So you’ve decided to learn to ski but you have no idea where to start to find equipment. This quick reference guide will help you learn the basics about where to look and what to expect when buying your ski gear.

When buying ski equipment it is important to ensure that the ski boots fit into the bindings and that the bindings fit the skis. All three must be purchased separately and it can get a little costly. There are a lot of sites that can help you browse around for the best price. Another option is to buy gently used gear form friends and family or from strangers using eBay and craigslist. You don’t need to buy all three things from the same place or at the same time but I would suggest bringing what you have, or the exact measurements of what you have, with you when you go to purchase new pieces.

Ski boots should fit snuggly, almost too snug. You shouldn’t be able to lift your heel inside the boot. The best way to find the best fit in skis is to find a pair that is just about as tall as you are. Ski shapes vary from straight and skinny to curved and fat. Ski bindings need to fit the ski boots snuggly. There is a little less than an inch of leeway that can be given to varying sizes but for the most part it will be a pretty tight fit. This is why having the boots (or the exact measurements) with you while purchasing the bindings can help. Ski poles are easiest to fit and should be the cheapest item to buy. They should be about as tall as your waist or a little taller. They will help you when moving across flat ground as well as being of a little assistance with your balance when skiing downhill.

Personally I don’t have preferences in brand and feel like most ski equipment is going to be good. I have had success with gear that was ten years old as well as gear that was brand new. I’d say that whatever fits your price range is best. You can do research online or in the store to find brands and styles that have worked for others. Read reviews about issues that previous skiers have had and make an educated decision based on what you find. Good luck and happy skiing!