12 Reasons to Rent Your Ski or Snowboard Equipment
by George F. Karioris
I have been skiing for many years and for most of those years I have owned, maintained, and hauled my own ski equipment. In the past few years, however, I have made the psychological and pragmatic jump to renting equipment wherever I go. My recent trip to Breckenridge really illuminated me to the joys of rental. While there certainly would be cost/benefit advantages to skiing my own equipment if I lived at a ski resort, as a visitor there’s no doubt that rental is the best path. The excellent folks at Christy Sports in Breck set us up with some wonderful equipment for our week of skiing, and we couldn’t have had a better experience. We reflected on our rentals and the benefits that they brought to the our trip. Here is a list of the top dozen reasons that we’ll continue renting our skis and boards.
1. You don’t have to pay the airlines exorbitant fees to transport your skis, boards, and boots.
Seriously, the new airline baggage prices really seem to gouge the winter sports enthusiast. Checking skis and boots as baggage will likely cost $20 to $60 (or more!) each way. Don’t give the airlines any more money than you have to. Save your money for the rental company and you’ll probably break even or maybe come out ahead. Certainly you’ll reduce your hassle-factor by not hauling your equipment thru the skies.
2. You get the best, most up-to-date equipment.
There’s no way most of us can afford to keep buying new ski or board equipment every year… And why should we? Equipment rental companies like Christy Sports drop the big bucks into their inventory year-after-year stocking the most current goodies. They do the research and buy the good stuff, the stuff people want to ski on and don’t want to pay for themselves. They put me on a pair of K2 Photon “demo” skis with Marker bindings and I had a great time. They were perfect for me with nice biting edges and great responsive flex.
3. You can bring in your skis or boards to be waxed and edged mid week.
Ok, so you’ve skied on your boards for a couple days and been pounding the snow pretty hard. Any wax that was on your skis or boards is long gone… You’re at some mountain resort far from your home and even farther from any home ski-wax setup you may or may not have. What’s a skier to do? Easy, take your equipment back to the renter and ask them to set you up with an edge and wax. They will not only return your skis and boards with razor sharp edges but also give you a wax best suited for the type of snow you’ll likely see the next day. Try that by yourself in some fancy condo or hotel room!
4. You can trade your skis or boards for different types depending on the snow conditions.
One day crud the next day powder. (Oh powder; glorious, soft, deep, champagne powder!). Stop off and trade your curvy hourglass shaped skis for a set of powder skis. You’ll be floating and making serpentine turns in the deep stuff with ease. You probably would never own or travel with 2 sets of skis, and you really don’t need to.
5. The really cute Argentinian girls who work at the ski shop.
6. The expert staff really know how to fit you to your equipment.
Dan at Christy Sports spent lots of time getting our whole group properly equipped. Each of us ski differently and are widely varied in height and weight. Everyone got great stuff and got around the mountain with ease and comfort. There are plenty of ski experts here and it benefits the renter to take advantage of their advice.
7. There are tons of Christy Sports locations close to all the major ski resorts.
Yep, right near the mountain and in towns too. If you can’t find a convenient location, you’re not looking!
8. You don’t have to pay for a ski rack with your rental car or get a huge vehicle to carry your own equipment (or have the airline destroy or lose your own equipment).
No one wants to overpay for their vacation rental vehicle. I’d much rather spend my money on lift passes or après-ski drinks. Plan on renting your stuff and you can downsize your rental car. Try to get one, however that has a 60/40 fold down rear seat so that you can easily transport your skis & boards. It may make the back seat a bit cozy for two, but hey; ski trips are supposed to bring us all a bit closer!
9. Never start a day with damp boots, leave your boots at the rental location and they’ll put them on the boot dryer overnight.
Ummmm, one word; Yuk. Dry boots are good, damp boots are bad. Enuff said.
10. In addition to rental equipment, you can purchase most of your ski needs there.
Goggles, gloves, lip-stuff, helmet-cams, they have it all. If you need it for skiing and forgot it at home they’ll have it there for you.
11. Many of the staff are locals (or seasonal-locals) who can advise you on everything from ski runs and conditions to restaurants and bars.
Ask the guys and gals who are working at your friendly ski rental establishment (like Christy Sports) where the locals hang out, eat, drink, dance, and party. These folks are guaranteed to know the ins-and-outs of the region. Don’t bother asking the chamber of commerce, ask a local ski tech, they’ll know the best places.
12. You can reserve your rental equipment ahead of time online and get pricing discounts.
Pretty easy. Use that new-fangled contraption called the internet (you know, the thing invented by Al Gore?) and go to www.ChristySports.com , or click one of their logos on this page, to reserve your stuff ahead of time. You’ll get great equipment and a price discount too. Again, more money saved means more money for lifts and drinks!
Published March 2012