Renting is a convenient and cost effective alternative to owning skis. Variable snow conditions, rapidly changing ski technology, airline baggage fees and wait times to retrieve bags drastically alter the calculus. Enjoy the best skis for you and your current mountain conditions. See our 6 tips to maximize convenience, comfort and ski performance.
1. Rent online, in advance. Discounts of 10-20% relative to walk-in rates are often available. Avoid waiting in longer lines and filling out paperwork in the store.
2. Own your ski boots. Make this upfront investment and break them in ahead of time (with moderate usage, boots are good for nearly a decade). Good boots will make you a better skier, more comfortable and ensure a smooth rental experience.
3. Convenient storage and access to the slopes. Find a rental shop with convenient access to the slopes and shoe storage. Most shops offer complimentary overnight storage and some will even transfer your skis between mountains in close proximity for no additional cost.
4. Optimize for current conditions. Don't be shy in swapping your skis to have the best for the daily conditions. For example, use wider skis for powder days and longer, narrower all mountain skis for variable conditions.
5. Plan ahead. Keep track of the skis you prefer (a simple photo on your phone will do it), speak to others on the mountain and come with a ski in mind.
6. Take the insurance option. Insurance is usually a few dollars a day and can protect against damage, often beyond your control, particularly in variable mountain conditions.
Consider youth seasonal rentals for maximum value and convenience
For young skiers, full season equipment leases from a local shop can be more cost effective and convenient than renting on a trip. Youth full season leases generally include skis, boots and helmets (required almost everywhere). Prices range from $150 - $250 for new equipment and $100-$150 used. Most lesson programs offer rentals for an additional ~$20 - $40 per day. Some seasonal rental packages offer discounted packages to regional resorts. In sum, youth rentals:
Provide great optionality for day trips
Enable a hassle free mountain experience
Ultimate flexibility for changing skis during the season as children grow and conditions change
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