What do ski rentals include?
Ski rentals is normally a package consisting of the essential equipment for skiing, including skis, poles & ski boots. If you own any of these items already, normally the shop will be able to offer you a package of just skis and poles, or just boots depending on what you need.
Ski rental shops are normally very good at tailoring their rental packages, and therefore equipment included in a ski rental package will vary a lot depending upon what you need. As some people choose to purchase their own ski equipment such as their own boots, ski rental shops will offer a range of different rental packages to suit the needs of customers, and this should be reflected in the price of the package.
Ski Equipment Packages
The typical general packages that rental shops will offer, with extra items being added as needed for an additional fee, are as follows:
- Skis, boots and Poles
- Skis and poles only
- Boots only
It is always worth checking with the rental shop you intend to use at the resort what options they have for rental of equipment. Most ski rental shops will have a website which lists the equipment they have to rent, and any packages or deals they may offer. I have found it is always worth emailing the rental shop to find out about any deals or discounts that may be available, if there is a particularly large group of you going skiing, or if you are planning to rent your skis for a long period such as 2 weeks or longer. It is not uncommon for rental shops to offer discounts for extended periods of rental.
Helmets will almost always be offered by rental shops for customers. This is arguably one of the most important pieces of equipment for skiing (or snowboarding), as you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that the snow is nice and soft when you are skiing! A combination of the fact you will be skiing at quite a speed, combined with the fact that the snow on-piste is intentionally packed down each night in preparation for the next day of skiing, makes for quite a hard impact when you inevitably fall (sorry to break the news, but you will almost definitely fall every day when you are learning to ski)! Personally, I have never even thought about going skiing without wearing my helmet. If you havnt bought gloves and goggles for your ski holiday, you may get lucky and be able to rent these from the shop, though this is rare for shops to offer, as it is assumed that people have purchased gloves and goggles for themselves.
Should I buy or rent skis?
As you go skiing more and more, the dilemma of rent vs buy skis will continue to nag at you. Renting skis is more and more expensive every year, you are getting sick of skis on already scratched and used skis. As a beginner skier, it is always advisable to rent skis for the first couple of weeks on the mountains. Skis come in many different shapes and sizes, and beginner skis tend to be easier to learn on. Unfortunately, once you reach a certain level of skiing, the beginner skis will no longer be suitable for you and you will need intermediate skis. This is why it is advisable to wait until you are at an intermediate level of skiing before purchasing skis, so you don’t have to keep buying skis!
My advice would be to wait until you are at an advanced level of skiing before buying skis. This would be after around 10 weeks of skiing for the average person. This will ensure you are at a level where you wont constantly outgrow (in terms of skill) your skis each year, and you will have developed your technique well enough to find skis that suit you.
If you are already an intermediate-advanced skier or an advanced skier, I would definitely recommend buying a pair of skis, as this will save you money if you are going regularly, and will give you a pair of skis you can master instead of constantly switching between skis for each holiday.
Can you rent ski boots?
In my experience, the most common piece of equipment people will buy for themselves first, aside from goggles and gloves (and ski clothing) are a pair of ski boots. This is simply because if you buy your own ski boots, often they can be moulded exactly to the shape of your foot so are far more comfortable, and also a little more pleasant than renting boots which have had other people’s feet in them! Because ski boots are made with a hard-shell exterior without much manoeuvrability inside, ski boots which you rent will be made to fit the masses - for obvious reasons. Although you can get very high-quality ski boots from rental shops, they are unlikely to ever fit as well as purchasing your own boots.
Do Ski rentals Include Goggles?
Ski rentals will not typically include goggles, and they are something you will have to sort yourself! Although ski goggles are definitely required equipment, they are easily scratched, and come in all sorts of colors, shades and tints. Goggle lenses can also be swapped out depending on the weather. You can pick up a very solid pair of ski goggles for $50 - $100!
Is ski rental equipment good quality?
This will vary greatly upon which shop you visit, and how much you want to pay for the quality of your equipment. Shops often offer varying qualities of equipment with a reflective rental price attached. The more you pay, the higher quality the equipment will be. Generally speaking, ski equipment you purchase for yourself (especially boots) will be more personalised and suited to you than the equipment you will receive from a rental shop. The exception to this is if you are a more experienced skier renting higher end skis, often shops will have a selection of this season’s new-In skis for you to try, and sometimes even have the option to purchase if you really like them!
Can I buy a lift pass and lessons at the ski rental shop too?
This will depend upon whether or not the ski rental shop you are purchasing from is affiliated with the actual ski resort itself. If the shop is owned by the resort, then yes, more than likely the shop will sell lift passes as well. If the rental shop is an independent store, then it will probably not be able to sell you a lift pass for the resort. You will probably be able to find this information out on the shop’s website.