What to Do With Your Old Skis
Reselling, Repurposing, and Recycling Used Gear
Every season, brands come out with new skis built with the latest technologies. Of course, you’re all about that. You research, demo a few pairs, and ultimately make a purchase to expand your ever-growing quiver of skis, or simply upgrade your kit.
Whether you’re adding an all-mountain resort ski or a powder ski like the Backcountry x DPS Nebo Alpine Touring Ski, your older pairs get retired to the garage where it will slowly but surely collect dust. But you haven’t gotten rid of any of them yet because it seems like a waste to just chuck them in the dumpster.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to breathe new life into your skis, free up garage space, and keep them out of the landfill no matter what condition they’re in. Here are a few ideas—and keep in mind that while this article is geared toward skis, it can also often apply to snowboards, poles, ski boots, and other snow gear.
Donate Old Skis
Check with your local ski shop or resort to see if any local organizations are accepting gear donations. This is a great option if your gear is still in good condition and less than 10 years old. Kids’ skis are especially great to donate because many organizations accept gently used gear for youth programs. Sometimes, the shop or resort will even be able to take the skis for you and donate them on your behalf. You might also check with local thrift shops like Salvation Army, which might also accept skis.
Informal, garage sale-style gear swaps are a great way to shed your past season skis, while giving someone else the opportunity to breathe new life into them. Gear swaps are often run by local universities or ski/snowboard associations, but you can usually just Google “gear swap” and your local area to find upcoming events near you.
As with donations, if you’re looking to offload skis at a gear swap, they need to be in good condition. Before you drop them off, be sure to clean off the dust that has been collecting on them and make sure there aren’t any major dings or dents that will prevent them from being sellable. You could even consider getting them waxed or tuned beforehand to make sure they sell and get top dollar, to boot.
Resell Your Skis
If your skis are in great condition and you’re looking to make a quick buck, consider reselling them. You can either resell them on consignment at a local second-hand shop or on an online platform. There are plenty of generic online markets you can post to, like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or you can find gear specific platforms, like GearTrade.com or TGR Gear Swap. Take some nice photos, write up a short description, and use the money you make from your sale on a new pair of gloves or that Merino baselayer you’ve had your eye on.
If your old skis are in no condition to donate or resell—or they’re so old that they border on antiques—you can still extend their lives by repurposing them. Repurposing old skis is not only a fun activity, but you can save some serious money on generic furniture. Since skis are long, flat, and rigid, you can engineer them into all types of home pieces.
Construct a bookshelf, shot ski, chair, bench, coffee table, wall mural, or anything else you can think of. For obvious reasons, they can also hold up to the elements, so patio furniture or fencing is also an option. With a little creativity and a little online research, you’ll not only save your skis from a landfill, but you’ll also get a trendy new piece of furniture or decor to showcase your love of skiing.
If your skis are unusable and you already have plenty of ski furniture (or you just don’t have any more space in your house for furniture), you can turn to your local recycling center as a last resort. Recycling skis is a bit like recycling TVs, batteries, and tires. It can be difficult. Be sure to check the websites of your local recycling center before dropping them off to make sure that it’s able to take them. Some centers only accept skis seasonally, and some not at all.
Whether you’re donating, selling, repurposing, or recycling, there are plenty of constructive ways to ditch your old ski gear that are better than just dumping it in a landfill. With a little creativity, and honestly not that much effort, you can clean out your garage, get some new furniture, or send your skis off to live a second life.
Rachel Jorgensen is currently based in Salt Lake City though she doesn’t stay in one place for long. She has lived in three countries, multiple states, and is always seeking the next adventure. When she’s settled, you can find her climbing, skiing, or trail running with Scuba, her Thai rescue dog in tow. Follow along @rjorgie