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Equip. for 5 year old - Buy or rent?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Just returned from CO where we got our 4 year old on skis for the first time. He loved it. Would like some input from others out there, I have a few questions. We ski about 5 to 7 days per year. We skis 5 days and he reached a level 4. We rented skis, boots and helmet all 5 days. After paying for 5 days of rental gear and with the fact that we'll be at least sking another 5 days next year, (he'll be 5 then) and also keeping in mind that we'll be moving to CO by the time he is 6, my thinking is buy him his own gear this off season and avoid the rental fees next year. However, kids grow fast and it may just be a waste on money. My question is, should I buy any or all orcombination his equipoment this offseason when prices are discounted or should I just rent fro the next few years? Any input would be a big help.

Thanks
post #2 of 25
I've been able to get 2 years out of skis but only 1 year out of boots for my kids, if that helps your decision.

We always buy, but on sale. Except boots, actually. Usually we can buy on sale, but I'm wary of buying too soon, with growing feet. But rental boots are kind of creepy, when you think about it. So I just buy the boots whenever.

Skis and bindings are easy to find for cheap, though, and they last. You can use the bindings for multiple skis, as well.
post #3 of 25
I just bought our 4 yro skis, but she has a younger sister who is already saying she wants to ski, so I figure I will get two kids use out of the skis. I think it's worth it to either buy or do a season lease, but part of my thinking is that I hate waiting in line to get rentals. I just bought new skis and bindings for my daughter for $105, and boots for $35. I figure if they get at least 10 uses they have been paid for, and with two kids it's a no-brainer for me. Many areas also have ski swaps in the fall, where you can get gently used equipment cheaply, or sell the stuff your son has outgrown.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzn44 View Post
Just returned from CO where we got our 4 year old on skis for the first time. He loved it. Would like some input from others out there, I have a few questions. We ski about 5 to 7 days per year. We skis 5 days and he reached a level 4. We rented skis, boots and helmet all 5 days. After paying for 5 days of rental gear and with the fact that we'll be at least sking another 5 days next year, (he'll be 5 then) and also keeping in mind that we'll be moving to CO by the time he is 6, my thinking is buy him his own gear this off season and avoid the rental fees next year. However, kids grow fast and it may just be a waste on money. My question is, should I buy any or all orcombination his equipoment this offseason when prices are discounted or should I just rent fro the next few years? Any input would be a big help.

Thanks
I've worked with one of the local ski shops. They sold me a pair of rental skis and boots for a hundred dollars and allowed me to trade up as needed for $50 as my daughter grows. Look around a see if you can find a ski shop that will work with you.
post #5 of 25
I started to buy the boots when he was 7 (I've no idea of the level he had. He could ski everything groomed in Val d'Isère / Tignes). I still rent the skis.
Of course he has his own clothes and helmet...
post #6 of 25
I buy skis for my kid at year end sales of the appropriate length for the next season. Boots we buy in the fall and I don't worry about not getting sale price. Kids' boots are cheap enough and the shop gives us credit for 50% the cost of last years' boots when we trade in. Of course they make a lot of that back by charging for mounting. Kid's skis don't have those nifty rail-mounted easily-readjusted bindings that grown up skis do.
post #7 of 25
I buy and our local ski shop gives 50% credit after one season, 33% after two. Between using their program and handing stuff down from one to the other, it ends up being the same or cheaper to buy than to rent (assuming that you're skiing a lot), and you get better gear in better condition with a better fit.
post #8 of 25
Would love to buy equipment and trade it in, but none of the ski shops in the NYC area has trade in programs, so we've always done seasonal rentals. At age 4, it wasn't a factor, but as the kids got older, it became somewhat of a challenge to find a shop renting not just quality equipment, but equipment commensurate with their abilities.

Our oldest is 17 and has her own equipment now, but we're still renting for our 13 year old.

Aside from finding the right shop, the key to getting good seasonal rental equipment, whether you're looking at new, used, or a combination (we'd often get new boots and lightly used skis) is to rent early while the shops still have a good selection. We're usually in the shop right around Labor Day. Maybe we've been lucky, but over 13 years, nobody's outgrown their boots during the season.
post #9 of 25
I rented equipment for the year for my 4 year old daughter, $90 for everything for the year. I will have both her and her younger brother on skis next year, so I am just going to buy used kids skis & bindings on ebay in the summer (if you look, you can get quality kids stuff for $75) and then buy boots new in the fall. Spend a few $ more, but will be able to resell for basically what I pay for the skis.
post #10 of 25
We use to buy boots in September when we were on vacation in VT. The shop we go to offered a credit if you traded in equipment you bought there. Boots were usually good for 1 year and once we got 2 years out of skis.
post #11 of 25
Ebay is great IF you know EXACTLY what you are looking for. If not, find yourself a local shop that does seasonal rentals Ask what their policy is for mid season growth changes. Also you might have to go early (sept) for the best selection and newest gear.
post #12 of 25
SEASON LEASE IT!!

My daughter is 7.

At the beginning of the season we did the Season Lease through Sports Authority. $140. Early season it was all new stuff. Sweet. Poles, Boots, Skis & Damage coverage.

Within two months she outgrew her boots. Exchanged for another set. They were used, but have lasted her the season.

A month ago, she bent one of the poles. Covered under the damage waiver. Still has em... Nice benchmark of pole introduction .

We started her skis short this season, and I figured that I always move her up should she need more ski.

I am not worried about her outgrowing it, I can always exchange it.

The issues my daughter has with them are that they are not hers.

The issues I have with them are, that they are more entry equipment from the Authority. Rear Entry single buckle boots. I will look at Colorado Ski & Golf or some other shops next season.

IMHO, at 6 your son, won't care about having his own stuff for a season & will probably forget about it by the end of the season when it disappears. Add some stickers to the equipment and make it his for the season.

As for buying it, you can find it on clearance in several shops in Denver. Easily for the same or less $140. But, by the time you may have to replace something that they outgrow or break. Then add to that cost.

I will lease it for my girl again next year, just some more advanced stuff.

Jim
post #13 of 25

I bought my children's stuff in bulk

About three years ago, when I realized (or convinced my wife actually) that my two daughters would be spending long winter weekends with me on ski slopes, I figured that buying kids equipment in bulk would be the best way to save money. At that time the girls were 3 and 6 and had no no experience with skiing whatsoever except in knowing that "Papa likes to ski."

Knowing (through spending long nights browsing through this forum) what length skis they would need as they got older and better (between chin to nose to forehead), I surfed through ebay looking for a seller who was willing to auction to me five pairs of the exact same beginner skis in different lengths (80, 90, 100, 110). I found an ebay seller based out of Baltimore who had Rossignol junior rebels in all the lenghts I wanted - all of which had adjustable bindings. They were all used rental skis used for about two seasons but all in decent shape with new wax. So I bought all four of them for about $50 each (and bought a 5th - the 120cm later on from another seller).

As for the ski boots, I had to be a little more careful with them as I knew little girls with painful feet don't even get out of cars to walk - let alone ski. I researched the most comfortable models and tried out sizes for the girls whenever I had my skis tuned. I eventually bought four used pairs off ebay (also in various sizes from 18.5 to 21.5) and spent about $30-$40 each. Since I was looking for specific models and sizes, it took some time for these models and sizes to pop out in ebay.

That was three years ago.... The 80cm ski is now displayed proudly in my daugther's bedroom wall as "my first ski". By the end of this season, it will be joined by the 90cm ski which is still being used by the 5-year old. The 8 year old has progressed from the 90cm and is now using the 100cm. The rest of the skis (100cm and longer) will go back to ebay as they are slowly outgrown. Two of the original set of boots have already gone back to ebay after two seasons of use. I did not put them up on the wall for display as "my first boots" because boots kind of look funny on the wall. Besides, skis are better wall displays. They still have a pair of boots each from the original set bought three years ago and those will head back to ebay by the end of this season.

Doing the math, in the past three years I spent a total of only $360 for the two girls ($250 for skis, $150 for boots, less $60 sold back on ebay) for all equipment. By the end of this season that cost will go down to about $300 as I sell two boots back on ebay. That would be about $50 per year per child (and lower by next year).

But the true benefit is clearly not the money savings. The true benefit of doing all this is that I have not had to rent anything for anyone in the family these past three years and I have not had to deal with lines, sizes, returns, painful feet, bad skis, and all those rental headaches. We ski an average of 3 times a month from December to March and we go on a four day trip to the west in February so I can only guess how much savings we have had from not having to rent equipment at all nor even buying something new and using it for three months. Did I also mention that I have not had to deal with painful toes (from unfamiliar boots) in the last three years. The girls own their equipment, which are not entry level, and they know these are clean. Since they are very familiar (and did I say very comfortable) with their own equipment - they can better concentrate on their skiing technique and not have to deal with equipment problems. The progression to longer skis have also been quite easy since all five skis are the exact same model. And I am only on year three. I still have a couple of seasons left for those skis to be used.

The girls (now 5 and 8) are now advanced beginners (per the Deer Valley ski school classification) and they can ski down any blue trail with me in the Northeast.
post #14 of 25
RE Boots..

From a very frustrated instructor: Boots too big because the parents want to get a second year out of them make for a very hard to teach child. Then the parents wonder why "little Johnny" can't ski or why we bump a child back one level. BECAUSE THEY CAN'T STOP OR TURN in boots that don't respond to any movement they make!

Besides it promotes bad habits. And you wonder why kids give up skiing...

Buy boots or lease boots for a season and pass them on or work with a shop that will give you credit..

Most good shops will be willing to work with you if you tell them what your intent is. If the regular sales person tells you "no" ask for a manager. If it means you will be back every fall for skis and boot's I bet they will make the exception.

DC
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
...
As for the ski boots, I had to be a little more careful with them as I knew little girls with painful feet don't even get out of cars to walk - let alone ski. I researched the most comfortable models and tried out sizes for the girls whenever I had my skis tuned. I eventually bought four used pairs off ebay (also in various sizes from 18.5 to 21.5) and spent about $30-$40 each. Since I was looking for specific models and sizes, it took some time for these models and sizes to pop out in ebay.
....
OK - so what are the most comfortable models? I've started my bargain hunting for next season...
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat View Post
OK - so what are the most comfortable models? I've started my bargain hunting for next season...
I bought my 10yo daughter Head Carve X2's - http://www.head.com/ski/products.php...=junior&id=694

She had painful feet syndrome with rental front-entry boots as well as a pair of used front-entry boots (which I bought 1 full size larger than the rental boots I bought from Play-It-Again-Sports). Not only does she not complain about her feet anymore, but her skiing has improved a significant amount.
post #17 of 25
Any thoughts on the X1? My daughter will be 2.5 next season - the X2's start a little big:
post #18 of 25
Sorry, I don't have any experience with the X1s. My 6yo son is in rear-entry Rossignol R18s, and he seems to be OK with them. My daughter has been skiing since 6 (4 seasons), my son for the last 2 seasons. Based on my experience, the boots are a very important (if not the most important) part of the skiing equation for kids. Best to have your kids at least try on the boots at a shop regardless of where you buy them.
post #19 of 25
and boots too big will allow them to lever against the back and sit way back rather then stand up tall. You've all seen this syndrome.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat View Post
OK - so what are the most comfortable models? I've started my bargain hunting for next season...
I recommend the Dalbello CX ski boots, which comes in models 1, 2, or 3, depending on size and number of buckles. Any year model will be good but the older (2004) is cheaper if you can still find it.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
I recommend the Dalbello CX ski boots, which comes in models 1, 2, or 3, depending on size and number of buckles. Any year model will be good but the older (2004) is cheaper if you can still find it.
Thanks Now if someone could break out thier magic 8 ball and tell my how big her feet are going to be next season...:
post #22 of 25
[quote=Cyclist;683732]I recommend the Dalbello CX ski boots, which comes in models 1, 2, or 3, depending on size and number of buckles. /quote]
Go for more buckles. Up to 3 for a small child. It's better for form, fit and function. And, you can go 1/2 to 1 size bigger if you wish so that you can stretch its life to last a bit long on the same child. I wouldn't do that with a rear-entry or 1 buckle. They can result in the issues that DCHAN mentioned.

However, too many buckles could mean too high of a cuff preventing the child to flex forward. That also promotes the backseat habit.
post #23 of 25

Buy, Rent or Lease....

Lease is a really good option for skis, boots and poles if you don't want to deal with resale and changing sizes.. But remember, what you buy or lease you will have to fly with you when you go to Colorado.. Package lease deals from ski shops around here run about $100 per season, but you can exchange equip at no cost all season long. Takes the worry out of boot sizing for sure..

Boots are the most important item and helmets are pretty personal so buy that helmet and bring it with you. Ski's are the least important for a developing kid, but do need to be sized apx to the kid, chin to eyebrow height.

There are a couple of kids boots that I WON'T put my kids in after observing others in them and the Crappy position they let the kids get into.... IE, don't get anything that lets your kid get into the "backseat".. (Rossignol Comp J, and Nordica, older Tecnica's)..

Think back to what your child used this season when they rented, did the boots hold the child in a forward stance, or was he leaning back and hanging on with his toes all curled up?? They need a good agressive forward stance and tight fit, don't over size them. My twin 8 year olds have used both Alpina's J2(2 buckle) and Lange's Comp 60(4 buckle) with great success over the last 4 seasons. Their feet haven't grown too fast to not be able to get two seasons from each set, but I think that will change this year.

I have gotten two years on boots and ski's since the started 6 seasons ago. Only 2 helmets each in the same period, yet 3 sets of poles.. I buy everything and resell it to friends, family or on ebay. I search for deals locally and nationally on the internet. If the shipping is reasonable, I go for the deal..

Don't forget, Boots are the most important item for any skier, especially kids.. if they fit well, your kid can ski any ski and enjoy the few days he gets each season..
post #24 of 25
It's not just about money; it's about the time you spend in the rental shop.
How valuable is your holiday time?

I would buy the skis anytime between now and next fall. I would wait until the fall to get the boots, so you can better size them. If you can't "trade up", you should be able to sell for half price. My near-local shop has consignment sales.
post #25 of 25
May be it's just my luck, but I was always able to get 2 to 3 years out of my kids equiplment - even for boots. I've always bought it and now, my younger one is giving it a second life.
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