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How many weeks skiing per year to justify economically buying your own skis?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
How many weeks skiing a year do you need to do to justify buying your own skis from an economic point of view?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
1 if you like nice skis. Skis aren't an economic decision for most people who fly to ski unless they are included in baggage allowance. You can almost always rent for the price of ski carriage but if you are renting crap.....
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
So don’t rent crap Happy
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It may depend on whether you can service your own skis..and whether you drive to the resort, so avoiding Ski Carriage...and whether you want to have the consistency of skiing on your own skis.

How many weeks do you intend skiing?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@waitrose, well it depends on what skis you buy, how you transport them, how you service them, how long you keep them, wether you need more than one pair and how much rental skis cost.

May I suggest you look at the prices it costs to buy a pair of skis you want, how much running them costs and how much the alternative cost. All these prices are available online.

In case you are wondering how long skis last for I reccon on 100 days.
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On the one hand you have:
a- The initial cost of the skis.
b- The cost of ski carriage.
c- Servicing costs.
d- Year round storage and the extra weight to carry when travelling.

OTOH you have:
1- the cost of hire
2- to take whatever kit is on offer
3- to adapt to new kit each time you ski
4- spend time getting kitted out on arrival

a- can be mitigated by buying 2nd hand or ex-demo ala Spyderjon's post-OktoberTest thread.
b- The cheaper the airline, the higher the carriage costs, generally. Swiss include it while RyanAir punish you! Of course these costs are halved if you go for 2 weeks at a time - and if you drive out, they're irrelevant.
c- Can be reduced dramatically if you learn to diy. But that's more time.
d- Lugging skis through the transport system, having to wait for oversized luggage etc. They can be a bit of a PITA.

1- There are all these discounted advance booking systems that drive prices down but it is fair to say, that quality suffers as a result. There's almost always a 'good shop' in town, that wont be on any of the booking systems. They'll pride themselves in their quality and sell off the back of it - but you'll pay more.
2- Again, you get what you pay for.
3- As an intermediate skier, one of the biggest benefits of having your own skis is the consistency. A more advanced skier will 'learn' a new ski quite quickly while an intermediate, on a new pair of skis every ski-week, may be confused between what is the ski, what is me, my fitness, the different snow conditions etc? Having your own skis removes one quite significant variable.
4- of course if you have your own boots, it's pretty swift picking up a pair of skis but still, one more chore.

For most people, owning versus renting don't differ hugely in economic terms. Those who buy cannily, drive, self service and spend longer periods in the mountains will save quite a lot compared to renting but they're the exceptions. Then of course, having bought one pair, how long till you buy another: see the rules (n+1)

The decision IMV hinges around other values - after all, it's 'really nice' having your own skis and you can put snowHeads stickers all over them without the shop making a fuss when you take them back snowHead
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Do not try to reconcile it into weeks per year......... Better to assess it over several years as ski design does not substantially change over, say 6 to 8 - 10 years........... (Do NOT become a slave to the marketing hype and "this year's" or the neu and "improved" game........) Look at it from that standpoint - years - and if you ski just 12 to 20 days per year the ownership of a good pair of skis that benefits YOU as YOU prefer is more than economically sound.
Case in point............ One pair of skis I still have and still use (which ARE phenomenal and crank in all condition) are now in their 14th year, almost as old as my wife. Exceptionally well taken care of as is always the case and their performance is not in the least lacking.
Originally around $700.00 USD mit tax divided by 14 comes out to around $50.00 shekels per year. And, of course, the Look TT bindings are equally perfect. Wouldn't THINK of running anything else, period! Never have. Never will. Now, it's true, I've spent perhaps $8M on wax and Shaman blessings, but thatsa nuther story.....

Boots are a FIRST priority.
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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 left my skis at Les Deux Alpes for a very reasonable fee and will leave them again once I have skied this year. Saves a lot of hassle - it it does kinda limit you to one resort!
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arcsinice wrote:
One pair of skis I still have and still use (which ARE phenomenal and crank in all condition) are now in their 14th year, almost as old as my wife.



Shocked
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I bought boots almost straight away and then rented skis for the first 6 weeks and economically that suited me fine but then the random variation in skis did kind of prompt me to get my own. I'd have a strange pair of skis on and I'd be thinking "These skis are terrible" when of course it was me using bad technique.

The ones I got weren't perfect skis for me I don't think but once I'd skied on them reasonably well, I knew I had no excuses when I skied on them again. That was probably the biggest benefit. I got mine off ebay very reasonably priced but it was never an economic decision.

Then again if you are already good enough to know what you want, it can flip. I got hire included in one of the bashes and could just go back and swap skis every day if I wanted and that was really good fun too. Icy day? Go get a pair of nice carvers. Some fresh? Go get some tongue depressors.

...but when you stick with the same pair for a while you get, you know, attached. wink
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
....oh and of course you can always save on ski carriage by just going for the whole season Laughing
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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.
vfr4 wrote:
arcsinice wrote:
One pair of skis I still have and still use (which ARE phenomenal and crank in all condition) are now in their 14th year, almost as old as my wife.



Shocked


arcsinice is Jerry Lee Lewis/ Elvis and I claim my £5
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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
@arcsinice, I don’t believe you
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Dmitri wrote:
....oh and of course you can always save on ski carriage by just going for the whole season Laughing


Now that's my way of thinkin Toofy Grin Cool
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
arcsinice wrote:
Do not try to reconcile it into weeks per year......... Better to assess it over several years as ski design does not substantially change over, say 6 to 8 - 10 years........... (Do NOT become a slave to the marketing hype and "this year's" or the neu and "improved" game........) Look at it from that standpoint - years - and if you ski just 12 to 20 days per year the ownership of a good pair of skis that benefits YOU as YOU prefer is more than economically sound.
Case in point............ One pair of skis I still have and still use (which ARE phenomenal and crank in all condition) are now in their 14th year, almost as old as my wife. Exceptionally well taken care of as is always the case and their performance is not in the least lacking.
Originally around $700.00 USD mit tax divided by 14 comes out to around $50.00 shekels per year. And, of course, the Look TT bindings are equally perfect. Wouldn't THINK of running anything else, period! Never have. Never will. Now, it's true, I've spent perhaps $8M on wax and Shaman blessings, but thatsa nuther story.....

Boots are a FIRST priority.


This is just brilliant! But we need a picture of the skis and the wife to ratify!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
0....I likes my preccciousss!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@AL9000, +1

There is no other reason to own your first set of skis other than "they are your first set of skis".

In reality unless you drive or go for more than 1 week at a time or fly with Swiss then there is nothing in it financially.

@waitrose, Your question implies that the first set of skis you buy will be the right ones for you, which is a very dangerous assumption.
Quote:

see the rules (n+1)

at the moment your n=0

Owning your first set of skis induces a complete change in attitude towards all things skiing, it changes, what is to a hirer, a variable into a constant, enabling you to then judge your own performance rather than either blaming or thanking your kit.

There isn't a good financial reason for owning skis, but if you need one in order to justify buying some to the OH then Snowheads will come to the rescue. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Twisted Evil
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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?
Timc wrote:
...but if you need one in order to justify buying some to the OH then Snowheads will come to the rescue. Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Twisted Evil


Hang them on the wall and say, "They're not just skis, they're a work of art! It's not my fault your mum didn't teach you about culture rolling eyes "

Madeye-Smiley
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+1 for (n+1)
Never had to pay for ski carriage (fly lufthansa; swiss or BA) so prefer to amass kit to my own requirements (piste; tele; AT) : and binding-mount; service; fettle etc is all part of the pleasure of ownership - always buy out of season for seriously cheaper deals

Hmmm : must update my "quiver" montage - it's a bit out of date now... snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@AL9000,
Laughing Laughing
@Timc, in my case, my OH said she didn’t mind me buying new skis; it was actually Snowheads who said I shouldn’t. But my OH is so persuasive. wink
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I think it's a matter of priorities also. It's a hobby, how much do you want to invest into it (time/money/combined)?
Of course that if you have to pay for carriage it's less of a good idea. (I myself use Lufthansa/Swiss/Austrian/Turkish and carriage is included more or less).
It matters where you are skiing. Rental was expensive for me in Zermatt and in Austria, and while I booked in advance premium gear for Bansko at a TA recommended shop, what I got was too basic and too short.
It's probably a skill issue as well. I am an intermediate, I imagine the much better guys here will feel comfortable on almost any piste and skis, but it took me time to adjust myself. I rented my XDR 80 TI at Valon Blanc in Tignes and it felt so good that I bought online a pair at the end of the season.
This way you feel at home the moment you step on them, and the whole buying process feels justified. Now, if you would ask my folks.. rolling eyes
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@waitrose, depends what your are compacting, which skis and what you factor in to your equation.

For me hubby bought me first pair for £99. But that meant I wanted to do a course to learn to service them so that I can do them myself, then I had to get gear to do that servicing, then while I was there I also bought knew bindings (kneebindings) to help protect against wrecking me knee further. That for me is the biggest argument for having my own.

If you compare the cost of all the above with physio and knee surgery (though have been told if I do any further damage I will need a knee replacement and I am too young to have one), the impact on my life of that damage, spending out in skis, bindings and being able to look after them more than balances.

Of course I am not saying I won’t sustain an injury because I have my own kit, however hving your own kit does allow you to reduce the risk to what I feel is ALARP.

I have also now decided I want longer skis (they are waiting for me at Spyderjons).
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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!
Like others, I almost never pay ski carriage and I like knowing how my skis are going to respond and that they're not going to surprise me.
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I was a keen owner of several pairs of skis over 20 years. Now I rent. Haven’t done the economics recently but find it far more convenient, as I have difficulty lugging lots of bags now.

Calculations a few years ago suggested total costs over the average lifetime of a pair of skis were similar to renting. This was on the basis of paying for servicing and steep extra baggage charges with low cost airlines.

I do some research in advance about which skis different local hire shops stock. I contact hire shops in advance. Once I’ve identified skis I think will suit, I’ll usually talk directly to staff and reserve a specific type.

I often pay a bit extra to swap and try different skis during the week. This has worked well for me for over 30 weeks of skiing through the last 10 years. I don’t hesitate to return skis and change if they don’t suit, or if snow conditions change significantly.

I think with most rental shops, if you’re clear about what you want and show some interest, you’ll get decent skis.
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@NickyJ, interested in your experience of KneeBindings and views on these from other SnowHeads who use them, or who are in the know.

Maybe that’s a separate thread??
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Have sent PM. Happy to answer any questions.
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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.
Financial considerations are NEVER part of it .....
Very few things equate to the joy of purchasing a shiny new set of skis.
I have mine in my spare room with the door permanently open so every time I walk down the stairs on my way to work I can catch a glimpse of them. This gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and the thought that life really isn't that bad......
Or perhaps I am just weird?
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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
One
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@NickyJ, any chance of posting in a new thread, I'd be keen to find out more too and I suspect very few have experience with knee bindings?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@vjmehra, @PeakyB, done

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3300278#3300278
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@PeakyB, if you travel with scheduled airlines no carriage charges (Swiss and Lufthansa definitely, not sure about BA), service your own skis and keep your skis 4-5 years it makes sense to buy your own skis. I also always buy in close out sales and wouldn’t pay full RRP. The hassle of hire shops, cost of hire and the fact that you’re not getting consistency each trip are the main factors why we (myself and mrsmm29) choose to own ours. If I was a golfer (which I’m not) I wouldn’t rent a set of clubs, nor would I rent a mountain bike to ride in the Alps, I take my own, same principle......yes there’s plenty of hire shops who’ll rent me the latest full carbon full suspension mtb but I want to be on my own. It’s not just abou5 economics imo.
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@Markymark29, with BA your 23kg bag can be a ski bag as long as it doesn’t exceed 190cm.

When we just had the two pairs of skis that was two pairs in ski big double ski bag with lots of clothes padding. We are now up 4 pairs for the whole family which with poles is still under 23kg (but need to retract breaks to get them to fit). BA also advocates taking ski boots as hand luggage, so will be putting hubbies in a wheel hand held (by secretly hoping they will have the signs up I have seen in the past offering you to check in hand luggage cases as the flight is full)
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@geoffers, Superloops! Weren't they great? Very Happy
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@NickyJ, thanks very much for your PM and starting a separate KneeBindings thread.

There seem to be lots of snowHeads with ‘knee issues’ for some strange reason. So that thread should be of interest.
snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Assuming you have your own boots & helmet?

It usually costs me more to take my own snowboard, than it does to just rent a snowboard.

The advantage is, I am not left to the mercy of what is in the rental shop.
Snowboards vary greatly though.
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@Markymark29, I agree owning vs rent is not only about costs.
If I could still easily manage to carry skis + luggage on and off rail stations and trains, I’d probably still own my own.

I don’t think Swiss or Lufthansa are usually cost effective for me from any midlands airport. Don’t like the hassle and expense of flying from Heathrow or Gatwick.

I reluctantly changed from owning to renting back in 2010. With the effort involved in a bit of research and communication with shops since then, I’ve found renting has worked fine. SnowHeads can always be relied on for inside information about rental shops and the people who run them.
snowHead
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Also depends on where you ski, cos rental prices vary by huge amounts. eg rental in Italy (at least in Dolomites) is a fraction of the price of France (in general), and the top resorts in Austria, and then you apply discounts.
Then factor in that places like Sport Conrad sell at RRP only in the first year of a model (and you more than likely won't have ever tested those models), and then discount heavily. Both my pairs of skis I got 50% discount on by buying them in the lead up to what would be their 3rd season on the market. Oh and pick the right time during summer and it's free shipping in Europe too.
So for 1 pair of skis, that equates to a variation of something like 4 rental weeks in Italy, or 4 or so SleazyJet/Ruinair carriages, or infinity Lufthansa/Swiss carriages (so long as I don't want to ski outside Europe).
I have had brand new never skied on rental skis before, several times, and I've only ever paid for the "I don't want a beginner or the cheapest tat" level (silver probably) of rental.

Definitely boots first though.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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The analogy to golf or other sports is interesting. I have a set of clubs gathering dust in the basement. But if I took one golfing holiday a year I’d probably hire clubs (unless it was significantly cheaper to take my own - I also nearly never pay for baggage). I’m equallly bad with my own clubs or hire clubs.

I did try downhill MTB this year, and hired a Specialized full suspension bike, which was amazing. But the difference is the cost to invest in the equivalent bike is thousands, rather than hundreds.

I have my own skis, with the main reasons being I cannot stand the hire shop faff, and the consistency of having my own skis is huge for me. Especially for offpiste.
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@arcsinice, You didn't say what model the 14 year old skis are ??? (just curious..)
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The other factor is that the skis I ski, or even those of a similar shape and "funness" are rarely if ever available in rental shops in the length I want. Even in a mecca like St Anton it can be tricky to track down a fair substitute if your bag is delayed.

If your preference is boggo standard 170 generic piste ski then if course this is not a problem.
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