Snow is falling, and you’ve got your Ikon Pass or lift ticket. The urge to get on the mountain is strong. You may be an expert skier trying out snowboarding for the first time, or a beginner who doesn’t live close enough to the mountains to buy your own gear. You may even own your own equipment but choose to travel lightly (and save money on baggage fees) by leaving your gear at home.
Regardless of your skill level or how you traveled to get there, you can’t get on the mountain if you don’t have skis or a snowboard. Renting equipment is a must before heading out for an unforgettable day of skiing and riding.
If you need to rent gear before hitting the mountain, there are plenty of options out there for you. Check out our tips on how to get your ski rentals like a pro, and maximize your adventure on the mountain.
WHERE TO RENT SKIS OR A SNOWBOARD
Ski and snowboard rentals can be a quick and seamless process with the right planning. You can easily rent skis and snowboard equipment ahead of time online, locally in your own neighborhood, or last-minute at the destination.
You can reserve your equipment online if you know what size equipment you need, and you’re booking at least a few days in advance. Online rental packages are convenient, making this a top choice for traveling skiers and riders.
When you book a ski or snowboard rental package online, your equipment can either be picked up at a shop on or near the base of the mountain or delivered to your door. At Steamboat, book your gear three days prior to arrival and choose the BOOST ski rental option at checkout to skip the line when picking up your equipment. For an extra luxurious experience, equipment can be delivered right to your door at your hotel or condo with complimentary in-room rental delivery.
Steamboat isn’t the only destination that offers rental delivery. Companies like Ski Butlers or Black Tie Ski Rentals service destinations like Mammoth, Winter Park, and Big Sky. These companies make sure your equipment is the perfect match – with an in-home fitting included.
Certain online ski gear rental shops even offer discounts for kids, or for booking in advance or booking several days in a row. Make sure to do your homework to find the best deal.
If you’re traveling to the mountains for a day trip or long weekend, you can rent snowboard and ski equipment at your local shop for a few days at a time. When you pick up your rentals ahead of time, it allows you to get to the destination and go straight to the slopes.
Picking up your ski rentals ahead of time also means you can be properly fitted without the rush. It’s hard to sit still in the rental shop as you are anxiously awaiting your first chair.
Local shops offer a variety of rental packages, from one day to several days. If you’re heading up for one day only, we recommend picking up your rentals one day ahead of time. This allows you to wake up and get an early start on your full day of stoke.
Rent at the Destination
Sometimes it’s easiest to rent ski and snowboard equipment right there at the base of the mountain. This option saves you from lugging your skis or snowboard from your car or your vacation rental. You may even have a last-minute equipment emergency and need to conveniently rent something small, but important (like having to rent new bindings because they crack in half when you strap into your board).
The experts at at the base will know how to size you properly based on your experience level, height, and foot measurement. Therefore, be patient with the process. Rentals typically take 10-15 minutes but can take longer during peak times (aka the morning) or busy season (holiday weeks and powder days included).
If you’re renting for just one day, it’s easy to drop off your gear after your last run and explore the village hassle-free. Après will be calling your name.
Rent for the Season
If you choose to rent skis or a snowboard for a full season, the cost is well worth it. For only a few hundred dollars, you can rent a package for a season without committing to years of skiing or riding with the same brand and type of equipment.
Renting one package for the entire season is also a great option for growing kids who add a few inches of height every year. Even if your family gets on the mountain every weekend, it’s a cost-effective alternative.
Rent with your Lesson
If you have an upcoming lesson booked, check with your mountain to see if rentals are included with the lesson. Destinations like Arapahoe Basin offer a lesson package with a lift ticket and equipment rental.
You don’t have to worry about low-grade equipment, either. Skiers and riders can usually demo the latest gear from top brands in the industry.
While you can save time and money by booking in advance, it’s important to get your measurements done by the pros at the shop. This is beneficial if this is your first time renting, or your first time on the mountain in a few years.
WHAT YOU GET WITH YOUR SKI OR SNOWBOARD RENTAL
You’ve got options when it comes to renting skis or a snowboard. Typically, a full rental package for skis comes with skis, boots, and poles. A snowboard rental package comes with boots and a board. For a small additional cost, a helmet can be included in the rental. Helmets are strongly suggested…so if you don’t own one, rent one.
If you own boots and prefer to just rent the skis or board, you have that option as well. If you need to rent something as small (but important) as bindings only, you can rent that by itself too.
Rental package prices vary depending on the duration of the type of rental, your rental agreement, and your location. The average rental price varies from $20 to over $50 a day. If renting a helmet, add an extra $10-$15 a day (if not included originally).
Skiers and riders are offered a range of options with rentals. Packages vary in equipment and price, from beginner to sport to demo. If you feel confident in your on-mountain skills, you’ll be paired with sport and demo packages – which tend to be a bit higher in price.
There’s an added bonus for skiers and riders traveling from somewhere really warm. If you don’t feel like investing in ski clothes, some shops offer clothing rentals. This means you can affordably rent a jacket or snow pants at the same time you rent your equipment. Talk about easy and light travel.
SKI RENTALS LOCKED AND LOADED
You’ve got your lift tickets or Ikon Pass, and you’ve strapped into your rental ski boots or snowboard bindings. You’re pumped because you’re about to ride on the chairlift for the first time this season. Your stoke level is high, and you’re ready for whatever adventure the mountain gifts you with today.