In an interview with snowsport equipment salesman, Christian Pfeifer, we asked which questions are essential when buying or renting skis and skiboots. Also important is what questions people should ask in order to avoid buying the wrong equipment. Christian has worked in many ski shops throughout Ischgl and has answered for us the most commonly asked and important questions.
Can I rent every type of ski in your shop? Which models do you have on offer?
A ski should match your ability. However, it is possible to rent any type of ski. In the majority of ski shops it is possible to rent slalom, giant slalom, all-mountain, twin tip, and off-piste skis as well as snowboards.
Which ski is right for me?
That depends on whether you would like to do short turns, long turns or a mixture of both. A slalom ski is for short turns, as it has a short radius whereas giant slalom skis are for long turns as they have a longer radius. An all-mountain ski would be a perfect choice for you if you want to ski on piste as well as a little bit off-piste.
Do I need to reserve my skis prior to collecting them?
It is always a good idea to reserve your equipment in advance as the staff can prepare everything ahead of time and this would therefore reduce your time spent in the shop. Almost all deals and discounts would be valid with reservations and online bookings of equipment.
What if I have my own ski boots?
Firstly, you must ask yourself if your boot is still suitable for your skiing needs. If yes, then you would need to bring a boot with you in order to adjust the bindings properly. To this point, I should also mention, only bringing one boot will suffice.
Is it possible to just adjust bindings in a ski shop?
Of course you can have just your bindings adjusted. Often there is just a small flat rate or a bit of change for the coffee fund required.
How long does it take to rent skis and boots?
Assuming that the shop is not busy, the total time from entering the store to leaving shouldn’t be more than 5 minutes. When you pre-book online then it’s even quicker.
Can I bring my skis the day I arrive to be waxed and tuned? Do you have a ski tuning service?
In most ski towns there are express-service shops. In said shops it is possible to have your skis waxed and tuned on the spot. In cases where this is not possible, the skis would be serviced over night. In order to ensure a quick turn around, take your skis to the shop as soon as you arrive and check with the staff when you will be able to pick them up.
Do you also have snowboards, cross country skis, tobogans (sleds), or touring skis?
Snowboards are available in most rental stores. However, cross country skis and tobogans are not available in all shops. It is always best to research which stores stock this equipment. Touring skis on the other hand are counted as standard equipment in most shops.
When is the best time to rent a ski? When is it the quickest?
You will always get your equipment more quickly when you reserve it in advance online as the shop can prepare everything before your arrival. You won’t have to worry about waiting a long time as everything will be ready and waiting for you.
What do the ski storage facilities look like?
There are often ski storage facilities located in the ski shops, which is very convenient for the customers as they can head in straight after skiing to store their equipment rather than taking it back to their hotels. However, a fee is usually required for such facilities.
Can I try multiple ski and/or snowboard models during my holiday? Can I swap between ski and snowboard?
Some shops will offer you the possibilty to swap you skis when you are unsatisfied or simply want to try something else. Often there is a so-called exchange package available. With such a package you can change your equipment at any time during the rental period. There are two different categories of skis; one for beginners and one for advanced. There is almost always a price difference between the two categories. For example, when you would like to swap an advanced ski for a beginner snowboard, then the shop should normally refund you the price difference.
What does flex or flex index mean in relation to ski boots?
It defines the stiffness of the boot. If you are unsure about which flex is appropriate for you, you should consult someone with expert knowledge.
What does ski radius mean in relation to skis?
If the ski were to be placed on its edge and bent until the whole edge has contact with the ground, the natural ski radius would be able to be calculated from the resulting line left by the edge. A bigger radius means longer turns, whereas a smaller radius means shorter turns. A medium radius would be exactly in the middle of the two.
What is a DIN setting?
It is the release setting of the binding. This setting is calculated through the following parameters: ability, age, weight, height and length of the ski boot.
What size ski poles do I need?
As a general rule, you hold the poles upside down under the basket, your arm should bend at a right angle. If you are uncertain about the size of your poles, ask a staff member in the rental store.
Should I rent or buy skis?
You should consider the following factors when making this decision:
- Type of skiing: How many different types of skiing do you do? Short turns, long turns, freestyle, power skiing… It would be quite expensive to buy a set of skis for every discipline; however if you rent a ski then you can always exchange to suit your plan for the day.
- Ski days: How many days do you ski per season? If you ski a lot then the rental price can add up. Therefore it would make more sense to purchase your own equipment in order to save money in the long run.
- Service: Rental skis are always serviced before you collect them. If there is an issue with the ski, you are entitled to have it fixed.
Can I adjust my own binding?
For your own safety, I would strongly advise that you have this done in a shop by a professional. The staff are trained in all current bindings and have programs to calculate the exact release setting (din-setting) you require. If you adjust your binding yourself, you could easily make a mistake which can lead to a fall later.
Do I need insurance for my skis? Is it really important?
Ski insurance is usually taken out for protection in cases of theft and damage. I would recommend you get ski insurance as the current insurance only costs between 10 and 20 euros. A ski and binding that is stolen can cost up to 1000 euros to replace.
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