Unlike Marmite, which saw a price increase after the Brexit vote, UK snowsports prices were fixed when they were ordered by the retailers earlier this year.
We predicted back in March that this winter 16/17 would be a great time for buying ski gear in the UK, forseeing a dramatic drop in prices.
And, now, it's been confirmed by the Snowsports Industries of Great Britain that it's cheaper to buy both ski and snowboard kit in the UK rather than Europe.
'It happens every five or so years that UK prices are more competitive than Europe because of the exchange rate. Our ski gear was pre-ordered by the UK retailer back in January and February on a pre-Brexit exchange rate when the pound was much stronger to the €uro. We have stuck to this exchange rate and have now delivered goods to our stores.' says Mark Wood, Sales Director of SCOTT UK, 'With this in mind UK retailers can offer really good prices, this winter, that make it very cost effective to buy here.'
With the weak pound considerable savings of up to 25% are available in the UK compared to Europe. So now is the time to buy, here, as these prices won't be around forever. And don't be fooled by the French and German '.co .uk' websites which seemngly sell from the UK but are actually run by European retailers with Euro-based prices.
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.'
For example, Atomic Vantage 90 CTI skis and bindings are retailing at £550 in the UK but will cost 25% more at around £737 in Europe based on a £1/1.12Euro exchange. Similarly, a Salomon Gypsy snowboard is £340 in the UK, £471 in Europe with an increase of 19%.
Significantly, 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 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.
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. These savings coupled with the in-depth knowledge available from specialist retailers like ourselves means there are plenty of reasons to shop locally.'
Check out where to buy in the UK via the SIGB retail directory.
*Sports equipment can be included as part of normal baggage allowance on a classic flight ticket
**Sports equipment must be pre-booked on the telephone even if part of baggage allowance