Ski Equipment: Should You Buy or Rent?

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/19/2007 | Sports

Ski equipment is not cheap. In fact, the sport of skiing isnt cheap. When newcomers to the sport think about ski equipment, they arent sure whether they are better off renting or buying the equipment outright. Heres a tip: All beginners should rent their equipment. This gives them the opportunity to see if the sport of skiing is something that they want to continue, and it also gives them the opportunity to try out different brands of equipment to see what they like the best.

Those who have been skiing for some time may also find that it is more beneficial to rent equipment if they dont get the opportunity to ski often. For instance, if you live in Louisiana, where there is no snow skiingor snow, and you only get to take ski vacations once a year or every couple of years, you will be better off renting your equipment each time.

However, if you ski often, and you live in an area where this is something you can do on a regular basis, buying your equipment is recommended. But, again, rent equipment in the beginning so that you really know what you want when you do buy.

When renting equipment, remember that you will only be renting the skis, poles, and boots in most cases. Some packages may also include a helmet. The rest of the equipment must be purchased, and this includes warm clothing, gloves, goggles, ski socks, ski pants, ski jacket, and a hat or helmet liner.

Most resorts have equipment rental, but there may also be nearby ski shops that rent equipment as well. Check into this and find the best prices before renting. Look for package deals for the best prices. Check for time limited packages as well. For instance, half day rentals, afternoon rentals, or even morning rentals only are available at many resorts. If you dont plan to ski all day, this shorter rental term can save you a lot of money.

Also, if you are taking lessons, the equipment should be provided with the cost of the lesson. While the prices may be lower at a ski shop, you will usually have to turn your equipment in at the end of the day. If you rent through the resort, you can usually keep your equipment until you are ready to return to your home.

Ski equipment rental prices can be as low as twenty dollars a day, or as high as fifty dollars a day, depending on where you are renting from, and how high the demand is for rented equipment. Some resorts and ski shops may require you to purchase damage insurance for the equipment as well, but this only costs a few dollars.

You need to know how high the demand is for ski equipment rentals at the resort you plan to visit ahead of time. If you dont find out, you may arrive to find that all of the available equipment has already been rented out. If possible, see if you can reserve equipment ahead of time.