Originally Posted by Morrison Claystone
In 1970, the only burdensome thing was renting. People who owned their own typically had buckle boots and step-in bindings. Renters got stuck with lace-up leather boots and cable bindings. The difference in quality was astounding. Now, the difference isn't so huge, but a well-maintained pair of personal sticks beat the heck out of anything you can rent.
Imagine a pair of rental boots held in left hand (think concrete and lead)
Now imagine my pair of Krypton Pro with Intuition Power wrap liners, custom foot beds and about 15 hours of fitting work in your right hand (think light plastic and feathers).
Your left shoulder is starting to ache just from holding the rental boots and you haven't even put them on your feet yet.
Rental boots are heavy, ill fitting horrible germ pits and the main factor in preventing enjoyment for 90% of new skiers and retarding the progress of the 90% of beginner and low intermediate skiers.
There is still a huge difference but I would recommend that someone spend $400 on boots before they even went near skis.
But whilst we are on the subject of skis - most rental skis get an end of season wax, get thrown in a van and taken to storage, may get a start of season wax if they are lucky. They are 'tuned', during the season, in accordance with the skill level of the South African surfer, who has had three hours training, and his ability to remain undistracted by everything else that is going on in the shop such as screaming children, awful mothers, and the usual 'wow dude you should have seen how smashed I got on vodka red bulls last night' running my social life at work that goes on in most rental shops.
Rental skis usually have horrible edges, concaves or twists in the base grinds but most renters are so hampered by their painful feet and ill fitting concrete weight boots that they cannot tell the difference.
There is still a huge difference between rental and personal gear it is just a little less obvious at first glance.