|There are three principal forms of skiing.
In descending order of popularity in the
U.S., they are alpine (commonly known as
downhill), cross-country, and ski jumping.
This guide focuses on alpine (downhill) skiing,
which has vastly more participants than the
other two, and thus is what generally comes
to mind when someone mentions skiing without
A key question for every
skier is whether
he (she) should rent equipment
or buy it.
The arguments in favor
of buying are:
- At some busy ski areas, you can waste nearly
an hour on line to get your rental equipment.
Returning it also can eat up a lot of time,
although if you have suitable transportation,
you can often rent for less and faster at
ski shops in the vicinity.
- The rental equipment at many ski areas is
beaten-up and poorly maintained although
they sometimes do have brand new equipment
being promoted by a manufacturer.
- Given a cost of at least $20 for the typical
rental, a frequent skier is much better off
In favor of renting:
- Storage space for ski equipment, especially
the skis and especially if you live in an
apartment without adequate storage space.
- Transporting the equipment can be a pain
because you cannot fit the equipment in your
vehicle, don't have a ski rack on top it,
or are flying and don't want the hassle of
having to check special luggage.
- You expect to improve as a skier, and thus
will want to upgrade your gear sometime in
the near future
- You do not ski very often, so renting actually
is more economical.
- You go to an uncrowded ski area, or one that
has a hyper-efficient
For more information, select
from the list
of topics on the left.