Photo: (c) FamVeld / Shutterstock.
Since starting their first ski shop in Val d’Isere in 1991, Scots Jock and Susan Dun have built their success NOT just doing things the way all other stores always do. do but based on what they call ‘Rent To Get It Right’.
For over 10 years, they have been involved in a joint venture in the ski rental store, Snowberry, with former world champion, Annie Famose. Last season saw another step forward for Snowberry, with the opening of their brand new Snowberry Streetside store – to complement the existing Slopeside store at Rond Point des Pistes – right in the heart of Val d’Isere. This is Jock’s that undertakes ski equipment rentals for children.
Buying ski equipment for your kids is a no-brainer – unless you’re lucky enough to be able to ski a few times per season. And while it’s okay to borrow clothes, goggles, gloves, etc from friends, borrowing the actual gear isn’t a good idea – it needs to fit your child, plus most airlines all charge a fee to bring a skateboard on these days (and the same fee whether the skateboard is for adults or children). So most people rent equipment for their kids.
Choose your ski rental shop
Make sure you choose a reputable store with lots of new and good baby gear. Children’s skateboards don’t get used as often as adult skateboards, so some stores just keep rolling out the same vintage kids’ play sets every year around school holidays. English-speaking staff help your child explain what is appropriate and what is not. Some stores offer extra “child-friendly” services that make your life as a parent a lot easier. These can include free shipping, overnight storage, and weekend gear collection, but even something as simple as a name sticker on your child’s device to prevent them from getting confused at ski school. can also save you a lot of trouble.
Especially if you are traveling during the school holidays, you must pre-book your ski rental to ensure availability. Not every store, not even one of the major resorts, runs out of baby gear, and the last thing you want after taking your child skiing for the first time in six months is to tell him. them that they can ‘no skates! Booking in advance also saves you time upon arrival at the resort as some parts of the process can be arranged prior to your arrival. (By the way, while you’re there, make sure you book their lessons too!). However, some things cannot be done in advance – boots and helmets need to be tried on and properly fitted upon arrival.
Photo: (c) Gorilla Images / Shutterstock.
Skateboard rental for kids
Children’s skateboards are made much more limited than adults, so even the best stores won’t have a wide range of skateboard designs and styles. At Snowberry, we have a much larger variety of kids’ skateboards in our rental than any other store anywhere, with almost 30 different models of kids’ skateboards. Most stores don’t even have that amount of options for adults! Especially at the beginner level, kids skateboards are mostly piste oriented, but piste is where your beginner and intermediate kids will spend their time. At the other end of the scale, unlike most other rental shops, we go right to the right pro/premium level base skateboards. These are often hard to come by, whether you’re looking for basic and outdoor FIS racing skateboards or niche piste/freeride models. However, only a few stores will sell this item, so you may need to do a bit of research before ordering. The smallest skis on the market are suitable for kids aged about three and up, although at that age they probably won’t be skiing for more than an hour or two a day. Again, stock of this size can be difficult to find but a good store should reduce the quantity immediately. Don’t be surprised if the skates the store offers for your child look short compared to yours. Children have less strength – especially in the legs and can’t bend a longer slide, so a ski run that’s too long will be extremely dangerous. A kid just starting out on skateboards might be chest-short, but for a slightly older kid with a bit of experience from collarbone to chin is just right.
Wearing the right boots is important for everyone, but it’s even more important for kids who don’t quite understand the feel of a pair of ski boots. So make sure you pick a store that does it the right way – not all are like that, some will just ask for your child’s shoe size and deliver you a pair of boots – usually a size (or even two). ) is too large, this is extremely dangerous! Remember to bring your child’s ski socks with them when they try on boots – all it takes is a pair of proper, well-fitting ski socks that they should be all wearing. And of course, they shouldn’t tuck anything else (heating leggings or ski pants) inside the boots. Make sure the support person shows and explains to your child how to install and adjust the boots – they will need to do this themselves at the ski school. By all means, sit with your child while they are being dressed, but don’t interfere – the shoe repairman must know what they are doing and make sure the boots fit properly. If your child has problems walking in the snow, go back and change their boots right away, don’t wait until a small problem becomes a big one. If your child has large feet, watch out for stores that put them in adult boots. Adult boots, although they can fit the foot, are often too high and too stiff for children, so they can be dangerous. And if your child is fairly young and has small feet, make sure the store has them sized before you commit to a rental. With most brands of boots, the smallest size they produce is around 7 to 8 years old UK children, so smaller boots can be quite difficult to find.
Photo: (c) Alpbachtal.
Rent a ski helmet
Some ski schools require children to wear helmets, but whether they wear one or not, you’ll be furious when your child goes skiing without a helmet. In some resorts, children are required to wear helmets, whether at ski school or not. Most stores have far fewer helmets than kids’ skateboards, so during busy times availability can be an issue. A few stores guarantee helmets for your kid’s skateboards but most don’t, so again you have to be sure and book in advance. Like any safety device, a helmet will only protect your child properly if it fits properly. A good store will size and fit the helmet, adjust all the straps, and show the child and you how to do it correctly. Some helmets are more adjustable than others and are designed to cover a wider range of head sizes and these helmets are quite popular these days for rentals simply because they fit more people. . However, the small head can be a problem. It’s almost impossible for stores to buy very small helmets these days, so double check their sizes. If your kid’s head is too small (and even older kids can) even the store with the most variety may not have helmets small enough because they don’t exist. Your only option is to take the smallest size available and put a hat underneath – not ideal, but certainly better than no helmet.
Young children should not have a ski pole when they start skiing. They won’t need them, they’ll get in the way, won’t use them at ski school and they’re just another thing for you to take with you. If and when they need it, their instructor will let you know and you can go back to the store and get them later. However, some kids will make a big fuss if they don’t have poles like others – they’re great at fighting older siblings anyway – so, if you ask well, The store can give them to you. Older children will need a deposit, they are included in the price of the skateboard so there is no extra charge for you.
Ski clothes rental
If you don’t want to buy our kids ski clothing and don’t have friends who can lend you, you’ll need to. At many resorts in North America, Australia and New Zealand, you can rent ski clothing and sometimes accessories like gloves and goggles. But it’s rare to find ski clothing or accessories for rent in resorts in Europe, so if you’re traveling to Europe you’ll need to buy (or ask for and borrow) before you go. travel or buy on arrival.
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