When you're not ready to drop the big bucks on a new pair of sticks or board, or you're just not sure what you want to buy, demo your gear instead. Strange term when you think about it: Demoing. Although short for demonstrate it's nothing like that. Nor, despite what some renters do to their skis, does it mean demolish. Demoing actually means "trying out," as in try before you buy; and retailers and manufacturers are more than happy to get you hooked on their product.

You may traipse past an outdoor awning, shading a large number of this year's skis and boards on any given day this winter. Slap down your ID and/or credit card and take one of those babies for a spin. The best part of a demo day is that you can make slide by slide comparisons of models or makes you think you like. Just keep swapping out the skis until the end of the day or you find what you love- at no charge. 

Demoing not only helps you (it normally costs $35/day to demo) but manufacturers and shops. It's public exposure to a brand, their gear, and their message. Ski areas, too, encourage (well-organized) demo days as it gets you up to the hill, buying lift tickets, food, whatever.

Your first chance to get on someone else's skis for free is Sat., Dec. 12 at The Canyons Resort. Ride the latest technology from Atomic, Burton, K2, Lib Tech, Nordica, Salomon, Rossignol, Roxy, Volkl, and more. The laps are free with a lift ticket. The demo goes from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Red Pine Lodge.

Sundance will have the first of their three demo days Dec.12 as well. This one is sponsored by Board of Provo. Park Sportsman will sponsor the Dec. 19 demo day while Burton/Forum present a "Moonlight" Demo Day, Jan. 8 from 4:30 - 8 p.m.

Check back with OnTheSnow for dates for additional demo days throughout the season.

More information. Photo by Sherri Harkin.

The Canyons

Sundance Resort call 801- 223-4121