Wait. Wait. Hold up. Before we get into the gear, let’s talk renting vs. owning. There’s no right answer. But there is a right answer for different types of skiers. So let’s break it down.
The First Timer
We welcome all skill levels on the mountain. And encourage everyone to give skiing or snowboarding a try. If it’s your first time, we definitely recommend renting boots, polls, and skis to get a feel for what it’s like.
We’ll get you on a pair of beginner skis that allow for easy maneuverability while keeping you stable.
The Once-a-year Family Ski Tripper
If you hit the slopes every year with friends or family, you may want to think about owning some ski gear.
The Gear Head
If you enjoy testing out the latest skis every year, we recommend renting. That way, you can continue to try new skis every year. However, you may want to consider purchasing your own ski or snowboard boots. That way, you have the consistent comfort of your own fitted boots, no matter what ski you want to lock into for the year.
The Trusty Skier
If you’re the type who just wants to get to the hill ASAP to maximize your mountain time every year, we recommend purchasing your own skis and ski boots. It’ll allow you to grab your gear and head to the mountain without having to rent before hitting the slopes.
The Avid Traveler
If you like to pop around the country (world?) testing out all the slopes, we recommend owning your own boots at the minimum. This way, you can easily travel with your own ski or snowboard boots. Then, simply rent skis or snowboard upon your arrival. You can certainly travel with skis and snowboards, too. And popular ski destinations have airports set up to accommodate. But if you don’t want to haul a long bag of skis or a snowboard around, boots give you the consistent comfort without the hassle.
PRO TIP: For anyone looking to purchase skis or boots, we always recommend starting with boots if you don’t want to invest in the full setup yet.
Okay. Now, let’s get into the gear.
At Kenver, we look for three things from a ski jacket. Comfort. Performance. And style. For comfort, you want to make sure you find a jacket that can withstand the cold. For performance, you want to make sure it’ll keep you dry. And for style, you want a jacket that you can wear off the mountain, too.
PRO TIP: Many ski jackets have a removable liner within them, offering you two jackets in one. The outer shell will keep you warm and dry. And the inner liner is perfect for downtown adventures.
You’re going to be shredding powder in your ski pants, so be sure to find pants that have an outer shell that stays dry and covers your entire leg. They should fit a little longer and a little baggier than regular pants. On the inside, you want to look for a liner for extra warmth, and be sure the liner has a cinch bottom hole that will cling to the outside of your ski boots.
PRO TIP: Always keep your ski pants outside of your ski boots. If you tuck them into your boots, you won’t be able to tighten your boots to the proper level, and you may experience some pinching on your lower shin.
Mittens or gloves? Personal preference. No right or wrong answer there. Either way, your handwear should accomplish one major thing: keeping your hands warm! So we offer premium gloves that are built to stand up to top-of-the-peak conditions.
We recommend a helmet for anyone heading up to the mountain. And the helmets we offer have a padded, stocking-hat-like liner built into them. So no need to worry about stuffing a hat into your helmet. The helmet alone will keep you warm (and more importantly, safe!). But a stocking cap is a must for all other mountain endeavors, whether you’re hiking or just enjoying a cider on the deck. So we offer hats from top brands that look as good as they perform.
Whether you’re renting or buying, ski boots are possibly the most important part of your setup. They should fit tight. When you’re walking around in them, you can unlatch the straps for a looser fit, but when you’re locked into a ski and heading downhill, you want them tight. Not cutting off circulation. But extremely fitted. This is so your foot won’t slide around in the boot while you’re up there perfecting your carves. If your foot is sliding around in your boot, you won’t have the control you want on the mountain.
Basically, think of the ski as an extension of your leg. You want that extension to respond immediately to movement in your feet. That’s why a tight, fitted boot should be what you’re looking for.
PRO TIP: You may be tempted to find a really thick sock or even double up on socks to keep your feet warm. But actually, you’re better off finding one medium-weight sock for your boots. The boots alone will keep you warm, and you want that boot a little snugger than comfortable, so your foot isn’t wobbling in it. If you have a thick sock, it may stretch the inside of the boot too much.
We could talk all day about the innovation and different styles of skis. Again, there’s no one right or wrong answer here. It depends on your skill level, your style of skiing, and even the condition of the mountain. For instance, if there’s fresh, deep powder, you may want to opt for a wider ski. This helps you float through the powder. If you’re skiing groomed greens, you may want a skinnier ski that will offer ultimate maneuverability. And if you’re just wanting a fun, casual day on the slopes with friends and family, you may want to opt for a happy medium.Regardless, just pop into Kenver and one of our experts will help you identify what ski is right for you.