Winter Gear Rental: How to choose the best gear for you

Just as Apple coined the phrase, “there’s an app for that,” over the past several years, ski companies have proven, “there is a ski for that.” There are so many different types of skis and snowboards for various conditions that it’s enough to make your head spin. Plus, the new gear that you bought last year — and at the time was all the rage — is now old news. Keep it simple, and think about renting the latest and greatest ski or snowboard gear at the rental shop at the base of the resort you’re visiting. This way, you can avoid traveling with heavy, bulky gear, and you can ensure that you’re using the right type of ski for the current snow conditions. Remember, conditions might change on a daily basis, so get specific with the rental shop and inquire about the best ski or board for the current conditions. Here is a guide to choosing the right winter gear based on your needs.

Length and Width
Choosing the right ski or board length and shape can be challenging; the correct choice depends on your body type, ability and the type of terrain you’re going to ski or ride.

When choosing the length of your skis or board, consider your height, weight and ability. For beginner skiers, skis should ideally stand chest-high. The better your ability, the longer you might want to go. The length of your skis is important because, for beginners, long skis may be difficult to turn with, but to more advanced skiers and riders, short skis and boards might feel wobbly at faster speeds.

Additionally, consider the type of terrain you like to ski or ride. For powder, wider skis and boards are better and provide the feeling that you’re floating on top of the snow. However, if you prefer hard-packed snow or bumps, narrow skis or boards will help you maneuver through tight turns. Sometimes, it might even depend on the current weather conditions at the resort you’re visiting. If there is new snow on the ground, you might want a wider ski or board, but if it hasn’t snowed in a while, a narrow ski or board might be more appropriate. It’s always best to consult the expert at the rental shop, and be honest when discussing your ability and the type of terrain you prefer.

For beginner snowboarders, a good way to get started is to know if your stance is goofy or regular. A good way to find out is to put on a pair of socks and slide across the floor. If you lead with your right foot, you’re goofy-footed, and, if you lead with your left foot, you’re regular-footed. This is important information to know when renting a snowboard. 

Fit
In most cases, your boots should be the best fit possible since your boots connect you to your skis or board. Boots that fit big are comfy, sure, but they will slow down your reaction time. You want a nice, snug fit in your boots so your skis and board react quickly when given just the right amount of pressure. There is a lot to consider when thinking about the best boots for you. Some boots, such as Lange, run narrow, and other boots, such as Atomic or Nordica fit a wider foot. Another important thing to remember is to wear one pair of wool or synthetic socks. This material will help your feet stay warm and dry while cotton tends to absorb moisture and make your feet cold and damp.

Although it might seem like there is a lot to consider when renting skis and boards, rest assured that the experts at the resorts’ rental shops are trained to make this process as smooth and rewarding as possible. You will find everything — from gloves to boards and goggles to poles — for rent at each of our rental shops. For more information on current rentals and anticipated snow conditions, contact Grand Targhee,  Jackson HoleSleeping Giant, or Snowy Range Rentals.  

Got the gear, now get the vacation.