Keeping Current with Ski Equipment
by Maggie Rentmeester
I’ve been skiing for many years, my first equipment was wooden skis fitted with bear trap bindings and stiff, leather lace-ups. Nowadays shiny buckled boots, shaped skis and helmets are “de rigueur” (…a fancy French term meaning “required by etiquette or fashion”. Care for an Après-ski Chardonnay, Mon’Amie?). Ski equipment for everyone can be the latest and the greatest; just one of the many advantages of renting. I have long since given up skiing with wood and leather and now choose to rent my equipment when I go out west. Many rental stores provide equipment, but I find the complete custom package at Christy Sports, it’s a family owned business that’s been around since 1958. With over 40 locations their motto is “There’s no such thing as the ‘best equipment’, only the equipment best for you” is a fantastic place to get your rentals. Christy Sports is currently the largest specialty ski and snowboard retailer and snowsport service specialist in the Rocky Mountain region. Let’s talk about some of the benefits of renting.
Experts custom fit equipment based on current snow conditions as well as your style of skiing or boarding. The staff at Christy’s is comprised of experienced and enthusiastic skiers and boarders; their goal is to make sure you have fun. They’ll help you choose the best package for your ability, fit your boots, and adjust bindings. Equipment evolves as does the skier, and although I have given up on black-diamond moguls runs these days I want to be sure my bindings release if I biff on a blue cruiser if needed. My husband skis more aggressively and gets equipped with more of a performance ski; there are choices for all levels and abilities. All the rental skis are current generation and come prepared with sharp edges and fresh wax. At the Avon location, the manager Jeff and his staff said we could bring them back mid-week for tuning if desired. Knowing that we had the right set of perfectly fitted equipment was a huge confidence builder. We knew that our gear was ready for anything we’d encounter on the mountain.
My favorite part about renting is walking through the airport without lugging my skis, boots, and poles – I save my workout for the slopes. A the Denver airport I smiled to myself and snickered when I heard the overhead announcement: “Oversized baggage will be delayed approximately 30 minutes”. Nope; not me! …I’m going straight to the mountain to get my equipment. One cool option is that any Christy Sports rental equipment can be returned at any of their retail locations. This is great when you want to ski several mountains: rent at Beaver Creek and return at Breckenridge without having to add extra miles driving. Several of their stores are positioned within a short walking distance of lifts — pop in, get fitted, and get on the slope within minutes. We picked up our equipment in Avon, just a short walk from our condo, and literally walked out in about 15 minutes! Renting also allows you to freely exchange gear as snow and weather conditions change or perhaps you want to experiment with different lengths, widths, or shapes. That would be a ridiculously expensive proposition if you owned your own stuff.
Price & Value
Reserving equipment online 24 hours in advance at www.ChristySports.com can save 20% off rental fees. I prefer renting at the mountain (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck, etc), that way I don’t need a larger vehicle or pricey car-top carrier (rental agency rip-off!). However, you can save even more money by renting at any of the Denver locations. The Lakewood/Denver West store is an easy hop off interstate I-70 and can save up to 43%! After taking advantage of the discounts and reduced baggage fees you can ski with the latest equipment for a very small real cost. Christy Sports is committed to promoting snowboarding and skiing as a family sport. Many locations offer free rental for kids age 12 and under when an adult rents for 4 days. We all know skiing is expensive; this is a great way to have family time and save a few bucks.
My ski equipment and I have evolved over the years. I’ll keep renting and letting the experts fit me as the gear and its technology changes. Here’s hoping for many more!
Published April 2015