There are few experts more knowledgeable than Niseko's YamaSport Manager, David Tarr, who after 8 seasons in Niseko and countless in other ski resorts around the world, shares his Top Five Tips for Renting Right.
Top 5 Tips for Renting Right
1. Book Ahead
You can save yourself some valuable time at the rental shop by booking ahead. We can then have all your booking details loaded in and ready for you so that when you arrive you can head straight to the fit-out area to try on and collect your gear.
All skiers will need to provide their height, weight, age and ability so their bindings can be adjusted correctly for them – so if you don’t have time to book ahead it helps to at least have weighed and measured the kids before you leave home.
Not to mention, booking early can get you a great discount in our Early Bird Sale.
2. Dress Right For Fit Out
When you come to the store to select your gear, make sure you have dressed for the occasion! Bring or wear the socks you are going to ski or board in. These should be well-fitting, mid thickness socks that come up to the top of your calf (ideally above the top of your ski or snowboard boot). If you don’t own a pair or two already you can buy socks at our shops - they will be well worth the investment.
Don’t wear multiple pairs of socks in your ski boots – it won’t actually keep your feet any warmer but it will cause lumps and wrinkles in your boots which can rub and cause pressure points and blisters.
If you have your own snow pants it’s a good idea to wear them for your fit out, or at least wear loose or stretchy pants that you can easily pull up above the top of a ski or board boot - it’s really hard to tell if a boot fits you properly around the leg and ankle if you have to try it on over your skinny jeans!
3. Standard or Premium Equipment?
One of the most common questions we get asked in the rental shop is “what is the difference?"
Standard gear is designed for learning on. If you are still measuring your entire skiing or boarding experience in hours or days then standard gear is probably perfect for you. Our standard range of skis and boards are stable, light-weight and easy to turn at slower speeds. They are ideal for learners who prefer easy slopes and smooth terrain.
Standard range ski boots are easy to get on and off and have a fairly soft flex so you can progress and find your balance in comfort. Standard range gear is also built to be fairly tough – so if you have the odd crash while you are learning (and you probably will) the chances are good that both you and the gear will survive the ordeal relatively unscathed!
Premium gear is a little bit sportier to a lot sportier! So, if you’ve skied a little or a lot, had a few lessons and are keen to take your riding to the next level, then this is a great choice for you. We sometimes hear our guests lament that, after seeing a huge improvement in their riding over their first few snow holidays, they seem to plateau out and don’t feel they are progressing as quickly.
Quite often, they haven’t even considered that by trying some premium equipment, that is designed to help them improve, it will take their skiing or boarding to the next level. So, whether the next level for you is perfecting your turns on a green run, carving up the whole mountain, or riding Niseko’s famous deep powder tree runs, the great choice of equipment in the premium range will have you covered. Are you, your partner, and your kids worth paying a little extra for premium gear? The answer is yes!
4. Talk to Your Technician
Ski and snowboard techs love snow gear and they are always happy to talk about it! There is a huge choice of gear in our premium range and it can be a bit bewildering. So do talk to the technicians about what type of riding you like to do, and be honest about your ability so they can pick out equipment that you will enjoy. It is all about having fun and being on gear that suits your style!
Maybe you remember a particular type of ski or board you’ve used in the past and you are looking for something similar? Maybe you had a problem with your ski boots in the past? The more we know about you, the easier it is to match you with the right gear first time.
However, you can swap skis or boards whenever you like – so if you aren’t loving the first ski or board you try, come back and try another – anytime!
5. Don't Forget to Accessorise
We love that it just snows and snows in Niseko – it is why we are all here. But it does mean that you need to be dressed right to enjoy the conditions.
A helmet won’t just help protect you from injury in a fall, it will also keep your head warm and dry in cold and snowy weather. Good quality snow goggles will help you to see where you are going when it is snowing and protect your eyes from the snow and wind. And, lastly, you will really need warm and waterproof outerwear and gloves - if you don’t own these already you can rent all this as well.
Just bring your own undies and we can sort you out with the rest!
We look forward to seeing you next season at YamaSport in one of our convenient locations!