How to Find the Right Size Rental Skis and Make the Most of Your Rental Experience

Published on 04/17/2023 · 8 min readRenting skis can be a great option for new skiers or those looking to try a new pair of skis! Skiing Expert Will Koons gives some tips for renting ski gear!
By Snowboarding Expert will koons

Photo courtesy of Meadowlark Ski Rentals

TL;DR: To find the right size rental skis and make the most of your rental experience, consider your skiing ability, ski length, and ski type. This guide will help you navigate the rental process and ensure the best possible experience on the slopes.

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on finding the right size rental skis and making the most of your rental experience. My journey in the ski world has led me through various aspects of the industry, including operating a ski rental shop, where I've gained invaluable insights into the rental process, ski fitting, and customer needs. I'm excited to share my knowledge to help you find the perfect pair of rental skis and have an unforgettable time on the slopes.

Skiing is an exhilarating sport that brings people closer to nature, provides an adrenaline rush, and offers a unique way to socialize with friends and family. However, having the right equipment is one of the most critical aspects of enjoying this winter pastime.

Whether you're a beginner just starting on the bunny slopes or an expert carving down double black diamonds, this guide will provide a thorough understanding of rental skis, how to find the right size, and tips for making the most of your rental experience. We will explore essential factors such as ski sizing, types of skis, and features to look for when renting skis. With this knowledge, you'll be well-equipped to confidently select the right pair of rental skis and make the most of your time on the slopes. So let's dive in and get you ready for an incredible skiing adventure!

What Are Rental Skis?

Rental skis provide an ideal solution for both novice and seasoned skiers who want to enjoy their time on the slopes without the commitment and expense of purchasing their own equipment. This option particularly benefits those who ski infrequently or are still exploring different skiing styles and techniques. Renting skis allows you to access high-quality, well-maintained gear tailored to your individual needs and preferences.

Ski resorts and local ski shops are the primary providers of rental skis. These establishments typically have a wide selection of ski types and sizes, catering to all ability levels, from flexible skis for beginners to the latest premium skis for experts. Furthermore, rental shops often carry the best performance skis and snowboard rentals, ensuring you have access to top-notch equipment that enhances your skiing experience.

When renting skis, customers can expect a personalized fitting session, where experienced staff will consider your height, weight, skill level, and skiing preferences to determine the most suitable skis for their needs. This tailored approach guarantees an optimal fit, allowing you to focus on enjoying your time on the mountain rather than worrying about equipment issues.

In addition to the convenience of renting skis, another significant advantage is the cost-effectiveness. Ski equipment can be quite expensive, especially for high-quality gear. By opting for rental skis, you can save money while enjoying the benefits of top-tier equipment. Renting equipment particularly benefits families, as children tend to outgrow ski gear quickly, making frequent purchases impractical.

What to Consider When Renting Skis

So, you've bought your lift ticket and are on to the rental shop. What factors should you consider as you go through the rental process?

1. What Is Your Skiing Ability?

  • Beginner: Opt for shorter, softer-flexing skis for better control and easier turning.
  • Intermediate: Choose slightly longer skis with a medium flex for better stability and responsiveness.
  • Advanced: Look for longer, stiffer skis that can handle higher speeds and more aggressive turns.

2. How Tall Are You?

Use a general ski sizing chart to determine the appropriate ski length for your height. Most rental shops will provide a chart and walk you through selecting the right size.

3. What Type of Skiing Will You Be Doing?

  • All-mountain: Versatile skis suitable for a variety of terrains and snow conditions.
  • Powder: Wider skis designed for deep snow and powder conditions.
  • Park and freestyle: Twin-tip skis that allow for tricks and jumps in terrain parks.

4. How Much Should Rental Skis Cost?

  • Budget rentals $20-$40 per day: Offer basic skis suitable for beginners but expect less customization and lower-quality gear.
  • Mid-range rentals $40-$70 per day: Provide higher-quality equipment with more options for customization, ideal for intermediate skiers.
  • Premium rentals $70-$120 per day: Offer top-of-the-line current-year model skis with expert advice and fitting, perfect for advanced skiers seeking maximum performance.

5. What Type of Ski Should You Rent?

1. All-Mountain Skis:

  • Designed to handle a variety of terrains and conditions, from groomed runs to off-piste terrain
  • Typically have a waist width of 80-100mm, allowing for a balance of stability and maneuverability
  • Often feature rocker technology in the tip and/or tail for improved float in soft snow, and camber underfoot for stability on hardpack

2. Park/Twin-Tip Skis:

  • Designed for freestyle skiing, including tricks and jumps in terrain parks
  • Typically have a symmetrical shape and a wider platform for switch (backward) skiing
  • Often feature a full twin-tip design, allowing the skier to ski backwards and forwards with equal ease
  • Have a softer flex to absorb landings and provide a forgiving feel

3. Powder Skis:

  • Designed for deep snow and off-piste terrain, where floatation is key
  • Typically have a waist width of 100mm or more, providing maximum surface area for flotation
  • Often feature a rockered tip and tail, allowing the ski to rise above the snow for easier turns and improved float
  • Have a soft flex to allow the ski to bend and surf through deep snow

Features to Look Out for When Renting Skis

What to look for:

  • Skis that match your ability level and skiing style
  • Properly fitted rental boots for comfort and performance
  • Modern ski technology for improved performance and safety

What to avoid:

  • Skis that are too long or too short for your height and ability
  • Outdated equipment that may not provide optimal performance
  • Rental shops with poor customer service or limited options

How to Choose the Right Rental Skis and Poles for You

Rental Skis

Selecting the correct ski size is crucial for optimal control, stability, and performance on the slopes.

To determine the appropriate ski length, consider the following factors:

  1. Height and weight: As a general rule, your skis should be somewhere between your chin and the top of your head when standing upright. Taller and heavier skiers may require longer skis for better stability, while shorter and lighter skiers can opt for shorter skis for easier maneuverability.
  2. Ability level: Your skiing skill level plays a significant role in determining the right ski size. Beginners should choose shorter skis that are easier to turn and control, while more advanced skiers may prefer longer skis for greater stability at higher speeds.
  3. Skiing style and terrain: The type of skiing you prefer and the terrain you'll be skiing on also influence the appropriate ski length. You might prefer shorter skis for quicker turns if you mainly ski on groomed runs. In contrast, off-piste and powder skiing may require longer skis for better float and stability.
  4. Ski type and profile: Different ski types, such as all-mountain, powder, or carving skis, have varying size recommendations based on their design and intended use. Additionally, the ski profile, including factors like rocker and camber, can impact the optimal size.

Examples of what your rental shop may recommend: Beginner skier: Look for shorter, softer-flexing skis and prioritize comfort and ease of use.

Intermediate skier: Choose medium flex and length skis that suit your preferred terrain.

Advanced skier: Opt for longer, stiffer skis that can handle high speeds and aggressive skiing.

Ski Poles

Photo by I99pema

Selecting the right ski poles is essential for maintaining balance, providing support, and enhancing your overall skiing experience.

When choosing ski poles, consider the following factors:

  1. Length: To determine the correct ski pole length, turn the pole upside down, holding it just below the basket with your hand around the pole. Your elbow should form a 90-degree angle when your forearm is parallel to the ground.
  2. Basket size: The basket is the round, flat disc at the end of the pole that prevents it from sinking too deep into the snow. Choose a basket size based on the conditions you'll be skiing in. For example, smaller baskets are suitable for groomed trails, while larger baskets provide better support in powder or off-piste conditions.

Considering these factors and consulting with professionals at the rental shop, you can find the perfect rental skis and poles to enhance your skiing experience.


Photo by Jack Finnigan

In this guide, we've explored the essential aspects of finding the right size rental skis and making the most of your rental experience. From understanding the importance of properly sized skis to knowing the different types of skis and key features to look for, you are now better equipped to select the best rental skis for your needs confidently.

Renting skis offers a convenient, cost-effective, and hassle-free way to access quality ski equipment tailored to your individual preferences and skill level. So whether you are a beginner looking for the best price or an expert testing out demo skis from premium brands, there is a rental option for you.

However, if you still have questions or concerns about ski equipment, the Skiing Experts at Curated are here to help. Our knowledgeable and experienced Expert team is passionate about assisting you in making informed decisions regarding skiing gear. Don't hesitate to reach out and chat with one of our specialists for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your unique needs.

will koons, Snowboarding Expert
will koons
Snowboarding Expert
As a life long outdoor enthusiast I have been skiing and snowboarding since age 3 and I also love to climb, paddle, surf and skydive. I love playing outside and chatting with people about gear..Consider me your on-demand concierge for all things gear related!
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Written by:
will koons, Snowboarding Expert
will koons
Snowboarding Expert
As a life long outdoor enthusiast I have been skiing and snowboarding since age 3 and I also love to climb, paddle, surf and skydive. I love playing outside and chatting with people about gear..Consider me your on-demand concierge for all things gear related!

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