YA went snowboarding last weekend. I knew that she had a snowboard; her ex was a serious snowboarder, although as far as I know, she only went boarding with him a couple of times. But I was surprised by the amount of equipment she actually owns: board, boots, ski pants, helmet and some serious goggles. I took a photo of it all that she had laid out on the dining room table before she left. I was afraid to ask her how much cash she had sunk into this equipment. She mentioned before she left that the lift ticket for the day would be $34. Opinions were kept to self but it seems to me that this is an expensive sport.
As I thought about it, there are plenty of hidden costs to most sports. When YA was younger, her gymnastics was a big money suck. Monthly team fees, individual meet fees, leotards and the inevitable “stuff” available for sale at every meet. When she tried out for dance team, the price tag for everything was unbelievable; I had to tell her that I couldn’t afford both dance team and gymnastics. Diving wasn’t quite as bad but the team swimsuit was $97. Yowza. Luckily for my pocketbook, she decided she didn’t like the 5 a.m. practice time before we had taken the tags off the suit.
Swimming wasn’t too bad, although you always had to pay for pool time, either lessons at the Y or seasonal fees at local pools. Rollerblading wasn’t too bad, as long as you didn’t want to blade during bad weather/winter – then again, fees for the rink or the rollerdome (as it was called). Same for tennis; if you don’t mind mediocre courts and waiting times, once you pony up for a racquet and some tennis balls, you can play free in the parks. Winter play costs money for indoor courts.
In thinking about it, I guess running is about the cheapest of the sports – the only real expense seems to be the shoes, unless you feel the need to have gadgets for playing music or keeping track of your distance/heart rate, etc.
Tell me about your sport of choice. Do you participate or just watch? How do you keep the costs down?