Whether you’re traveling from out of state or just beginning to dabble in the sport, purchasing ski and snowboard gear comes with a pretty decent price tag. Before putting down the dollars to buy your own set, it will make more sense to rent your gear instead of investing right away. Renting gear will allow you to test out various brands to figure out what you like and ultimately give you some time to save up money when you are ready to make the investment in your own gear. Here is everything you need to know about safe rental gear for your next ski or snowboard trip.
First of all, what do you need?
When skiing or snowboarding for the first time, there are a few things that you need to purchase that you will not be able to rent:
- Ski Jackets and Pants
Investing in warm, water and wind resistant clothing is important. A weather resistant ski jacket and pants will make sure you stay comfortable in cold and wet conditions on the slopes.
- Base and Mid Layers
Your base and mid layers are what you wear under your ski jacket and pants. Opt for synthetic, silk, or wool layers. Avoid cotton at all costs because when it gets wet, it takes awhile to dry.
- Gloves and Mittens
Your hands are going to be in contact with the snow throughout the day, so a pair of waterproof gloves/mittens are must. Make sure to opt for a pair that allows for dexterity.
- Ski Socks
Make sure to bring at least two pairs of wool or synthetic ski socks on your ski or snowboard trip. An extra pair of socks will give you another pair to change into when your other ones get wet.
Goggles help decrease glare and keep the snow out of your eyes. When picking a helmet to buy or rent, make sure to bring your goggles along because goggles fit differently depending on the helmet.
What can I rent?
Now that you know what you need to own before you go, what can you rent for your next ski or snowboard trip? You can rent:
- Skis/Snowboard, Bindings, and Poles
If you are going skiing for the first time, it is not recommended to buy your own set of skis/snowboards, binding or poles just in case you decide it isn’t the sport for you. Employees at rental shops are knowledgeable about their gear and will help you choose what is best for you.
Boots are also available for rent but once you decide that you want to ski or snowboard, you may want to consider purchasing your own pair of ski or snowboard boots. Boots are designed to mold to your feet, making boot rentals uncomfortable.
- Ski Helmet
Everyone should wear a helmet to protect their noggin from head injuries when they ski or snowboard regardless of if it is their first or their 1000th time hitting the slopes. While you can rent a helmet at most rental shops, if you plan on skiing for more than two days, it might be worth buying your own helmet since beginner helmets run between $20-$40 to buy and around $10 per day to rent.
How Do I Rent Safe Gear?
Renting safe ski or snowboard gear will keep you comfortable when you hit the slopes. Here are a few tips to help you find safe rental gear for your next ski or snowboard trip.
Tip 1: Choosing where to rent your gear from.
There are a couple of options for renting your gear: you can rent from the resort or you can rent from a local ski or snowboard shop. While both are options, we recommend choosing the latter. Renting from a local shop has the advantage of being able to pick up gear ahead of time rather than wait in a line when you arrive at the resort. Resort gear is also used more often which brings into question the quality and safety of the overused gear. Opting for renting from a local shop will help ensure the safety of your equipment and will support a local business.
Tip 2: Ask questions and answer questions, honestly.
Rental technicians are well-versed in snow gear, and will help get you the right gear. If you have never been skiing, make sure to tell them that.
Tip 3: Don’t be afraid to switch out.
If your rental gear isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to try out something else.