Would you buy or rent your wife's gear, if you were me?

TonyPlush

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Posts
379
Location
Minnesota
Hey all, I am trying to decide whether to bite the bullet and buy my wife some ski gear, or continue renting.

Our friends have a place in Park City, and we've started visiting them 2-4 days each year. This led her to want to take up skiing (she snowboarded as a teenager but took the last 10+ years off) so I got her a beginner lesson last season. She did well and enjoyed the lesson, and now she's expressed interest in getting better. We live in Minnesota, so at the end of last season we visited a local hill for a day and rented some gear.

This year, I bought her a 2-day Epic Pass, so she plans to ski two days in Park City and likely a day or two of practice day at Afton Alps. If the practice days go well, we may even plan a 1-2 day trip to our largest local hill, Lutsen Mountain.

So, if you were me and your never-ever wife now had 2 ski days under her belt and planned on skiing anywhere from 2-6 days per year in the future, would you buy some gear? Or am I jumping the gun, and at that frequency, just better off continuing to rent until she's really into skiing?

The only thing I know about ski gear is that my setup as an advanced skier ran me about $1.5K, so any beginner-oriented advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

In2h2o

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Posts
331
Location
West Coast
Properly fitted boots for the win fitted at one of those really good fitters in Park City.
Rent skis, she will progress and ultimately be able to demo and find something she really likes.
Im doing the same for my DH who is switching over from the "dark side" also after a 30 year break from skiing.....
 

Seldomski

Paralysis by analysis
Skier
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Posts
2,803
Location
'mericuh
For that few of days, renting everything is OK in short term. Really depends on her feet. Some people are fine with rental boots while they progress on greens. Others have very narrow or weird feet that means buying boots ASAP is best to ski in comfort. It really sucks to ski in pain.

The only 'issue' with buying boots this early is you may end up in a cheaper beginner boot that will pack out and break down pretty quickly. Meaning you will need to buy new boots again in a few years if she really takes to it. Boot 2.0 maybe smaller size perhaps creating issues with bindings on any skis you have by then.
 

Plai

Paul Lai
Skier
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Posts
1,661
Location
Silicon Valley
I vote: Rent/ski lease the equipment for another season. She's still learning what type of skier she is. Also, wrt to boots, she'll outgrow the beginner boots soon enough, you'll have to repurchase in a year or two.
 

cantunamunch

Meh
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
17,112
Location
Peanut Butter and Banana Belt

Would you buy or rent your wife's gear, if you were me?​


err, no, herself's gear wouldn't work for you at all. ;)

(But I did put her in a sub-13mm fit boot like 5 days after she started skiing - over 3 bootsellers' objections - and she's thanked me ever since 'coz nothing else gives her good heel hold)
 

Tony Storaro

Glorified Tobogganer
Skier
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Posts
4,230
Location
Europe
At least buy the poor woman some properly fitted boots. She'll be happier and may enjoy skiing more. Which will then make you happier.
Yes, this!

And take her to a bootfitter. Let them bear the brunt of her initially not being comfortable in the new boots before the fitting. You do not need any of that "Are you f*cking out of your damn mind? These hurt like hell!" stuff.
It is proven impossible to explain to a newbie that comfort out of the box=bad.
 
Last edited:

Wilhelmson

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
May 2, 2017
Posts
3,611
If you can make it work between UT and MN it seems like a seasonal rental would be a good middle ground. It’s such a pain having to pick up rentals on each trip that the convenience is worth any extra cost. All seasonal are not the same. Some places will give you crap gear. Others will take the time to find the appropriate boots and skis.

Then you can be on the lookout for some skis to buy at a good price, and buy the boots once she is up to intermediate. I would say browse around and try on some boots too but that might be bad etiquette.
 

skiki

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Posts
403
Location
Massachusetts
If you aren't sure about buying a properly fitted beginner/ intermediate boot for her yet, a decently fitting lightly used boot (with aftermarket footbed) could fill the gap and still be better than your average rental. If you skied more locally I'd also suggest second hand skis for starting out if only to avoid the whole rental line thing. But for only a handful of days it might be a six of one/ half dozen of another situation when traveling, and maybe easier to rent in Park City than schlep her skis.
 

Seldomski

Paralysis by analysis
Skier
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Posts
2,803
Location
'mericuh
Rental stuff early in the season is usually in pretty good shape. If your trips are timed mostly for spring, that would be another argument to buying her boots sooner than later.
 

Jerez

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Posts
2,520
Location
New Mexico
Boots Boots Boots. No need for "beginner" boots. they should be good for years to come, If they pack out, just get an aftermarket liner replacement. Best investment ever. Do not rent or buy beginner boots ever. They will make it harder for her to learn. Good advice to let the boot fitter make the explanation and fitting. Just be sure to tell them what you are looking for.

Also good advice on a seasonal rental if you can find one near you. That way it is easier to take a spur of the moment trip to local hills. You have plenty to choose from in MN.
 
Thread Starter
TS
TonyPlush

TonyPlush

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Posts
379
Location
Minnesota
For that few of days, renting everything is OK in short term. Really depends on her feet. Some people are fine with rental boots while they progress on greens. Others have very narrow or weird feet that means buying boots ASAP is best to ski in comfort. It really sucks to ski in pain.

The only 'issue' with buying boots this early is you may end up in a cheaper beginner boot that will pack out and break down pretty quickly. Meaning you will need to buy new boots again in a few years if she really takes to it. Boot 2.0 maybe smaller size perhaps creating issues with bindings on any skis you have by then.
She hasn't complained about comfort, so comfort doesn't seem to be super urgent. Not yet at least.

She is very much interested in skiing as a casual social hobby, so I have a hard time envisioning her requesting more "advanced" gear any time soon. But from the advice of others, it sounds like this could be mitigated by getting her more intermediate-friendly gear rather than total beginner?

If you can make it work between UT and MN it seems like a seasonal rental would be a good middle ground. It’s such a pain having to pick up rentals on each trip that the convenience is worth any extra cost. All seasonal are not the same. Some places will give you crap gear. Others will take the time to find the appropriate boots and skis.

Then you can be on the lookout for some skis to buy at a good price, and buy the boots once she is up to intermediate. I would say browse around and try on some boots too but that might be bad etiquette.
Very interesting suggestion, I did not know seasonal rentals were a thing. Will definitely do some more research on this.

Rental stuff early in the season is usually in pretty good shape. If your trips are timed mostly for spring, that would be another argument to buying her boots sooner than later.
Historically, our Park City trips have been in the spring, so that's a good factor.

Properly fitted boots for the win fitted at one of those really good fitters in Park City.
Rent skis, she will progress and ultimately be able to demo and find something she really likes.
Im doing the same for my DH who is switching over from the "dark side" also after a 30 year break from skiing.....
I'm fully aware that boots are far more important than skis. My only concern with the boots-only approach is that this doesn't solve the problem of convenience or cost. We'd still be heading to the rental shop each trip, and as far as I know most places don't offer much of a discount if you bring your own boots?

We're looking at $200+ of rental costs this season. Ideally, it'd be nice to find some kind of very discounted boot + ski package to buy. Perhaps the stores in Park City will have some end of season blow outs during our April trip this year...
 
Thread Starter
TS
TonyPlush

TonyPlush

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Posts
379
Location
Minnesota
What's a reasonable price expectation for beginner/intermediate boots? I'm seeing quite a few online for around $200, but my experience is that online sales prices don't really apply once you go the route of a legitimate expert fitter.
 

Chip

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Jul 3, 2017
Posts
414
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
What's a reasonable price expectation for beginner/intermediate boots? I'm seeing quite a few online for around $200, but my experience is that online sales prices don't really apply once you go the route of a legitimate expert fitter.
What's her shoe size? End of season brings lower prices, but also lower stock in shops. As everyone is saying, boots are the most important. For years my wife and I would just travel with our boots and then rent skis at the final destination- much easier, but like you said it still requires a visit to the rental shop. So look around for boots in stock at a legit fitter and get those taken care of, then you can find some cheap skis for her to use.
 
Thread Starter
TS
TonyPlush

TonyPlush

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Posts
379
Location
Minnesota
What's her shoe size? End of season brings lower prices, but also lower stock in shops. As everyone is saying, boots are the most important. For years my wife and I would just travel with our boots and then rent skis at the final destination- much easier, but like you said it still requires a visit to the rental shop. So look around for boots in stock at a legit fitter and get those taken care of, then you can find some cheap skis for her to use.

Usually a women's size 8-9.
 

Slemers

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Posts
257
Location
PNW
200 + for rental cost isn't too bad. Rent for the remainder of this season perhaps and pick out her new skis early next season perhaps?
My wife tagged along with me skiing early in our marriage. We did buy her new equipment including boots and it was a timesaver. Having her own equipment improved her skiing pretty quickly too.
 
Top