How Much Are Ski Rentals – Equipment Hire Costs Pros & Cons

by Frank V. Persall

Depending on how frequently you can get out onto the slopes, you might decide to buy or rent your skiing equipment. For those who are heading out on a skiing adventure regularly, buying ski gear is the most practical option.

However, if you take a skiing vacation every few years then it makes sense to rent skis and any other equipment you might need. But if you choose this option, you would probably want to know how much are ski rentals?

The cost of rental equipment will vary depending on the rental shop and ski resort. But the average cost, you can expect to pay between $25 and $45 per day. There is also the option to rent skis for a longer period with weekly rental costing anywhere between $200 and $400.

There are pros and cons to renting ski equipment and we will look at these in detail throughout this post. We will also be looking at what equipment you can expect to get with your ski rental.

How Much Are Ski Rentals – Equipment Hire Costs Pros & Cons
How Much Are Ski Rentals – Equipment Hire Costs Pros & Cons

What Comes With Ski Rentals

Factoring in the cost of renting ski equipment is certainly something you should do before your skiing vacation but not everyone is familiar with what equipment is included in this. To avoid missing out on everything you need, it is important to check what the rental ski shop offers in their packages. 

While it may be slightly different from place to place, there is a general expectation that you would get skis, ski boots, and ski poles. However, it may be the case that you already own various pieces of equipment, for example, ski boots, and may only require to rent skis.

In this case, you’ll likely find that the rental shop can tailor a package that meets your needs and will provide you with a bespoke cost. 

Many people ask whether goggles are included with ski rentals, but owing to the delicate nature of this piece of equipment, they aren’t typically offered as part of rental packages. 

Buying Vs Renting Ski Equipment

Buying Vs Renting Ski Equipment
Buying Vs Renting Ski Equipment

As we have mentioned, if you are a frequent skier, renting equipment every time you visit the ski resort will result in you massively overspending. On the flip side, it seems unreasonable to invest in your own ski equipment if you only intend on using it now and again. Let’s explore the reasons for and against buying or renting ski equipment. 

Advantages of Renting

One of the most obvious benefits of renting ski equipment is that you can be confident that you will always have the most up-to-date gear. If you purchase ski equipment, there is always the hassle of having to update it as modern gear is brought out. 

In addition to this, the skiing equipment that you rent will go back to the shop once you've finished with it. You won’t need to worry about maintenance and tuning as everything will be done by the shop. Next time you come to rent skis, you will get a fully functioning, well-maintained set.

Moreover, you won’t need to worry about having a range of skis depending on the conditions. If you frequently visit different ski resorts, the terrain and conditions will vary drastically. Not all skis are built for the same action so when you rent them, you know that you’ll always have the most appropriate equipment. 

When renting, you also have the advantage of not having to cart large skis with you wherever you go. While you might not think it initially, it can be a real pain trying to get your skis to and from a resort, especially when using public transport.

Disadvantages of Renting

Of course, while there are many advantages to renting skis, there are also reasons that you should carefully consider when deciding ‘to rent or not to rent.’

Primarily, you must think about the fact that you won’t have a pair of skis that are perfectly tailored to you. When you buy skis, you will opt for a set that is specific to your requirements but when you rent, you are limited to the range that the rental shop stocks. 

Furthermore, if you are looking to save money, opting to rent isn’t the best way forward. That is unless you only ski every few years. If you’re going out once a month and hitting the slopes, buying skis will be much friendlier to your bank account. 

Advantages of Buying

The main advantage of buying your own skis is having a pair that is perfect for you. The more you use them, the more you will get to know them and this will likely improve your performance as you learn how to ski with this set of skis.

What’s more, if you’re an avid skier, having your own personal set of skis allows you to feel a little more ‘at one’ with the sport. Renting can make a pro skier feel like an amateur. Moreover, you do not have the hassle of messing around once you arrive at the ski resort. If you visit on a busy day, you could end up spending most of your morning in line at the rental shop. This is precious time that could be spent on the slopes. 

For anyone who wants to save money, buying skis is by far the best way, especially if you will be getting a lot of use out of your equipment.

Disadvantages of Buying

When you own a set of skis, you have the added hassle of transporting them to and from the ski resort. If you have a large car with a roof rack, this isn’t as difficult. But if you don’t, you’ll either have to invest in one, which will result in spending more money, or find another way. 

If you are traveling by air, you will incur an additional fee to transport your skis as these will fall outside of the normal baggage allowances. 

You will also be stuck with the same skis for a longer time. If new equipment comes out, you’ll either have to fork out more money or look on in envy at your fellow skiers who decided to rent. 

Is It Cheaper To Rent Or Buy Skis?

During the early days of skiing, it may work out cheaper for you to rent your equipment. This is because you are still learning about the type of skiing that you like and the type of skier you are. As you gain more experience, you will likely require a more advanced set of skis. Buying one set, to begin with, and having to replace them down the line will only add to your bill. 

Once you understand the type of skis you need, it will be beneficial, and more cost-effective to buy your own. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time on the slopes. However, for hobby skiers who head to Vail or Lake Tahoe for a family vacation every few years, you won’t see the benefit of buying, and renting will almost certainly be cheaper.

Cost To Rent Skis
Cost To Rent Skis

Should You Buy Or Rent Ski Boots?

It is also possible to rent ski boots but most people would advise against this, and we stand by this. The most important reason to invest in your own ski boots is that they must fit your feet properly. If they don’t, they will quickly become uncomfortable and injuries like a skier’s toe (add internal link) become a problem. 

Pro Tip: When you buy ski boots, you will have them tailored to your feet but renting them means that you’ll end up with something that is in the ballpark but not spot-on

But much more than this, if you rent ski boots, you are going to be wearing something that has been used countless times. This will affect the quality of the boots and more importantly, the padding inside which may become worn or squashed losing its ability to keep the feet comfortable. 

You will notice that the boots that are available for rent are much more generic than the ones that you can buy.

The designs are usually very simple and the shape is made on a much more general scale. For example, there are ski boots that are made for those with wider feet but that doesn’t mean that they will fit every person with a wide foot; because after all, we are all different. 

Summary On Ski Rental Prices

The cost of renting ski equipment will vary from place to place, but as a rule, you can expect to put up to $400 per week to hire the latest equipment. This is perfectly viable for many people, especially those who only ski every now and again. However, for people who can be regularly found on the slopes, renting skiing equipment will result in a lot of unnecessary spending. 

There are several pros and cons to renting and buying skis and before making a decision, it is important to figure out what will work best for you. 

Whether you decide to rent or buy your ski equipment, one thing is for sure; you need to arm yourself with as much information as possible to make your skiing trip an enjoyable one. For everything ski-related, we have the answer; so check out our detailed guides and tips for more information.

What Is A Ski Chalet?

About Frank V. Persall

Frank is originally from the UK, but he has a passion for skiing that knows no bounds. He has made it his life's mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the World. Frank loves spending time with his wife and three children on ski slopes, as they all share his love for the activity.

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