• The ski shop makes more money renting out higher performance equipment.
• Be honest with yourself – if you don't ski hard and fast you probably don't need it.
• Higher performance skis perform worse when not skied hard – they need higher momentum, and more force to get them to work well. Skied slower they can be harder work. Is that what you want?
• It may well have been a year since you last skied – maybe more. You likely won't ski too hard on days one and two. Try renting an easy, flexible ski first. If you find you ski hard enough to make it “chatter”, you can always change up.
• Same rules apply. Boots designed for beginner/early intermediate will be less expensive.
• Priority number one is comfort. Don't put up with anything less.
• Very few skiers need boots as stiff as the ones they have; or rent. Most skiers are “over-booted” and it holds back their skiing. Plus it's often painful.
• Start off the vacation with a lower grade boot: it's easy to exchange them.
• Why do I say this? Because if you cannot forward flex your ankle very readily, your skiing will never be as good as it could be. And you'll never be as stable.
• When you do-up your boots don't have the higher buckles too tight.
• When the buckles are done flex your shin forward and hold it there, and only then fasten the unfortunately named “power strap”. It will be somewhat slack until you flex your shin forward. At first you may feel this is a bit “wobbly” - but for heaven's sake you don't have your ankles clamped when you move about at home! And it doesn't make you lose control.
SKI POLES. (The ski shop will have a small fit when you tell them this.)
• You want them shorter.
• They hate it. They will patiently explain to you as if you were a child that they know what length you need, and will explain how they derive it.
• At this point listen attentively, take the pole they proffer, and then tell them you want a pair like that but 3” (7.5 cms) shorter. Insist on it. They will suggest that if you do, you will die. You won't.
• Why shorter poles? Because the length ski shops always hand out, makes skiers stand upright and almost lean back every time they do a pole plant.
• Try it – all experiments are worthwhile. You will very quickly prefer the shorter ones because they will help improve your posture.
You may also want to purchase my book Skiing from Greens to Reds and beyond...: A skiing workbook to really give you confidence (Ski In Conrol 2)
You may also want to check out my FREE ski instruction videos