To Buy or Rent Skis

by Greg Colquitt | December 20, 2017

So you’re preparing for your next ski trip and behold! No skis. What to do here.

At this point you’ve taken a few ski trips and are looking at your kids growing up out of their slick ski gear like tree roots busting through your neighborhood sidewalk. It’s frustrating and you’re wondering how to save a couple bucks to support your snow habit. Here’s a couple questions to ask yourself.

Have you bought boots?

Skis are fancy sticks. Bindings are fancy velcro. Boots are fancy death traps that will make you hate yourself and your family and the mountain’s cute mascot if not paid attention to so listen up. Sloshy cold feet have no place in your vacation. If you’re going to spend money, spend it here. I know, if you’ve read or talked to anyone about this subject it’s probably incredibly annoying. “Boots are the wormhole to your ever expanding ski universe!” Everyone says stuff like that on the mountain, and they’re right. You don’t see professional bowlers pilfering through the free bowling balls at the SuperPin-dulum do you? No,, they use the same ball every time. Spend some coin on fancy plastic boots. You’ll ski better.
Then when you’re ready to buy skis…

How often are you skiing?

Here’s the situation. Renting skis (with boots and helmet) is going to cost you around $45 a day. If you’re skiing 4 days you’ve already put yourself in the $200 world. Considering you can buy a great pair of skis with bindings at the end of the season for around $300, it might be worth your while to buy some sticks. You can name them, keep them under your bed, and show all your friends back in Tennessee your cool alpine equipment. They’ll be impressed.
If you want to really go full monty and throw down for your once a year ski trip, get a solid pair of all-mountain skis that will let you ski any and all terrain on the mountain. They will generally feature a waist width in the 90-100 range, which should give you plenty of options and flexibility whether it just puked 5 feet of fresh or you’re wondering why the rocks haven’t melted under the sun, too. Both are very real possibilities, which brings up another consideration.

Do you lease or own your car?

Do you love the Crimson Tide only when they’re winning or always? Renting skis or even demo-ing skis, gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility. Now, ideally you will rent a pair of skis for the duration of your stay, but if, heaven forbid, you find that your Fatypus skis aren’t working for your mogul runs, you could switch it up the very next day to a more agile and narrow waisted ski–similar to changing from a Hummer to a Civic because you were shocked by the number of decaying dinosaurs (petroleum) it required to run the former.

In the end, buying your own gear will save you money in the long run. Duh.

The sticker shock is real, but it’s worth it in the end when you can have matching blue skis, boots, pants, jacket, helmet, gloves, goggles, and poles. Neat!

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