Is It Better to Rent or to Buy?

Lots of adults have trouble deciding whether to try skiing or snowboarding. After that, though, the question becomes whether to rent or buy your equipment. It can be difficult to do the math without knowing what factors influence the decision. Here are three things I like to keep in mind when deciding on renting vs. buying.

Frequency of Skiing

The first question is the most important and the most obvious: how often will I ski? If I’m a ski bum, I’m going up the mountain every day during ski season if I can. This makes an easy justification to buy skis because my per-use cost is going to be very low. If I’m not an avid skier, looking to ski less than seven days a year, then renting makes the most sense. A large investment isn’t worth it for just a few days of use.

Proximity to the Slopes

One thing I like to keep in mind is how close I am to the mountains. If I live less than 30 minutes away from a ski resort, I’m more inclined to buy my skis. I mean, how can I not ski when it’s right there? If I lived further away, having to fly or drive a long distance, I’d recommend renting. It can be costly to check-in skis on a flight, so it’s easier to rent them when I get to the mountain.

Future Skiing Plans

The last thing to be mindful of when deciding to rent or buy is how much longer I honestly expect to be skiing. Do I see myself skiing for the next five years? Or is it getting harder to get up the slopes and this might be my last year or two? If I see a long future of skiing ahead of me, then buying is the right way to go. If I’m uncertain if I’m going to be making the trip up the chairlift in the next one or two years, then renting is more cost-effective and flexible for me.