The North Bay Nordic Ski Club held its annual ski exchange and sale on Saturday morning to help raise funds for its junior racing team.
All types of skiing equipment and clothing were available for purchase including skis, poles, boots, racing suits, ski gloves and mitts ranging in styles and quality.
Ski Club President Dave Minden explained that over the last ten to fifteen years, there have been drastic changes in skiing equipment from the original three-pin binding mechanism to the more modern Solomon and new Nordic-Norm systems.
The event first held in the mid 1970’s has become an annual tradition and is used as a fund-raiser for the junior racing team to help support their racing activities.
“One of the major expenses that the junior racing team has is, really, related to races. All of the Ontario races this year are out of town. So that involves weekend trips and race entry fees. There are also incidental expenses like waxes for racing and other miscellaneous expenses,” Minden said.
On a good day, Minden says, the ski exchange might bring in a couple thousand dollars but sometimes it might bring in a little lower amount anywhere from five hundred to a thousand dollars.
“It is by no means a major part of their fundraising but it is a significant part,” Minden said.
Historically, Minden explained, the ski exchange was held for club members and for skiers in the public so that they could sell their equipment and be able to buy used equipment and sometimes-new equipment at pretty good prices
The equipment at the ski exchange was either used equipment from people who brought their old equipment in or last years stock from Bigwood’s Sporting Goods at a reduced price.
“There is a mix of personal equipment and business equipment,” Minden said.
A portion of the profits from a sale goes to the junior national team while the rest goes to the person who brought in that item that got sold.
“If you brought in a pair of skies then you would get 80% of that, so the seller does get a significant part,” Minden said.
A major problem that the exchange encounters every year is that there is never enough ski equipment for children to purchase.
“The problem has always been a lack of equipment especially for kids, if you walk around you will see that most of the equipment is for youth to adult. There is an assortment of skis for young kids and we always have a problem not having enough of that for sale. That’s always been a problem and we don’t have an easy solution for it,” Minden explained.
Unlike alpine skiing where people usually tend to have only one pair of skis because they are usually quite expensive, cross-country skiing is different because of the nature of the trails.
Minden explained that when people start skiing right at the early part of the season there might be the odd little stone showing or the odd little root showing and because of that people tend to hang on to their older equipment to act as back-ups.
“People don’t want to unload their equipment as much as they used to perhaps but we try to encourage people to bring in their equipment,” Minden added.