By Emily Crofton
Let’s start off with the cost of renting vs. buying. We all know that the sport of skiing is expensive. Between transportation, accommodations, and equipment, it can cost a pretty penny. When it comes to gear, why break the bank if you can count the number of days you’ll be out on skis on one hand? If you are someone who is planning a single ski trip or simply looking to get out on the hill a few days this winter, then we suggest renting skis as the more cost-effective option. If you are looking to purchase a seasons pass and spend more than a few days on the mountain, we believe it is highly worth investing in your own gear.
With that being said, let’s take it a step further and break down the cost of both options. Starting with renting, we took a look at a handful of resorts around the country to gather information on how much it costs to rent gear. Based on the data we found, on average, the cost of renting skis, with boots, bindings, and poles, for an entire day is $40. If you are going on a week-long ski trip, the total cost for 7 days would be $280. Seeing as the average cost of a pair of skis is $750, you would need to ski 19 days in order to make the cost of buying your own skis worth it.
Another thing to consider is your skill level. Are you a brand new skier? If the answer is yes, then your best bet, in our opinion, is to rent. Without having more than a couple of days under your feet, it can be hard to tell what you like. By renting, you have the opportunity to test the waters and familiarize yourself with different lengths/widths of skis before you invest in a pair! Renting allows for flexibility and easing into the sport, and we love that for beginner skiers. If you’re someone who has a few seasons under your belt, then financially, it makes much more sense to buy your own equipment. Once you have been able to get a sense of the type of skier you are, you can invest in skis that you know you will like. By owning your own skis, you will get to know how they handle and get a good feel for them. Not to mention your confidence will boom and your skills will be climbing off the charts!
Now that we have touched upon a few deciding factors, let’s talk about the benefits of renting vs. owning skis. While we know that renting can be more budget-friendly and better for beginners, it also allows for versatility! Depending on the day, you have the option of choosing a ski that best suits the snow conditions. If the weather changes and you suddenly have a powder day, you can swap out your skis for a wider, floatier style ski. Who doesn’t love having a variety of options?
If you are traveling to your favorite ski destination, renting eliminates the hassle of traveling with ski gear. Not only does it cost more to check skis on a plane, but you also need to purchase a travel bag to transport your gear. Rather than worry about the extra trouble, you can travel light and worry about your skis when you get there.
Lastly, there is no need for any maintenance or upkeep when renting skis. When you’re done with your day, simply bring your rentals back and be on your merry way! When you own skis, you must factor in the necessary maintenance required, such as edge and wax treatment. Not only is that an extra step but adds to the cost.
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