Why are Skis so Expensive? Everything You Need to Know

If you are brand new to skiing, or are looking to buy some new ski gear, one of your most important pieces of equipment is your skis! However, lots of people wonder exactly why skis are so expensive to buy?

Keep reading to find out what skis are so expensive in the first place, and also how to possibly save money while not compromising on the quality of your skis!

Making sure that your skis are good quality and suitable to the type of skiing you will be doing, and also your ability level, is important in determining how easy it will be for you to develop your skills and also have great fun out on the slopes!

Why are Skis so Expensive?

The production and special features associated with skis all contribute to the relatively high cost of buying new skis. However, factors like the time of year and type of ski you are looking for can all drastically affect their price.

You might still be wondering what sorts factors really make the cost of skis as high as they are. You might also wonder how this price might vary between different types of skis, and the ability level that the ski is designed for.

Knowing how to save money, while not compromising on getting the new skis you need, suited to your ability level is essential when looking for your new ski gear!

One example of this is the time of year that you buy your skis. For more info on how ski prices change with the time of year, keep reading for everything you need to know!

Special Features of Skis

Skis have a number of different features which make them different from just a simple plank of wood! These special materials and features play a part in why some skis are expensive, and also why there is variation in price between different skis.

Lots of different features are characteristic of skis, and vary between different types and ability levels. Some of these include their flex (how easy the ski is to bend when pressure is applied to them), rocker and camber. An example of what is meant by rocker and camber is shown below.

Different types of skis, as well as skis made for different abilities will vary in their specialised features.

Things like the waist width, length, flex and shape of skis can all be affected by the type of skiing the ski is intended for, and the ability level of the skier.

How Skis are Made

Lots of the cost associated with skis is as a result of how they are made. Skis are a very specific combination of different materials such as wood and metal as well as other specialised materials.

Skis also come in a number of different lengths and widths, all requiring different moulds in order to be made which adds to the cost of production.

This, as well as adding in the other special and individual features of different types and makes of skis, as well as the shipping cost, will no doubt add to the cost of skis overall!

Time of Year- Buy Smart!

Lots of first-time ski buyers don’t realise, but the time of year you purchase your skis can drastically affect their price tag.

Firstly, lets talk about probably the worst time to buy ski gear in terms of their price. Unsurprisingly, while this is when all of the brand-new models will likely be released, just before the ski season or during the ski season is often the most expensive time to buy ski gear.

This is because this is when most people are looking to buy skis and boots. This is also when brands tend to release their newest models which are generally highly sought after, so may be more expensive.

However, if you are looking to save money and are not too bothered about not getting the newest models or designs of skis each year, it may be worth looking at what skis are available at the end of the ski season.

The end of the ski season or off-season is often when prices of ski gear are dropped so brands and shops can make space for their new inventory before the next ski season. Remember, warehouses have a space limit, so its no surprise that stores might want to get rid of last season’s stock ready for the next season!

However, one issue you could run into when shopping for a new pair of skis at the end of the ski season or off-season is that much of the stores inventory may have already sold.

Stores are less likely to replenish their stock at the end of the season as they normally will get fewer customers, so you may be left with slightly less choice than at other times in the year.

Remember, this is only an estimate of what could happen to the price of skis in stores and is not based on any specific store, therefore, this may not apply to different stores and brands.

Different Types of Skis

There are a number of different types of skis designed both for different uses, and for different abilities.

Types of Skis

Some different types of skis include-

  • All mountain skis
  • Touring skis
  • Carving skis
  • Powder skis
  • Racing skis
  • Snowblades
  • Freestyle skis

These are just a few of the terms you might come across when buying skis, although there are plenty of other different types we didn’t mention here.

All mountain skis are what most people typically think of when they think of skiing downhill on a piste. After these, you might expect other types of skis to be more expensive because they are specifically designed for more specialised purposes.

This is with the exception of snowblades which, due to their size, are often the cheapest type of ski you can buy.

Ski ability level

The ability level of the skier also affects the type of ski you buy, and the price! There is a lot of variety between different brands and skis, so there is lots of overlap between different categories in terms of their price! The general ability categories are:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Expert

You can expect beginner level skis to be more flexible and lightweight in order to be more forgiving for beginner technical errors and to make turning and building technique easier. These are designed to be used by beginners to travel at relatively slow speeds with less pressure applied to them compared to intermediate and advanced skis.

By contrast, more advanced skis are generally stiffer and possibly heavier. This is to allow the skier to travel and carve at higher speeds with more pressure applied to the skis, which is common in more advanced skiers.

These same rules may not apply to different types of skis, for example skis that require more flex regardless of the ability level. However, this is a rough guide for skis used for carving on mostly groomed slopes.

Due to the differences in their features, in general, you can expect to pay more for your skis the more advanced of a skier you are and the more advanced your skis are designed for.

Are More Expensive Skis Worth It?

Some people may wonder if they can save money by sticking with cheaper skis designed for less experienced skiers, even as they develop and advance in their technique. It is normally advised that, if you want to keep improving and advancing your technique, that you should use skis that match your skill level.

This is because those skis are specifically designed to support and accommodate your skill level and the type of skiing you are likely to be attempting.

However, you should always speak to a professional for advice on the type and level of skis you should be using.


To conclude, the cost of skis is often due to their high cost of production and shipping costs, as well as effectively giving them all the special features they need such as flex, strength, camber and rocker.

New ski models and styles can also contribute to the higher price of skis at certain times of the year.  Buying skis at the end of the ski season or off-season can help to save money, as the price of these skis is often reduced in order to make way for new stock for the coming season.

So, there is our comprehensive guide on why skis are so expensive, and how you may be able to save money on good quality new skis! If you liked this guide, be sure to check out our other blogs where you will find lots of tips and tricks for buying gear and enjoying the ski slopes as much as possible!

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