What Do Ski Rentals Include? (Don’t Forget These)

by Simon Knott | Updated: October 27th, 2022 |  Skiing Articles

When first starting out skiing it is always a dilemma whether to buy or rent ski equipment and clothes. You can save a bundle by buying instead of renting but what happens if your interest in skiing is short-lived. What is the best option?

Most ski rental shops look forward to your customers because the ski season is short, and they must turn a profit. Consequently, you can rent almost everything need except undergarments and socks. For the most part, skiers have their own ski pants, jacket, gloves, and goggles, which leaves them to rent skis, poles, ski boots, and a helmet.

Ski Shop

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These are all individual add-ons, so you can add as many as you need. Ski rental shops usually cater to children as well.

When it comes to clothing, rental is common in the US and Canada but non-existent in Europe. Any rental package will include adjusting the ski bindings to fit your ski boots, as well as advice on the size of boots and length of poles.

A ski rental package won’t automatically include insurance. It’s worth checking out your winter sports travel insurance to see if there is any cover for rented items and if not take out the policy offered by the rental shop.


What’s Included?

Most shops will have the following items available for rent:

  • Skis or snowboards
  • Ski boots or snowboard boots
  • Ski poles
  • Helmets
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Ski & snowboard pants (trousers)
  • Ski & snowboard jackets

You will pay for each item separately or bundled together in a package deal. You'll usually pay more for this season's gear or higher-quality products. For advanced and expert skis you might pay a higher rate.

When choosing skis, you can opt for sport skis (for beginners) or demo skis (for intermediate or advanced skiers wanting specific types of skis that perform to a higher standard).

Related reading:

  1. Difference between ski and snowboard clothing.
  2. Rental Skis: What level ski is for me?
  3. How much does it cost to ski?

Pre-book & save

It is generally a lot cheaper to order your skiing equipment online before you travel to your resort. To keep costs down it is always worth shopping around different online ski equipment companies to find the best price.

Additionally, searching for a discount code for the ski equipment company you use can often reduce the overall price by another 5 or 10%. During your booking, you will most likely be asked for your weight, height, shoe size, and head size. All this information makes collecting your equipment at the shop easier and quicker.

Binding Adjustments

If you have brought your own ski boots take them along when you go to collect your skis, as the assistant will need your boot to adjust the binding on the ski. This makes sure the boot stays securely on the ski except if you fall when the ski and boot will separate.

The assistant will also check the fitting of rented boots, the height of your ski poles, and the fit of your helmet. Ski shops generally offer a free exchange, if you find any part of your rented equipment is faulty or doesn’t fit properly.

Expert Advice

In the US and Canada, some ski shops offer to deliver ski equipment direct to your accommodation, although this service doesn’t exist in Europe. In general, the staff in ski shops are often young and enthusiastic about skiing and snowboarding.

They will have lived in the resort all season and will be happy to share their local knowledge.

When picking up your gear from the ski rental shop they may well ask you to sign a liability waiver form.

This waiver releases the company from responsibility for any injury you cause to yourself, to other people, and to property, while you are using the equipment.

There is no charge for this waiver, but it should remind you to be responsible on the runs and take care of the equipment. Before you leave the ski rental shop make sure you check all equipment for excessive wear and tear and that it is suitable for your level of ability.

What’s Not Included?

You'll most likely need to bring your own:

1. Ski Socks (you should be able to buy them)

2. Base layers

3. Fleece (sweater/jumper)

4. Suncream

While you should be able to buy all of these at the resort, it might take some time to find them, which will eat into your precious time at the resort and everything costs 50% more at ski resorts.

Read these handy guides:

  1. How to layer for skiing.
  2. What to pack for skiing

Liability insurance might not be included

The cost of liability insurance (also known as equipment insurance) is not automatically included in the price of ski rental. Liability insurance covers situations, where the hirer of the equipment is negligent in some way such as:

  • You lose the equipment.
  • The equipment was stolen while it was in your possession, such as left outside a cafe.
  • You were negligent in looking after the equipment, such as skiing over rocks.
  • You left the gear unattended, and it was damaged in some way.

Even with basic equipment the cost of a pair of skis, boots, poles, and googles soon adds up. So, it is well worth taking out the insurance. However, most winter sports travel insurance policies also include some degree of cover for stolen or damaged equipment.

This varies considerably from policy to policy, so you need to find if you have adequate cover.

It is possible to buy liability cover as a stand-alone policy direct from an online insurance provider. Once again this is bound to be cheaper than buying cover from the ski rental shop.

Sometimes ski shops in the US and Canada also sell ski lift passes and ski lessons, especially if the shop is affiliated with the resort. In Europe, ski passes are usually just purchased from municipal shops or tourism offices.


The most common ski rental package includes skis, ski poles, ski boots, and a helmet.

However, this rental doesn’t automatically include liability cover for equipment, any ski lift pass, ski lessons, or any ski clothing. It’s best to check all the available options at the ski resort you are heading to well before you leave.