To buy or not to buy? That is the question!

One of those key questions that’s on most first time skiers lips is whether they should rent ski equipment, or buy their own.  This question also comes up with regular skiers who have been skiing a few times!

Almost everyone rents their ski equipment during those first few times on the slopes, but as time goes on and their passion grows, they gain knowledge about the brands.  Most people’s first purchase is ski boots and it grows from there.  But, taking your own ski equipment can be costly!  So, should you buy or rent ski boots?

Ski equipment – boots are the main thing!

As far as boots are concerned we think the moment you have decided your love skiing then the purchase of a good quality pair of ski boots is a must!  The main reason for this is is that you will be spending a lot of time in them.  A badly fitted pair of boots could completely ruin your time on the slopes!  A well fitted pair of boots is absolutely essential as the interface between your legs and your skis.  Without the right boots, there is no point in spending time agonising over the side cut, length and size of a particular ski, as you won’t have the proper ability to control or benefit from the skis’ features.

Rental boots are usually made by the same manufacturer as those that you can buy. However, they are made specifically for the rental market rather than for retail. Rental boots are designed to be worn by many different pairs of feet throughout the season.  As the season goes on the foam padding inside the boots gets compressed, making them uncomfortable, and in our opinion, sometimes unsafe!  This is especially an issue as your ability improves and you start to tackle more difficult slopes.  For beginners, not so much of a problem.

If you want to buy ….

If you are opting to buy your boots, we recommend that you spend several hours in the shop with an experienced boot fitter.  He/she will measure your feet and advise on which models will suit you best. The internet is also a very useful tool when it comes to buying boots. There are hundreds of ski bloggers out there who have written about the topic and rated various makes and models.

Just like many sports these days, technology and engineering has improved dramatically over the years and these days many boot models feature liners that can be heated up to mould to an individual’s foot and ankle shape. It’s also possible to “blow out” the plastic shell of boots in order to customise them to deal with particular issues.  This is important where there is a particular tight spot.

So, in our opinion while you should rent boots for your first ski trip (in case you hate it – which we doubt!) but as soon as you have caught the skiing bug, investing in a good pair of boots is an absolute must.

Ski equipment – the rest!

So you’ve decided to invest in a good pair of boots, but what about skis?!

This argument is a little more balance in our opinion. Unless you are planning on spending the entire season out on the slopes or at least several weeks each year, taking your own ski equipment can be costly.  Most of us aren’t blessed with this opportunity so rental becomes the obvious option.  The charges levied by airlines these days to transport sports equipment are almost the same as the weekly rental cost!

The benefits of buying are clear. You own your own skis.  You don’t have to queue in rental shops, which means no ski time is lost.  If you own your own equipment, you will also save money in the long run – unless you are one of these trendy types who wants a new pair every season! As they are your skis, your bindings will be set up just for your boots, rather than multi-adjustable rental bindings.  And – let’s face it – rocking up on the slopes with your own skis looks way cooler!

On top of this, your skis are of course the same each time and you don’t have to get used to a new pair each holiday.

Benefits of Rental

But please don’t feel you now need to rush out to buy a pair of skis, there are just as many perks to renting!  Firstly, you don’t need spend hours before you leave home trying to convince the gods to give you certain conditions that will suit your skis.  If you hire, you can just pick up the skis that are best suited to the snow that you’ve been given!  With modern all-mountain skis, having only one ski for all conditions isn’t such a problem, but it is still something to bear in mind.

Renting is also so much easier than having to carry them around busy airports – having your own isn’t so cool now, huh?!  You also don’t need to worry about the costs of servicing them and them rusting away in your garage in between holidays.  Finally, renting means you can have your pick of the latest models.  As technology changes, you have the benefit of upgrading with the times.  This also applies with your ability – as your skills improve, so can the standard of your skis.

Our ski equipment rental service

If you do have your own ski equipment, rest assured our minibuses have plenty of space to carry it!  Although you might be stung by the airlines, we don’t charge any supplements on our transfers.  On the other hand, if you stick with the rental route, we offer up to 50% discount on the public prices with our pre-booked rental service.