Chances are, if you have never skied or boarded before, you do not own your own equipment and renting is your best option. If you are not knowledgeable about the rental process, your first experience can be confusing. Preparing yourself on what to expect is half the battle. Our Rossignol Experience Center at Belleayre makes learning to ski and improving your skiing easier, quicker and more fun for skiers of all ages. Our Experience Center is newly located on the ground level just next to the Discovery Lodge in the Discovery Rental Center and is stocked with more than 1,100 pairs of skis from Rossignol, 200 snowboards from Burton and over 50 pairs of high performance rental and demo skis.
The first thing you need to know is what you wear. Just like dressing for the slopes, you need to dress in layers in the rental shop. Being inside dressed in your ski jacket, thermals, and whatever else you might have on will cause your body to become warm and you might sweat. Taking off some of the many layers you have on will help.
Secondly, expect lines. During peak hours (9 am - 11 am), the rental line can become increasingly long so be prepared to wait a little bit. An ID is a must for renting equipment and a if you do not pay by credit card, a deposit is required.
Once you reach the cashier, ask questions. The cashier is there to help you. If you are a beginner or have skied once or twice before or haven't skied in a long time and would like to take a lesson the best route is the beginners package, which includes an area use pass (aka lift ticket), rentals, and a group lesson. If you are a snowboarder of any ability (never-ever to expert) the best option is the snowboard package which includes your area use pass, rental equipment and a one and half hour group lesson. Once the cashier has collected all of your paperwork and your money, you are off to receive your equipment.
Ultimately, the goal is to own your own gear. Before you go out and buy any gear, you should try out different kinds of equipment. Some brands and styles may be more suited to you than others. Think of it like buying a car. Would you buy a car that you haven't test driven?
Even though equipment can be expensive, there are some deals out there if you know where to look. Ski shops offer sales during late spring and early summer, ski swaps, even friends and neighbors. Just remember if you are buying used equipment, make sure you have them checked out and tuned up before you start to use them.