How To Choose Ski Hire; Part 1

Nov 12, 2015 No Comments by

New 2015/16 hire Rossignol (Advanced) hire skis

Whether it’s your first time, or you’re a regular skier or snowboarder you probably need ski or snowboard hire. Its not as sexy as ski fashion. But bad skis and you’ll be off to a bad start, or worse.

This series of articles examines the differences in skis and highlights some of the pitfalls out there; ready to trap the unwary. In this article standard skis and advanced skis and what to look out for when booking your ski hire this winter.


Not all standard skis are the same

Standard skis and snowboards and advanced skis and snowboards are what more people hire in Bansko. It as the exceptionally poor skis and service that I received in Bansko in 2005 that was one of the main catalysts for me to offer a service for ski and snowboard hire.

I hired skis that were not of the correct level and that worst of all were eno properly prepared. It made for an awful first few days in Bansko. I returned them and went somewhere else. Unfortunately, out of date equipment, non premium brands are still available to hire in Bansko. It’s simply not worth compromising.


I’m a beginner, what do I know?

Top brands for all hire skis

Here in lies the truth. If you are a never-ever beginner, ski hire shops can take advantage of the fact that you’re not familiar with the premium ski brands. How and why would you know a good ski, a safe binding or indeed a ski boot that is fit for the purpose?

Of course you wouldn’t.

Skis that are too advanced for the level of skier is a problem. should not be hired. One of the most popular culprits are old skis. Skiing and snowboarding is like any other sport equipment market. New technology plays a huge part in making the equipment better and better every year.

New skis are easier to both learn and progress on than old skis just in the same way a modern tennis racket is better than an old one.


I’m an intermediate skier, what skis should I hire?

Your a typical “intermediate” (but click here to see what level you really are). But that is a wide description. But if you can believe that most of us (especially males) tend to overestimate our abilities. Hey, I used to be the same. Taking a few ski trips a year. The focus was on packing in the skiing but also partying hard, have loads of laughs — an undercurrent of competitiveness and of course I could get down a difficult red or an average black run.

Well here’s the thing… getting down a steep red run when it’s perfect snow, when there’s no-one else on it, with wide slow turns, no bumps and no-one else is looking is one thing; but really that is not really skiing a red run. So if you say you can ski a red run at reasonable speed and confidence, then you’re ready for skis to help you improve your carving technique.

You’re now at the level you need to be to use advanced skis. They will be worthwhile selecting (see the pricing and booking tool above). Even within the advanced category we have softer (easier) skis and harder skis.

But remember, if you are someone who is only used to a soft beginner ski moves onto the hardest advanced ski you will really struggle. You’ll be blaming the skis for your inability to ski so well. I know I once tried genuine race skis the ones you see in the FIS World Cup downhill; they really really are super stiff; too stiff for safe skiing for me. It was interesting experiment, but I gave them back.

Finally children’s skis are often neglected. I believe they should also be premium brands, new and well serviced.

New children's skis arrived for hiring for 2015/16 season


The ski and boot hire solution

Always tell the staff realistically what your ability is. Even if you’re having advanced skis they will advise the right ski for your ability. I used the Head ski GLX and SLX a lot last season and I improved on these. But this season I may well end up using the new Rossignols as they are a little stiffer. The wet stere is powder I will switch to the all mountain (wide) Dynastar’s. Some of my finest days out were with these — and the new models due to come in will be fun to try soon.

So in simple terms, both standard ski hirers and advanced skiers can switch within the category at no extra charge. The same goes for ski boots. The advanced ski boots are stiffer than the standard ski boots and will give you the control you need for more advanced and aggressive carving turns.

The skis at skimania are new for this season, or a maximum of one season old. Most of the ski boots are new and almost all of the helmets are new for the 2015/16 ski season. There service is smooth and hassle free. You pick up your lift passes, show your booking and you’ll be fitted quickly and professionally.

In short, don’t let your newbie ski status compromise the success of your ski holiday.

CLICK HERE to for the pricing and booking tool for your 2015/16 ski and snow board hire, private lessons, group lessons, lift passes and transfers.

We are open from 07:50 until beyond 18:00 most evenings. Not sure what you need… chat to me here on Bansko Blog (or in Bansko App).

The pricing tool has the lowest prices adjusted for exchange rate movements.

For part 2 subscribe for more like this. Download the app and follow on Facebook for all the Bansko news, including snow, weather, events, restaurant reviews; lots of tips to make the most of your time in Bansko.



Skiing & Snowboarding

About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.
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