See you at the Swap
VAIL The best word to describe the annual Ski and Snowboard Swap is tradition, said Rocky Christopher, a longtime volunteer for the event and past president of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, who hosts the sale. Friday and Saturdays swap marks the 38th year for the event.In years past it was the event of the season, Christopher said. There wasnt much going on back then, so everyone looked forward to this. It was tradition and traditions are important.
The sale is a way to catch up with the community before ski season hits, Christopher said. Longtime volunteer John Schofield, who helps at the event every year alongside his wife Barbara, agreed.For us, as much as anything, its a good social event. You very often see people you dont see all year long, he said. Back in the early days it was somewhat of an obligation to volunteer if you had kids in ski club, you volunteered, whether it was the swap or gate keeping … I guess we just kept doing it.Though Schofield said he doubts theres been a year where he didnt buy something, he likely spends a lot less than he did back when his boys were both ski racing for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.When you dont have boys ski racing, you dont need nearly as much equipment as you do when youre just old cruisers, he said, chuckling.
Besides serving as a social event, the annual swap benefits the programs of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, one of the valleys oldest non-profit youth organizations.Last year we generated about six percent of our total budget, about $70,000, said Jennifer Vance, development director for the Club. Were hoping this year to make more, of course.One of the biggest misconceptions is that the merchandise for sale is all used, Vance said. While some of the gear is used, most of the vendors are selling new items, though likely last seasons model, Vance said.We have approximately 20 vendors coming this year, some are from Utah, some from Idaho and some are local, Vance said. Longtime local Eric Eves has been attending the swap since he was a kid, the 27-year-old Vail resident said. I remember one year I was on the cover of the Daily in line to get into the swap. When I was skiing for Ski Club I always tried to get in early.Whenever Eves meets someone new to the valley or on the hunt for ski gear, he has one recommendation, he said.I send them to the swap, he said. Its an essential thing for someone that just moved to Vail. Its a one-stop-shop, for sure, Eves said. Last year, Eves scored a pair of awesome telemark skis, only slightly blemished, for under $200.They were brand new, still in the plastic, he said. Theres lots of new stuff, you can always find gloves and goggles.Arts & Entertainment Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or email@example.com.