Buy the equipment or rent it every time we go up the mountain? If you are one of those who have taken the second option, perhaps these tips for renting ski equipment will be useful for you
Undoubtedly, renting your material is very convenient and economical, but we need to know what we want so we won’t get a last minute upset. Here is a summary of the most important things you have to know if you are going to rent your ski equipment.
The boots are a basic but very relevant element if you are going to rent your ski equipment. A bad choice of boots can cause sharp pains, making the practice of skiing a torture. Therefore, special attention must be paid when choosing the rental boots, given that we consider it to be the most delicate choice.
It is very important to keep your feet and ankles fixed so that injuries do not occur. The foot should not move and we should feel a moderate and homogeneous pressure in all areas of the foot. The best way to know if the boot fits our foot, will be adopting the skiing position, with the ankles flexed and the knees also slightly projected forward, loading the weight in the area of the tibiae. This position facilitates the foot to “move” backwards, being able to verify if there is no excessive pressure from the boot on any part of the foot.
Each brand has its special shape and its way of making the boots, so it will depend on the model and the brand that we find our ideal dance partner to descend the tracks with control, security and comfort. When choosing boots, it is important to take into account the level of skiing you have, the size and the shoe lash (or width) of the foot.
Regarding rigidity: Beginners should choose boots that are not very rigid, that is, with a Flex 60 index or lower. If you have a medium level, a hardness between 70 and 90 is fine. The higher the level, the more rigidity, because it provides greater precision when transferring pressures from the boot to the ski.
For ski boots, the size is measured in “Mondopoints“, a system that is based on the length (measured in centimeters) of the foot. Keep in mind that our feet, left and right, are not exactly the same, so it is important to take the measure of the biggest one. Choose a pair of boots as much as a number greater than the one that corresponds to you according to the size of the foot, because they must hold it properly. The trick to know that the boots are the correct size is to verify that with them on you can’t lift the heel or bend the toes.
Nowadays, many skis come from the factory with their bindings, but we will also have the option to acquire the boards on one side and the bindings on the other according to our tastes and goals.
The ski bindings, which join the boots to the skis, also depend on the technical level, the physical condition, the measurements, the weight, the age and the risk of injury. We will have to increase the pressure in relation to the weight. Also, the higher your technical level, your physical condition and the state of the snow, we must adjust the bindings in one way or another.
When we are going to rent our ski equipment, the bindings should not be one of the most decisive points to choose some skis or others.
All modern bindings are very safe and we should not have bad surprises. It’s a personal choice to choose a rotary heel binding or a classic without rotating the heel. The most important thing will be to adjust the pressure of the internal “spring” to our characteristics before taking the material from the store or trade, although, in any case, ski resorts are usually equipped with screwdrivers for public use to adjust them before getting on the lift. On rental skis, we usually see a special binding system that allows you to move it on an axis, modifying the distance between the toe and the heel without needing tools.
Rent your ski equipment: skis
Again, the skis we choose depend on the level we have. There are five skier levels, from A to F. It is important to do self-criticism. One way of knowing our level is to see what kind of tracks we are able to descend.
It will also be necessary to take into account if we ski in a rather calm or aggressive way and the turning radius in which we are comfortable. Turns of short or long rotation, depends on our own taste.
The type of ski depends completely on what we want to do, whether skiing on the track, freeride, slalom for short turns, race carver for wider turns…
We must choose one type of ski or another depending on the snow. For beginners, it is best to choose a multi-purpose pair of skis that suits all options.
As for the size of the skis, as a starting point you can take your own height or a little less, between 10 and 15 cm (4 to 6 inches). Then, the size of the skis will vary according to what we want to do with them. As a general rule, a smaller size allows maneuvering more easily and a larger size allows greater stability at high speed.
The height of the skis depends on the level you have and the type of ski you are going to practice. For beginners, shorter skis that allow for easy turning are better, while a more experienced skier may want longer skis.
The height of the skis will also be determined depending on the type of ski that we are going to practice: for the freeride rather long, increasing the base of support with wide ski measures, rather short for slalom…
The twisting of the ski
This is also a relevant factor, but we will leave it for another article in which we will discuss this topic in depth.
The width of the ski is measured in the waist, which is the central part where the bindings are installed. As a reference, a wider ski is better for off track; for well-trodden tracks, a narrower one will facilitate quick transitions from one turn to another.