To buy gear or hire gear, that is the question.
There are a number of things to consider when it comes to this common question and everyone’s situation will differ. We haven’t mentioned any figures as they can vary so much between shops, brands, quality etc. Below are some points to think about before making the decision for yourself.
1- The biggest point to consider is how long are you going for? If you’re spending 2 weeks plus in the snow then you might want to weigh up the cost difference between hiring and buying. It might not be all that much more to buy your own setup!
2- Do you plan on doing multiple trips and how often? If you plan on making a regular pilgrimage to the snow then having your own gear would be worth investing in. If you don’t know or think it might be a once off then there is always the option of selling your setup once you get back. Ski/snowboard gear does take up room and decreases in value over the years.
3- Half and half? Sounds strange but it’s a pretty good idea for a few reasons. For example, you could buy your own boots, pants, jacket, gloves, helmet and hire your board/ski and bindings. This saves buying the most expensive parts of the setup, you don’t have to drag the gear through airports, and it won’t take up room at home. It’s also nice to have the things that touch your body belong to you and not the hire shop (if you know what I mean).
4- Can you borrow? Do you have any friends or family that might want to lend you some gear or a full setup?
5- Buy second hand. Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are great places to start and you can pick up some bargains. You can always sell this gear again when you get home and possibly even make some money if you know what you are doing.
I think this covers the main points to consider. At the end of the day I think it comes down to a few things: Ability level, how fussy you are, and budget. I sure do love having my own gear :)