Winter holidays will always be on the more expensive side, and many have the dilemma whether to buy ski equipment or rent it in resort. There’s a good case to be made for both sides of the renting vs. buying debate and there are many aspects to consider when deciding. So how do you make the right choice?
When going on your trips it is important to consider how frequently you will be using your skis or snowboard. As a rough price guide this is what to expect from buying your equipment brand new. Please bear in mind that you may find equipment for more or less than what we are quoting here but it is a rough estimate of what to expect in line with current pricing for adult equipment:
The cost of renting in resort for skis, boots and poles or for a snowboard and boots will be approximately £100/week, depending on the resort and package you go for. At Maison Sport, we are partnered with SkiSet so you will be able to add on a rental package when you book your lessons. If you are a more experienced skier or snowboarder, and go on regular trips, it makes financial sense to buy. However, you may also want to consider the fact that renting gives you an option to try different types of skis/boards, for example for different conditions such as special powder skis/boards, or if you want to try out any new technologies. You may wish to try out a pair of skis or snowboard in advance of purchasing in resort.
If you are local to the mountains or drive to where you go skiing or snowboarding then it makes more financial sense to have your own equipment. Unfortunately, when flying with your gear, there will be extra costs incurred. Most airlines will charge on average £40-£50 each way for a ski bag, however, you could save if you are able to share your bag with a friend.
If you would like to have a more bespoke experience with your own equipment, but you have to fly, boots is a good place to start. Ski or snowboard boots will go in your suitcase and therefore you won’t have the additional cost of paying airlines for sports luggage.
If you are a beginner going out for the first time it is probably better to rent your skis/snowboard and boots. By renting you can become familiar with the equipment and learn what you do or don’t like prior to investing. You may find a rental ski, snowboard or pair of boots that you really like, and then decide to go on and purchase that brand or style. Most rental shops will allow you to swap out your equipment if you are struggling or if the fit isn’t quite right. It is a great opportunity to find the equipment that suits you best and helps you to get down the mountain with more confidence.
With regards to taking children skiing, particularly younger children, our recommendation here would also be to rent the gear. As the children are growing, and often many families won’t go on more than 1-2 trips a year, they will grow out of the equipment so quickly that the cost won’t seem worth it!
We have now been through getting your skis, snowboards and boots. Now for other clothing and accessories!
Helmets: Often ski rental companies won’t charge any extra for a helmet when you are buying a package. The choice here may be one of style or colour. We would always recommend that everyone skis with a helmet. Please also bear in mind that some resorts will require children to wear a helmet as a legal requirement, such as in Italy and some states in Austria. If you are already travelling with other sports luggage then helmets tend not to be too expensive so you may wish to choose one that suits your style, outfit or colour preferences.
Goggles: Goggles tend to be a more bespoke item and the fit of them will make a big difference on your comfort and visibility. If you are travelling out in the late season when the weather is more sunny and chances of heavy snowfall are unlikely you may not need them. However, in peak season, when you will often have foggy or snowy days, we would highly recommend you to bring a pair with you. With goggles you have the option of lots of styles, some offering more or less peripheral vision, and lots with various coloured lenses and anti-fog technology. You will be able to buy a good pair of goggles from approximately £40 for adults. It is also worth asking friends if they have a spare pair if you are not planning on going on frequent trips in the future.
Ski Jacket: You will find plenty of ski jackets online at great price points if you are not wanting to break the bank, especially if you are buying for children! Have a look at outlets such as Decathlon and Sports Direct. You may also find a jacket that will double as a winter coat when you are at home so you can justify investing in a piece that you will wear more often.
Salopettes: Salopettes are less likely to be worn anywhere other than a ski resort! If it is your first time going to the mountains or if you are travelling with children then you may want to consider asking friends who are keen skiers/boarders to borrow some for your trip. Otherwise, similarly for your ski jackets, there are lots of online outlets where you will find ski trousers starting from £20. We highly recommend that you wear trousers designed specifically for skiing/snowboarding, particularly in colder times of the year, and also if you are worried about falling, you want to ensure you are warm and don’t get wet!
Ski Socks: Ski socks are an essential purchase! You need to have socks that are designed to keep your feet warm and comfortable in your boots. Try to make sure you get socks that fit your feet snugly. It is common for ski socks to slip down or bunch inside your boots and this will be very uncomfortable and inconvenient to sort out when you are on the mountain.
Gloves: We highly recommend you buy gloves specifically for skiing, particularly for beginners and in snowy or slushy conditions, your hands will get very cold and wet if the gloves are not properly waterproofed. For children it is worth making sure gloves fit nice and snuggly so they don’t fall off. You may also want to get a pair that have strings that go round the wrist or through the ski jacket so the gloves aren’t dropped off the lift.
Other Accessories: Face warmers, thermal layers and hats are all other essentials that you will want to take to the slopes with you. If there are friends you can borrow equipment from, it is always worth asking! There are also a number of online companies, such as EcoSki, who offer rental clothing and discounts on pre-owned items.
Now you have the information on everything you need before you travel, it’s time to book your lessons! We have recently added the option to book your ski and boot rental, in partnership with SkiSet, at the same time as your ski lessons. Simply select the option for ski rental when you book your lessons. Arrive in resort and have everything sorted for you before you arrive!
The Independent Instructors on Maison Sport are Waiting For You!
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