pound’s woeful performance: buying ski equipment in the UK has actually got cheaper!
This might sound counterintuitive, but it actually makes perfect sense: prices for this season’s equipment were fixed before Brexit, and due to the weak pound UK snowsport shops can offer cheaper prices than their European rivals for the first time in years, according to top names in the industry and to a snowsport equipment price comparison published by the Snowsport Industries of Great Britain.
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 minimize 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 found 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€):
UK Suggested Retail Price (£)
European Suggested Retail Price (exchange rate £1/1.12€)
Atomic Vantage 90 CTI ski & Binding
Rossignol Soul 7 ski
Salomon Gypsy snowboard
Burton Custom snowboard
Head Hammer 130 ski boot
ThirtyTwo Lashed snowboard boot
Salomon Icon 2 Custom Air helmet
With considerable savings of up to 25%, the experts are saying this is the perfect time for Brits to invest in new ski gear. However these prices won’t be around for long, as the next round of the retail cycle will take account of Sterling’s current performance – so if you’ve been dreaming about that new pair of skis now’s the time!
Steve Wells, Head Ski Buyer at Ellis Brigham gave even more insight into why now is the time to buy in the UK: ‘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.”
Aside from the price there are some definite advantages to buying at home, particularly when purchasing more specialised or customised pieces of kit like boots. All ski boots inevitably need a certain amount of tweaking to get the fit just right, and being able to communicate with a boot fitter in your native tongue is a definite advantage. More than that though, you can perfect the fit at home (perhaps with visits to a snow dome), so you don’t need to waste any of your precious slope time getting the fit tweaked in while away on holiday!
Adding to the argument to buy ski equipment in the UK this year, the economics of buying vs renting is by no means clear cut this season: most hire shops charge in euros, making things more expensive when paying in pounds due to the exchange rate. 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, including British Airways, Air France, Austrian Airlines, AlItalia, KLM, Lufthansa, Wizz, American Airlines, and United.
Nick Warne, Retail Director at independent retailer Snowtrax added: “There has never been a better time to buy in the UK, with prices up to 25% cheaper than in Europe at the moment. Consumers are really starting to take note of the savings they are making on snowsport kit, and are starting to realise that buying over hiring is in the long-term, a better option.”
Now, if that isn’t enough to convince you that now’s the time to invest in your own ski equipment, let us let you into a little secret: while buying new skis is about the most satisfying thing you can spend your money on, more importantly as you get used to them – and waste less time adjusting to whatever rusty pair the hire shop hands out – your ability and enjoyment of your ski holiday increase exponentially too. So technically, even your holiday is better value!
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 sigb.org.uk/directory/shops.