Is It Better To Buy Skis Or Rent Them? The Only Cost Breakdown You Need To Read!

Are you about to hit the slopes and wonder if you should buy your skis or rent them? Perhaps you have rented them before and are wondering if it's cheaper to buy them? Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!

Whatever way you look at it, skiing is expensive. And one of the most expensive parts of skiing is the equipment, mainly the skis, boots, and bindings, and they can soon rack up in cost and leave many of us needing a small loan to finance our skiing trip

Is it better to buy skis or rent them The only cost breakdown you need to read!

So we turn to renting skis. But after spending money every day on equipment that too can add up. You start to wonder, which is cheaper? Before you know it, you spend all your days considering which is the better option, unable to do anything else. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need! Keep reading to find out if it's better to buy skis or rent them. We have done the hard work and the cost breakdowns here, so all you need to do is read and find out for yourself. 

Renting Or Buying Skis: Which Should You Do?

Let’s get straight into it! When deciding whether to buy or rent your skis, you should first consider how often you will be going. To make it worth your while, you would need to go skiing roughly 19 times before you start to see the financial benefit of paying for your own skis. 

So if you ski for seven days a year, it would take roughly two and a half years to pay off your skis. And for those that take a two-week ski vacation every year, spending ten days on the slopes will see you saving your money by the second year of owning the skis. 

What do we mean by seeing the benefit? We mean that in order for purchasing your own skis to be cheaper than renting them, you will need to use them for X amount of time.

You want to use them until it would have cost you more to rent the skis each day than the initial cost of purchasing them. This way, you can save money in the long-term too! 

We worked this out by taking the average cost of renting your skis daily and compared it to the average cost of purchasing your own ski equipment, complete with boots, poles, and binding installation.

As it's just the average cost, there may be some discrepancies across the board, but overall, we can see that depending on your usage, buying your skis can work out better than renting them.

It’s worth noting that our costing does not include the servicing of your skis, which does vary depending on the repair work needed. This cost varies so widely it was best to leave it and offer a more realistic number instead.

Be sure that you regularly maintain and tune up your skis to keep servicing costs to a minimum and increase your skis’ longevity. 

You might also be able to find your skis at a lower price than the average. Purchasing last year's models, used skis, or making the most of clearances and sales can help keep the cost down and speed up how long it takes to pay them off!

It's always best to shop around to see if you can find your skis at a lower price. 

Pros Of Buying Skis

So what are some of the pros of buying skis? We have already established that doing so can save you money in the long term, but are there other benefits we should know about?

We have compiled a list below of other benefits to help you see if purchasing your skis is the right decision for you. 

You Can Save Time 

One big perk is that you won’t need to spend your time in big rental queues! Sometimes you can spend what feels like hours in the resort or ski shop renting your skis, especially if it's a busy day or peak time!

Usually, people find that it takes over an hour longer to hit the slopes when renting than if they had their own skis! 

This time accounts for the queues and getting the skis fitted and the journey to and from the rental store or resort. If you have limited time when you ski or want to make the most of your time at the resort, buying your skis might be better. 

You Get The Best Fit

While most rental companies do a decent job at fitting your skis and boots, it will never be the perfect fit. However, when you purchase your own, you can ensure that they fit perfectly. You can even add custom foot-beds or insoles to your boots to enhance the fit too!

There are far more options when it comes to tailoring the fit of your own skis and boots compared to renting them daily.

You Can Practice With The Same Skis

Even if you’ve been away from your skis for a while, slipping on the same skis and clicking them into place has a familiar feeling that we can get used to. It can help us save time setting ourselves up, putting us on the slopes in no time! When you rent skis, it takes a little longer to familiarize yourself with the skis and get properly warmed up. 

Pros Of Renting Skis 

Pros Of Renting Skis

And what about when you rent your skis? Despite us saying that it's better and often more cost-effective to purchase your skis, it doesn’t mean that renting doesn’t have its benefits. Not everyone will be in a position to purchase skis, so let's take a look at some of the advantages of renting your skis instead. 

It’s Cheaper To Travel

Traveling with a set of skis can be quite pricey, especially if you are leaving the country! Most airlines charge you for extra bags these days, and as your skis won’t fit in with your other luggage, you will need to purchase an additional ski bag for the plane.

The cost of this wasn’t considered when we made our average calculations, as not all skiers will leave the country, but it’s worth considering if you travel a lot. 

For those that ski in different countries, it's worth working out the added cost of a ski bag and extra luggage before deciding if purchasing your skis is worth it. 

You Can Try New Models

Just like when you lease a car, renting skis allows you to try different skis regularly. You can try the latest models and find the skis that you like best without needing to make a large one-off payment. 

You can also improve your skills this way too. You will become a versatile skier, able to adapt to different skis with ease. After practice, you can move from the beginner skis to more advanced sets without spending any money.

This is a little more difficult when you purchase your own skis. Sometimes you are lucky and can re-sell them for a fair price, but this isn’t always the case. 

You Don’t Need To Worry About Storage Or Maintenance

As you don’t take your skis home with you, you don’t need to worry about where you will store them when you aren’t skiing. Skis can be quite bulky, take up a lot of room, especially in smaller homes or apartments, and are tricky to store.

But if you rent your skis, you can simply leave them at the resort or return them to the store once you are done! 

You also don’t need to worry about regularly maintaining your skis if you rent them. The maintenance and tune-ups are done for you, so you can put them on and hit the slopes with minimal effort! It also means that you save on the service costs too. 

You Can Choose Depending On The Conditions

When renting skis, you can pick different skis depending on the conditions that day. For example, if the conditions are powdery, you can rent yourself some powder skis that will help you float above the snow. While you can usually do everything you want with all-mountain skis, the option to choose and have some variety is always appreciated! 

You can use this opportunity too to try new skis. Who knows, you could find your new favorite skis this way?

Should I Buy Ski Boots?

What about ski boots? In some cases, people will choose just to buy ski boots rather than skis too. A pair of ski boots custom-fitted to your feet and ankles are often viewed as more important than the skis themselves. But why? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons now. 

They Mold To Your Feet

Good boot fitters will ensure that your boot is molded perfectly to your foot shape. Usually, a heat treatment will be given to the boot, allowing it to mold to your foot. This perfect fit should provide more comfort, usability and not cause circulation issues. 

You won’t get this level of customization with rental boots! Often they can be less comfortable and might not mold to your feet in the same way. Remember, rented boots will have been on lots of other feet; you will not get the perfect fit with them! 

You Can Use Custom Insoles

When buying your own ski boots, you can add custom insoles. These will help support the foot inside the ski boot, offering you a better fit. As everyone's feet are different, the standard insole in a ski boot doesn’t work for everyone, just like we see with regular shoes! 

Opting for a custom insole that fits your feet perfectly can help avoid discomfort, less responsive skis, and restricted blood flow. 

You Get A Customized Flex

The flex of a ski boot refers to how hard it is for you to flex your ankle while wearing the boot. There are a few flex ratings out there, but none are standardized across manufacturers, making it a little challenging at times to find the right flex for you. 

As a usual rule of thumb, advanced skiers will opt for less flex to get more responsive carving and turning. Beginners will often go for greater flex to get more comfort and warmth on the slopes. It's often worth trying a few different boots with different flexes to find one best suits you. 

So if you ski regularly, it's best to purchase ski boots and ensure they are custom fitted at a reputable store. It's often a cheaper option than purchasing the skis and other equipment, too, and you won’t need to worry too much about storing or traveling with the ski boots. 

How Much Does Renting Skis Cost?

The cost of renting skis varies depending on where you are and the skis that you choose. Overall, the cost per day isn’t too expensive but can add up if you go skiing every year.

Usually, it isn’t too expensive, but remember that we are only working with averages! You can usually get a package from resorts or ski stores that will include the poles, binding, and boots. In some cases, you get a helmet too, but this is not standard practice.

Sometimes you can also grab multi-day packages that will allow you to keep the cost down for your trip. 

As the cost can vary so much, it's best to speak to the resort or ski store directly for an accurate price. 

How Much Does Buying Skis Cost?

Although the cost of purchasing skis can seem far larger than renting, over time, it can work out cheaper than renting your skis. To get an average cost, we looked at purchasing the skis, boots, binding equipment, and poles.

You can spend a fortune if you wish, or you can get all of this equipment for a reasonable price. 

It worked out that the poles were the cheapest component, followed by the boots and the skis themselves. The price varies from brand to brand, but you are sure to find a bargain out there if you do some research! 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! While purchasing skis, boots, and poles might be more expensive than you thought, if you ski often enough, they can pay for themselves! And for regular skiers, you can even save money if you purchase your skis instead of renting them every time you go skiing. 

It's often best to rent skis on your first season so you can find out what works best for you without laying down any high costs.

Once you are more familiar with the trails, conditions, and destinations you want to go to, you can purchase your own set of skis. It's best to build up some experience and knowledge first to know what you should buy. 

Deciding whether to rent or buy your skis is a personal choice, and you should make the decision that is right for you. Not everyone has the money to drop on expensive skis, and that’s okay!

But we do recommend purchasing your own ski boots to enjoy a custom fit that will provide you with comfort on the slopes! Why suffer when you can enjoy added comfort and warmth without a hefty price tag?

James Apfel