top of page

Strap in Or Rent Out?  Pros and Cons of buying your own XC skis

You are interested in trying out cross country skiing.  Congratulations!  You’ve joined the more than 4.5 million Americans who get out to kick and glide across tranquil snow fields and glades this winter.  As you prepare to hit the trails, one question looms large: should you buy or rent?  In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of purchasing your own cross-country skis.  March is the time of year Nordic centers sell used gear and mark down new gear! If your are reading this in March you may be able to score a deal so here is what you need to know!


Owning your own cross-country skis can be pretty great.  What are the perks to owning your own pair of cross-country skis? 

  1. Personalized Fit: When you purchase your own skis, you can search for that “just right” Goldilocks fit, which affects the experience you have on the trail.  A good fit makes for a good experience.

  2. Familiarity & Consistency: Along with the benefits of a good fit, owning your own pair of skis provides the opportunity to become familiar with their performance.  Because you’re skiing with the same equipment every time, you build consistency and reliability in your experience skiing.

  3. Customization: Ownership offers the benefit of customizing your skis based on your style, skills level and preferences.  Bindings, poles and wax options enable you to tailor your equipment to adjust your ski experience in the ways you like.

  4. Freedom to explore: Renting can limit where you ski, especially if you want to ski further out from civilization.  Owning your skis means you can take off wherever the snow blows - when, where and for how long you desire, with no late or overnight fees.

  5. Cost Efficiency: Frequent skiers will generally save time and money in the long run by owning their own skis.  Though there are options to rent cross country skis for the season, they are becoming less popular in rental stores in recent years.  Owning your skis means you save time running to and from rental stores, as well as the sticker price for every ski adventure.


Ownership isn’t all smooth skiing.  Before you rush out to invest in your first pair of cross country skis, here are some of the cons to consider before buying your own skis.

  1. Cost: Cross country skis are not cheap, and with production down in recent years, even used skis can provide significant sticker shock.  

  2. Technology Advances: Rental shops typically provide the latest ski technology, which means every time you rent, you get to try the latest upgrade.  Not so when you own - you commit to whatever you buy, and for some that’s a significant con.

  3. Resale Value: While some sports equipment maintains its value across the years, cross country skis may not retain a high resale value.  

  4. Storage and Maintenance: Storing skis is an inevitable downside to owning them.  Not only do you need to find space for the boots, poles and skis themselves, but also the equipment to care for them - waxing, edge tuning and base care become part of the ownership commitment.

  5. Type: When you rent, you can pick the perfect ski for the snow conditions and your personal preference for the day.  Sticky snow?  Sounds like a skate ski day.  Ownership requires you to pick which kind of ski… or pay for both types of skis, with their requisite poles and boots.

In summary, the decision to buy or rent cross country skis depends on numerous factors, including your budget, personal ski preferences and commitment to getting out on the snow.  Reviewing the pros and cons outlined here will guide you toward a choice that best aligns with your skiing goals and lifestyle.  Whether you choose ownership for the long-term benefits or prefer the flexibility of renting, the joy of gliding through the winter landscapes remains the best perk of cross-country skiing. Call your nearest Nordic center and ask them about sales!

Want help finding the right fit?  Just purchased some skis and wondering what to do with them?  We’ve got you!  Check out our clinics, at or call Anna(801-209-2708) for a personalized coaching sessions!

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Backpack / Hiking Trips

bottom of page