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 Cross Country Skiing

Rent Verses Buying Ski Equipment for Kids


CrossCountry Skiing

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Ski Equipment

Rent Vs Buying Skis Downhill Skiing Snow Tubing Tips ●Snowboarding
Skiing XC- Ski Tips For a Fun Trip    

Choosing 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 dangerous.   Therefore 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 Leasing? 

If you 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.  The 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.  One thing 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 skied?

  • 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?


New Skis...

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.  Check with your local ski shop to see if they offer buy back options or ski packages. A buy back option is where the ski shop will allow you to trade in old equipment for new equipment each year.  Package deals offer a discount when you buy skis, boots, bindings and poles together. 

Parents are 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 value.  If buying new equipment is the option that you decide, then there are a few basic things to consider.

  • 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.

  • Research yourself 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.


For further information go to Cross Country Ski Equipment.