Sunday, November 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Renting skis is not necessarily a sign of a novice

By
From page B3 | December 11, 2013 |

By Karen Schwartz

Just like skiing in jeans or falling while waiting in the lift line, renting gear for a visit to the slopes used to be a sure sign of a novice skier.

Not anymore. Increasingly, experienced skiers see renting as an opportunity to use the latest skis — chosen for that day’s snow conditions — all while avoiding airline baggage fees.

Sue Killoran is one such convert. Last year, at the end of a business trip (her public relations firm reps some of the ski industry), her husband and their two teenage kids joined her in Utah. All expert skiers, they brought to Alta the skis that they enjoyed so much at home in Vermont.

“It was a waste of money and effort,” Killoran said. “Never again will we do that.”

Her son’s skis were too narrow to float on the Rocky Mountain powder, so they ended up renting him wider, high-performance skis.

“It was really convenient,” she said. As conditions changed, “he could switch them out. He was much, much happier.”

Just as geography and snowfall can challenge skiers, so too can staying on top of the latest innovations.

As a result, some destination skiers — those who ski primarily when they’re away from home — think it’s more convenient and even economical to rent than it is to drop $500 to $1,000 buying a pair of skis, said Sean Mirus, marketing director for Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho.

“Instead of buying a ski and using it for their one vacation a year, now people travel to a resort, pay $40 or $50 a day and get the best, top-of-the-line new gear,” he said. “You go the next year and again you have brand-new gear, and you don’t have to worry about taking it on the airplane.”

Overall, about 20 percent of those who skied three or more times last year rented at least once, according to the SnowSports Industries America trade group. Even among hardcore skiers who spent at least nine days on the slopes, 7 percent rented for at least a week.

To stay current, many stores upgrade their rental gear on a regular basis. Schweitzer, for instance, has an agreement with the ski manufacturer Rossignol to rotate skis every three years.

As competition heats up among retailers, skiers get more services. Some retailers allow online reservations or provide a free shuttle to their store. Others will bring an assortment of gear to your hotel for you to try.

At the Yampa Valley Regional Airport that services Steamboat Springs, bids are being taken to allow rental companies to work with visitors while they wait for their bags, said airport manager Dave Ruppel.

The airport isn’t large enough for a storefront, but employees will be able to record visitors’ measurements and preferences.

“It goes into the system before the person even leaves the airport,” he said. “It shortens up the process later on.”

Ruppel said most people vacationing in Steamboat arrive with at least two bags, and sometimes three. That can end up costing hundreds of dollars in airline baggage fees.

“For not much more, maybe even less, than it would cost to bring your skis on the airplane, you can get a top-of-the-line demo package,” he said. “It’s a good deal.”

One challenge experienced skiers may face is finding a store that has gear at their level. Here are some tips:

* Since boot fit is so important, consider bringing your own ski boots as carry-on.

* Many people look for convenience when they rent, opting to deal with locations close to the mountain or their hotel. But other stores — those in town that might cater to locals, for instance — may offer different manufacturers or more experienced staff.

* Ask if the outfitter does custom boot fittings. Even if you don’t need boots, you’ll know the shop is serious about the sport and may offer better customer service.

* Ask about demo skis, which are the current-model “test” skis that stores hope you will buy, as well as high-performance rentals.

* Reserve ahead, especially during busy ski weeks.

* Ask the shop how often rentals are swapped out.

* If you have a favorite ski, check the company’s website for a list of shops at your destination that carry the brand.

* Skis change year to year, and just like cars, they may keep the same name even when the design changes. Don’t reserve based on name alone without checking that it is the style of ski you want.

* Look for discount coupons online and in local magazines, and ask about promotions like free kids’ rentals.

For Killoran, her family’s experience at Alta changed their way of thinking about packing for a ski strip. “There are so many fun skis out there now,” she said. “If it’s a powder day, you want a big fat board. And if it’s not you might want a narrower ski or a twin tip. The options are wide open these days.”

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Hollywood readies its big guns for the holidays

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Need for local foster parents grows

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Tactical robot decreases officer risks

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Berkeley, Santa Cruz students protest fee hikes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Couple arrested on drug, firearm possession charges

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Woman confronts suspicious follower

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Auction-bound student artwork stolen in downtown heist

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

    UCD awarded $100M to lead program to predict, prevent pandemic threats

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Breakfast with Santa tickets are going fast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Probationers, parolees graduate from Yolo transitional program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Free boot camp, yoga fundraiser this week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Enterprise observes holiday hours

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Bell-ringers still needed this holiday season

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Give blood and get a free movie ticket

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Thanksgiving feast is open to all

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Workshop will answer financial aid questions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Yolo Food Bank invites locals to run with the flock

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Museum announces holiday schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    At the Pond: Stop, look and listen

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Project Linus seeks donations

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Swing your partner!

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A6

    Fairfield School enjoys a festive feast

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Right at home: gifts you can use and use up

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Dec. 10 jeans drive benefits STEAC

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Community Church history recounted in Sunday talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Open your heart

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Bob Hope interview pulled from ‘the vault’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    .

    Forum

    There’s only one way to fix this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Students barking up the wrong tree

    By Our View | From Page: A14

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

     
    Heartbroken over treatment of teacher

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

    Google, tell me. Is my son a genius?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

     
    Daryl Cagle cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A15

    Cordial political discourse: Seven years later, the thoughts resonate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

     
    Easing the stress during college application season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

    How I want to be remembered

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A16

     
    Watch out for holiday weight gain

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16

     
    When the computer stares back

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A16

    .

    Sports

    Turnovers costly as UC Davis loses Classic, 41-30

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men finish off Furman

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Upset-minded Lions bounce UCD from WWPA tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    New, old-look helmets not enough to lift UCD footballers

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Late shot sinks Aggie women

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD roundup: Seniors play well in Aggie volleyball loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Wire briefs: Kings get past depleted T-Wolves

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    With volleyball playoff berth, DHS accomplished its 2014 goal

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

     
    Don’t pass up the parking gift downtown

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13

    Doby Fleeman: Give thanks for our innovation culture

    By Doby Fleeman | From Page: A20

     
    Honey, spreads showcased at open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A20

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, November 23, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8