the right equipment for your kids can be an overwhelming task. You
basically have three options, rent, lease for the season or purchase
the equipment. It
is important to determine your projected commitment level and the
number of times you plan to ski in a season. If it is just a few
times then you should rent if it is often then you should consider
leasing or buying.
Why Rent Skis?
The most common error that parents
make is to purchase equipment that their child can "grow into" in
order to get at least two years of use out of it. If equipment if
too big it is difficult for the child to maneuver and very
because kids do grow out of their equipment every year, there is no
question that renting is better than buying. For most kids it is
unrealistic to think that you will get more than one season out of
their boots. You can rent equipment for $15 - $35 a day
depending on the type of equipment and location. Many times that is a perfect
option for the infrequent skier. You
can rent skis by the hour, day, weekend or week.
What is Ski
take your kids skiing more than five times a year, you should
consider leasing for the season. It is a more economic and
convenient option that will save you from visiting the ski rental
shop each time you ski.
way it works is for a certain amount of money you rent the use of
equipment for the season. Most commonly a lease package includes
skis, bindings and boots. You have your child fitted in the fall,
you pay for the lease and leave a deposit to assure that you'll
bring the skis back, and you return the gear in the spring.
Leasing equipment for an entire
season is a great option for children who could out-grow their
equipment in a year or progress to a higher level. This is a good
option if you plan to ski a lot or are located in areas where rental
equipment can be scarce.
This method of shopping can also help to keep the costs down,
and encourage shops to carry only good equipment.
This will cost about $125 to $150 and you
can keep your kids in the right gear all season.
to remember is the earlier you get your child into the shop, the
more equipment choices you'll have available for them.
OK I Still Want to Buy...
Well now you have another decision
to make -- "new" or "used" equipment.
Used Skis ...
Used equipment can be purchased
at a local shop, ski swap or on the internet. This option is cost
efficient but you must be very aware of what you are purchasing.
Many times used equipment can be
damaged or you could be overcharged.
Second hand equipment is only a bargain if it is suitable for the
needs of the skier, and it fits comfortably.
If you decide to purchase used
equipment you must do your homework. You must research the
brand or style of ski that you are interested in purchasing.
This will equip you with the necessary knowledge to make an educated
decision. It will give you an idea of the performance of the
ski and also the price that you should expect to pay.
Some questions to ask and things to
consider regarding the skis:
How old are they?
How many days have they been
Have any major repairs been
done to the skis?
Why are they selling the skis?
What boot type/size have the
bindings been mounted for?
Are the bindings worn?
If you plan to purchase
new equipment spend some time on the internet, reviewing
magazines and talking to other skiers so that you understand
what manufacturers have to offer.
your local ski shop to see if they offer buy back options or
A buy back option is where the ski shop will allow you to trade in old
equipment for new equipment each year.
deals offer a discount when you buy skis, boots, bindings
and poles together.
encouraged to buy suitable equipment for their children for
two main reasons: it is an investment in a positive, fun
learning experience; and good equipment retains its re-sale
If buying new equipment
is the option that you decide, then there are a few basic things to
It is important to go
to a reputable specialty, ski shop with knowledgeable
employees. The fit of your equipment is very important. This
is a case where the old phrase “ You get what you pay for“
definately comes into play.
The sales person
should ask you lots of questions regarding how and where you
plan to ski. The type of ski they will reccommend will depend
on how you answer the questions. Be prepared to tell them how
often you ski, your experience level, where you ski and on what
type of terrain, the
type of skier
(cautious or aggressive) and more.
prior to visiting the ski shop so that you can narrow down your
choices and have an understanding of what you are seeking to
purchase. Ski magazines, and manufacturer catalogs are a great
source of information and many have online websites.
Always ask questions
– never think that your question is silly.
Having proper boots
should be a top priority. If your boots are not comfortable
then your ski experience will be ruined. Prepare to spend a
substantial portion of your budget on your boots. Make sure you
shop around and spend some time trying on different ski boot
styles to find the one that you like the best.
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