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OPTING FOR SKI HIRE - Sarah Vizard, La Plagne
Wednesday March 8, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Leaving her all time favourites at home, Sarah Vizard enjoys travelling light and uses ski hire for the first time in years.

It's a long time since I've had to rent skis.

Back in 2006 I was doing a season and bought myself a set of K2 twin tips ideal for the sort of skiing I was doing then - a lot of off piste, a bit of messing about in the park.

Yet more than 10 years later they just aren't really suited to how I ski now.

Unfortunately I only get to go skiing once a year, if that (and actually haven't been for four years for various reasons), so I'm more likely to be found on piste than anywhere else.

This year I found myself wondering if taking my skis with me was really the best idea.

They're old.

They're meant for a style of skiing that I don't do as much anymore.

And I would have to trek across London with them.

It may be unfair, but I don't have particularly pleasant memories of renting.

My concerns mainly centre around ski shops rammed full of holidaymakers at 8am trying to shove their feet into ski boots that don't fit and being given last year's old skis that have been dinged and bashed about.

And paying through the nose for the privilege.

Never again, I'd always thought.

Yet the ski rental market has, unsurprisingly, changed a lot in those intervening years.

The internet has boosted competition meaning it's easier to hunt round for a deal and people are much savvier.

Plus I think people much better understand ski tech and the types of skis for them.

There is no one-size-fits-all model anymore and holidaymakers are keen to try out the newest equipment, the stuff they've seen being used in the latest YouTube videos.

So this year I decided to leave my trusty K2s at home and try out renting again.

Almost immediately it was clear I had made the right decision.

I was catching the ski train from St Pancras and lugging one bag across London was bad enough; trying to do it with skis as well would have been tortuous as I navigated three separate tube lines.

The ski train does at least mean it would have been free to take my skis.

For anyone flying you almost always have to pay extra to take ski equipment, another black mark against taking your own.

I was staying in La Plagne and only a five minute walk from the nearby Intersport and so at 8.30am the first morning I wandered round.

To my surprise the lines of people were nowhere to be seen.

Instead, everyone had ordered online before turning up so the shop knew almost exactly who was going to turn up and what sort of equipment they might want, making everything much smoother and faster.

...... almost as fast as the video below. 😎

I was instantly helped by one of the staff, a lady who when she found out I had done a couple of seasons promised me "seulement le meilleur".

She pulled out a pair of Scott Black Majics, saying they were a great ski that too often got given to men who - and I apologise to any easily-offended French speakers -  "traiter comme de la merde".

I promised not to treat them like s**t and, after quickly setting them up for my boots, weight and ability I was free to go.

I won't pretend to know a lot about all the different makes and models of skis but did know that Black Majics are meant to be a great ski for on the piste, just what I was looking for.

It had recently snowed in La Plagne but there wasn't a lot of off piste while I was there, plus I was going with my boyfriend who had never skied before so I knew I would be spending a lot of time on piste.

The skis were very different to my K2s, much more responsive on the piste and better able to deal with the hard-packed snow early in the mornings.

And they loved turning, seemingly twitching to get into the next turn.

They were actually a little longer than I expected, but I've read some reviews and almost all say a little longer is good as they're better on their edges.

Again a first-rate job done by Intersport there.

Loving my Scott Black Majic'sLoving my Scott Black Majics (r)
















There was also the option to change the skis if I wasn't happy or if conditions changed.

As it turned out that wasn't necessary because the skis were great and we had six days of cold, clear weather, perfect for preserving the snowfall of the previous week.

I went into the holiday unsure if renting was really the best idea but I've been convinced.

Intersport did a great job of understanding my needs and experience and catering to them, while offering a great service.

Plus they have all the latest equipment, not 10-year-old twin tips that have seen better days, even if they provide some great memories.

Seems my old K2s might be best left in the loft next year too.

Magic moments with Scott Black MajicMagic moments with family and Black Majics

















My old skis might be left in the loft next year too..My old skis might be left in the loft next year too..
















Boot hire too ... IntersportBoot hire too.. good choice online or instore




















.... Intersport.... Intersport




















Ski Hire - Intersport - La Plagne

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