Gearing Up: To Rent or To Buy?
Skiing can be a lifetime hobby. We've already spoken at length about how important it is to have equipment custom chosen and sized exactly for you. So when is it time to shell out the cash for a brand new setup of your own?
First, let's ask some basic questions:
How often will you use it?
Is it possible the equipment will be outgrown, either by a child or by a person's progress in the snow?
Are you willing to pay for the right equipment for you?
Once you decide you want your very own equipment, be prepared for the price. A ski setup can cost from $500 up to the thousands. While we don't expect money to not be a factor, remember how important fit and function are before you just go for the best-priced package deal at the ski shop. That being said, most retail shops will offer ski/boot/bindings/poles packages for a variety of skill levels. It's a good place to start.
A great option for beginners, children and those not yet committed to the purchase is an equipment lease. Often you'll end up with new equipment, and the best thing about it is that you will be able to grow accustomed to it throughout the season and focus on your progress and fun instead of adjusting a new rental setup every time. Often, shops will allow a buy-out of your lease at the end of the season if you've grown attached to it.
Daily or Weekly Rental
The least committal way to access equipment is to rent by the day or week. This is the way to go for someone who hasn't already committed to a season, those who don't ski frequently, or those just not quite sure they're going to like it! Though it's the most expensive option per day, it's still less than buying new equipment, using it once and watching it collect dust the rest of the season. Some shops will even apply the rental cost to the cost of a purchase if you decide you're hooked!
If you're borrowing equipment from a friend, that means a) they really like you and b)you scored some free gear for the day! Remember, chances are, even if your friend knows a lot about equipment, that your shape, size and skill levels don't match. If your friend knows enough to adjust it for you, that's great. Otherwise, take it to a shop and have them tweak it for you before you step or strap in.
Garage Sale, EBay and Craigslist
While it's tempting to pick up a pair of skis or a helmet for $30 at a garage sale, this is the riskiest equipment to purchase since you don't know the history, prior damage or sometimes even the age and technology of the gear. If you want to go this route, be sure to have it checked out, tuned and adjusted before you take it for a spin.
If purchasing from eBay, craigslist or another used equipment location, make sure to get as much information as you can and check it out before you commit if possible. Be willing to resell or return if it isn’t the right size.
Ultimately, you want to feel comfortable, happy and safe with your gear.
Understanding these options before you make the decision to rent, borrow or buy is crucial to your satisfaction and enjoyment. Now get out there and have fun!
Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and Snowlink.com