Fall colors have faded, snow is falling, the first few Colorado resorts are open for the season, and you’ve likely already slurped up content from dedicated ski media touting the best boards of the season. Sidewalls made of indestructible space-age material, carbon cores so light they practically float into the heavens, hourglass shapes versatile enough for hardpack, powder, slush, ice, the works. This could be yours for the low price of a bazillion dollars!

Don’t buy into the hype.

Instead, dear reader, take a short walk with us. We’re headed to your garage (or basement, or mud room, or living room—hey, we don’t judge), where you’ve got a pair of skis, maybe two, sitting sad and lonely, waiting for a fresh wax. Maybe the edges are a little dull, but a quick tune can cure that. Perhaps there’s a little ding in the base that needs a dab of P-Tex.

These skis have been with you on those first turns of the season and on days so deep you needed a snorkel to breathe through your pow slashes. When you bought them, the width underfoot was just right for you. They hold a good edge on a groomer and float just enough in powder. You’re so well acquainted with these skis.

New skis take time to get to know. You need to take them out a few times to learn how they carve and what the turning radius is like, how responsive or forgiving they are. When you take the boards in your garage out for the first lap of the season, though, it’s like bellying up to your favorite bar for a cold pint with a best friend you haven’t seen in far too long. Wouldn’t you be at least a little sad to see those dear skis sit collecting dust all season as you skate away with a new, flashier friend?

Those skis in your garage have proven themselves a steady and reliable partner, ready for fun no matter the forecast. The least you could do is return the favor. Pull out the iron, give those puppies a fresh wax, and stop straining your brain while reading one too many ski reviews. The snow is flying and the lifts are already spinning. Better to just get out and slice-and-dice on the trusty gear you’ve already got.

3 Colorado Ski Shops for Buying Used Gear

If you really did blow out a sidewall last season—or you’ve never had a pair of skis to call your own in the first place—don’t fret. You don’t have to spend big bucks for great gear. Buying used is a more eco-conscious choice anyway, and it allows you to save your budget for lift passes, gas, and all the other things attendant with skiing. Here, a trio of our favorite spots in the Denver area to snag a pair of once-loved skis for yourself.

Wilderness Exchange

This Highland consignment shop has a great reputation for carrying quality stuff with decent variety. Find good downhill setup here, but go in with a well-intentioned plan: Among the alpine bindings and resort-oriented boards, you’ll likely find swoon-worthy touring skis with pin-tech mounts and a smattering of new gear, too.

Boulder Sports Recycler

Skiers and riders are likely to land a good rig at Boulder Sports Recycler, a local staple that’s been around for nearly 30 years. This shop tends to have dozens of skis and snowboards on the floor, including cross-country setups. They can also help you repair equipment that needs a little TLC (within reason, of course).

Recycle Sports

Already up in the mountains? Frisco’s Recycle Sports is one of the best (and few) spots in Summit County to snag quality used ski gear. Like others along the Front Range, they consign a variety of hardgoods, including downhill skis, touring skis, snowboards, and cross-country skis. As an added bonus, Recycle Sports also offers mounts and tuning service so you can give your quiver a quick facelift.

Stasia Stockwell
Stasia Stockwell
Stasia is a writer and mountain dweller who currently calls the Tenmile Range home.