Buying Ski Gear Online Vs In Person, What’s Best? (Surprising Result)

by Travis McCullough | Published: November 10th, 2022 |  Skiing Articles

There are endless options when it comes to buying ski gear in this day and age.  Between the infinite websites and numerous brick-and-mortar ski shops that litter every ski town, it is hard to decide which route to go, so which one should you choose?

Buying your equipment online and in person, both have their advantages and drawbacks, but the route you choose should depend on your level of knowledge surrounding ski gear.  Those who are new to the sport should buy in person, while those who are more well-versed in skiing can opt for either. 


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Blue Jacket Skier

Benefits Of Buying Gear In Person

Heading down to your local mom-and-pop shop offers a level of personalization that buying ski gear online cannot.  Brick-and-mortar stores are full of knowledgeable experts that are usually happy to help you find the perfect gear based on your size and skiing ability.

If you have never purchased ski gear before, then this is the way to go.  Retailers will be able to size your foot to the perfect boot, show you how long your skis should be, and help you pick out the correct length of the pole so that your next ski outing goes off without a hitch.

Fitting Ski boots

Personalized Service

Tip: Poles and skis are measured in centimeters and boots are measured in a mondopoint system, something that a first-time buyer wouldn’t be accustomed to.

Ski gear, like boots, skis, and poles, follow sizing standards that are unfamiliar to most people in the United States. 

Not knowing these measurements makes the possibility of buying the wrong size gear, and spending unnecessary money, a real possibility.  Skiing with equipment that doesn’t fit correctly can be uncomfortable, not to mention dangerous.

Supporting Your Local Economy

There is something to be said about buying goods locally and supporting your local economy.  As large retailers Amazon and Walmart compete with local stores, personal attention to detail and face-to-face interaction become less common.

Advice: Buying your gear in person helps support local stores which employ local professionals around whom you can answer your most important ski-related questions to.  This is an especially important factor for those who are new to skiing.

Benefits Of Buying Gear Online


Buying ski gear online is becoming the more popular method of purchasing equipment each year. It offers a level of selection, convenience, and deals that most brick-and-mortar stores can’t compete with.

It also opens the door for the consumer to purchase the incorrect gear if they are not familiar with the basic knowledge that surrounds ski equipment.

Editors Note: This is why New To Ski is passionate about helping new skiers learn more skiing for free.


Purchasing your ski gear online is undoubtedly the easiest way to buy new or used gear and have it shipped straight to your doorstep.  Why drive to multiple stores looking for a specific set of skis in your size when you can find them and have them shipped with only a few clicks?

Buying ski gear online is especially convenient when you know exactly what you want and what size you want it in.  With the endless possibilities that the internet offers come the drawback of being overwhelmed with having too many options to choose from.

Larger Selection


Online shops don’t have the physical inventory constraints that brick-and-mortar stores do, not to mention there are a massive number of websites selling ski gear on the internet.  This is advantageous for someone who isn’t quite sure what they want or is just browsing possibilities for the upcoming season.

Physical stores have trouble keeping popular models of equipment in stock, especially with recent global supply chain issues.  Online stores are more likely to keep inventory stocked because they don’t necessarily need a physical location to sell their wares.

Better Deals

Key Takeaway: The biggest advantage to shopping online is the ability to shop around for better deals in a quick and almost effortless manner. 

In the past, you would have to visit multiple locations to compare prices, but now a simple Google search will compare prices and availability for you.

Skiing is one of the most expensive winter sports out there, so saving money wherever you can is always a plus.  Larger online companies are able to buy ski gear in bulk at a lower price which allows them to pass the savings on to the consumer.

Online or Offline, Which is Right For You?

There is no definite answer to whether buying skis in person or online is better, it all depends on your particular level of knowledge and how much you value convenience over a personalized experience. 

Each method of purchasing gear has its advantages that the other cannot offer, but they are both viable methods of getting the gear that is right for you.


Those who are new to the sport should probably do their shopping in person so that they can have someone who is knowledgeable about the sport help them select the correct gear in the right size. 

Skiers who have an extensive knowledge base about skiing and its equipment can go with either route, but should probably purchase their gear online to save some time and money.

Geography also plays an important role, some are lucky enough to have ski shops near them while for others driving to the nearest ski shop might take a few days.