Should You Buy or Rent Skis? – Ski Equipment Tips

Today’s guest post comes from Dale Cooper, who has been blogging professionally for three years. After earning an English degree, he spent a year working as a ski lift operator in Aspen, Colorado. Dale now lives in Cleveland; in his spare time, he enjoys cooking and traveling. Enjoy! 

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when gliding down a freshly groomed ski trail, or bouncing through powder after a heavy snowfall. And whether you’re an expert skier or are just starting out, you may wonder whether to buy or rent ski equipment. Here are a few things to consider, plus a couple reasons why even advanced skiers may be better off renting.

My resting rental skis from Vail Mountain, proudly delcared as mine!Cost – Skiing is a relatively expensive hobby, so look for ways to save money where you can. A good way to determine whether buying or renting skis will be more cost effective is to know how often you plan to ski that year. According to, you’ll save more money by renting if you ski fewer than 10 days per season. That’s because rentals usually cost between $25 and $50, and exceeding the cost of 10 rentals should be enough to buy a good pair of skis.

Wear and tear – Skis wear out and need to be replaced more frequently than you might think, which means even expert skiers may save money by renting. explains that skis are not designed for long-term performance, and estimates that typical skis will last through about 20 weeks of use. At that rate, someone who skis 60 days or more a year may need to replace their skis every other year.

Skiers coming down from the slopes at Vail Mountain in Colorado.

New ski technology – Another way advanced skiers may benefit from renting is by staying on top of new ski technologies. Many pro ski shops will offer long term rentals of ‘demo’ skis, which are new, high-end products. Since you don’t own the rental skis, the ski shop will take care of equipment maintenance and repairs, and next season you can get a fresh pair. These demo rentals are much more expensive than typical ski rentals, and should only be considered by advanced skiers.

Transportation – Skis’ long, skinny shape can make them difficult to transport, and renting skis eliminates the need to attach them to a car rack or take them on a plane. Transporting skis also makes them vulnerable to theft. If you typically keep skis in or on your car, remember that automobile insurance will not cover property theft.

If you’re a beginner, chances are renting is the best way to go. There’s a smaller upfront cost and no commitment if you decide that skiing isn’t for you. Intermediate and occasional skiers may benefit from buying skis. Since skis vary from pair to pair, you’ll have to slightly adjust your skiing style whenever you switch. Owning a pair of skis provides a consistent skiing experience, and can save you money over time if you keep the skis in good condition. Advanced skiers may benefit from owning or renting, depending on whether they prefer to use one pair of skis for a while, or try a new model each season.

Note: Sponsored content was created and provided by Nationwide Insurance.
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4 thoughts on “Should You Buy or Rent Skis? – Ski Equipment Tips

  1. George says:

    Good points. I’ve been skiing for many years and have never owned a set of skiis. Something to consider is to buy a pair of boots and just take those with you when you travel. The shop will adjust the bindings accordingly. There’s nothing worse than a rented pair of boots that start digging into your shin, ankle or foot after a day or two. Plus God knows what sort of feet have gone into rentals.

  2. Christina Grover says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize that someone who skis a lot would have to replace their skis that often. I don’t ski that much. I think renting might benefit me better than buying. It would be a different story if I was a ski bum and was out there all day, all winter long.

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