Buying or Renting Skis: Which Is Right for Me?

ski-rentalsIf you have recently been bitten by the skiing bug, then it is time to start thinking about whether you would like to buy or rent your skis and other gear. Skis can be a significant investment, and this is why it is important to figure out if it will be more cost-effective to purchase your equipment outright or rent it a few times a year. Here is a closer look at some of the factors that will help you answer this question.

Be Honest About Your Time on the Slopes

The first thing you should do is think about how often you are realistically going to be on the mountain. We all have hectic schedules, and purchasing ski equipment on a whim hoping that you can hit the slopes dozens of times per year is not always practical. You and those that you will be skiing with should take a look at your schedules over the coming months and decide how many trips you will be able to take. Anyone that is planning on only a handful of trips over the next few seasons will most likely want to consider renting at least some of their equipment.

The Newest Gear

Most rental companies change out their ski equipment every few years, and this means that you will be able to demo new gear almost every time that you go out. Alternatively, purchasing your gear means that you will be stuck with whatever you decide on. High-performance skis can be quite expensive, and even if you do choose to purchase them later on you might want to rent the same gear to see how much you like it.

Changing Conditions

One of the biggest problems with purchasing your own gear is the fact that conditions can change in the blink of an eye. Bringing a set of slim skis to the mountain only to find multiple inches of fresh powder could bring your trip to a grinding halt. Using a rental company near the slopes will allow you to get the perfect gear for that day’s conditions. Many companies even offer packages to switch out your skis if the conditions do end up changing.


Trying to bring all of your equipment with you on a flight is no easy task. In fact, many of the top airlines charge exorbitant fees for larger items such as a pair of skis. Even if you would like to purchase at least some of the equipment, taking multiple flights a year with your skis could end up costing you hundreds of dollars. Those that are planning on air travel for their next trip will most likely want to rent skis unless they are comfortable with paying for extra charges on their luggage.

Younger Skiers

Skiing is an excellent sport for children of all ages, and this is why many parents start teaching their kids the basics at a very young age. Unfortunately, younger skiers can outgrow their gear as often as every season. Purchasing brand new equipment each fall could stretch your travel budget thin. As an alternative, many rental companies offer affordable group packages for families that gear their together. The employees at these rental companies will also be able to help you find the right safety equipment for your child’s age and skill level.

Buying Safety Gear

Just because you have decided to rent some of your gear does not mean that can’t make a few purchases. Many skiers purchase some of their smaller equipment such as goggles and helmets to ensure that they are a comfortable fit and match. They will then rent their poles and skis on the day of riding or when they get to the mountain to save on travel expenses and make sure that they get the right skis for the conditions on the slopes.

Making a Decision

Just like all other sporting equipment, skis and the accompanying gear should be thought of as an investment. Every skier will need to weigh the pros and cons of buying versus renting and decide much both will cost them in the coming years. For most skiers, it will make more sense to rent at least some of the equipment unless they plan on taking ten or more trips per year. While this might sound like a lot of work, many of the top rental companies accept online reservations that will simplify this process and potentially even save you some money. If your riding style changes after a few trips or the conditions on the slopes are not what you expected, you can quickly change to different gear and get right back on the mountain.

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