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Buying ski equipment. Is it worth it?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm sure this topic has been debated at length in hundreds of threads but it doesn't harm debating it another time, does it? snowHead

My question is relatively simple. I ski on average a week a year. My current level is intermediate and hoping to ski decent backs this/next year and then may be venture off piste. Now if we forget about the emotional element and discount the fact that the quality of the equipment you purchase might be superior to the stuff you rent, I have done my analysis and decided it's not worth it to buy the gear if you ski a week a year for the following reasons:

- You can rent online ski + boots for a full week for about 75 Euros. Assuming you buy Ski + boots + bags for say £400 (Eur 450) you will need 6 weeks (i.e. 6 years in my case) to break even
- This doesn't take into account the fact that you have to pay for airline carriage costs (£60 min for a return trip). At this rate, the airline carriage cost ALONE is almost equal to the cost of renting. Even assuing you end up renting for more than 75 euros, the savings are not worth the investment
- Even assuming you ski more and you don't pay for ski carriage, chances are your ability will improve and the skis will wear out and you will need to replace them

So is buying your own gear just another expensive impulsive purchase or is there another rational rationale for it i might be missing?

PS. For people based within driving distance of the ski resorts and that hit the slopes every other weekend, this thread doesn't apply!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
snowforever, it sounds as if you've made your mind up already, but for what its worth Cool

I think this comes down purely to whether you want your own kit or not. Personally I bought mine for around £250 as ex-demo kit at end of season. I've had it 3 years and managed 5-trips, I self-drive so no charges.

For me it is worth it financially, plus I like knowing it's my stuff
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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?
snowforever, You pays your money, you takes your choice.....
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If you're planning on skiing a week a year for the next few years I'd suggest it's worth buying your own boots. The difference a good fitting pair of boots makes to your performance is definitely noticeable and well worth the money... Not to mention, comfort and hygiene!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
you don't have to buy all your gear at once. buying some boots won't cost you ski carriage costs (just get a bag big enough for them and your clothes), will save you a bit of cash every time and will enhance your skiing experience. they will also last for years (or as long as you like the colour Cool )

buying brand new skis at full retail price probably doesn't stand up to scrutiny from a purely financial point of view for a one week a year skier
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There is almost no purely financial model in which paying retail price for skis to be used for 1 or 2 weeks a year, assuming flying, makes sense if you regard skis as a fungible commodity. This is the major issue facing the UK hardgoods retail industry who really IMV should be a bit smarter at cooking up concessions with the airlines e.g. "buy your skis at S+R and get free ski carriage for a year with BA" etc.

Fortunately there are plenty of emotionally overinvested gearwhores to fill some of the gap.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I agree with Arno, it is worth it for the boots - to get the right fit takes a long time in the ski shop and a good fitter - don't be embarrassed to walk around in them for several minutes. Take the time and buy them: you will be very unlikely to get anything as good for comfort or use by hiring and it can make a big difference to your holiday.
Until you become an expert skier with very precise requirements (or ski a lot more often) it probably isn't worth buying skis.
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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!
Definitely get boots. If you wait until the sales happen you can get some good bargains - mine were about £170 but we got my wife's for £60! And she loves them. They can go in as part of the hold luggage, so no extra bags required. The importance of having the correct pair of boots cannot be overstated. On the skis front it depends on how you are travelling - some airlines don't charge, and it's free of course if you're driving.

I'd be surprised if you can get any half-decent rental stuff for €75 per week covering skis and boots.
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Boots are an essential own item. Custom fitted. No debate. You are going to spend 8 hours a day in them for a week (and probably dance in them too) so they ought to fit you.

As for skis I have owned my own for many years changing them every 5 years or so after about 15 weeks of use. The change is mostly about how I feel about them or the excitement of new kit rather than anything more technical about bounce or suchlike. However, the recent changes in airline charges have almost tipped me over the edge onto the side of renting again.

One of the factors is the quality of kit now available for rent. In the past you would have a very limited choice but that is definately not the case now, especially in the bigger resorts. Which is, of course, another factor. If you only ever go on package tours to big resorts then renting is the answer, if you travel independently to more far flung places then having your own stuff ensures you will be able to ski there with high quality kit.

But, as another thread explains, it is not really about the economics of it. I have always enjoyed the feeling of knowing what is on the bottom of my boots. But I'm now looking forward to "testing" all that shiny new kit out there by renting again.
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snowforever wrote:

- You can rent online ski + boots for a full week for about 75 Euros. Assuming you buy Ski + boots + bags for say £400 (Eur 450) you will need 6 weeks (i.e. 6 years in my case) to break even


Rental costs vary a surprising amount between resorts. So it does depend to some extent on where you regularly ski.

Quote:

- This doesn't take into account the fact that you have to pay for airline carriage costs (£60 min for a return trip). At this rate, the airline carriage cost ALONE is almost equal to the cost of renting. Even assuing you end up renting for more than 75 euros, the savings are not worth the investment


I have yet to pay more than £30 for ski carriage - but I have always travelled with TOs. TUI (Crystal, Thomson, charge £30, Thomas Cook (Neilsons, Airtours, Panorama) only charge £15

And if you are traveling DIY, Swiss still don't charge, and BA and EasyJet (£18.50 each way) charge less than your £60 return.

So the savings can be quite significant.

Quote:

- Even assuming you ski more and you don't pay for ski carriage, chances are your ability will improve and the skis will wear out and you will need to replace them

If you buy skis, then make sure you buy ones that you can "grow into" in terms of ability.

But overall, for a one week per year skier, skis are hard to justify on purely cost grounds. Boots however, are definitely worthwhile. They will (usually) last a lot longer than skis, so can repay their cost over a longer period, plus they cost nothing ion carriage, and they don't require regular waxing & tuning.

And having your own boots will make much more difference to your skiing than your own skis will.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Wot the others sez.

For you snowforever, get Boots, don't bother about skis for now.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I've had my own boots since the onset of adulthood, but this year I have decided to buy skis also. I'm sticking with buying second hand which is equivalent to the cost of three weeks' rental. Admittedly there are airline carriage costs to consider (£15 per flight), but I would still break even with four trips, so financially it's not too bad. However my principle reason for buying my own skis is continuing disappointment with the standard and quality of rental skis, plus the abillity to use my own skis on trips to UK indoor snow domes (their rental skis really are rubbish!).

I can't afford to buy myself brand new skis, but if I could I would. Purely for the reason that I seem to ski better on better skis.
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Most hirers have superior skis which you can hire for a bit extra. Unless you are a beginner it may well be worth it.
Try to find out in advance what sort of skis might suit you - or many hirers will let you try different skis each day, for a bit more money, till you find what you like.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Buy boots.

They are higher quality.

And you won't get foot disease.

Rent skis for the first 5 weeks of one's skiing career.

Then buy.

Comfort, familiarity and quality should trump cost for good riders.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
fatbob wrote:
Fortunately there are plenty of emotionally overinvested gearwhores to fill some of the gap.


Really? I find this very hard to believe. Shurely shome mishtake?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
snowforever wrote:
- This doesn't take into account the fact that you have to pay for airline carriage costs (£60 min for a return trip). At this rate, the airline carriage cost ALONE is almost equal to the cost of renting. Even assuing you end up renting for more than 75 euros, the savings are not worth the investment

My ski carriage on snowjet is costing me £29 for my trip to Chambery/Tignes in January...

Normally we don't pay for ski carriage at all travelling by BA or Air Canada over to Vancouver. Smile

I remember the first time I went from rental skis to my own skis - it was an amazing difference. I'd never go back to renting now! - sharp edges, waxed bases, light-weight bindings, lightweight skis... it's like the difference between surfing on a buoyant ironing board and a proper surfboard. wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Snowy, I agree. The past two seasons I've paid extra for superior rental skis. They weren't bad in Kitzbuhel, Rossignol Attraxion III about 2 seasons old and in reasonable condition, but in Courmayeur last season they were 4-year-old Salomon Streetracer 6 with no edges. Not confidence inspiring at all!
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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?
Don't forget the ski maintenance costs.

Boots are a must.

Skis - I have my own, and the Spyderjon maintenance gear: partly because I am a gearwhore ("Hello, My name is Jim and I like buying stuff..."), but also because if I am relying on equipment at 40 / 50 / 60 mph on a steep, I want to know how it was serviced, when it was serviced, and that it is my responsibility. Control freak? - who said
that?

Also have the advantage of being able to leave it in resort...

But agree - Like the othe thread on the cost of skiing, it is not necessarily economically sound if I wasn't able to ski as much as I do.

(Actually you could stop that sentence at "... skiing is not necessaily economically sound.") Smile
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Thanks guys. It looks like there will be another thread on what boots to buy pretty soon! For now I need to get back to work!
snowHead
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
snowforever, As others have said, boots. I bought mine from Decathlon a couple of years ago and was very lucky - they are really comfortable - but my next pair will definitely be bought from a proper fitter.
queen bodecia, I'm shocked. I'd hate to think what the shop was handing out to the poor unfortunates that booked the basic gear!
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Another voice for boots - ski technology has changed a lot in recent years but the same is not true of boots. Boots don't get the same wear skis can and you should easily save money by buying rather than hiring. The ski decision is harder, and not just a financial one, as others have intimated.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
i would buy boots.. and gloves and possibly my own pants
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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!
CANV CANVINGTON wrote:
i would buy boots.. and gloves and possibly my own pants

Very Happy

very funy
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Best place to buy boots then? CEM in Bicester is meant to be one of the best isn't he?

I know its a case of trying on lots of different pairs of boots. But can anybody reccomend a pair of boots for a progressing intermediate.
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Rental bindings=Slop. Rental skis =<90mm. Pretty low end stuff IMO. Even if you go for top spec your not going to get something as good or unique as say an indie ski. Then when looking at the cost of top spec gear you only need too ski your own kit for a couple of weeks to justify.

Tiger2, yes, Slovakian rental kit is poor.

Please lets not have another, 'what boot' thread. Just go a bootfitter!!! Evil or Very Mad
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowforever, if you haven't got your own boot, I'm afraid you're asking the wrong question.

More over, there's already very clear answer to your original question in the previous debates:

Quote:

I'm sure this topic has been debated at length in hundreds of threads but it doesn't harm debating it another time, does it?

Not in your case. The answer has been clearly established: NO!


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Mon 23-11-09 16:45; edited 1 time in total
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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.
Whilst outside the scope of the OP, I think there's another point for purchase - that of the short break. If you can't always do 7 days holidays but like to fit in a couple of 3-4 day long weekends, then the absolute last thing I wan't to be doing in spending time in a rental shop to get kit I'm not certain fits me. Grabbing my skis that I know are well serviced, fit my skiing requirements and won't need adjustment/change over the course of the day/trip has to be a real time and faff saver.
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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
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I've my own gear cause well i've yet to walk into a rental shop that rents skis that are in excess of 180cm in lenght, in excess of 100mm in waste, aren't made of jelly (rental fat skis are always soft!) & come with a binding that the DIN goes to at least 16 on. Plus i'd be lying if i didn't say there was an element of vanity in it. In that i can pretty much guarantee wherever i go there will be no other person in the resort with the same skis as me & my skis look exceptionally cool.

Boots well that's just common sense innit? Oh & it's kinda hard to get custom fitted sidecountry touring boots from rental shops.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
CANV CANVINGTON wrote:
i would buy boots.. and gloves and possibly my own pants
Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing That so made me laugh!
Agree with owning your own boots but I'm a girl who hates sore feet so I invested time and money having them fitted and custom beds made etc mr billyh however bought his on flea bay and swears they are the most comfortable well fitting boots in the world.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
To add to the echoes:

Own boots = essential. Think of rentals as an old worn pair of wellies, and, well, compare to a properly fitted pair either with a custom liner, or with only your foot molding the liner and you get the idea.

Own skis = luxury (not that I don't indulge myself...)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
CANV CANVINGTON, Laughing Laughing Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Owning skis:

Against:- Initial expense, servicing costs, carriage costs, extra luggage.

For:- Get what you want, save rental costs (120 quid a week !!), ski on arrival, don't have to sit in a pile of sweaty socks in a basement and wait, get to say "Well yes" when the noobs ask "Are those your own skis?", can ensure decent servicing, don't have silly little stickers on the tips that might as well be 'L' plates, don't have to queue up out in the street on the last day to give them back, can take them out at home and stroke them (go on! you do).

Buy boots, but don't get ripped off. Never buy at the Ski Show, preferably buy from someone who you can pester and torment until they get it right. If they start talking about orthotics before fitting the boot, consider going elsewhere, if the boots can't be made to fit without custom insoles, why are they stocking them ? Seriously, my first boots were fitted using the kit available to the shop, my second pair were fitted with moulded footbeds and were a nightmare, then I got the shop to put different footbeds in, still bad, then I chucked the footbeds out and put the insoles from my first boots in, problem solved, then they started to fall apart !
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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 bought my own skis after visiting St Anton and paying €130-140 for one weeks rental of just skis.

Cost of rental can vary massively depending on resort. I think for skis, poles and the bag my skis came to £400ish. I don't know who the hell you're flying with for £60 return with kit?! I've never paid more than £37.50 (for this years EoSB!)

Taking that as max price, I've broke even after 4no. 1 week trips. So I don't see what the point of hiring is for me, my skis will still be fine after the 4 trips, in fact probably in better nick than most rental kit I've had. After the 4 trips I'm making a saving really.

If you plan on skiing for many years, buy your own boots, I doubt anybody will disagree with that.
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I have rented skis for five years and now i am about to get delivery of some new shiny skis.
After testing out loads of different skis at a test day at Milton Keynes i was surprised how different different pairs felt. I think there is bound to be an improvement in my sking on my new Movement Jams compaired to hire skis.
Financially the sums do not add up but i cannot wait to get skiing on them. snowHead
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Following on from earlier posts, I have to agree and say that once you progress from being a beginner, the first thing to do is buy your own ski boots. Get a pair that are designed for slightly above yor level and fit you well and you'll still be using them 10 years from now.

I have my own ski's and it is nice knowing that when I go skiing I don't have the hassle or expense of hiring. I can get straight on them and know how they will perform. However mine live in resort year round so I don't have the expense of taking them on a plane and then manhandling them through a busy airport. IMO if you are a good intermediate skier and get at least 2 weeks skiing a year, then buy your own ski's, otherwise look forward to the excitement of seeing what the hire shop gives you each year.
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In two trips this year I'll have covered the cost of having my own boots and skis.

Boots cost £90, and fit great.

Skis cost £120 new. Old model leftover stock, perfect for me as a confident intermediate - I don't need £500 skis (nor do most people IMO) but when I do then I can spend a bit and probably won't lose much on the old ones.

Rental would have been over 100 euros per week for both, and I negotiated free ski carriage on both trips.

I don't see a downside. Even if I bin both after the two trips I'll break even. If I have to get the edges sharpened and get them waxed it might cost me £30 to get my skis ready for the next couple of weeks away.

Oh, and I get to ski in comfortable boots that no-one else has sweated in for a week (I've seen enough fungal foot infections, athlete's foot and other nasties to know I don't want that) and I get to use skis that I know and trust.

Simples.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
ph wrote:
I have rented skis for five years and now i am about to get delivery of some new shiny skis.
After testing out loads of different skis at a test day at Milton Keynes i was surprised how different different pairs felt. I think there is bound to be an improvement in my sking on my new Movement Jams compaired to hire skis.
Financially the sums do not add up but i cannot wait to get skiing on them. snowHead

Nice! Enjoy snowHead
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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!
thirty06 wrote:
If they start talking about orthotics before fitting the boot, consider going elsewhere, if the boots can't be made to fit without custom insoles, why are they stocking them ?

Because boots are made to various set standards & feet are individual & often weird.
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mfj197 wrote:
Definitely get boots. If you wait until the sales happen you can get some good bargains - mine were about £170 but we got my wife's for £60! And she loves them. They can go in as part of the hold luggage, so no extra bags required. The importance of having the correct pair of boots cannot be overstated. On the skis front it depends on how you are travelling - some airlines don't charge, and it's free of course if you're driving.

I'd be surprised if you can get any half-decent rental stuff for €75 per week covering skis and boots.




This is truly gibberish from a nutcase who got lucky.
DO NOT BUY BARGAIN BOOTS.


OP correctly says: The importance of having the correct pair of boots cannot be overstated.

Get the boots you like, try them out first. Pay full retail, and your retailer will look after you.

Dont buy the last turkey in the shop.

Nix.
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If you rent all your equipment, you will get variety but

You wont be able to match colors or brands, i.e. on piste fruit salad distaster beacon.

Rarely will you get matching brands and colours unless you buy everything all at once each season, (a strategy annoyingly employed by the better half)

You can go about it another way, which is to start collecting gear you like, if you stick with a theme, and get the important things first (boots) eventually youll have some nice kit.

Dont do bargain hunting at home, get it in resort, and save yourself buying silly souvenir cowbells and chocolate fondue sets, by spending your money on quality gear like Kjus, Spyder & Movement.

If you feel good you'll ski good - theres nothing quite like a pair of silk long johns to put you in the mood. NehNeh
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