Renting or Buying Ski Gear – A Choice or a Compromise?
A question that’s plagued a million and one visitors to the French Alps over recent years – to buy and take ski equipment or to rent out the necessary kit at the resort? Well, the rather unfortunate truth is that we’re sadly still no closer to a definitive answer today than we ever were – it all depends where your priorities lie.
So, if weighing up whether or not now’s the time to cross the line into fully-fledged ski gear ownership, give thought to the following and chances are you’ll find your answer.
Straight up, if you’re the type that favours convenience and relaxation above all other considerations, then ski hire is the choice for you. The reason for this is that way in which the logistics of getting you, your luggage and your ski gear from point A in the UK to point B somewhere in the French Alps are mind-scrambling to say the least. It’s always possible for various issues en-route to take their toll on the trip as a whole and therefore if you’re looking for an easy ride and can’t afford a door-to-door Sherpa, rentals rule.
Anyone thinking of spending thousands of pounds on ski gear for a week-long holiday shouldn’t – you can rent top of the range kit for pennies by comparison. On the other hand, if thinking of skiing say a dozen resorts across the French Alps during the course of a six-week ski bender, chances are you’ll save an absolute fortune by buying – even if you buy on arrival to rule out logistical nightmares.
If only planning to go skiing once a year at the most, it’s again of little use to buy your own ski gear, pay to transport it, pay out more for maintenance and get very little use out of it for 51 weeks of the year. If by contrast you’re likely to be heading back to the Alps at least twice a year for a total annual duration of four-weeks plus, it will in most instances work out way cheaper to invest in your own kit.
Two hugely important reasons to hire and hire only – kids will outgrow their ski gear in a matter of months which makes buying pointless, and then there’s the logistics involved of getting you, your luggage, your ski gear, the kids, the kids’ luggage and the kids’ ski gear from point A to point B. Seriously – don’t even think about it!
If you’re going to be hitting the white stuff for the first time, chances are you don’t really know what’s the perfect ski or boot for you yet, so it’s best to wait until you get where you’re going for some advice from the pros. And let’s face it, you might end up hating skiing and never return – all the more a reason to hire instead of buying.
And finally, chances are there isn’t a pro in the world that wouldn’t be able to find fault with every single piece of ski gear up for rental, so if you’re already a budding Olympian or just downright critical, save yourself a ton of moaning and take your own gear along…for everyone’s sake!