Black Diamond Essentials

Whether you ski or snowboard, these seven winter-sports vendors will get you outfitted for the slopes.
January 24, 2013

(Jones; Rosingnol; Arbor)

With a whole cavalcade of gay ski weekends coming up—from places as close as Killington, VT (Winter Gay Pride, Feb 1–3) and Stowe, VT (Winter Rendezvous, now through Jan 27) to as far afield as Blowing Rock, NC (Summit 2013, now through Jan 27)—if you haven’t gotten your gear yet, it’s time. Whether you’re going for head-to-toe new equipment or just want to rent for the weekend, these seven spots have everything your gay snow-bunny heart could desire. 

Burton

106 Spring St (btwn Mercer/Greene Sts), Burton.com
Gear: Burton snowboards, boots and bindings
Rentals: No
The classic board company only sells their own wares (which are also available at other local shops), but you’ll get personalized customer service from Burton’s top-notch board experts. 
 

Emilio’s Ski Shop

112-28 Queens Blvd (btwn 75th Rd/76th Ave), 
Forest Hills, EmiliosSkiShop.com
Gear: snowboards, skis, boots, bindings
Rentals: Yes
The Forest Hills location makes this Queens ski shop one of the less convenient options, but their selection is pretty stellar. For skis, “we have Vocal, Solomon, Nordica, K2,” says Ed, a sales associate. They also do rentals for $30 a day, or $50 for the weekend, but if you’re renting you should come in a day in advance.
 

Paragon Sports

867 Broadway (@ 18th St), ParagonSports.com
Gear: snowboards, boots, bindings
Rentals: Yes, but they sell out fast
The huge Union Square sports store has a wide selection of boards and a friendly staff to help you find what’s right for your particular style. “We carry Neversummer, Gnu, Burton, Solomon, Ride [and] K2,” explains Marson, a sales associate.
 

REI

303 Lafayette St (btwn Prince/Houston Sts), REI.com
Gear: skis, snowboards, boots, bindings
Rentals: No
At 35,000 square feet, the REI Puck Building location in Nolita is a mecca of outdoor gear in the city. They’ve got everything from Solomon to Rosingnol to Vocal brand skis and snowboards. “We probably have 70 to 80 different pairs of skis,” says Marlo, a sales associate at the store. They’ve also got a full-service ski and snowboard shop on premises. 
 

Eastern Mountain Sports

530 Broadway (@ Spring St), EMS.com
Gear: skis, snowboards, boots, bindings
Rentals: Not at this location
You’ll have to trek to the Upper West Side location if you hope to rent from EMS, but the downtown location specializes in skis. “We have some snowboards; Jones Snowboards are 30% off right now,” explains David, a sales associate. “Skis we have a lot more [of], skis we have a big selection.” 
 

Skate Brooklyn

78 St. Marks Place (btwn Fourth/Fifth Aves), Park Slope, SkateBrooklynNY.com
Gear: snowboards, boots, bindings
Rentals: Yes, $30 for first day, $15 for additional days
The Park Slope skate shop sells and rents all the stuff you need to get into the half-pipe this winter. They’ve got boards from Ride, Arbor, Neversummer and others.
 

Homage

64 Bergen St (btwn Court/Smith Sts), Cobble Hill, HomageBrooklyn.com
Gear: snowboards, bindings
Rentals: No
“We have some higher-end demos, actually,” says sales associate José. The Cobble Hill skate shop does boards and bindings, but you’ll have to get your boarding footwear at another shop. “We don’t do boots, just boards and bindings,” José explains. 
 

Aegir Boardworks

99 Water St (@ Main St), Dumbo, AegirBoardworks.com
Gear: snowboards, boots, bindings
Rentals: No
Pronounced “ay-grr,” co-owners Peter Frolich and Shaun Tangen do all things surf and snow in their converted Dumbo shop, including tune-ups on their specialty machine. “We have snowboards from K2, Arbor and Yes,” explains Frolich. They also do bus trips to Killington, Hunter and Stratton mountains throughout the winter for guys who are in need of transportation.