Ski equipment – to buy or to hire?

Ski equipment – to buy or to hire?

It’s the annual problem, should you hire your skis and boots, or buy them? Which is better – knowing your own equipment and saving time, or saving money on transport and using the latest kit? There’s no easy answer, but here are the pros and cons of both.

Ski and boot hire

Pros & Cons to hiring ski equipment

  • Ski hire shops will have the latest equipment, which will be regularly maintained. Most will change their equipment every couple of months, so there’s no risk of using old, unmaintained skis. They’re also usually the biggest brands, so it’s a good way to use top of the range gear without breaking the bank.
  • There are no transportation costs – airlines (be they budget or big-brand) often charge a small fortune to carry ski equipment.
  • Convenience. You have enough to carry for a week’s ski holiday without having to lug a pair of skis with you. Boots will also take up a few precious kilos of your luggage allowance.
  • Most ski shops will offer rental packages that allow you to change your skis according to the conditions, so you can take a powder ski, piste ski and even swap to a snowboard if that takes your fancy. As well as changing skis for conditions, most shops can also change your skis as your ability changes. So if you want skis more fitting to an intermediate after you’ve spent a few days as a beginner, a ski rental shop will be able to help.
  • If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, you can often let them know your specifics ahead of time, so they will have all of your gear ready to pick up when you arrive. Some will even prepare and have your equipment ready waiting for in your own locker! Every minute counts on a ski holiday, so an all-inclusive holiday option will mean you have much more time on the slopes.
  • During busy periods, your ski of choice may not be available for rent.
  • Ski hire will cost you each and every time – and as your technique progresses, and you want more advanced equipment, that cost will get more expensive.
  • If you have particularly small or large feet, it could be tricky getting boots to fit.
  • If you hire boots and helmets, you have to cope with the fact that someone else has used before you!

Buying skis and boots

Pros & Cons to buying ski equipment

  • When you buy a pair of ski boots they will be fully fitted and exactly moulded to your feet – which can be adjusted after wear. They can also often be fully customised to how you want them to look. A well-fitting pair of boots makes a huge difference to skiing technique and confidence.
  • You can get exactly the skis you require, which is particularly useful if you want something specialised such as touring skis, split snowboards, or a powder ski – but make sure you go to a shop where the staff know their onions.
  • Using the same ski continually is rather like driving the same car, or riding the same bike –it feels familiar and you know exactly how it reacts in different conditions, so you don’t waste time getting used to it.
  • Having your own skis will save time in resort – arrive, put on your boots, click into the bindings and you’re off!
  • A good ski will always be a good ski, but new models and technology are evolving continually and the temptation to upgrade will be constant even if you may not need any.
  • Skis need servicing after a week’s holiday – either a simple wax and edge (which in the UK costs £30-50) or more work if you’ve hit some rocks and have made any holes.
  • Any true skier really needs a quiver of skis, which starts to get pricey. Think piste ski, powder ski, touring ski, next year’s ski… The list goes on!
  • Think transportation costs. Unless you’re driving, you will nearly always have to pay extra to take your skis on a plane, which adds up, especially if you ski more than once a year.

If you are interested in finding out more about all-inclusive ski holidays, Club Med Ski Resorts enable you to tailor a ski package that suits your specific equipment needs.

Club Med Ski - The pioneers in all inclusive ski holidays