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Athlete Foundation

What Does a Sport Cost?

Everything costs money. 

Luckily, some sports are cheaper than others. And almost every sport can be made affordable by growing slowly.

In most cases, prices increase when equipment manufacturers make products that are faster, lighter, stronger, cooler, or more technical. While we enjoy all of those things as athletes, we strongly urge restraint until the activity has become a permanent part of your life. Be patient. Let the sport sink its hooks into you first. It won’t take long. 

So let’s look at the sports we offer with an eye toward budget and finance. Here’s a thumbnail sketch of the most basic things you need to get started. You can always buy more stuff. But not until you’re ready. 

Note: if a sport requires specific clothing, we’ll list it. Otherwise, plan to simply dress for the weather. 


When it comes to equipment, this sport is a gadget-rich environment, but you don’t need much to get started. 

  • Bike: $500
  • Apparel: $150 (Helmet, shorts, gloves, and eyewear)
  • Tools: $50 (tire repair kit and simple tools)

Stand Up Paddle Boards

A very inexpensive investment with a high return on physical benefits. 

  • Board/paddle: $300
  • Personal Floatation Device: $40


Our least expensive hobby. The cost-per-smile is mere pennies. These things really make winter shorter.

  • Snowshoes and poles: $180


This sport carries the most expensive start-up price tag. The initial purchase can be steep, but it will last a lifetime. The health benefits are worth it. 

  • Rowing scull: $3600
  • Oars: $600
  • Car rack: $200

XC skiing

If this sport sinks its hooks in you, you will eventually own several pairs of skis for the various snow conditions found in the Great Lakes. But you only need one pair to get going. Equipment is  sold separately or in complete packages.

  • Skis, boots, and poles: $350

Ice skating and Speedskating

This might be our most top secret sport. Due to their specialized nature, speedskates aren’t found at sporting goods stores ANYWHERE in Michigan. 

  • Speed Skates (ice): $400
  • Speedskates (dry land): $200
  • Sharpening jig: $125
  • Ice skates: $60
  • Helmet: $40  

Adventure Racing

You are just a few purchases away from your first race. A map. A compass. A zip-loc bag to carry it in. A water bottle. Some running shoes and a mountain bike. That’s all it takes to get started. 

  • Bike: $400
  • Shoes: $30
  • Compass: $10
  • Water Bottle: $8