How to buy cheap snowboard gear for Australians

If you are reading this, you have probably seen the types of sales, and huge variety that you can get from the big US online stores.

In the last few years, the prices at Australian local shops have gotten much better, and are no where near as expensive as they used to be. But, Australia has a much smaller market for snow gear than the US, so there is always a smaller range of products available. Of course, if the option is there, buy locally.

If you have tried to order snowboarding gear from the big US sites like evo and backcountry you might have been stopped before being able to check out because you tried to buy restricted brands.

What brands can ship into Australia (easily):

Electric, Flow, Dragon, Nike, DC, Bataleon, Bern, Spy, Sandbox, Saga, Airblaster, Bonfire, Adidas, Lobster, Neff, Nitro and Volcom – as well as many more, but these are some of the bigger more well known brands.

evo have recently added something really helpful to their site – a link that only shows you brands that they can ship everywhere. View brands on evo that they can actually ship to you.

A few things to keep in mind

  • Conversion rate
  • Shipping costs
  • Returns etc
  • Customs fees

Depending on what the conversion rate is doing, the amount you are saving might end up being significantly less, or even more than the local price. Shipping is quite reasonable, with dogfunk being the best that I have used. Getting a board sent halfway around the world for $60 US is crazy, seeing that you probably couldn’t get it out of the state if you had to use something like Australia Post. They are also quite quick, most of the time it takes just over a week for the delivery to get over here.

Returns is something that doesn’t bother me so much, if I am buying something for cheap from overseas, I pretty much assume that it is going to be too much hassle to try and return it by shipping, so I just take is as a risk and don’t worry about it too much.

Custom fees aren’t a problem, just keep the total cost under $1000 and there is no import tax/duty to pay.

If you combine an orders with friends, you can split the shipping and still end up with a couple of boards, bindings and outerwear while keeping it under $1000, if you know when the specials are on.

The last option, if you really need a restricted brand to get shipped here is to use a freight forwarder. Basically you order with them, and they get someone in the US to buy the gear for you, then they resend it over to you. One easy way to do that is to make an account with MyUS, which gives you a personalised us address, you buy the gear you want, ship it to them and they ship it to you.

What if I end up buying the wrong size/color etc?

That is always a risk with buying things on the internet, but at worst you could sell it again on Gumtree/eBay and in most cases make more than you bought it for anyway.

Before you start searching the big online stores have a look at some local online stores like torpedo7 and check out the local prices – they might surprise you.

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