Beating The Hire Shop Queues

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There’s nothing worse than arriving in resort the morning of your first day keen to get an afternoon’s skiing in, only to get to the ski hire shop and realise that every man and his dog has had this same idea. Queues in ski shops can be lengthy and to be honest, very annoying. With most tour operators operating on a Saturday – Saturday basis, a large number of guests arrive into resort on the same day, with those who have ski hire to collect swarming en masse to their chosen shops in order to get on the slopes as soon as possible.

1. Pre-book

One key thing you can do to avoid the queues is to pre-book your ski hire. Whether online or by phone, many ski hire companies allow pre-booking and this can also be a way to ensure that you get the best deal, with many companies giving pre-booking discounts. This also means that you can ensure you get the equipment you want, as opposed to hoping that by the time you get to the front of the queue on the day, they will have the skis you want in the size you need.

2. Get early flights

This may sound like a drastic way to avoid the queues but it’s fairly simple – the earlier your flight, the sooner you can get into that shop before others and get up and away on the slopes!

3. Be Prepared

Once you’re at the front of the queue, you won’t want to waste any more time, so make sure you are prepared in order to ensure the swiftest turnaround.

Things you will want to consider are:

  • The type of ski you want – if you’re a beginner, this will be fairly simple. However if you are a more advanced skier, you may want to try out a different type of ski. If there’s been heavy snowfall in the days and weeks prior, you might want to try a wider, dedicated off piste ski. If you fancy trying your hand in the park, working on your backwards skiing or your 180s, a twin tip freestyle ski might allow you to enjoy yourself that little bit more. For a more gentle, easy ride, a recreational piste ski, or for a more hard-charging speed ski, a more race-oriented option. So before you get to the front of the queue, think about what you’d like to get out of your trip and do some research into the type of ski you feel you would like. This way, you’re in a better position to quickly request the ski you want.
  • Know your measurements – you’ll generally be asked a few questions to ensure your boots and skis are set up correctly. These will often include your weight, height shoe size and skiing ability, so make sure you know these details beforehand.
    If you know your own DIN setting, this can also make the process much faster.
  • Bring ski socks! When trying on ski boots, it makes a world of difference to do so in the socks you will be wearing on a regular skiing day, so be sure to bring these along to the ski hire shop with you.
  • Decide if you will want insurance or any additional extras.
  • If you’re intending to get some skiing in that day, ensure you bring all your gear with you so you can get straight out on to the slopes.

4. Deliverski!

Companies in some resorts even offer ski hire delivery, meaning that you completely avoid any chance of a queue, with the hire shop essentially coming to you. Whilst this does seem like the obvious choice for those that want to get on the slopes as soon as possible, be aware that it does mean a significant hike in price and you also have the danger that they haven’t brought a ski that’s your specific fit / choice, meaning they may have to go all the way back to the shop to find one.

One thing NOT to do?

Don’t compromise on fit or quality just to get in and out as quickly as possible. If you do this, chances are you will be making another trip back to the shop within a few days to sort out your painfully poorly fitting ski boots.

Wondering which ski hire shop to choose? Browse Skiset’s extensive range of hire skis here.

Images © C.Arnal /Skiset