Balancing a love for skiing in a mountain-less city is tough work. If you grew up within the sport, winters might feel empty and worthless without those weekend trips to the mountain. However, this balance extends well beyond reconciling your love of the sport with your location—it should also include smart equipment purchases.
If you find yourself getting to the mountain only a handful of times each year, renting equipment is likely your best option. If you live in a mountainous area, you can probably rent skis somewhere in the city, or even have them delivered to your residence. If you live in a relatively flat part of the country, you might want to rent at the mountain. Regardless, it is probably a bad idea to spend $700 on that beautiful pair of twin-tips if you can only use them four times every year. It’s also helpful to look at an online marketplace for ski rentals and ski rental packages.
Still craving the comfort of owning your own skis? When it comes to making a big, seasonal purchase, I follow a single rule: Divide the cost of the purchase by how many times you’re likely to use it. If you feel comfortable with that number, go for it. If it turns out you’d be adding an additional $75 to your lift ticket every time you ski, it might not be worth it.
Still, there are cheaper options available. You might have a friend or family member willing to part with their old pair. Maybe you can convince a parent to ship your old pair to your new location. However, you should keep in mind—especially if you’re living in an apartment—the likelihood of having to move these massive pieces of equipment, as well as how much space they may take up in your home.