We all know skiing is an expensive hobby.
First, depending on what cost are you comfortable with and how often you go, you need to know if you want new or used equipment.
In general, when you are buying used equipment you need to consider the condition of the skies and the performance of the ski. Buying second-hand gear is an excellent way to save your earnings, but you also want your skis to last a couple of seasons. The most searched engine for used equipment is Craiglist and you can get pretty good equipment for $100. Usually, general costs are somewhere between $200-$300. Also, geartrade.com is an honest and upfront page where you can easily find everything you need.
As with most items, the more you plan to use something, it makes more sense not to rent, but to buy. If you decide to get good new gear, advisable it will be to buy it before the season starts. You can purchase it with flat 50% discounts and a total cost could vary between $500-$700 or even $1000. Of course, they will pay for themselves in time.
Most ski shops offer a beginner package where you can find everything as a bundle. The brand of ski doesn’t matter with beginners as much. For entry-level equipment, you may be looking at $600-$700. Recommended shops are those who are not right at the base of the mountain and are outside of major cities. The best prices for new equipment happen at the end of the season when shops close out their inventory, but the selection may be limited.
If you are a beginner, boots are the priority. Good pair of boots for a recreational skier should be about $500. They are the most important element of the package. You just can not get the same level of performance and comfort from renting. The smartest thing to do if you are short on money is to get new boots and used skis. Skis and poles are a dime a dozen for someone who is going to sky just a couple of times a year. Therefore, you can easily get away with some good used ones. After you progress, you can always get a different size of skis.
The price range we are talking about is $600 for skis, $200 for bindings, $600 for boots, $100 for poles, and $100 for a helmet, a total of $1600 for new expert-level gear. For beginner-intermediate stuff, knock $200 off skis and boots, and $50 off bindings, so $1150ish.
About renting, it can be a good idea to get a better feel of that ski gear you want to buy. And there is some good news here, also – some rental companies let you rent ski gear for several days so you can try them and test them out. This is an option to demo the latest ski technology, including sizes and shapes you might be wary of buying at the shop. Some packages round at $77/day. Most people take renting into consideration when they go skiing with their kids. They grow fast, they learn fast and there is no need to waste money on specific equipment and after one year or two, they will no longer use it. The cost of renting equipment will vary depending on the number of days that you want to rent and, of course, on the quality of the gear.
On average, it will cost you $750 for a decent beginner ski package that includes skis, boots, poles, binding fitting, and installation. For recreational purpose, spending $600 to $800 for a solid kit it is more than reasonable.