Why it pays to rent ski and snowboard equipment

Rental family gear

When I was a teenager, I got my first set of skis, boots, and poles. Finally, the gear I’d long coveted was mine, and mine alone. No more schlepping to the ski shop, shoving my feet into stinky boots, and hoping that the distracted shop tech was giving me gear that worked for my skill level. I swore I’d always own my own gear from that point on, no matter what.

BSRepic-mtn-gearnickpease190Then something funny happened, the ski industry changed drastically. Long, straight skis were replaced by parabolic ones. Then came the big fatties, which, by today’s standards, are practically anorexic. Then came advances in ski weight, materials, flex, and more. Following that were bigger, more shaped skis. And, of course, rockered technology.

To keep up with these advances would have required spending a fortune on gear every year. And even if I had the money, then what? One pair of skis performed beautifully in powder, but was a chattering sufferfest on groomers. Another was a carving phenom, but sunk in the deep.

So, a few years ago, I did something I swore I never would. I rented skis on a vacation. The forecast was for non-stop storms, and I wanted to try out the hot powder ski of that particular year. Wow. With those fat boards underneath me, and more than a foot of fresh under them, I smeared my way all over the mountain. The skis were equal parts airplane and trampoline. I bounced. I flew. I had a blast.

I also had an epiphany: it pays to rent the newest, hottest gear. Sure, I still have a quiver of skis, and I recently bought myself a big fat pair of powder boards in anticipation of a huge spring heli-skiing trip to Alaska. But for staying local? I’m planning on renting a lot this year.

And if I were traveling—particularly by plane—I would absolutely rent. Think about it: would you rather schlep 50 pounds of skis and poles (or snowboard) through an airport, pay the requisite luggage fee, worry the entire flight that your gear will get lost, and then arrive Breck Sportswith, possibly, the wrong boards for the conditions? Didn’t think so.

One caveat: I still travel with my ski boots because they’re like old friends. I’ve gotten them heat molded and fine-tuned to my feet, and my boot bag acts as my carry on. But just because that’s what I do doesn’t mean you should. There have been advances in boot technology, too, and the shop guys and gals can hook you up with the right equipment if you don’t want to deal with bringing your own at all. All of which is to say: travel light and save money and sanity by renting gear on-site (reserve it early online and get a discount.)

Where to rent gear in Breckenridge:

With seven locations and an extensive offering, Breck Sports makes gear rentals absurdly easy. If you rent online you can save 20% on ski and snowboard rentals. Go ahead and make your reservation online, and then double check your choice with the shop-floor experts who will ensure you’ve got the right gear to optimize your trip.

    Leave a Reply