Whether you’re a seasoned skier or are in the process of booking your first ski trip, you’ll probably know that hiring ski equipment can be daunting, or just a bit of a hassle. What level are you? How much do you weigh? How tall are you? However, your ski gear is a very important part of your holiday, and here at ES, we know having the right equipment can make all the difference to your skiing experience. The guys at our partner store in Verbier, Mountain Air, know this, too. Luckily, they have over forty years of experience in the ski hire industry, so they know how to make renting your gear as easy as possible. Here are their top tips on how to hire your ski equipment and how to make the experience hassle-free:
Book Directly from a Store
When hiring ski equipment, price is not and should not be the be-all-and-end-all. Ski hire is not a commodity like a bag of coffee… It’s what you’re getting for your money that counts.
When booking a ski trip, especially for a group, it can be very tempting to just take whatever looks like the biggest discount.
But don’t be fooled!
With third-party booking sites, you’re likely to get a lot less information and choice about who you’ll be hiring from. They often use the same form for a variety of shops and you may well find that you can’t change ski categories or make free exchanges once you’ve booked.
It’s well worth doing some research on your resort and which are the most reputable rental shops.
It might not seem like a big deal beforehand, but we’ve seen many a trip ruined because something has gone wrong with equipment and it can’t (or won’t) be replaced. After all, you’re coming here to ski, right? So why settle for second best when it’s such an important part of the experience.
At Mountain Air, you can organise your ski hire before you arrive in resort by booking online.
Book in advance
Booking in advance is the simplest thing you can do to help keep your ski rental experience as hassle-free as possible.
Most often this will save you both time and money and likely relieve a great deal of stress too.
Most establishments will offer exclusive deals for pre-booking, too, and you can rest assured that you’ll have all the kit you need when you arrive.
For example, at Mountain Air, we offer you free consignment storage at the bottom of the lifts if you pre-book, or we will deliver your equipment and fit it at your chalet!
This is very important and unfortunately a point most people forget in all the excitement of arriving.
Whether you’re hiring ski equipment from a company for the first time or not, be sure to take the time to ask about their equipment, servicing, and terms and conditions.
Good questions to ask include:
– How often do you service / replace your equipment?
– What range / how much equipment do you stock?
– What equipment is included in each category? They all have different names which can make it a little confusing.
– Can I change my equipment if I don’t like it?
– Will you deliver to my accommodation? Is there an additional cost to that?
Get fitted properly
When hiring ski equipment, getting the right skis and having your boots fitted properly should be one of your highest priorities.
Far too often we’ve seen people come into Mountain Air after being let down somewhere else by their equipment, because it wasn’t fitted properly to start with. But getting your equipment right, whether buying or renting, will make all the difference to your trip.
The best shops won’t be satisfied until you’re completely happy with your equipment.
We think this is so important we replace all standard foot beds with quality orthotic shaped foot beds that will help your feet feel relaxed and offer the best control.
At the very least, you should expect your rental shop to:
– Measure BOTH your feet, and assess the general shape, size and width of your foot and ankle.
– Put your boots on for you
– Adjust the straps and buckles, including explaining what they do and how to use them
– Check the fit for comfort and be prepared to offer you alternatives.
The best general advice we have for finding the right boot-fit is to listen to your toes…
If they don’t touch the end of the boot when you put it on for the first time then the boot is too big. And if it’s too long, it will likely be too big everywhere else too.
Once your boot has been fitted, the buckles should hold your heel properly in the pocket, bringing your toes back from the front of the boot.
Adjusted properly, the grip shouldn’t be too tight either; aim for something akin to a firm handshake.
Get it Delivered
Although this is not a standard option offered by most ski rental shops, as the premiere delivery service in Verbier, we couldn’t leave it out.
Our expert technicians will come to your accommodation to kit you and fit you with whatever equipment you need.
We’ll even collect it all at the end of your stay – so you can spend as much time as possible on the mountain.
How’s that for hassle-free?
Mountain Air is located in Place Blanche, Verbier, where you can also find the European Snowsport meeting point and our Verbier sales desk. At Mountain Air, it’s easy to hire and store your equipment a stone’s throw from the base of the Medran so you’re ready to go for your ski lessons every morning!
European Snowsport Ski School in Verbier
Rue de Médran,