Decathlon’s crazy door-buster $10 Atomic ski promotion is the headline act for their great snow gear range and deals. Be early for Saturday’s sale for your shot at being in the first 10 customers!
But really it just scratches the surface of what they offer.
I tried a pair of the sale special skis on for size at Decathlon’s Tempe store (easy to find next to IKEA). Normally $799, the first 10 people (one per family/household) can get a pair for $10 at each of the sports/active lifestyle gear giants 6 Aussie outlets on Saturday 15 May.
The Atomic Vantage 75 model skis are excellent for beginner to intermediate skiing on the groomers. The price includes demo bindings, easily adjustable to a range of boot sizes – but note it’s up to buyers to get them correctly adjusted though, regardless of if they are on sale or not.
Plus there’s 50% off on selected adult jackets & pant ski outfits for the next 20 customers.
For example, I tried a $249 Wed’ze Downhill jacket that felt really good quality, with attention to detail in design of vents and pockets etc. It would feel even better at $124.50 if you are one of those first 20 at the sale, but Decathlon ski jackets start at just $69 even if you are on the tightest budget.
A pair of Salomon QST Access 80 boots for $599 proved a perfect match for the $10 Atomic skis. Decathlon ‘Mountain Team’ member Apollo helped out with the fit – which was comfortably glove like. If you are still renting, or clomping around in old boots updating to a new lightweight comfy pair is a great idea. The wide last and 80 flex make them fine for beginners through intermediates, and doing a few days a season these will last you for years.
A $9 pair of WED’ZE ski socks was my start point. Finally, I’ve found a cure for Aldi sockitis. No more of them this year.
Socks, skis, boots, thermals, layers, jackets, pants, goggles, helmets .. the list goes on. Pretty much all you need can be found in the snow sports section aisles at Decathlon. Only ski poles, snowboard boots and snowboards are missing.
Sure, most people won’t be buying their ski hardware at Decathlon apart from some great price items as mentioned suited to beginners/intermediates.
But the range of clothing and accessories is pretty complete and definitely has plenty to suit most skiers and boarders. Even at full price it’s a great price. At sale prices it’s a steal.
How do they do it? Decathlon is the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, with more than 1700 outlets across 59 countries.
Now that is buying power! They mix their extensive in-house brands like Quechua and Wed’ze with limited selections from other leading brands like Salomon and Atomic for example. This delivers a mix of affordable quality across a huge range of sports.
Innovation is key to Decathlon’s success.
We discovered Decathlon’s full face snorkel masks in 2019 and have been so impressed with them I bought half the family one for Xmas last year. They actually invented the full face mask snorkel, and in-house R&D is a big part of the company’s development. Their 200 product managers, 530 product engineers and 150 product designers create around 2800 new products and 40 patents on a yearly basis.
Shopping at Decathlon is a fun experience.
They divide the store into activity/category based sections, staffed by teams of enthusiasts for those, so you can get helpful service and advice. This is no Aldi style middle aisle scramble.
It’s pretty hard not to get sidetracked and find something totally different from what you came in for. It’s a long time since ANU 8th Grade lost my cricket talents for example, but the cricket stuff is great and you guessed it, at great prices, I got sidetracked checking it out. Active wear, camping gear, bikes, SUPs, inflatable kayaks, there is so much to divert your attention. And your kids will love it.
But I was focused on snow gear and it’s great to see so much on display and so easy to try on. You can sort kids quickly here too. For the price of a a few of days rental you can get your tots, kids or teens decked out head to toe – including great value helmets and goggles.
Decathlon shopping tip: they have a system where ‘First Technical’ means the lowest price item to do a job in a category. So socks start at $9 for example. And I’ve had mine on all day as I write this at night. Nice socks. It doesn’t matter much for occasional snow trippers, but for regulars mixing the cheapest items like cheaper thermals with maybe the higher end jacket for example will give you a rig to last and cope with tough conditions.
Founded in Lille, France in 1976, they have always had to make their snow gear stack up to the demands of local enthusiasts skiing the Alps and Pyrenees. The COVID lockdown that shut France, and most of Europe’s ski resorts for most of the season, have been an extra impetus for Decathlon downunder to make a bigger push into our snow market.
More stock and a wider range will be arriving through winter here.
After launching online in Australia in 2016, and the first store at Tempe in 2017, they now operate five retail sports warehouses and one pop-up store. Auburn became the second Sydney store and in 2019 Moorabbin joined Knoxfield and Box Hill options in Melbourne, while South Nerang operates as a pop-up store while a new store is built.
Decathlon also have click and collect destinations where you can pick up your order free. These include Fitzroy, Prahran, St Kilda, Berwick, Frankston and South Croydon (Melbourne); and Parramatta and Brookvale (Sydney).
If you can make it to a store and be early enough to snare one of those crazy deals great, but don’t stress it if you can’t. The overall quality for price mix is hard to beat across most of their core clothing and accessory ranges.
Snow Action’s tester crew will be rolling out some on snow reviews as the season kicks in, but meantime their overall reviews and ratings are pretty solid. Decathlon’s Australia CEO Olivier Robinet is proud of those.
“At around 4.3 out of 5 on Google, these are the best in the market and very encouraging for us. Aussies and the sporting community here are so positive! They love how we’re disrupting the market with our unrivalled services and range. Our customers like sharing their product feedback online which helps others to decide which is the right product for them. Sports clubs really appreciate the opportunity to organise sausage sizzles and raise money every weekend as many other clubs have done in the past through Bunnings. We are proud to be a part of their fundraising success.”
He’s onto something with that comparison: just like Bunnings, you go in for something and come out with something else as well.
The only real drawback at present is their limited number of stores. It is really good to actually try stuff on and check out how it feels etc, for which you can’t beat going there. But Decathlon’s returns policy is excellent, so you shouldn’t have many dramas just buying online. Check more on their site’s snow sports category link here