As a beginner, you don’t want to leap into skiing with all your feet.
You want to grip the basics first before committing to buy professional-grade gear.
That’s why you might want to start with a hired kit or spend the least amount of money on your starter gear.
So, How Much Should You Spend On Ski Equipment As A Beginner?
If you are looking forward to becoming an average recreational skier but still keen not to overspend, it is reasonable to start with a kit in the region of $600 – $800.
Anything in these brackets is enough to get you a decent kit of new boots, skis, and binding to keep you going until you take your game to the next level.
There’s an exception though: If you want nothing but an American-made kit or you’d prefer something handcrafted, be prepared to spend $800 or more on a pair of skis alone.
Once you add the boots and other complimentary gear in the mix, we’re looking at a bill in the excess of $900. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you start by deciding the quality and price you are comfortable with.
Another thing: the average cost of a decent starter kit can depend on the brand, and most brands put their prices at around $753.
We analyzed data from Ski.com, a renowned ski retailer, and were able to create this list of beginner-friendly kits.
Note that these figures are inclusive of the $50 installation cost:
|Dynastar Legend X||$599.95|
|Elan Explore 8||$319.99|
|Salomon XDR 78||$399.99|
|Fischer XTR Pro MTN 77||$399.99|
|Fischer XTR Pro MTN X||$359.99|
|Rossignol Pursuit 200||$259.97|
|Rossignol Experience 77A||$422.50|
What if you decide to buy each item separately? Let’s look at the average cost of the boots:
|SkI Boot Model||Cost|
|Dalbello Panterra MX 80||$249.90|
|Alpina Elite 80||$299.98|
|Rossignol Track 90||$299.96|
|Head Advants Edge 85||$239.20|
|Nordica Cruise 60||$159.98|
|Salomons QST Access 70||$249.98|
|Fischer Cruzar 90||$239.97|
|Salomons QST Access 80||$299.98|
|Tenica Ten 2.0||$199.96
|Rossignol Evo 70||$179.96|
And the poles:
|K2 Power Alluminum||$39.95|
|Komperdell Fatso 7075 ||$100.00|
|Scott World Cup Strike ||$89.20|
|Salomons Hacker S3||$64.00|
|Leki Spark S Lite||$71.95|
|Leki Spitfire S||$79.95|
|Volkl Phantastick 2||$47.20|
What Are The Things You Should Know?
Of course, there’s a list of things you need to consider when shopping for a beginner skiing kit.
Chances are you are fed up with rental shops and having to wait in long lines to get the right thing.
1. Don’t Rely On The Internet
It is never a great idea to purchase your beginner kit online.
The most recommendable thing to do is to walk into your local brick-and-mortar store that deals in skiing kits and choose a product that fits your expectations.
But, how do you even know which stores are the best?
The local skiing enthusiasts will provide all the details you need regarding who sells the best kits in your area.
So don’t hesitate to ask around.
Avoid the salespeople as they’ll overwhelm you with all the unnecessary tech specs and make-believe marketing jargon you don’t want to fall to.
If you must shop online – though discouraged – start at realskiers.com and OutdoorGearLab.com.
These two are known to independently test every piece of equipment on their shelves.
2. Don’t Lead Yourself into Thinking You Only Need “the Best”
As a beginner, it doesn’t make sense to go for a four-figure professional-grade ski kit – you certainly won’t get the value for your money.
To avoid wasting your money on stuff you don’t even need, limit yourself within the average price tag brackets mentioned earlier – between $600 and $800.
You can upgrade later to top-notch gear once you improve on your abilities.
3. Prioritize On Boots
This may sound a bit counterintuitive but skiing boots deserve more attention than anything else.
Ask any keen ski enthusiast out there and they’ll tell you how the feet are integral to your responsiveness, power, and control.
This means your boots must be up to the task or else you will have trouble learning.
Ski boots must fit snugly more than your regular shoes – you should never be able to tell where your foot ends and where the boot starts.
This is one of the many reasons why you should never buy your kit online because you won’t get an opportunity to try them with your ski socks.
4. Know What You Want and Be Honest
What’s your approach? Do you prefer a timid pace with plenty of snack breaks and photo ops or you’d rather take a more aggressive run down the hill?
If you want a gear that will grow with you, and you are committed to this, go for one.
Some of the questions the salesperson will ask you can help you narrow down to the specific kit best for you.
Here’s the rule of thumb: narrower skis measuring 84mm or less lets you perform better on hard snow while larger skis measuring 85mm or more are perfect for softer snow.
If you plan to learn skiing on a range of terrains, go for all-mountain designs as they are more versatile.
5. Don’t stress
Finally, and equally important, don’t stress yourself – you are only but getting started on a long and exciting journey in skiing.
So don’t expect things to work exactly as you want them in the beginning.
Why Should You Buy Your Ski Gear Instead Of Renting?
Aside from saving yourself some money, there are several other advantages:
1. Saving Time On Those Long Rental Lines
Whether you are renting at a separate ski store or resort, renting can be one lengthy process.
This’s especially likely if the place is always crowded with renters.
It will take a minimum of one hour before you grab your kit and get to descend on the slopes.
2. Proper fit
While most of the rental shops out there do a decent job by fitting your boots and skis, having your gear is a far better and different experience.
If you want a custom foot-bed, or insoles, inside your boots then buying your gear is better.
3. Practicing On Just One Type Of Skis
The main setback with renting a ski kit is having to wear a different kit every time you feel like zooming down the slope.
Having your kit ensures you can get used to just one kit even after a long season off.
Better yet, it is easier and faster to set out for the mountain.
If you rent, it will take a long time to put on the kit, test it, and get started.
Related: Is There A Skiing Weight Limit?
So how much should you spend on ski equipment as a beginner?
It is reasonable to start with a kit in the region of $600 – $800.
Things can be a little different if you are looking for an American-made kit or something handcrafted as they tend to be priced a little higher – you might spend over $800.
Nonetheless, it is recommended that you start by deciding the quality and price you are comfortable with.
Consider the brand of the kit, know what you want, and don’t be hard on yourself.
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