Friday, 4 May 2012 8:43 AM
As summer rapidly approaches you're probably more likely to be thinking about trips to the seaside and topping up your tan than racing down a snowy piste. However, it can pay to prepare for a winter sports getaway during this season, as you may bag a bargain.
For instance, you could save money by picking up new ski jackets in the sale, as it is likely shops will drop their prices as fewer people are jetting off to the slopes. The quality of the merchandise will be as good as ever, it's just you might not have to fork out as much.
You could get a great ski jacket you might not have been able to afford at full price and even treat yourself to matching trousers as well. While you're at it, it makes sense to stock up on all those extra accessories, such as gloves, goggles and thermal underwear.
It's not only your clothes that you could purchase now, but also your equipment. Skis and snowboards are not the cheapest items, but during the summer you could find the prices drop. Of course, if you're a keen winter sports enthusiast you'll be happy to pay for quality goods - but it always helps to know you have got a bit of a discount.
However, it's not all about securing bargains and there are other reasons why you may wish to visit ski shops now. For instance, you could buy things to take on a summer ski trip abroad.
There are some places where the cold temperatures and constant snow coverage mean you can hit the slopes at any time of year. However, the summer is still considered off season, even if there is snow on the ground, which means you may find it is far cheaper to book a holiday at this time.
One option is to travel somewhere there are glaciers to ski on. A great example of such a resort is Zermatt in Switzerland - a town that sits in the shadow of the Matterhorn. Due to the sheer scale of the mountains in the area, this is the highest and largest summer skiing zone in Europe.
Alternatively, you could head south to experience winter below the equator. Chile, Argentina and New Zealand all have ski resorts that are experiencing their coldest temperatures when the UK is enjoying the summer.
A further perk of this option is that, compared to some of the resorts in Europe and North America, these are relatively up and coming so you may find it is a lot cheaper to book a break here than in the US, Canada or the Alps.
However, even if you don't venture overseas this summer, you can keep practising the craft and improving your skiing and snowboarding abilities here in the UK. There are dry slopes across the country that are open all year round, so this is the perfect place to go and ensure you aren't rusty when the time comes to jet off in the winter.
You can also visit one of the indoor ski slopes, which are becoming increasingly popular. This is a good idea not only as you can keep improving your skills, but also so you can test out all the new gear you have bought. You will be able to wear in your new gloves, jacket and pants, while getting to grips with any new equipment you have invested in.