It’s a common question and a very easy thing to get wrong, so we have written this guide to help you when buying skis. So that you won’t turn up in Park skis for an instructor course.

Should I rent or buy Skis for the season ?

It’s a common question, and we’ve tried to give you some pointers in this blog. First, it is cheaper to buy your own skis for an instructor course than hire for the season. You can buy skis and boots in the UK or in the resort. If purchasing in the UK, we have exclusive offers with Rossignol with up to a 20-35% discount off this season’s equipment. However supplies of these are tricky to get at the best of times. Most shops in the resort offer our clients 10-15% off ski gear.

The benefits of buying in the resort are you can try before you buy. Most shops offer a trial service where you can try the skis out before purchase and choose the right ones for you. Buying your own gear also allows it to be personalised and fitted to you for comfort. It will also allow you to perform at your best ability with skis suited to your skiing style, skiing experience and height.

Most skiers on a course purchase all-mountain skis. During training, you need your skis to work well on groomed runs, moguls and powder. All-mountain skis are ideal for anyone looking to buy 1 pair of skis for the season.

If you are worried about money when buying all of your equipment. You can look into selling your gear at the end of the season at either a second-hand shop or to other people in the resort across the Facebook marketplace, etc. This will save you even more money than if you were to rent for the season.

Types of Skis: 

  • All Mountain Skis – A versatile ski usually 80-90mm underfoot, with an hourglass shape that can be used across the whole mountain, including groomed runs, powder, steeps, bumps and even some park skiing. Whilst this is above the recommended width for a ski instructor course, they are accepted if you only have one set of skis with you.
  • Carving Skis – An intermediate to advanced ski designed for groomer runs and works well on firm snow. This ski has an hourglass shape, is typically 70-80mm underfoot, and works well for on-piste and mogul training; these are ideal if you are doing your Level 2 or 3, however, the ski is not suitable for powder. If you choose carving skis for a ski instructor course, we recommend having free-ride skis for days in the powder. 
  • Freeride Skis – Similar in style but broader than all-mountain skis. These are designed for powder and the occasional piste skiing. This type of ski is not ideal for a ski instructor course. They are a good option for those purchasing 2 pairs of skis when paired with carving skis.  
  • Powder Skis – Very wide skis, usually 100-140mm underfoot and designed for deep snow and backcountry. Great ski’s for powder days but no good for your instructor training.  
  • Race Skis – Stiff skis that are usually thinner underfoot but similar in shape to carving skis. Race skis are suited to advanced skiers and racers. They are therefore not recommended to intermediate skiers joining a ski instructor course.  
  • Twin Tips / Park Skis – these are soft, forgiving skis with turned-up tips and tails for multi-directional take-off and landing jumps, rails and boxes. Bindings can be mounted further forward, so positioning is unsuitable for piste/powder skiing. These skis are too specialised and not suitable for an instructor course.

If you participate in a ski instructor course with skis designed especially for park or powder, you will find training more difficult. This could lead to exam failure.


  • If you’re unsure about what skis to buy for your course, you can wait until you’re in the resort, where our reps can help you buy the right skis for the season.  
  • Skis length should be between your chin height and the top of your head. Shorter skis are better for beginners and people who are of slim build. Intermediate-Advanced skiers should aim to choose a ski in the mid-long range of their height.  
  • Stiffness – generally, the more advanced you are, the stiffer your ski should be. However, it can also depend on body type and height. Taller or heavier people usually choose a stiffer ski, and smaller, lighter people require a softer ski. It is always a good idea to try before buying if you’re unsure.
  • Don’t buy based on the design! What the ski does is far more critical than what it looks like. We know it can be tempting to buy a fancy looking pair of skis. But if the skis aren’t suitable for training, you will struggle during the course and may need to purchase a more suitable pair.    

So the next vital bit of kit you’re going to need is your boots. We’ve put together a comprehensive blog because it’s incredible how easy it is to get it wrong – HERE.