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Hiring Skis in Chamonix

Discover the top Chamonix ski and snowboard hiring options

Updated

There are several shops offering ski and snowboard hire in Chamonix. All of them provide a range of equipment options depending on whether you ski or snowboard, your age, skiing ability, interests and gender. There is also the possibility of renting packs comprising skis or board, boots and poles, or just individual items. We've compiled a list of things to look out for when renting ski and snowboard equipment in Chamonix, including tips, pros and cons, places, prices and our local team's advice.

6 tips to pick your perfect ski hire in Chamonix

It may seem straightforward for the uninitiated in the joys of sliding down a mountain, but choosing your perfect snowboard and ski hire involves making a few decisions. These are our top tips to help you find your ideal pair of skis in Chamonix.

1. Pre-book your ski hire online: There are many advantages to pre-booking your gear online in advance. Below are the main ones:

  • Beat the queues - By letting the ski hire shop know your size, height and skiing ability in advance, they’ll be able to prepare for your arrival and smooth the ski rental process. They’ll get your boots and skis or board ready for the slopes before you pick them up and they’ll only need to perform minor tweaks to fit them perfectly to you. You’ll not only get priority service but will also save time at the shop.
  • Benefit from the best bargains - You can also save a substantial amount of money as pre-booking in advance can often cut the cost of your ski hire by up to 50%, with additional discounts offered for groups and families. What's more, you won't have to pay extra on your flight for sports baggage.
  • Get your gear delivered to your accommodation - Some shops offer the option of delivering your gear when booking your ski hire in advance. They’ll do the boot fitting in your apartment or chalet so you won’t even have to carry your skis from the shop.

2. Pick up your gear the evening before your first rental day: Most shops offer the possibility of picking up your pre-booked gear the evening before your first rental day at no additional cost, saving you precious time and allowing you to be on the pistes ready for the first lift up. Even if you haven’t pre-booked your equipment in advance, you can often still stop by the rental shop to hire all the stuff the eve of your first day on the slopes as many are open an hour or two after the lifts close. Our advice is that you head down to the rental place right after you’ve arrived in resort.

3. Trust the ski hire staff: There are plenty of things to consider when renting snowboard and ski gear since boards, skis and boots come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There’s no need to know exactly what you need, though, the ski rental shop’s staff are super-experienced, knowledgeable technicians who will be able to pick the perfect pair of skis and boots for you. Trust their judgement and follow their advice – they know what they’re doing! Of course, if you know exactly what you’re after they’ll also be able to deliver, provided they have your desired model in stock.

4. Get your gear right: Trusting the ski shop’s staff is the best way to make sure you get the perfect equipment for you. However, there are a few things you can do to make their job easier: bring ski socks to improve your boot fitting, know your measurements (mainly shoe size and weight), snowboard or ski ability and, if possible, your DIN settings and desired ski or board length.

5. Rent near your accommodation or the lifts: A key thing you should consider when booking your equipment is how close the ski hire shop is to your accommodation and the foot of the pistes. The closer the better, not just for collecting and returning your gear but also in case you need to pop back there for advice or to change your equipment. Ask the hire shop if they have overnight storage available too, so you don't need to take your equipment back to your accommodation. Most chaletsapartments and hotels have their own ski room where you can safely leave everything for the night but it's often easier and less of a hassle if you can leave your gear in the shop, especially if it's close to the pistes. Many of their storage spaces even boast boot warmers, so you can start your day on the slopes with toasty feet.

6. Buy the optional insurance: Most ski and snowboard rental companies offer insurance against theft and damage to your skis and snowboard as an added extra. The main reason for this is that most travel insurers don't cover your equipment if it’s stolen when left unattended and unlocked in a public place, such as outside a mountain restaurant or an après ski bar. For the few euros difference in price, extra insurance may just be worth getting.

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Hiring vs buying ski gear in Chamonix

Every intermediate skier and snowboarder’s dilemma – should I buy my gear or keep on hiring? We don’t have any definite answers here, after all, it’s more a matter of personal taste and circumstances. However, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of renting so that you can have a clear idea of what may be the best option for you.

Pros of renting your ski equipment

  • Better for beginners and children: It doesn’t make sense to buy your gear if you’re a child or a beginner. The former grow so fast that they won’t be able to use the same equipment the next season while the latter improve so quickly that their gear requirements change rapidly – plus you don’t want to commit hundreds of euros to a pair of boots and skis if you end up never coming back!
  • Cheaper than buying: If you’re skiing for one or two weeks every year, renting may be a cheaper option than buying, especially if you like swapping your skis every few seasons. You’ll also save money on luggage fees and on gear servicing.
  • Test out the latest gear: You’ll have the chance to try out new skis each year since shops usually stock the latest models, and even swap them throughout the week (ask at the shop). The choices are endless.
  • Well-serviced equipment: Your gear will be in tip-top condition. Contrary to popular belief, ski hire shops are great at keeping the rental equipment as good as new. At the very least, edges will be sharp and bases will be freshly waxed.
  • Lighter luggage: Renting your snowboard or ski gear is more convenient when you’re travelling to a ski resort. Your journey is much easier if you don’t have to carry ski bags around.
  • Fit for growth: The ski rental shop’s staff will be able to help you pick out the perfect pair of skis or board for your current ability, which may change from one year to the next.

Cons of renting your ski equipment (as opposed to buying)

  • Ill-fitting boots: Rental ski boots may be uncomfortable even if the shop’s staff do a great job at finding the perfect size and shape for you. That’s because they haven’t been fitted specially to your feet. A solution to rental boot’s discomfort may be purchasing molded footbeds which you can use with any ski boot – just remember to pack them when you’re coming to Chamonix.
  • Queues: You’ll have to rent your gear every time you visit a ski resort, which means you may encounter queues at the shops. To avoid them, pre-book your equipment online in advance.
  • More expensive than buying: I know we just said that renting was cheaper than buying but that depends on how much you ski and how often you purchase new equipment. Even if buying skis and/or a board, plus boots can set you off hundreds and even thousands of euros, it can still be cheaper than renting if you ski often and keep on using the same equipment for a few seasons.

Shopping

Ski & Board Gear for Chamonix

Choosing the right rental skis/snowboard in Chamonix

Ski hire shops offer a wide range of gear. There are different skis and snowboards to choose from depending on your ability on the slopes, whether you're a man or a woman (although most equipment tends to be unisex) and your age (there are usually four age groups: 3-6yrs, 7-14yrs, 14-17yrs and adults).

Snowboard & ski hire options
When choosing the right gear for you, be honest about your skills – you want your skis to help you get down the slopes, not make it more challenging. There are typically four levels of equipment to choose from: basic, intermediate, advanced and premium. The more experienced a skier or a snowboarder is, the better quality equipment they will need, which also means paying a higher price.

Ski & Snowboard Hire Options in Chamonix
Basic Equipment For beginners or experienced skiers and snowboarders who prefer to stay on the blue slopes. Basic but functional and safe equipment, easy to use and turn on.
Intermediate Equipment For skiers and snowboarders with a few weeks experience, progressing on red slopes. Equipment that performs better at speed than the basic level but is still forgiving.
Advanced Equipment For experienced skiers and snowboarders who ski red and black slopes. High-quality skis or snowboards, usually less than two years old, which perform well on steep slopes.
Premium Equipment For very experienced skiers who want to try the latest equipment. Top of the line, latest generation skis with specialized slope, all-mountain, freestyle or freeride profiles.

In the past few years, ski and snowboard gear has diversified catering to an assortment of mountain terrains and personal preferences. Most ski hire shops will stock a selection of slope, all-mountain, freeride or freestyle skis and snowboards as well as race skis, mini skis, touring skis, split boards, powder boards and cross-country skis. Worry not, you won't need to know about the technical aspects of any of the equipment when you book - when you arrive, the staff will advise you on the best model based on your ability, size and the type of skiing you want to do.

Take a look at our dedicated Ski Gear Guide and Snowboard Gear Guide for more information on the types of skis and snowboards available.

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Prices for ski hire in Chamonix

Ski hire prices in Chamonix depend on your ability (in general, the more high-end or technical the equipment the more expensive it gets) and the number of days you’re going to use the gear for. It also depends on whether you’re going for the full pack comprising your skis or snowboard and boots, as well as poles for skiers, or if you just want to individually hire one of the multiple elements: skis, boots, board, poles or helmets. Age and dates may also be defining factors on the final price, as children and teenagers tend to benefit from cheaper rental fees while costs may rise during peak weeks due to increased demand. 

How much is ski and snowboard hire in Chamonix? It depends on what you need (and want). Packs comprising skis or board plus boots (and poles for skiers) tend to offer the best value. They’re usually available in different categories, from basic to premium depending on your skiing ability, with prices increasing accordingly. Adult beginner ski packs comprising skis, boots and poles, or board and snowboard boots start at around €100-€120 for 6 days. Skilled skiers in search of the highest gear quality may end up paying around €300. Remember that there are discounts of up to -50% when booking online in advance. For up to date prices, availability and to book your ski hire, take a look at our selection of the best ski rental shops in Chamonix.

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Where to hire skis in Chamonix

Chamonix boasts dozens of ski and snowboard hire shops. Most of them are located in the town centre and around the lifts that take you from the foot of the slopes to the heart of the ski area. 

How to rent snowboard & ski equipment in Chamonix - A step-by-step guide
It’s very easy to rent your ski gear in Chamonix – just follow these simple five steps and you’ll be all set to hit the slopes.

1. Choose a ski hire shop: First of all, you need to decide where you’re going to rent your equipment from. Our top tip is to pick a place that’s near your accommodation or close to the slopes, that way you’ll avoid having to carry heavy skis across resort. You will find plenty of ski hire shops throughout the Chamonix valley. Most of them are located in the centre of Chamonix Town and around the main lifts connecting the bottom of the valley with the slopes in Les Houches (Prarion and Bellevue), Brévent, Flégere, Grands Montets, Le Tour and Vallorcine. Use the Map button at the top of our Ski Hire page to see the location of the best ski hire shops in Chamonix.

2. Pre-book your ski hire online: To avoid queues and benefit from the best deals, it’s always a good idea to pre-book your snowboard and ski hire online. Click on the Prices & Options button on our Ski Hire page – it’ll take you straight to the ski hire shop’s website and you’ll be able to benefit from special discounts for SeeChamonix.com customers (if and when available). By selecting your dates and the rental’s duration, you’ll be able to see what’s available to book.

3. Choose your perfect gear: Most ski hire shops in Chamonix have a range of gear on offer. Be honest with your skills when choosing your category, you want your gear to help you comfortably glide down the pistes. After selecting your category, you’ll have to insert your personal information as well as some basic data for the shop’s staff to get your gear ready - generally your height, weight and shoe size. Worry not, however, they’ll fit your equipment when you pick it up. You’ll also be able to add on optional equipment like helmets and services like ski hire insurance.

4. Pick up your equipment: You’re all set – you’ll just need to stop by the shop to pick up your equipment. We recommend you collect it the evening before your first ski day if possible as it’ll give you more time on the slopes. Many shops also offer delivery to your accommodation and you can even ask if there are ski lockers available at the shop and leave your equipment there, ready to pick up in the morning as you head to the lifts. When you go to collect your equipment, shop staff will adjust your order if necessary to ensure you're given the right type and length of skis or snowboards for your ability and size. They may ask you for a personal document as a security deposit, which they will return when your rental period ends. Should there be anything wrong with your equipment, or if the fit of your boots doesn't feel quite right after the first day snowboarding or skiing, you can return to the shop to have them refitted or exchanged. A lot of ski hire shops will also let you swap your equipment during your rental period so you can try out different brands and styles – ask when picking up your gear.

5. Return your gear: Ski hire shops are usually open for a couple of hours after the lifts have stopped running, so you’ll have time to return your equipment even if you’re the last one on the pistes. The shop’s staff will check for damage and give you back your document. As for payment, it depends on the shop. Some will ask you to pay when you’ve pre-booked your rental gear, some at the time of picking it up and many when you return it.

Our local team’s top tip: Tour operators, hotels and local chalet owners in [rename] are usually familiar with the rental market and often have good relationships with ski and snowboard rental shops, meaning they can offer you great deals. They're also likely to have chosen a ski hire shop close to your accommodation so you won't have to walk far to collect all your gear. Some may even organise for your skis and boots to be brought to your chalet on your first night so you're ready to go in the morning. Also, should you need to return to the hire shop at any point in the week, you can more than likely organise this through your accommodation provider.

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Additional gear hire in Chamonix

It’s not only skis, poles, boards and boots that ski hire shops rent out. Many have other pieces of equipment on offer.

Helmet hire in Chamonix
Most ski hire shops rent out helmets. Their use is not obligatory except in competitions but it's strongly recommended, especially for children. Trends have changed over the last 10-20 years and now you’ll find that nearly everyone you see on the slopes is wearing a helmet. As well as protecting you from head injuries, most helmets ('casques' in French) keep you warm, are well designed to minimise loss of special awareness and provide adequate ventilation.

Snowshoe & sledge hire in Chamonix
Many ski and snowboard hire shops have snowshoes and poles to rent so that you can explore the trails surrounding Chamonix on foot. Kids (or the young-at-heart) will be pleased to hear that many also offer rental sledges ranging from simple plastic snow gliders to more sophisticated contraptions.

Mountaineering equipment for hire in Chamonix
Some specialised ski hire shops have mountaineering equipment for hire so you won’t have to bring it all with you if you’re planning a backcountry expedition while in Chamonix. Avalanche gear including transceivers, poles and shovels, rucksacks, crampons and even ropes may be available to rent at some of the local ski hire shops.

Skiwear for hire in Chamonix
If you don't want to spend a fortune on your kid's skiwear every season or if you want to swap styles each winter, then you can rent your ski clothes in Chamonix at Sanglard, O'Shop and Ski Loc. There are also several online companies that rent out skiwear. Try Ski Chic, who deliver all around the French Alps, or Crevasse Clothing who will send you jackets, trousers, gloves and goggles to your home address before your trip to Chamonix.

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More inspiration...

Do you want to know more about the different types of skis and snowboards available in Chamonix? Then take a look at our ski gear guide and snowboard gear guide. Or perhaps you're considering buying your equipment instead of renting? Then our ski & board buying guide and our ski maintenance guide will be of help.

After booking your ski hire, take a look at the ski schools offering lessons in Chamonix and at this year's ski passes. If you're not sure what to book, read our ski lessons guide and our ski area guide for more information.

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Ski Lessons in Chamonix