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The Fall Line

By Cathy Margiotta
Posted on 11/14/2017 1:34 PM

Haha. Did you get the pun in the title?

OK, back to the post . . . There's a simple logic for people who rent skis when they travel. Since they only ski a few weeks a year, if that, the cost of a new set of skis seems a bit ridiculous.

That makes sense. Plus there's also one less bag to pay for and get on a plane; one less piece of luggage for the airline to lose. Geesh, our club members know how that works, don't they?And ski shops carry the latest skis, so you are pretty much guaranteed a really nice ride.

If you plan on renting skis at your destination, here's a few tips that will help you make the process extra smooth:

  1. Do an online search and find the ski shop with the best price and location. Once you settle on a shop, go online to the store to reserve your skis in advance. You'll sign up with your name, address, etc. You'll also get a chance to fill in the comments section. In it, mention the type of skis you are looking for, such as powder, carver, all-mountain. If you can name the brand and length that's even better.This request makes it more likely they will set aside the skis you want, in the length you want. If you wait until you get to the shop, they may be out of your dream skis. Or you may find yourself skiing on skis longer or shorter than appropriate.

  2. Know your DIN setting in advance. This is a matrix of your height, weight, age, and ability that gives the ski technician the correct setting on your bindings. Here's the link to calculate yours:

  1. Be sure to bring both ski boots when you pick up your skis. The ski technician also has to adjust the binding to the length of your boots. They do this by placing a boot in the binding and sliding the heel piece to the correct length. If possible, watch them do it to be sure the boots actually will fit. And make sure they do both skis. Those techs have been known to get overworked and hurried. Two minutes checking in the shop will spare you from walking back to the shop because one binding is out of whack.

  2. When the tech hands you your skis, spend a few minutes verifying that the DIN setting on your toe and heel pieces match what you calculated in #2. If not, ask them to check. It's not that you're right and they're wrong. But they will give you an explanation for their setting that may or may not make sense to you. If it doesn't sound right, keep asking until both parties are in agreement. Your knees will thank you.

  3. Check the base of the skis to be sure they are waxed and without major damage. If the gouges seem excessive, ask for a better pair. And if the bases don't appear waxed, do the same thing. Again, your knees will thank you.

  4. Ask if they have hotel drop off and pick up. It's so nice not to have to walk even a little bit when you've been skiing all day.

  5. Most ski shops let you swap skis all day long until you find the ones you like best. Experimenting with all-mountain, carvers, or powder skis can be really, really fun. Or not. But at least you'll understand why you like the skis that you do.

I mentioned in an earlier blog to do your research in advance for finding the skis you want. Ski shops do not carry every brand and model, but when you decide on the skis you want to rent, the shop will likely have something comparable, if they don't have it exactly.

And one final tip: if you have knee problems, be sure to choose a ski that is softer and shorter than the ones you might prefer. By cutting down on the surface area of the ski, you are reducing the torque on your knees. In case of a fall, that might be the difference between a major operation and just a bunch of snow in your face.


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