To Rent or Buy is Not the Question: Where to rent IS!

We are smack dab in the middle of winter and you haven’t been skiing yet; this is not a good thing. You look at your schedule, the kid’s schedules, the husband’s schedule and you find you have a free long weekend coming up. The timing couldn’t be more perfect; work has been stressful, the family has a bit of cabin fever, and even the dog needs some time away. You, being the consummate planner, begin to make your lists: winter clothing, snacks, and of course, ski or snowboard gear.

So much to pack!


A few years ago you did the research on renting gear versus buying it and found that, like almost everything, the decision is based on many variables – how often you ski being the major factor. In your family of five, only your teen-aged daughter owns her own equipment. She fell in love with snowboarding and goes almost every weekend with her friends. Your equipment (and your husband’s) went in a yard sale when the second child was born because you just couldn’t envision ever having time to hit the mountain. So, now you are faced with renting four sets of equipment.

You harken back to the day (B.C. before children, of course), when you simply drove to the mountain, parked the car, bought lift tickets and hit the slopes. You sauntered through the lodge past the rental area feeling a bit sorry for the folks standing in line for an hour

Those dreaded words are about to come…

or more waiting to get ill-fitting boots and questionable skis or boards. Do you really want to face the reality of getting yourself and two kids under the age of ten outfitted with skis, boots and helmets in a hot, stinky, ski rental lodge only to have them utter the words “I have to go to the bathroom”? It’s enough to make anyone want to avoid the hassle and stay home.


So, in an effort not to be a total party-pooper about the family trip, you start Googling local ski rental shops as an alternative to the nightmare of renting on the mountain. Chances are, you may have a choice relatively close to where you live and it might even be a shop you frequent for other things. This local shop will have everything the resort pro shop has except the lines, the rush, the stinky feet smell, and the rude family from New York City. If this is a shop you frequent for other sporting items, you might even know the person who is going to be fitting you, making the experience that much more enjoyable.

Your local ski rental shop can provide you with skis, boots, boards, helmets, and all the other accessories you might need, and you can go to the shop at your convenience, try everything on, take it home, try it on again, and if there are any pinch points you can take those boots back long before you hit the slopes, getting everything perfect. No screaming kids, no frustrated parents, no fully clothed trips to the bathroom. The local shop has another advantage as well; long-term rentals with season-long service. Try to get the pro shop at a busy ski resort to wax your rental board. It’ll never happen!  Your local shop will do just that along with any adjustments you may need in between trips.

Back to the trip, the equipment rental went perfectly because you shopped locally and the whole family enjoyed a great day on the mountain!

One big happy family!