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Renting Ski Equipment

Introduction

Renting ski equipment makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider the purchase costs of outfitting yourself in the latest and greatest gear. Between skis, boots, poles, and clothing, you can easily spend hundreds of dollars and more! And, with ski equipment technology constantly changing, what's hot today often is replaced with something even better by next season.

You'll find plenty of outlets for renting ski equipment in and around all the popular ski resorts. If you'd rather avoid long lines and be ready the minute you hit the ski area, check out your local sporting goods stores as many include areas for renting ski equipment.

Ski Rental Tips

When renting ski equipment, remember that proper fit is essential. Most ski equipment rental prices include skis, boots, and poles. Here's what you can expect from the ski equipment rental operator:

  1. You'll be asked your shoe size, height, weight, and the type of skiing you plan to do. Don't lie - your safety depends on the truth!
  2. You'll be given a pair of boots similar in size to your normal shoe size. It's advisable to put on the socks you intend to wear while skiing. Then you'll try on the boots. They should fit snugly, while still allowing a bit of wiggle room.
  3. If the boots feel right, the ski equipment operator will ask you to buckle the boots and then stand. The top of the boot should fit snugly but comfortably and you should be able to lean forward.
  4. They'll adjust the ski binding as necessary, and inspect the tension gauges, the heel plate, and the safety brakes to ensure that all are set properly and are in good working condition.
  5. They'll show you how to snap the boot back into the binding.
  6. To select the right length ski pole, they might ask you to hold your arms straight down and then bend at the elbows until your forearms are parallel to the floor. Measuring the distance between the floor and your bent forearm helps determine the optimum ski pole length, which typically ranges between 42 and 52 centimeters.
  7. As for the skis, the ski rental operator will select the pair appropriate for your height and the type of skiing you plan to do.

Safety Equipment

  1. Helmets help prevent head injuries and can be worn in place of a hat.
  2. Eye protection is important and will make the day much more comfortable. The glare from the sun and snow (and even the clouds) can damage eyes over time. Wear sunglasses or goggles that block 100% of the sun's UV rays. Sunglasses should be secured to the head with an elastic band.
  3. Skin protection, especially for the face and lips, is a wise choice. Choose sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. For maximum protection, reapply every few hours. Faces and lips get wind and sun burned on the slopes very easily!
  4. Warm, layered, water resistant clothing is a smart choice for staying dry and comfortable while on the slopes.
  5. Water, high-energy snacks and fruit help prevent dehydration and will keep you from tiring too soon.
  6. A trail map in your pocket helps from getting disoriented and will help you make sure that you don't go down slopes that are too difficult (or easy) for your ability.
  7. Identification and cash is always a good idea.
  8. A hat is essential for keeping warm. Most body heat is lost through an exposed head.
  9. Water-proof mittens or gloves.

Ski Safe

  1. Snow skiing is most enjoyable when carrying as little extra weight as possible. A good rule of thumb is to fit what you can into a fanny pack or small backpack and leave the rest in a locker or back at the ski lodge, hotel or condo.
  2. Learn how to properly load and unload from the chairlift. If necessary, listen to instructions. When loading, poles should be held in the hand facing inside. Turn your head towards the outside to watch for approaching chairlift and use your outside hand to grab the chairlift. Pull down the safety bar, and when getting off, stand and move in a direction that quickly gets you out of the path of other skiers who will shortly be disembarking just like you just did.
  3. Always try to stay in control.
  4. Those who are in front of you always have the right of way.
  5. If you need to stop, do so in a safe place.
  6. When you start skiing, either after exiting the chairlift or after stopping, you've got to look uphill first. That helps ensure you'll merge onto the hill when it is safe.
  7. Read and obey all signs and never access trails that are marked as closed or trails that are not appropriate for your skill level.
  8. Use the buddy system - ski with a partner.
  9. Don't overexert yourself. Remember to take breaks!
  10. Ski in control, and at safe speeds for your ability level.

Snow Ski Manufacturers

  • Alpina
  • Atomic
  • Blizzard Skis
  • Dynamic Skis
  • Dynastar
  • Evolution Ski Company
  • Fischer
  • Germina
  • Goode Skis
  • K2
  • Lacroix Skis
  • Olin
  • Rossignol
  • Salomon
  • Stockli
  • Visu Ski
  • Volant
  • Volkl USA