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Ski Gear: To Buy or Hire?

Sep 21, 2018

Ski Gear: To Buy or Hire?

To buy or hire, that is the question!

For Clarity, when we’re talking ‘Ski Gear’ we’re talking ‘Ski Clothing’ and ‘Ski Equipment’. The simple answer is that if you’re new to skiing people normally buy or borrow the ‘Ski Clothing’ and rent/ hire the ‘Ski Equipment’ and we’ll discuss the pro’s/ con’s of the individual items below.

Ski Clothing

  • Ski Jacket
  • Salopettes (Ski trousers)
  • Gloves
  • Ski Socks

The above items are the minimum ski clothing you will need when going skiing. As you can imagine, these are very personal items some of which are worn close to your body. It is possible in some places to hire Ski Jackets and Salopettes (if opting for hiring, we recommend you double check availability in the resort before you go) but the majority choose to buy these items or have them bought for them as Christmas/ Birthday presents in the run up to their first ski trip; if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who’s a skier and a similar size to yourself; there may be an opportunity to borrow these items. Ski Gloves can often be loaned by a friend but ski socks are a ‘purchase’ or ‘present’ item.

Ski Equipment

  • Ski Helmet
  • Ski Boots
  • Skis
  • Ski Poles

Ski Helmet

If you’re planning your first ski trip and were considering buying some ski equipment we would recommend your first purchase to be a Ski Helmet. A Ski Helmet should fit closely to your head and move with your head with its rotation.  Apart from the fit, consideration should be made as to whether or not you want adjustable ventilation (some you set up at the beginning of the day and have removeable inserts for ventilation; others have a little slider that allows easy open/close ventilation throughout the day). Helmets should be replaced if they are damaged after a fall or collision as the integrity of the helmet may have been compromised. Hiring of helmets is readily available in most resorts and can be hired alongside other ski equipment.

Ski Boots

The second Ski equipment purchase that most people make after their ski helmet is the Ski Boots. We recommend on your first trip to hire boots as they’re an expensive item if you decide that skiing’s not for you and Ski Boots are readily available in resort. If you have unusually large or small feet we recommend contacting a hire shop before travelling to ensure they have stock available. After a few ski trips and knowing that skiing is a hobby that you’re going to continue with, most skiers will choose to buy a pair of ski boots as their first ‘Ski Investment’. If boots are causing pain return to the shop where you hired or purchased them and the attendant should be able to swap or adjust settings to help. Thinking of buying your boots why not check out our 'Ski Boots: Choosing the ones that are right for you'


Normally a purchase for those who are lovers of the sport and are going more than once a year. Skis range depending on ability, slope preference and ski style. The beauty of hiring skis is that they can often be swapped mid-week if conditions change or if you want to try something new; Piste skis are very different to off-piste skis. Hiring skis will also give you the hassle-free approach when it comes to maintenance and repair. When hiring skis we recommend taking a photograph of them with the barcode/ number so that you have a reference should someone else pick them up (often ski shops will have multiple pairs of exactly the same skis but with different foot size and weights altering the settings, you don’t want to be using the wrong pair).

Ski Poles

Ski Poles are relatively cheap in terms of ski purchases but as they come inclusive with ski hire so we don’t recommend buying them unless you’re purchasing skis too.


Other useful information on skiing can be found using these Links:

Ski Extras: What do I need?

Ski Tips for Beginners

Ski Checklist



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