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Hiring Specific/All mountain Skis - In General/ADH

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi Snowheads

Every trip we hire from one of the various ski rental websites, picking a near/ish shop to where we are stay and opting for their best option black/premium etc ... in the hope of being able to get hold of as best as possible all mountain / free ride skis.

We generally get ok skis, current season or past session, a little beaten up but ok. Things like Blizzard Brahma, Dynastar Cham 87 etc...

But around the resort I see loads of people with hire company stickers on Black Crows or White Dots, how are they doing that ???? Laughing Is it just luck or being “in” with the shops, or is there some secret way to do this? I have looked for more bespoke shops, I tried in Courchevel to use this forum and found White Storm, which was definitely great service and great skis but certainly didn’t offer any thing different to the “standard” premium skis found in all the shops.

I know the answer is to buy my own, but I would just like to treat myself and hire some really decent skis one time. I have tried a few from the demo stalls, but I really want a week on some.

I have heard that the US resorts are much better for this than EU, but generally for short trips it’s just practically to fly to the US just cos the ski hire is better Toofy Grin

Any thoughts or advice?
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
You basically need to wander round and talk to the different hire shops, telling them what you're looking for.

In your position I'd probably hire some cheap skis for a day or two. Saturday/Sunday are rush hour in most hire shops, with 99% of week and weekend renters trying to take out or return their skis. This is not the time to try and get special service from the staff and, based on the skis you're trying to hire, you should have the technique to ski them happily.

Spend your Sat/Sun evenings wandering around town looking at the different hire shops and getting an idea of which are just the basic plank shops and which seem to have some more interesting stuff in their racks. Usually it's the most expensive places but that's life.

If things are quiet Sunday evening/Monday morning walk around the shops you've shortlisted, ignore the Blue/Red/Black/Tartan/whatever packages and speak to the staff, telling them what sort of skis you're looking for. Once the initial hire rush is over there's a good chance you'll be walking in to empty shops, with bored looking staff who are actually interested in talking about the more interesting skis and be happy to make some recommendations.

I did this as a way of ski testing some different skis. Walking in to a shop in Sauze d'Oulx on something like Tuesday evening lead to a 30 min chat with the ski tech and him happy to pop off and reposition the non-demo bindings on a pair of skis so my boots fitted. I don't believe that would have happened if I'd walked in to the same show on Saturday afternoon when it was packed with people.
snow report     
 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?
A lot of independent hire shops will have a list of what skis are available on their website. Local CHX and Concept in Chamonix do this and I hired some specific skis I wanted to try a few times last season. To be honest I just wandered in and looked at what they had which I know isn't ideal when you need to pre-book for a holiday.

Maybe you could book 1 days hire in advance then wander around town and see what takes your fancy? You can always ask someone on the hired Black Crows where they got them
snow conditions     
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Freeski in Meribel hire (and demo) Black Crows https://www.skimium.co.uk/store/freeski-170; I used them last year and they were very helpful and organised, I hired Brahmas and changed them to Brahma CA's during the week. Though I have just bought a pair of Salomon 88XDRs, because a trawled through all of the Meribel hire shops to find what I was after and failed.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mjit - Fantastic advice actually not thought about doing that before. Im sure the wife is going to love my new OCD obsession with trawling the shops in the evening for skis Smile
Which shop is Sauze was is? I might be going back there actually.

I meant to say our first trip is Alpe D'Huex so any specific recommendation there would be great, but unlikely to have shops like in Cham!.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
The one you can't see on Google Street View. Look's like it's Faure Sport Ski Hire. Opposite side of the square with the cow in it to the lift pass office.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you go to Lech then Strolz will cheerfully rent you all kinds of exotic skis. Mind you, their top rental skis cost more for a week than my Head Titans cost new to buy.
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