Should You Rent, Lease, or Purchase Skis and Snowboards

Winter is drawing near and mountain resorts are finalizing their prep work for the next ski and snowboard season. You plan on hitting the slopes this year, but you are unsure whether it prudent to purchase, rent, or lease your skis or snowboard for the season. For many skiers and snowboarders the major influence in this choice is economics, but there are a few other factors you should consider prior to your final decision.

Frequency of Skiing and Snowboarding

The first thing you need to consider is how often you ski or snowboard in an average year. For example, if the average daily rental fee will be $30-50 and if you only go a few times per year, it may be cheaper to rent. However, even if you only ski a few times per annually, over the years the rental fees will start to add up. So if you only get to the mountains 5 times a year, three seasons of rental costs will be roughly equivalent to the purchase price your own brand new skis or snowboard. To go along with this, owning your own gear also enables you to trade them in for cash when you are ready to purchase new ones.


Another, and usually prudent, option is seasonal leasing. In essence, leasing your skis or snowboards annually guarantees that your gear will be fresh every season. Also, leasing solves the issue of children outgrowing their gear or renting every time you got to the mountain. This method is also good for adults looking to try something new without having to break the bank. Leasing is often a favorable option, and The Ski Bum offers great leasing packages for children and adults to help you save money.

Ability Level

Your skill level will also influence your decision. If you are a beginner, then renting has its benefits. For instance, you may start as a skier and realize that you would rather snowboard or vice versa. Renting skis or snowboards allows you to discover what style you enjoy and what equipment you prefer.

On the other hand, intermediate to advanced skiers and riders usually have their preferences all figured out. As your ability level increases and your runs become more difficult and aggressive, it is important to have your own equipment. For riders and skiers who go often and are adept on the mountain, it is recommended to own your skis or snowboard to promote comfort, safety, and performance.


This is quite simple, many parents do not want to needlessly waste money through buying their children skis or snowboards that they will quickly outgrow. For growing children, it often makes fiscal sense to lease, as their size can change abruptly. Fully developed adults obviously do not have this problem because other than some weight fluctuations, their bodies remain consistent.

Ski and Snowboard Upkeep

If you purchase skis or snowboard, annual repair and maintenance helps your equipment remain fresh and last longer. You can either purchase tuning kits, or bring them to a local shop that will wax, and perform basic repairs on your skis or snowboards. Although this is not too pricey, it is an additional expense. However, with the proper upkeep, your skis and snowboards will last longer, extending the time between purchases of new equipment. Buying skis or snowboards is an investment, and protecting your property is worth the repair cost.


The question of renting boots offers a simple answer: an emphatic “no.” You should own or lease your boots, as they are the most important item in terms of comfort and performance. In order to fully enjoy the day, you need a comfortable pair of boots that fit correctly. Boot liners are designed to mold to your feet, so rental boots simply will not get the job done.

In conclusion, when weighing all of the expenses and hassles of renting, we suggest either leasing or purchasing your gear. For children especially, leasing your gear prevents them from outgrowing the equipment and it is a great teaching mechanism for the various styles of riding and skiing because of the lower cost. For adults, once again we suggest you lease or purchase. More experienced riders generally prefer to own their own gear so they can adjust it to their liking. The Ski Bum offers great deals for leasing and buying, so check it out and we will see you on the mountain!

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