With airlines flying to ski country charging $15 or more for checked baggage, resorts are getting the word out about their updated rental fleets. Over the past years, rental programs have expanded to include more high-end and demo gear, appeasing serious skiers who don’t want to lug their boards around—and pay for the privilege of shipping them.
“Years ago, you could only buy high-performance equipment,” says Tom Pettigrew, Park City Mountain Resort’s Director of Skier Services. “Destination skiers don’t have the advantage of living in a ski town and being able to try a wide variety of ski types on a regular basis. Now they can try out different styles of skis and not sacrifice performance.” Pettigrew says his program has around 300 pairs of demo skis, a five percent increase over last year, and the resort hosts an on-mountain yurt where skiers can trade out skis during the day.
, one of the largest organizations of rental skis in the country and serving resorts from Aspen to Whistler, are offering a variety of deals on their demo program, which includes skis from K2, Dynastar, Rossignol, and Salomon. The deals include a 20-percent off early booking deal and a free rental for a child under 12 with every adult rental.
We suggest trying a wide range of demo skis—brands, size, and shape—before buying. But bring your own boots regardless, and don’t check them in your luggage. Rental boots are for suckers.
Or, you could just fly on Southwest, which doesn’t charge fees for luggage.