Ski hire is a large industry in resorts, with a huge number of people opting to rent skis rather than buy and bring their own. So why do so many people prefer to hire skis?
Try the Newest Models Each Year
Hire shops generally get restocked each year with the newest models and latest developments when it comes to skis and boots. Whilst these tend to cost a bit more than the older models, it also means that each year you can be sure you are getting the best skis year upon year.
If you buy a pair of skis, it’s likely they will be quite an investment that you will want to get as much use out of as possible. However, if you are only skiing once a year, by your third or fourth year, there will be skis out there with much more advanced technology and better features and you may feel you are limited with your (now somewhat dated) skis. This does not bother some people, but if you are someone that likes to be ahead of the game with your gear and only gets out to the mountains once or twice a year, renting may be a better option.
This brings us on to our next point, you get much more choice when renting, as opposed to having to ski on the skis you own.
Variety & Flexibility
This means that you can choose a different type of ski depending on the conditions. If the snow has been fantastic over the last few weeks and days and you want to take the opportunity to work on your off piste skiing, then you can opt for a wider pair of powder skis.
Moreover, you can also usually swap your skis throughout the week, meaning that if you want to try just one day in the park for example, you can switch your usual skis for a pair of twin tips, much better for park skiing. Similarly you could swap for race skis, freeride skis or gentler skis.
Renting as opposed to buying also means that you have much more flexibility when it comes to the length and style of the ski. Buy a ski and it’s yours for good. If you take it out to resort, try it and find that the length or the style doesn’t quite work for you, it’s going to be hard for you to return that ski or sell it on. Moreover, if you really don’t want to use it, you’ll have to rent for the rest of the week anyway, upping the costs even more.
This is why our advice to anyone buying is to ensure you talk to a knowledgeable professional in your local ski shop to be certain you are getting the right style and size of ski for your needs. While you may get a better deal online, you’re much less likely to get the advice you need in order to make the best purchase.
Whilst many people choose to buy skis because it generally saves costs in the long run (think £300 for a pair of skis vs. £70 renting each trip, if you go on 2-3 trips a year), there are other costs to consider. When it comes to flights and transfers, ski carriage often costs extra (sometimes up to £70 each way) and these costs can add up.
Not to mention how much nicer it is to swan through the airport with your small suitcase, miles ahead of all those lugging huge ski and snowboard bags about. These can be a total faff in cars, around tight corners, or in lifts, plus there’s the added risk of decapitating someone with a mis-timed swing.
At a ski hire shop, you’re not just paying for the skis and boots themselves, but for the entire service – so make the most of it! The staff are well trained and tend to know what they’re talking about, so take their advice into consideration and let them help you. They can ensure you have the best fit in your ski boot and the best setup on your skis, something that you’d be very lucky to get if you simply order your boots online and hope for the best! Plus, if you have any questions, find anything uncomfortable or want some expert knowledge on your gear throughout the week, they are always available to help you out.
Best for Beginners
If you’re only just finding your ski-feet, hiring is definitely the way to go. There’s no point spending hundreds of pounds on gear you might only use once or twice, so before you commit to the gear, make sure you’re actually going to be using it! Hiring also means that you will be sure to get the most beginner-friendly equipment, with staff on hand to give you the most gentle skis. If you’ve never skied before, trust me, you’re not going to want to go straight out there on Atomic racers…
If you’re someone that advances quickly in sport, there’s no point buying beginner skis if you’re going to want an upgrade in a few trips’ time, so save your pennies for now! Hiring also means that you can even swap between skis and a snowboard if you like, so if you don’t take to one, you can try your hand at the other.
Images © C.Arnal /Skiset