Nobody wants to travel with big, heavy ski equipment. It’s a hassle and it can be really expensive. So, should you even bother?
If you’re driving to your destination, you might as well take your gear. Rentals aren’t cheap and nothing rides like your own gear. Even if it’s not the best, it’s familiar.
If you want it, then you have it. You have the option to try new gear and rent demos, but it’s not a requirement. Having more options creates a less stressful vacation.
If you already own gear, you probably have a transportation system. If you don’t, you can buy a new car top ski rack for less than 200 USD. That’s less than 1 week of full-priced rental gear at most resorts.
Bring Your Boots
If you own boots, take them. It doesn’t matter how you’re traveling, make the room. No rental boot will come close to fitting as well as your own. I know a lot of people who don’t even own skis or boards, but own boots.
Skiing and riding is hard on your feet. If you have a pair of boots you’ve taken the time to break in, bring them. Your feet will thank you.
If you’re flying to the mountain, then bringing your skis and boards just isn’t worthwhile. Unless you have some strong attachment to your setup or you are competing in a race, you should rent upon arrival.
Rentals: Rental gear isn’t always terrible. Most people think that rental gear starts bad and gets worse. This is pretty true of beginner gear, but there are other options.
“Sport” or “demo” packages are a completely different story. They’re more expensive, but they tend to be new, quality gear that really allows you to shred down a mountain. Most ski shops will have a high end rental option. If they don’t, consider renting somewhere else.
You can rent upon arrival and still have good quality gear for your vacation.
Baggage Policies: Airline baggage policies are intense. When you’re thinking about flying with ski equipment, you have to consider oversized and overweight baggage fees in addition to the standard rates.
You might end up paying extra fees to worry about whether or not someone slams your skis against the ground. You might as well leave them at home. It’s not worth it.
Ship Your Skis
One thing that worked well for me in the past is to shipping your skis to your lodging ahead of time. There are many companies that offer door to door service – they collect your skis and ship your gear directly to your hotel or lodging. The shipping cost range from 40 USD for ground shipments to 150 USD for air shipments. While this is convenient, it is also pricey as this is just one way.