Resorts: Many resorts sell off their old rental skis and snowboards dirt cheap. If you're still not sure you want to invest in uber-expensive or nice gear, call the rental shop to see what kind of a deal you can get.
Craigslist: Craigslist can be dicey for any purchase. For skis and bikes, beware of sellers who are convinced their used gear should still be worth what they paid for them brand new. It's not. Haggle for a better price by pointing out what used gear shops are selling them for, and don't be afraid to walk away. Most independent sellers would rather get rid of the item than stand firm on price, so keep that in mind.
Local clubs: Join the listserv for CU clubs that fit your interest. For example, the CU cycling team members often sell off their gear via the email listserv before taking it to Craigslist. You get gear from people you trust, and you might be able to bribe them for a deal with beer or food.
The savviest shoppers are those who are willing to dig through racks and bins of bargains for the cheapest, most useful -- and steaziest -- of gear.
To do all that takes a lot of patience and diligence. So we did it for you. Aren't we nice?
When thinking about dropping hundreds or even thousands of dollars on new gear, consider another option. Buying used helps the environment, stimulates the local economy and keeps money in your bank account for beer and lift tickets.
Put that on your snowboard and shred it.
And, check out these gear-on-the-cheap hotspots around Boulder:
The Pro's Closet
Where: 4939 N. Broadway St. #58
Deals: Up to 50 percent off retail
The Pro's Closet buys overstock from retail bike shops, professional cyclists' used gear, samples and consignment goods. The shop is the "world's largest used cycling store on eBay," says founder Nick Martin.
You can check out the selection online and then come into the store for a test drive, he added. No guesswork necessary.
"We're the used car dealers of the bike industry," Martin said. "We make sure you're getting a high-quality bike."
The shop sells other gear like apparel, snow sports and other team sports gear.
Seasoned Outdoor Exchange
Where: 2067 30th St.
Deals: Up to 50 percent off retail
Seasoned Outdoor Exchange was founded in 2011 and sells and consigns both new and used outdoor gear, clothing, bikes and other equipment.
They sell your gear for 90 days in the store, on their site, on Craigslist and on eBay, and you make a cut of the sale depending on the price of the item, anywhere from 50 to 70 percent.
Boulder Sports Recycler
Where: 4949 Broadway St. #113
Deals: 30 to 40 percent off retail
These guys have a badass no bargaining and no cell phones policy. Don't haggle with them, bro. And shut off your damn phone.
The people over at Boulder Sports Recycler have been there for around 20 years, so they know what sells and what doesn't. They accept beer for tips, too, so bring in a six-pack of your favorite beer for awesome gear.
"We're like a big garage sale, so you can pick and choose what you want," said Boulder Sports Recycler's Kevin Cappon.
Where: 2510 Arapahoe Ave.
Deals: Up to 70 percent off retail
Plato's Closet isn't typically what comes to mind when you think of finding outdoor gear on the cheap, but it's all about timing.
Head to the Boulder location early in the fall and you'll find rows of North Face, 686, Burton and other outdoor brand-name coats in terrific shape. Their selection of ski and snowboard pants is pretty sweet, too, plus their prices are literally the lowest. You can also find a decent selection of hiking and snow boots here as well.
You have to be willing to wade through shirts upon shirts upon shirts, but when you hit jackpot, it's a great feeling.
Boulder Army Store
Where: 1545 Pearl St.
The Boulder Army Store has been around for 35 years. They sell Army surplus gear, but they also have a huge selection of reasonably priced outdoor gear and sales galore.
Check out the "coupons" tab on their website to find weekly sales and deals. The Boulder Army Store has a huge camping section, with your basics and some neat gadgets that you probably don't need but could totally geek out to, anyway.
--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.