The debate on whether to buy or hire your ski equipment is an on-going conversation amongst almost all parties. In all honesty, there really is no definitive answer! It really does depend on a number of factors. So, below we have put together a short list of the pros and cons of both options.
Benefits of buying ski equipment
You have the luxury of getting used to your own equipment – The main bonus is that you are able to get used to the way in which they handle in a range of conditions. Eliminating the time spent getting used to your hire skis only to give them back again at the end of the week.
Maximise ski time – Arriving in resort with your own skis also saves the hire shop rush when you arrive and leave.
Choice of equipment – You will also be able to spend time choosing the perfect model for you. Based on kind of skiing or boarding that you’ll be doing most of. Which is not always possible when hiring.
It may be cheaper than you think – You can pick up new skis from as little as £120. Particularly if you buy at the end of the season, you may bag yourself a real bargain and if you’re skiing regularly. You will then more than likely end up saving in the long term when compared to hiring!
Benefits of renting ski equipment
Perfect for beginners – If you’re a beginner, hiring is without a doubt the best option. After your first trip, you may want to return right away, but may not end up getting a group together again for a couple of years. So, it’s best to wait and see firstly, if you enjoy it. And secondly, that you’re going to be going regularly before buying.
Save money when flying – When flying with ski equipment, you are likely to be charged for additional sports baggage. The will price will vary depending on your carrier. However, is likely to add approximately £50 to your booking per each set of skis or snowboard.
You have the luxury of changing your skis – When hiring your skis, you have the option to change them at any time. Whether you’re just not getting on with your current rental or you fancy switching from skis to a snowboard, you can simply go to the hire shop and arrange this.
Discounted hire when staying with Ski Basics – When staying with Ski Basics, you will receive exclusive discounts at hire shops in Meribel. For more information, visit our ski hire page.
Disadvantages of buying ski equipment
Potentially higher travel costs – Carrying extra sports baggage can cost anywhere up from £45. However, if you are driving to resort this is of course not a problem. As you are able to take as much baggage as you wish. Making buying your own equipment even more of a viable option.
Servicing costs – There will be ongoing costs for servicing and maintaining your equipment after each week you ski. This is again likely to cost around £50 each time, unless you buy your own equipment and learn to service yourself. However, this too will require a rather substantial initial investment.
Extra baggage to carry – Ski equipment can be heavy. So, it’s important to consider carrying this extra baggage. You should also ensure that you make your transfer company aware you will have it with you.
Disadvantages of renting ski equipment
More specific needs may not be catered for – When hiring, you will be given what they have in stock. If you need particularly long or short skis or a certain type, they may not be available.
Time spent in the hire shop – The hire shop can get extremely busy, particularly on Saturday when the vast majority of company’s guests will arrive. Meaning that you may end up wasting valuable time on the slopes. Especially if there’s fresh powder and blue skies to be enjoyed.
Skis and boards may be worn – Whilst hire shops will always take time to maintain their equipment, equipment may be worn out. However, this may vary depending on the shop you go to or the point in the season.
Should you buy or rent your ski helmet
Once you’ve established that you enjoy skiing and are going to be skiing at least once a year then we would recommend purchasing your own helmet. This will ensure the best fit for both your head and with your googles. As not all googles will fit perfectly with all helmets.
Despite the obvious advantages of owning your own helmet, we understand that children grow quickly. So, you may decide to rent their helmet each year. The ski shops in Meribel check equipment each time it’s returned to ensure maximum safety. So, you can rest assured a hired helmet will be in good condition.
Should you buy or rent skis
As with all things, you want to ensure that you enjoy skiing before purchasing your own skis or snowboard. Therefore, if you’re a beginner, we would always recommend renting skis on your first trip. Once you know that you enjoy skiing and are going to be going regularly, then you may want to consider buying your own. However, it may be a good idea to rent for your first few trips. Giving you time to establish the kind of skiing you’re going to be doing most of once you’re confident on the slopes. This will then help inform your decision on what type of skis are best for you.
Should you buy or rent ski boots
When it comes to boots, as with helmets, once you know that you will be skiing regularly we would always recommend buying. Boots really can make or break a holiday, with uncomfortable boots being a source of not only pain but hassle too. When buying your own boots, you will be able to spend time with a specialist technician ensuring that you’ve got the best boot for you. For tips on how your boots should fit or where best to get them if you choose to buy in resort, take a look at our guide.
Whilst this may be something extra to carry, you can always take your boots on as hand luggage when flying which will eliminate any additional charges too.
Should rent or buy ski clothes
It’s always worth buying your own ski clothing. It’s not quite so common for shops to rent clothing as it’s equipment. It’s also likely to work out more expensive in the long term. Where as, you can pick up your own ski gear for very reasonable prices at retailers like Mountain Warehouse, Snow and Rock and many more. This will ensure a great fit as well as maximum warmth and waterproofness, depending on the items you buy. If you’re concerned about getting your money’s worth, ski coats can always be worn at home in cold winter months!
How to buy ski equipment for beginners
If you decide to buy your ski equipment right away, you should always do your research. There’s an abundance of information online but visiting a specialist in store is definitely a good idea. Particularly when buying equipment for the first time.
Once you have spoken to a specialist in store, you may decide to buy online to bag yourself a better price. It’s also advisable to shop around as different retailers may have the same equipment at slightly different prices. It’s also useful to note that often, retailers may not have their full range in-store, so you may find a wider variety online.
When it comes to skis, this useful guide on buying skis from Snow and Rock is a great start. As is this guide from Absolute Snow on buying a snowboard and our guides on what to wear skiing and how your ski boots should fit.
Where to buy ski equipment online
There a vast range of online retailers you can buy your equipment from. The best option will vary depending on your price range and what you’re looking for.
Absolute Snow (Online and Instore) – Selling a huge range of high quality ski and snowboard equipment
Snow and Rock (Online and Instore) – For all your ski needs, Snow and Rock stock their own brand equipment as well as a vast range of well known brands
Sports Pursuit (Online only) – Big discounts on last season’s equipment from a range of highly regarded brands
Mountain Warehouse (Online and Instore) – For ski and snowboard clothing only, with a range of great value products
Surfdome (Online only) – Offer the latest snow trends for over 300 brands with big savings to be made throughout the year
When to buy ski equipment
End of season sales are a great time to purchase equipment at reasonable costs. Whilst it may be slightly more expensive, when you’re in resort is also a great time to purchase ski gear. This means that you have time to practice using it and go back to the shop for any alterations if needed. However, there are many places here in the UK where you will be able to buy equipment before heading out on your trip, both online and instore, as outlined above. This is often more cost effective than buying in resort and will also save you losing any time out on the mountain whilst away.
How much does it cost to rent ski equipment
Depending on the equipment you need, hire for 6 days may cost €75-200 per person. This will also depend on your level of experience, with more technical equipment costing more. As explained above, as a Ski Basics guest you will receive exclusive discounts in various shops in resort and you will often also receive discounts for booking in advance. Visit our ski hire page for more information.
What ski equipment can you rent
Almost all of your equipment can be rented from your coat and salopettes to your helmet, skis, poles and boots! You will not be able to rent inner layers of clothing. Nor will you be able to hire googles from rental shops.
Where to rent ski equipment
It’s always best to rent your ski equipment in resort. For both convenience and from an economic perspective. There will be a range of shops to choose from. With each shop offering slightly different equipment and pricing. However, the overall offering will be largely the same.
Don’t forget to visit our ski hire page for more information on which shops we recommend and how to claim your exclusive discounts as a Ski Basics guest here in Meribel.
No matter what your decision, we hope that this blog has helped you in deciding whether to take the leap and buy your own equipment or continue to hire for now. If you haven’t yet booked your next trip to Meribel, you can view our remaining availability here or simply get in contact and a member of the team would be happy to help!