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Is it really worth taking skis?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm at completely at the other end of the travel spectrum. I managed to get a deal on BA Business to Vancouver last year, so had a 3 X 23kg allowance. I filled a triple ski bag with 3 pairs of skis, and filled up the other 2 bags with ease (that did include full avi gear, airbag, touring gear, 2 pairs of skins etc). My boots were carried as cabin baggage in a rucksack. I need custom foam boots, without which I could not ski, so they never leave my sight.

One 20kg bag or less, for a skiing trip, does not compute Shocked
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under a new name wrote:
@Pruman, for your value of "decent"

I know no decent skiers who don't have their own boots.


The do have their own but on a quick 2-dayer with hand luggage only, happy to rent. I'd argue a decent skier should be able to adapt.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

So, @jedster, just about time for a new pair?


Bought some fancy touring boots last year which I will be using more than my alpine ones so I'm not in a rush. I don't really like buying ski boots - uncomfortable and fraught with worry that you've made a mistake until they settle in. On that I sympathise with FTZ. Having said that, I never found a pair of rental boots that weren't horrible sloppy things - I'm sure this is partly due to the shape of my feet which make heel hold a bit of a challenge.
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My boots weigh about 5kg, helmet and holdall just under 2kg. That leaves either 13kg with most airlines or 16kg with Lufthansa which I find really easy. In fact the heaviest my holdall has ever been was 18kg in total.

Currently ski carriage with Lufthansa is included with the normal fare (i.e. not the 'light' fare). But I wouldn't begrudge paying up to £30 each way for ski carriage, I think Ryanair's £50 each way is a bit steep, the flight would have to be really cheap in the first place to make luggage and ski carriage at £80 each way competitive.

For me it's worth it to have my own skis, which I know and enjoy skiing on. I find I enjoy skiing a bit less on ropey wobbley hire skis with blunt edges. But you can pay more and get better quality skis dependent on the type/attitude of hire shop. I don't have any issues with hire boots except the thought that several other pairs of sweaty feet have been in there before mine.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Pruman, that's different.

Adapt maybe. Enjoy maybe not. Maybe I just have weird feet (I also have weird feet) - but my ski boots have been me on several US business trips where there was the possibility of one day on the hill.

Almost no rentals fit well enough without being very painful. And are almost invariably way too soft.
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@under a new name,
Quote:

Adapt maybe. Enjoy maybe not.
I honestly think I've heard more people complaining about uncomfotable owned boots than about uncomfortable rented boots. At least with rented boots you can always take them back and change them. Now, that may well be because rented boots tend to be a bit sloppier, but the question is how much that really matters. I rented a pair of boots a couple of years back that were, on reflection, a bit too sloppy. I honestly can't say that I noticed any reduction in my skiing ability and certainly no reduction in my level of enjoyment.


Quote:

Almost no rentals fit well enough without being very painful. And are almost invariably way too soft.
This isn't impossible, but it does seem a contradiction in terms. In my experience, the slopper they are, the more comfortable they tend to be.

Over the years I've known far too many people with hugely expensive, custom-fit boots who spend half their holiday in sheer agony.

In summary, I am not suggesting everyone should ditch their boots and start renting. I am suggesting that:
1. The financial motive for owning vs renting is now questionable for many travellers.
2. New skiers shouldn't rush to buy boots. Wait a year or three at least.
3. It is perfectly possible to rent boots in which most of us will be able to ski very well.
4. If you spend half your skiing holiday with leg/foot pain and are constantly buckling and unbuckling the boots every time you get on and off lifts, then you are a chump.
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Quote:

Over the years I've known far too many people with hugely expensive, custom-fit boots who spend half their holiday in sheer agony.

Snap. And I include myself in that gang. Now I go with footbed and the stock inner and thin sock. Comfort.

Those same people also appear to be in boots too stiff for them. Must be hard for the fitter to know though.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@foxtrotzulu, I probably didn't explain myself very well.

Rented boots are almost invariably too big. And too wide lasted. Therefore it's really difficult to be uncomfortable in them. They also tend to be really soft flexing plastic.

The last two times I had to use hire boots (1991 on a dry slope for an hour's race and 2011 for a couple of fridge hours) that meant in 1991 I couldn't actually get a pair of boots small enough (I take a size 6 UK) to get any sort of real pressure on and in 2011 I had to curl my toes up to get my feet in (I think I ended up two full sizes smaller than I "fit".

The only experience I've that was worse was my first time skiing with cable bindings and welly boots where the toe piece was a bit of steel with spikey bits to hold the leather boot you were supposed to use. My parents only believed my complaints when they saw my raw bloody feet.

Properly sized boots may hurt.

What you actually mean is that only people with painful boots have any need to mention or do anything about it so you're seeing an reporting bias.
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@foxtrotzulu,

1. The financial motive for owning vs renting is now questionable for many travellers. (boots or skis? skis, yes, boots, maybe)

2. New skiers shouldn't rush to buy boots. Wait a year or three at least. (Without question.)

3. It is perfectly possible to rent boots in which most of us will be able to ski (yes) very well (No. and as most of you aren't skiing very well anyway, as evidenced, no kit's going to help). [Not aimed at you, no idea how you ski. You may well ski very well. Most people I observe, don't.]

4. If you spend half your skiing holiday with leg/foot pain (Yes) and are constantly buckling and unbuckling the boots every time you get on and off lifts (No), then you are a chump. (or a racer).
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@under a new name, Very Happy Very Happy Yes, I think I agree with all you said. My phrase 'ski very well' was poorly chosen. What I meant was something more along the lines of 'ski quite happily to a reasonable/decent/good standard'.
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Our whole family (two adults and one teenager) always take both skis and boots. We just love the convenience of arriving and being able to go straight out skiing with no fuss, and knowing that we have equipment which fits properly and suits our skiing ability.

When flying BA we often find one leg (normally the return one) is only £20-30 more in Club and we get the extra baggage allowance on both legs. We have done this half-term week to Venice for the last few years, so no extra charge for ski carriage. When flying charter, we book two ski bags and put three skis in each - have not be caught out doing this yet, although I always stick to any weight allowances they have.

When on a weekend skiing (normally BA again), I use my ski bag as my main bag, putting as much in as possible up to the 23kg allowance. My boots, googles, etc. travel with me in a cabin-sized case. Never had any problem travelling this way and again I can hit the slopes as soon as I arrive in resort. No precious skiing time lost in the hire shop.

I suppose it just all comes down to personal preference and ours is for not wasting time in the hire shop (other than to leave the skis overnight for a service). Smile
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Is it really worth taking skis?

How much do you love your skis?

What are your plans? E.g. Christmas Eve we flew to Geneva and were skiing Praz sur Arly by lunchtime before heading to hotel in Albertville. Christmas day we drove to Bourg St Maurice and skied Les Arcs. Boxing Day we drove to an apartment in Les Menuires and got 8 days skiing in the 3V Sat - Sat before driving back to Albertville for the night and back to Geneva for the flight home on the Sunday. Having to hire skis in three different resorts would have been a real pain and cut into the time available for skiing. I don't want to be faffing about in a hire shop three times in a trip. We normally DIY and try and fit in an extra day or two somewhere different from our main base at one or both ends of the trip so, for me, taking my own skis (and boots) wins every time.

Plus we usually fly EJ which means hold luggage + ski bag = 40kg to distribute between bags as you see fit which makes packing nice and easy.

YMMV.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
It's not about money. It's about getting them out of the garage and looking a them. Standing them up in the kitchen for a week before you go and thinking 'I'm the only one on our street with a pair of these - I'm a skier - I'm James Bond, I am'

I leave on Friday and go them out yesterday. Can't believe how happy it made me. I thought it would make me loo more attractive and manly to my wife but apparently not. I felt more manly anyway. As I will when I walk in to the airport with a ski bag over my shoulder on Friday morning knowing that all the airstewardesses think I'm a sex god because I have me own skis.

that is why you need your own skis and need to take them on holiday.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@cameronphillips2000, My thoughts exactly. Just waxed and sharpened my three pairs. The skiing holiday countdown has started Very Happy
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@cameronphillips2000, @PowderAdict, I find that getting my helmet out and showing it to the stewardess provides an equally pleasing sensation.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Wow what a lot of replies. I'm still undecided - I love my skis and they are fairly new (only had about 5 weeks skiing on them), have been serviced and I've always taken them plus a case. It's allowed me to pack rather more than I would be able to, especially as I now wear a helmet so that takes up quite a bit of room. I also like being ready prepared when I arrive in resort so I can sneak in some skiing on the arrival day.

On the other hand, they are quite heavy to carry - Not a problem at Gatwick as I've booked into the Sofitel opposite but there could be some walking at the other end. I think I'll see if I can contact SCGB to find out.

And I rather like the idea of upgrading with BA to Business class and getting free carriage - I might give that a go!
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@foxtrotzulu, I hope, if you didn't polish it yourself, she volunteers.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I've just checked the difference in ticket prices if I had booked Business Class and it's only a few pounds each way (less than £10). I'm going to give that a try! I'm not sure if it'll work as I just have a flight locator number rather than a ticket (I was worried about that but checked and it's fine), but we'll see.
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@pandora205, Quite right. If you WANT to take them, then take them. That is the best reason to do so. It's one of those happy questions that can easily be justified whatever answer you decide upon.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@pandora205, Provided you have the 6 character flight reference, go to the BA website and Manage my booking, there is usually an upgrade option there. You confirm and pay the difference, job done. Business bag drop desk, skis to oversized drop off, priority security queue, and straight into the lounge.

After years of business travel, being at an airport, and not having lounge access is torture. Peace, tranquility and no screaming children Very Happy
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@pandora205, worth upgrading if it's not too expensive. I am booked BA Glasgow to Salzburg in March, if I had booked club at the time it was about £40 more but I didn't bother as I can get most of my stuff in double ski bag. Out of curiosity today I looked just now how much for upgrade on way out and they want to charge £147.needless to say I'm still in economy lol. Let us know how you get on.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
As said above; if you have a big enough ski bag then you should be able to get your skis and all the clothing you need for a week within the 23kg allowance. For hand luggage use a trolley bag for your boots and other small bits plus a small rucksack for other bits. I'd be surprised if you needed much more than that.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I never pay the ski baggage and just rock up with it as luggage. With a massive queue behind they never seem to mind......
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Quote:

The do have their own but on a quick 2-dayer with hand luggage only, happy to rent.


Must admit I've never really done a quick 2-dayer - loads of 3 day weekends though. I always take my own gear because it often makes the difference between sneaking a couple of hours in on day of arrival or departure rather than screwing around in hire shops. We just send one person on ahead to get to the front of the hire car queue while the rest collect the hold luggage - almost always get to the hire car desk with skis by the time he has keys. Equally I take great pleasure on not having to visit hire shops on changeover days on week long trips.
I do appreciate the joys of hand luggage only (now our gear lives in the Alps) but I'd still put my boots in hand luggage rather than go without. Skis are different obviously.

Quote:

My phrase 'ski very well' was poorly chosen. What I meant was something more along the lines of 'ski quite happily to a reasonable/decent/good standard'.

Almost there. Take the good out Very Happy
It's really difficult to ski linked short carved turns in boots that don't fit precisely. After transition it takes some finesse to place the skis on their new edge precisely. That sort of skiing fits my definition of "good". >95% of holidaymakers are not skiing at that level though. Whereas nearly all the teenagers in the local ski clubs are.
But I appreciate most holidaymakers don't even really aspire to ski like that. Which is absolutely fine of course.
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Ski hire I can deal with if I have to. Boot hire no way! I don't care what boots cost, they are by far the most important piece of ski gear and really make a huge difference to your skiing. Even a plodding intermediate should be able to tell the difference between a hire boot and a professionally fitted boot of their own. But a badly fitted boot is no good either. My wife made her biggest progress after she got a new pair of boots from a top notch boot fitter (Solutions for Feet in Bicester). And that was coming from an already reasonably fitted boot, not even some random hire boot.

Sorry a bit OT, but if you ski every year and want to progress, find a good boot fitter and invest in your own boots. It's not cheap, but really makes a huge difference.
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Quote:

It's not about money. It's about getting them out of the garage and looking a them. Standing them up in the kitchen for a week before you go and thinking 'I'm the only one on our street with a pair of these - I'm a skier - I'm James Bond, I am'

I leave on Friday and go them out yesterday. Can't believe how happy it made me. I thought it would make me loo more attractive and manly to my wife but apparently not. I felt more manly anyway. As I will when I walk in to the airport with a ski bag over my shoulder on Friday morning knowing that all the airstewardesses think I'm a sex god because I have me own skis.

that is why you need your own skis and need to take them on holiday.


Haha, great post. However much we deny it, there's a little bit (OK a lot) of this in any ski owner - on top of this, in 2 weeks time I get to take my ski bag on the tube and to the office for the day before leaving a little early for my evening flight to Geneva, all the way basking in the awesomeness of all the other miserable commuters looking at me and thinking, "You lucky (and awesome) bas**rd!". Even just once a year, it's a thrill Smile
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
jma wrote:
Quote:

It's not about money. It's about getting them out of the garage and looking a them. Standing them up in the kitchen for a week before you go and thinking 'I'm the only one on our street with a pair of these - I'm a skier - I'm James Bond, I am'

I leave on Friday and go them out yesterday. Can't believe how happy it made me. I thought it would make me loo more attractive and manly to my wife but apparently not. I felt more manly anyway. As I will when I walk in to the airport with a ski bag over my shoulder on Friday morning knowing that all the airstewardesses think I'm a sex god because I have me own skis.

that is why you need your own skis and need to take them on holiday.


Haha, great post. However much we deny it, there's a little bit (OK a lot) of this in any ski owner - on top of this, in 2 weeks time I get to take my ski bag on the tube and to the office for the day before leaving a little early for my evening flight to Geneva, all the way basking in the awesomeness of all the other miserable commuters looking at me and thinking, "You lucky (and awesome) bas**rd!". Even just once a year, it's a thrill Smile


Exactly. A ski bag is a pint extension - and a bloody good one at that.
Don't ever go anywhere with a snowboard though. It's like tellng any girl 'If you marry me I'll have more products on the shower shelf than you'
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
^^^ Laughing Laughing Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Power Addict thanks but I can't go through BA site as it was booked as part of a package from SCGB Freshtracks. I've checked on the site and it doesn't show, presumably as I've booked as via a third party. I'm going to try BA desk at the airport when I arrive the night before (as I'm staying opposite). If they quote too much I'll try again at the check in desk and see what happens!

I rather fancy the executive lounge and Business class flight as I've not done that before!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Try calling BA telesales. They may be able to help you but they may also look to charge you an offline fee for doing so.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Anyone flu with easyjet recently?
I have ski bag booked 20kg only one set skiis allowed .
Anybody try to put two sets of skiis in it and got away and not been overcharged by check in staff at the airport?
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@toro, Yes, frequently. The only people who know what is in your bag are the guys scanning it at oversize check-in, and they don't care.

snowHead
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@toro, yes. As long as you're under the weight allowance nobody cares.
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Thanks for all your reply ...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
PowderAdict wrote:
@pandora205, Provided you have the 6 character flight reference, go to the BA website and Manage my booking, there is usually an upgrade option there. You confirm and pay the difference, job done. Business bag drop desk, skis to oversized drop off, priority security queue, and straight into the lounge.

After years of business travel, being at an airport, and not having lounge access is torture. Peace, tranquility and no screaming children Very Happy


Thanks for the tip. I might upgrade if we go BA and get my screaming kids into the lounge, see you there!
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I tried to 'manage my booking' online but as the booking is for a big group, it can't be done that way. I'll try at the airport and report back!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
pandora205 wrote:
Power Addict thanks but I can't go through BA site as it was booked as part of a package from SCGB Freshtracks. I've checked on the site and it doesn't show, presumably as I've booked as via a third party. I'm going to try BA desk at the airport when I arrive the night before (as I'm staying opposite). If they quote too much I'll try again at the check in desk and see what happens!

I rather fancy the executive lounge and Business class flight as I've not done that before!

Have you tried ringing the Freshtracks office and asking if they can sort it? They're usually pretty helpful.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
The rental equation is also ignoring the ability to get skis at the full spec and size range. It's great if you want something middle of the range in a middle size. More or less impossible if you want some big guns in a 195 ( though the same logic can find you great deals on very lightly used demos) and I suspect something high end but pixie sized.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, but we all know you don't need 195s to show off your particular style...

...runs for the exit Toofy Grin
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Yeh I also find rental shops that look at me strangely when I ask if they have anything that is good at "robust manly wiggling"
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