The Right Stuff for Family Skiing.
Experienced ski parents know that family skiing starts with having the right gear, apparel and accessories. Hitting the slopes under-prepared isn’t only frustrating, but can be very costly when you have to buy necessities at the Mountain. Here are a few tips to help your family have stress-free fun on the slopes.
- The “Stuff” List. Every skier in the family needs the right gear, apparel and accessories. See Kulkea’s printable Ski Gear Checklist.
- Keep them Warm & Dry. There’s no need to overspend when outfitting children, but the quality of the apparel is important. Rule #1 for skiing with children is keeping them warm & dry. If they get cold or wet it’s over. “A happy child means a happy parent!”
- Buy, Rent or Lease Skis, Boots, Poles & Helmet? This all depends where and how often you and the family expect to ski during the season so you will have to run some quick and easy numbers on the costs, but as a rough guide…
One or Two Days-Rent. Three Days+ Lease.
Note that many local ski shops offer reasonably priced seasonal leasing programs for skis, boots and poles. Other than a helmet you should be able to cover all of the gear for younger children through a lease. For older children you’ll likely end up buying at least some of the gear, so check for shops that offer seasonal buyback programs. Keep in mind that buying with hopes of passing gear down to a sibling is often an idea better in theory than in practice.
Traveling by Air to Ski?
You’ll likely be much happier using your own boots and helmet so bring them along. Make use of an organized ski boot bag to stow and keep track of your gear. Good skis and poles, on the other hand, can likely be rented at or near the mountain. Bringing your own skis and poles boils down to a cost versus convenience decision.
- Avoid Rental Shop Lines. If driving to the mountain and planning to rent, try off-mountain shops for convenience, selection and cost savings. If using the mountain rental shop try very early morning, or better yet, late afternoon the day before skiing. Don’t underestimate how poorly children and long rental shop lines mix.
Photo: courtesy of Ski-Resorts.us