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Ski & Snowboard Gear: Should You Rent — or Buy?

Ski  & Snowboard Gear: Should You Rent — or Buy?

For many skiers and snowboarders looking for new equipment, the first question is, "Should I rent or should I buy?"

Here’s a hint: You can do both — and everybody wins!

Here at Ski Shack, we’ve been outfitting folks with snow-sports equipment (sales and rentals) for 40 years. We’re also a mom-owned enterprise, and many of our customers are growing families. So we 100% understand what it means to ready a whole crew for the mountain ... The Struggle. Is Real!


The good news? You have options. For most ski- and snowboarding families, it actually makes great sense to rent equipment for some family members — and buy for others. 


For established skiers and riders, we often recommend buying gear you know you’ll use a lot, for the long haul ... At the same time, it’s often wise to rent the stuff you know you’ll want to trade in, particularly if you're new to the sport. 



When to Buy Ski/Snowboard Equipment


When you buy equipment new, you’re blessed with choices. You can build a package that is tailored precisely to your lifestyle, ability, taste and budget.


If you spend a lot of time on the mountain, it makes sense to invest in gear that’s optimized for the terrain — and speed — you like to travel. You can pick a ride with graphics you’ll enjoy gazing down at on the chairlift. Because you’ll always have a better day when you love your stuff. 


Buying can also be a great choice for older kids, who tend to be more established riders (and whose annual growth has slowed somewhat). With skis and snowboards, you can buy a long-ish ride now, and your tween or teen can ride it for two or three years before they'll need to size up. It’s also good fun to bring a big kid to the shop and let her delight in picking something that reflects her individual style.


For younger kids, purchasing new gear can work out really well if you like to pass things down from one kid to the next. From a mom perspective, it’s so satisfying to invest in quality equipment and watch it continue to perform as it travels from elder to younger siblings. 


And, if you just love treating your babies with shiny new gear every season (oh yes, we get it!), you can take advantage of Ski Shack’s Junior Trade-In Program. When you buy eligible children’s ski or snowboard equipment, we’ll take it back when it's time to size up (within three years of purchase) — and give you a 50% credit towards your kid's next equipment package. 


You can also consider equipment that's designed to grow with your kid. We love Burton’s Grom BOA Kids’ Snowboard Boot and Mini Grom for Toddlers. Both feature Burton's “Room-to-Grow” footbed, which extends the boot by a full shoe size.


With any gear purchase, we'll always invite you to join our (free! easy! no commitment!) Ski Shack rewards program, which gives you 5% back on every piece of  equipment you buy. For every $200 you spend, we'll give you a $10 credit toward your next sweet piece of gear. It's our little way of saying "thank you" for supporting our family business.


When to Rent Ski/Snowboard Equipment


The vast majority of our Ski Shack customer families opt for full-season rentals for their children.


We see myriad reasons for this, but put simply: Renting ski equipment = Peace of mind. 


Reason to Rent: Cost 

When compared to buying all-new gear, seasonal rentals are super affordable. For children, Ski Shack’s full-season rental packages start at $99! To outfit that same kid in their own gear, you'd be looking at around $400. 


So renting is an approachable way to outfit family members (kids, spouses) who are new to the mountain, while keeping costs reasonable. 


Reason to Rent: Flexibility

With kids, you just never know when they’re going to grow. At Ski Shack, every seasonal rental package comes with a sizing guarantee: if your kid outgrows their gear during the season, we’ll joyfully size them up — at zero cost to you. 


No fees, no questions, no worries! 


Reason to Rent: Convenience

Most on-mountain rentals start at $40 (or more!) per day. And that daily buy-in zaps at least an hour from your day (wait in line, fill out paperwork, return gear before leaving), when your main goal is to soak in the great outdoors. With a seasonal rental, you do fittings, paperwork, and pick-up once, then keep the stuff ‘til season’s end.


And if you plan to ski more than a few times, the numbers are in your favor. 


Also, we cover routine maintenance — waxes and edges — on seasonal rentals. So you can keep your ride in top-performing condition — no hot-wax ironing necessary.


And, if you’re in Northeast Pennsylvania and you're looking for a hassle-free daily rental for a ski weekend or vacation, swing by our shop! We're located just moments from Montage Mountain Resorts in Moosic, PA, and we’ll get you in and out fast (and for less!) than you’ll pay at the mountain. We promise. 


Reason to Rent: Rentals are Fully Customizable


For the 2022-23 season, we’re launching a new rental upgrade for teens and adults seeking for a better-performing package. For an extra $40 per season, renters can opt for shiny new, factory-tuned skis, boots and poles. New gear offers superior fit and function, but you still get the amazing the flexibility of a season rental. 


Also, any ski/snowboard rental package is totally modular. 


Sometimes, it makes good sense to buy a child skis or a snowboard — usually, they can use it for at least two seasons. But you might prefer to rent boots, which they’ll definitely outgrow by this time next year. 


Then again, if you’re outfitting older teens or adults, it's often worthwhile to invest in the right boot for one's foot. Happy feet mean happy days on snow.


But if you're not ready to commit to a complete gear package, you can rent the skis or snowboard.


If you love any of the Ski Shack gear you rent, you can buy it at season's end.

Reason to Rent: Try Before You Buy 

Considering buying new equipment? We're stoked to offer a line of high-performance skis and snowboards for daily demos. Every spring, we test next season's gear on gnarly East Coast terrain, then hand-pick our favorite models for the following season's demo lineup.

Priced at $40 per day,  our performance demos offer a great opportunity to sample some of the season's freshest new gear before going all-in on a major purchase.


If, at the end of the day, you love your demo ride and you'd like to buy, we’ll credit you the $40 demo fee toward your new set-up. 


Still not sure whether to rent or buy? If you’re in Northeast PA, swing by our store! We’re open seven days a week through the winter season, and our friendly, gear-loving staff will be glad to guide you to just the right thing … For everyone in your family.




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