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Is It Worth Getting Your Own Skis?

25 November 2019
Ski equipment laid out

Is it worth buying my own skis you ask! If you’ve read our piece on getting your own ski boots and decided to go ahead and make the purchase, it’s time to consider the pros and cons of buying skis rather than renting them.

The first thing to note is; there are a wide range of skis catering for a range of skiing disciplines. For instance, a slalom racer would not do well on a pair of powder skis and similarly an early intermediate skier would not need a race ski.

So, you should consider what type of skiing you’ll be doing before you think about what skis you might need and whether it might be better to simply hire them.  That said, if you do not have your own boots, then no; you don’t need skis, Buy boots first.    

Is it better to buy or rent skis?  

Buying your own skis has its pros. You get some new toys to play with, they are always ready to use, so you don’t need to wait for the hire shop to open before you go sliding, and if you have chosen wisely, they will compliment your skiing.  

The downside of owning your own skis are; you have to carry them to and from the airport, they are bulky, and you need to keep them in tip-top condition to perform at their best–sharp and well waxed. You will also be spending a fair bit; you can pick skis up in the sales for a couple of hundred quid, but a full-on race ski and bindings might be around £1000. Plus, once you have chosen to buy skis, that’s it, they are yours. If you hire skis you can change your mind.  

Do good skis make a difference?

If you’re still with me, you’re probably wondering what sort of skis you need to make a positive impact on your skiing. With the right skis for the right type of skiing you can make life easier for yourself. Let’s look at the different sorts of skis most manufacturers produce: 

Piste skis - A ski focused on firmer snow that has been groomed. Fairly narrow under foot.  

All mountain skis – A do anything ski, does well on Piste, in the bumps and variable snow and will also be an easier ride off-piste. Slightly wider under foot to give more support on soft snow. 

Race skis – As it says on the tin, a ski for travelling quickly around gates; many instructors tend to ski on a race ski as they reward sound technique.    

Freeride skis – An Off-piste beast, widest under foot to provide more float in deep snow. Something for the steeper and deeper terrain to be found in the back country. Not a ski for beginners!

Freestyle skis –  Something for the park, but can be ridden around the whole mountain.  

Touring skis – Light and easy to walk up hill with. Unlikely to be your first ski! 

How do I know what skis are worth buying?  

My top tip would be to attend a ski demo day at The Snow Centre, during  these sessions we have several manufacturers bring a selection of equipment for lift pass users to try —keep an eye on The Snow Centre’s events page for the next demo session.  Another option is to talk with your hire shop in resort and try a few different skis out; most good shops will discount the price of the ski by the rental cost should you buy them. 

Is it worth buying my children skis?  

The answer here is less clear cut.  If your children are skiing frequently then I would say yes, get them skis, but the challenge is that children grow quickly.  With kids, second hand equipment can work if chosen carefully. On the plus side, there is a decent second hand market for children’s equipment via your local slope’s kid’s clubs and social media.  If your youngsters are getting into freestyle or racing, then good equipment will help them progress.   

In summary, when it comes to hiring skis vs buying skis, I’d recommend that you try before you buy!

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