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Buying or renting skis for kids 6 and 8 skiing 5 weeks a year

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Our kids are now skiing about 5 weeks a year in the US (3 weeks) and Australia (2 weeks).  They have started racing, but more for fun.  We have been weighing up whether to buy or rent boots/skis.  I have looked into the cost to carry them internationally and it is okay - more just the hassle.  I was thinking the price of renting would be the similar to buying, but at least with buying we would be getting better skis - but is this really an issue at their age?  They have both been skiing since they were tiny and they never complain about the skis/boots we rent.

 

Any recommendations would be welcome!  Thank you.

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by skikids View Post
 

Hi,

 

Our kids are now skiing about 5 weeks a year in the US (3 weeks) and Australia (2 weeks).  They have started racing, but more for fun.  We have been weighing up whether to buy or rent boots/skis.  I have looked into the cost to carry them internationally and it is okay - more just the hassle.  I was thinking the price of renting would be the similar to buying, but at least with buying we would be getting better skis - but is this really an issue at their age?  They have both been skiing since they were tiny and they never complain about the skis/boots we rent.

 

Any recommendations would be welcome!  Thank you.


Welcome to EpicSki!  Do you live in Australia?  Where do you usually ski in the U.S.?

 

When I first starting taking my daughter out west, we brought our boots but not skis.  I did a season lease for a couple years, then found her boots at a ski swap.  Bought her first pair of "new old stock" boots from a local boot fitter when she was a solid intermediate and was clearly going to become an advanced skier before she became a teen.  We do not live near big ski mountains.  The boot fitter understood that I wanted to get as much out of a pair of boots as possible.  He found boots that she used for two seasons without any issues.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 


Thanks Marznc! 

post #4 of 14

One other thing you might want to consider is that a number of ski shop now offer trade-in programs for growing children.  The way it works is you go in and get equipment for the kids to use this year.  Next year, you bring in the old equipment and get the fit for replacement equipment at a significant discount.  It is much cheaper than buying new equipment every year and you can keep up with the growing tykes.  The only real down side is the availability of selection.  Earlier in the year is better as it hasn't been picked through yet.  But trade ins are happening all the time.  So there are usually options available.

post #5 of 14

You can always sell the kids stuff pretty easily (from my experience) when they grow out of it.  I bought a new snowboard last year for my 7 year old son.  It cost about $250, with bindings.  He used it about 20 - 25 times.  I then resold it this year for $135 at a ski swap.  I replaced that board with a bigger one for another $250 that should last 2 years.  However you do the math, it's pretty cheap just to buy.  I started out renting, but there's a lot of inconvenience attached to that.  I once spent 2 hours waiting for rental gear.  On top of that the bindings were not set up correctly.  My son's rental board broke halfway through a vacation last year, couldn't find a replacement his size.  Ended up buying one instead and haven't looked back.  If you were only going a few times a year, I would agree that renting is probably the way to go.  5 weeks seems like enough skiing to purchase equipment for the kids.  They'll love it!

 

I can't speak to the traveling part.  That's something I haven't dealt with. 

post #6 of 14

Boots- If a kid is any good, you need to buy boots.  Skis- you can rent, in theory, but that's always a gamble, and if they race you can be guaranteed that the tune on those skis will be at best bad and at the worst non-existent, which is rather detrimental for racing, or so I was told by my daughter's team coach.  So the only way to save money is to buy used gear. But also be careful buying second-hand kids boots.  Keep in mind that a lot of race team kids kill a pair of boots in one year.  Kids gear is not made to the same quality standards as adults, and race kids ski more and are harder on their gear than your typical tourist child.  Also, as a rule, if you kid is racing, you cannot buy a boot with intent to last for two years because (a) it will be way too big the first year, and (b) the flex will be either too stiff for the first year, or too soft for the second.  The suggestion for the trade-in program is spot-on.  

post #7 of 14

We were in a similar situation to you a few years ago - spend some time skiing in NZ and some in January in North America. Age 8 is about when we went from relying on rentals to purchasing gear. The primary reason was that at 8 our son had out skied the rental equipment typically available in NZ (there was one shop that had higher spec gear but that was it), componded by having a child with small feet so most rental boots were truly awful. Major resorts overseas was better, but could still be hit and miss. It was the best thing we ever did. We bought a good all mountain ski and boots that fitted properly and were instantly rewarded with a stellar leap in skiing performance and confidence, and a huge pride in having his own skis. It's amazing what a difference having decent edges and boots that fit makes. We found that there was a good resale market for the old gear and shopped at end of season sales so it was cost neutral at worst.

 

I'd buy skis and boots for the 8 year old, and at least boots for the 5 year old. An added bonus was the removal of the hassle for all of us of sourcing and picking up rental gear (I never knew how much DS disliked the process). Travelling with the extra skis has proved to be a non-event, just bought a double ski bag.

post #8 of 14
Boots are the most important and the hardest to buy, because they just grow so fast.
Trying to get a good fit on a 5 year old is really difficult, probably impossible in a rental situation.
I mounted all my kids skis with demo bindings and tried to hand them down, not always successfully.
post #9 of 14
I have not tried these personally for our kids, but you could also check out the Roces adjustable kids boots at levelninesports.com. They get great reviews.
post #10 of 14

You may want to look for a lease program as well. My ladies son is 7 and for $150 he got Volkl skis and Nordica FireArrow R3 boots, so it's good gear. We just return it in April so all in all $150 for a year it's not bad we will definitely be doing this next year as well.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your really helpful recommendations!

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much everyone for the great advice - we will buy!

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by birkelb View Post

I have not tried these personally for our kids, but you could also check out the Roces adjustable kids boots at levelninesports.com. They get great reviews.

 

We have 2 kids and we've had a few pairs of the Roces boots and like them a lot. Each boot has 4 size adjustments so we can get several years out of a pair of boots. The boots are not exactly high performance and they are heavy, but they are at least as good fit as anything we would be able to rent. We also buy inexpensive kids skis from Levelninesports.com and get at least 2 years from each pair by handing them down. The new skis are much better than the rusted and damaged kids skis our shop rents.

post #14 of 14

Our kids were 9 and 6 when they started.

 

I bought our older sons equipment and rented for the younger son until he was old enough to start using his brother old equipment.   The younger one does some grumbling about getting his brothers old ski's, but it works out well for the most part.   Each year I get our oldest son new boots and ski's (if needed) and use whatever fits the younger brother.   When he outgrows something we sell it and use the money to buy the older son new (used) stuff.

 

Next year our oldest turns 13 and I'm going to start buying him new boots as his feet are starting to slow down the growing so we can get 2 years out of boots more than likely.  Same with ski's...

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