About Ski Hire in Chamonix
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.
|Popular 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.|
Pre-booking ski hire in Chamonix
Our advice is to always book your skis or snowboard in advance. Doing so allows the hire shop to prepare for your arrival and smooths the process. They only need your size, height and skiing ability to get your boots and skis or board ready for the slopes.
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.
Most shops offer the possibility of picking up your pre-booked gear the evening before your first rental day, whilst some even deliver the equipment to your accommodation.
What sort of skis to hire 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).
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, splitboards, powder boards and cross-country skis. Worry not, you won't need to know about the technical aspects of any of the equipment as ski hire shops will advise you to get the best model for your ability and size once you've booked.
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. After your first day skiing or snowboarding, if the fit of your boots doesn't feel quite right you can always change them for different ones. 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.
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.
Shops usually offer good value packs to rent, comprising your skis or snowboard and boots, as well as poles for skiers. You can also hire skis, boots, board, poles or helmets individually.
Where to hire skis in Chamonix
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. 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), Brevent, Flegere, Grands Montets, Le Tour and Vallorcine.
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 chalets 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 warm feet.
Ski hire via a Tour Operator or Chalet Company in Chamonix
Tour operators, hotels and local chalet owners in Chamonix 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.
Insuring skis hired in Chamonix
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 is 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, usually between 1€ and 5€ per day depending on your equipment's category and rental period, extra insurance may just be worth getting.
Also see: Ski Insurance for Chamonix
Protective gear hire in Chamonix
Most ski hire shops rent helmets. Their use is not obligatory except in competitions but it's strongly recommended, especially for children. 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.
You should also consider wearing wrist guards if you're going to be snowboarding. There are two basic types: stiff ones with a single bone running from your palm down past your wrist, and flexible ones which are composed of multiple individual bones and allow greater movement. Some specialised snowboarding gloves come with wrist protectors built-in. Additional equipment you might think about wearing when snowboarding are padded shorts, back protectors and elbow and knee guards. You will have to buy your own protective equipment if you need any of the above as ski hire shops usually only rent helmets.
Also see: Ski & Board Gear for Chamonix
Buying equipment in Chamonix
If you would rather buy your own equipment then take a look at our guide to buying ski equipment in Chamonix. You can pick up some great bargains in resort if you're skiing at the very end of the season, as ski hire and sports shops start to sell off the current season's gear to make room for summer's stock.
Also see: Ski & Board Gear for Chamonix
After booking your ski hire, take a look at the Ski Schools offering lessons in Chamonix and at this year's Ski Lift Pass Prices. If you're not sure what to book, read our Ski Lessons Guide, our Ski Pass Options Guide and Ski Area Guide for more information.
Location: Chamonix / Mont Blanc Valley