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Advice for Ski Hire

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello, Ive been skiing for a few years now and have noticed that when booking skis online I usually go for reasonably expensive options and yet when I get to the resort I seem to have amongst the poorest skis in the lift queue. Is there a trick I'm missing or am I simply getting the treatment I deserve as a naive Englishman?

I'm guessing it doesn't help that I am tall, heavy and have big feet, is the only solution to invest in my own equipment?

If anybody has some advice specific to Val Thorens I would much appreciate it as I'm heading that way shortly.

Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The French see you're English and give you crap skis. Go to Austria it's much nicer.😉
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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 had the same issue in Austria and Italy.

I think the only solution is to keep the power in the exchange by not tying yourself in any way until you are presented with the skis you want at the price you want. If not, go to the next place.
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I can't give advice specific to VT, but can give thoughts on hiring.

- Hiring online can often deliver a saving...but puts you at the mercy of the hire shop, as they have your money.
- I would only go this route if: a] I know the shop; or b] The T.O is doing a great deal.
- What you see online may not be what you get, unless you can specifically reserve a particular model
- IMO. The secret is research: Know your skis; know the brands each shop in the resort hires; know the online prices
- If you know your stuff, then when you go into a shop, if you don't get what you want at a reasonable price, you have the option of walking out and taking your business elsewhere. Most shops will often try to stop you doing that, by giving decent value.
- Investing in your own equipment is unlikely to save you money, but gives consistency and gives you control over servicing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Having suffered a lot from the same issue previously, I think 2 things are key:

1) Looking into the shop you are hiring from- For example I used Intersport in St Anton this year and was able to know in advance what type of skis fell into their premium category
2) Not being afraid to ask/push back once in the shop, in the St Anton example I was originally handed some narrow piste skis, but explained I wanted something wider (Around 90mm) underfoot and with a minimum of fuss they gave me some very nice Atomic CTI 90's which suited me great

This approach has worked well in Italy, Austria and Canada, but I must admit has failed in France up to now! Also off to Val Thorens soon so will attempt to find more success this time!
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My honest advice ? Buy your own skis ! The hassle of transporting skis is nothing in comparison with the hassle of hiring skis.

With your own you arrive, unpack and are ready to go. Go to Ekosport who have some great deals end of season and you'll also be saving money.
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