To buy or not to buy

You’ve seen them and they’re gorgeous. You’re thinking ‘next time at the airport you too can load your trolley with the boot and ski bags so you really look the part. But will the boots which fit like a glove on the last day of your ski holiday still fit perfectly this time next year or will you end up with sore feet because you don’t want to admit you succumbed to the temptation – and got it wrong? Will you glide across the piste with a flourish on your new skis or wonder what’s going on when you fall over for the fifth time in a row?

It’s always a difficult decision to make and whether you’re in the posh sports shop at home or seduced by the sight of a window display surrounded by real snow in resort there are certain things you should consider before you shell out your hard earned cash.

Renting skis and/or boots has the following immediate advantages:

1. You’ll be properly fitted in resort by people who fit boots everyday, or at least for 4-5 months of the year. They’ll be trained and have a good idea as to which boot brand fits your foot. If anything happens to the boot and it needs repair, or you need a different boot, you should be able to change them at no extra cost.

2. Your level of skiing will determine which skis are best for you – longer, shorter, broader, lighter – and the ski hire professionals will be able to advise you. They’ll also be properly serviced and, should you have a problem, you should be able to change them at no extra cost.

The downside to ski hire is that other guests will have used the boots the week before but they should have been disinfected and freshened up before they get near your feet.

Buying skis and/or boots also has advantages:
1. No-one else has worn the boots.
2. No-one else has skied on the skis.

The downside is, unless you’ve bought them in resort, if anything goes wrong whilst on holiday it’s going to cost you to have it repaired and your foot may change over the year so what once felt like a pair of carpet slippers now rubs where it shouldn’t.

The choice is, of course yours, but whatever you do we have two tips when buying your
own:

1. Always get your boots fitted properly. We recommend buying in resort as prices are usually more reasonable, there’s usually a wider range and you get to test the boots immediately after purchase. (IMPORTANT: if you’re looking to buy go at the beginning of the week so you get more test time).

2. Always get your skis serviced BEFORE you hit the slopes again. Even ski wax dries out over the year and you don’t need day 1 of your holiday disturbed by having to abandon the piste because the bottom of your skis are covered in sticky snow.

NEXT TIME: What happens when skis are serviced?
Copyright: Heather Cavagan, February 2012

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