Park City Ski Swap Comes Up Short

I’m on a mission. Baby needs new skis. Not me. The actual baby. Ok, Sage isn’t much of a baby anymore. She’s four and she’s outgrown her SpongeBob Square pants 60cm skis. She’s had them since I bought them for $3 at a yard sale two summers ago and it’s time to upgrade from seamen to princesses or at least something pink. Do I want to spend $150-200 on skis she’ll outgrow in a year? NO. I found nothing at the garage sales. With summer over, if was time for the swaps.

But I was at the wrong one first. The Black Diamond Swap held annually in the company’s parking lot is filled with mountaineering bargains and  big mountain gear that sponsored athletes are trying to unload. The asphalt is wall-to-wall cars, people and ‘stuff’. If I was looking for myself I could have picked up a set of climbing quickdraws for $15 or a slick Marmot jacket for Ryan for $90. The only kids skis I saw were from 1980. I should have gone to Rowmark Academy’s swap instead. Of course, that would be the place for kids skis!

Park City was next. We hit the swap today. Yes, we were a day late. The best-priced gear is scooped up on Friday night but we weren’t about to stand in line for an hour to be trampled by the masses when the doors of the Basin Recreation Center flung open. We mosied in at 5 p.m. Saturday after Megamind let out. It’s $5 per person to enter and browse. The money goes to the Park City Ski Team.

On the far wall lay a pile of kids skis; most of them new. And pink! But $140? For preschooler skis? This was a swap! Why they gotta be like that? All greedy and stuff. So we’re at one of the last swaps before the ski season starts, there are more than 10 pairs of 80cm skis from Volkl, Roxy, Rossignol and Salomon and they’re all more than $100. Sheesh. I passed. There’s no way they’ll all sell by tomorrow when the swap ends so I’ll be eying eBay starting Monday.

Ryan almost bought new poles for $30 then he changed his mind and decided to make do with his old ones. I had no interest in anything for myself. I love my Marker clothes I got last season; though I did see some cute Roxy and Orage women’s jackets for around $50.

Turns out about the only thing the swap was good for was sizing up Sage. For 4 year olds, you want a ski that’s between chest and chin. Many say the shorter, the better because kids’ll have an easier time turning. At that age, easy=fun. Sage is 42” tall and weighs 40lbs so we need something around 80cm this year. Then we’ll go up 10cm about every two years depending on how fast she grows. That’s the plan anyway.

I got home tonight and surfed Craigslist. Nothing much for kids….yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the gear (and there is tons of it) we saw today didn’t find its way to the free online classifieds sooner rather than later. My fingers are crossed.

The PC Swap ends at 2 p.m. today (Sunday) with pick up of unsold gear from 3-5 p.m. 1388 New Main St. in Park City at Kimball Junction.


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