Frequently Asked Questions
Do you sell discounted lift tickets?
No. Unfortunately, the Breckenridge Ski Resort keeps a very tight monopoly on lift tickets – and lessons – within Breckenridge. However, you can go to their website (snow.com) and save by ordering tickets 7 days in advance. They also offer equipment rental. Go ahead and check it out to see how much you’ll save by renting from Blue River Sports and Mountain Wave Snowboards. You can usually, but not always, save by buying lift tickets at the Safeway or King Sooper grocery stores in Denver or Colorado Springs.
What’s wrong with your equipment? Your rates are so much lower!
Nothing. If fact, we think you’re find our equipment newer and better maintained than any you’ve ever rented. The better question would be why do the corporate shops in town charge so much? Don't let the 20% discounts fool you. 20% off of their rates is still more than our rates!
How new is your equipment?
We carry 1,600 skis and boards, probably the largest single shop fleet in Breckenridge. For the 2012-13 season, 48% are new, 33% are one season old and 19% are two seasons old.
Which package should I get?
The Recreation, Deluxe ('Sport' in many shops) and Silver packages are all meant for the beginner to early intermediate snow rider. The Deluxe is simply our new Recreation equipment for this season. The Performance skis and Gold snowboards are performance upgrades, meant for someone who is comfortable on intermediate runs and ocassionally getting on some expert runs. If you want to try more specialized, high performance equipment, look at the Speciality skis or Titanium snowboards ('Demos' in many shops).
You don't have to upgrade for comfort! Our Performance and Speciality ski boots are stiffer (higher performing) and in that respect may actually be less comfortable than the Recreation/Deluxe boot. You may have had to upgrade at another shop to get ‘comfortable’ or ‘decent’ equipment. Not with us. Pick the package most appropriate for your skill level.
Are shaped (parabolic) skis really that good?
All of our skis are ‘shaped’ and yes, they really are that good. Shaped skis are easier to learn on, easier to ski and easier on the knees and legs. As a bonus, you can ski them much shorter. Their construction and width give you the stability that you had to go long to get with the old straight skis.
Will the Performance or Speciality skis be too much for me?
With the old 'straight ski' you indeed had to be a pretty good skier to handle the high end equipment. Not so with the shaped skis. The Performance or Speciality skis do not demand expert technique in order to enjoy them, although a beginner or early intermediate skier may not realize the full performance potential of the package.
I would like to try snowboarding. Is it difficult to learn?
Learning to snowboard is like learning to ride a bike. The first ½ day you will be convinced that snowboarding is impossible. After lunch you will probably link a couple of turns, the light will click on and the next thing you know, you’ll be snowboarding. After you ‘figure it out’ you will find that your skill level will increase sharply. Beginners can often progress to intermediate runs in 2-3 days. Be tenacious!
Are step in snowboard bindings better than strap bindings?
A step in binding must be aligned perfectly with your boot to work properly. This can be awkward, especially when the board is not on a pretty flat surface. It also is non-visual, much like a clipless bike pedal, which can be frustrating. Though maybe not as quick, we feel a strap binding is a better all around system and provides better support and control of your snowboard.
What’s with all the women specific equipment?
Women specific snowsport equipment is the fastest growing segment of the industry. Men and women are built different and among other things, it makes a difference in how they ski and board. Essentially, women’s lower center of gravity and less strength (generally speaking, of course) makes it harder to edge the front part of the ski or board to initiate a turn. Not as critical with shaped skis, but still important. To compensate, manufacturers make women’s skis lighter, softer flexing and move the mounting point forward. Women’s snowboards are made more narrow, softer and with more narrow options for stance. Our experience is that experienced women snow riders notice and appreciate the difference. And yes, some shorter, lightweight men might like them too!
Do you have big boots?
Up to size 16 in ski boots, size 15 in snowboard boots. After that, we just wax up the bottom of your shoes!
What do I do when my feet hurt?
Ski boots are made for the average foot. Since few, if any, people have an ‘average’ foot, reality does not always meet expectations. We will personally fit you. Tell us if you have a pronation, supination or any other foot issue. We can often add fitting aids to make your foot more ‘average’. If you use orthotics, have us fit your boot with them. The biggest problem we see is actually not feet, but sore shinbones from inappropriate socks, wrinkles in the sock or stuffing long johns or pant legs into the boot. Remember, you lean forward into the boot while you’re skiing. Any crease or lump along your shinbone will inevitably cause problems.
Bottom line, if you ski a few runs and the boots don’t feel quite as good as they did in the shop, come back in and let us work on the problem, sooner rather than later! Often a small fitting aid or different model boot will do the trick. Don’t stay out there and get mad at us. That doesn’t do either of us any good.
Should I wear a helmet? Do you rent and reserve helmets?
Yes, yes and yes! Virtually everyone who works here, skier or boarder, wears one. Snowsport helmets are about where bike helmets were 8-10 years ago. Now, everyone wears a bike helmet. Probably 40-50% of the snowriders on the mountain are wearing helmets and nearly 100% of the kids. Ski school doesn't mandate a helmet, but makes parents sign an extra release if their kids don't wear one. We particularly recommend helmets for kids and beginning snowboarders. One often overlooked advantage of helmets: they’re warm!
My skis/board were gone from the rack after lunch. What do I do?
Most missing skis/board are usually the result of someone, maybe even you, picking up the wrong one by mistake. Look through the racks carefully. If you don’t find your equipment, check again later and at the end of the day. If at the end of the day, your skis/board still aren’t there but some similar ones are, note the model and any rental shop tag or engraving. Come see us. We’ll try to track down the mystery skis/board. Their owner may have yours. In the meantime, we’ll set you up in replacement equipment at no additional charge.
The local shops, ski patrol and bus drivers are pretty good about returning mixed up equipment. Chances are good that your skis/board will eventually show up. But if you rented higher performance equipment or a snowboard, chances are better that it was stolen. You should not let this equipment out of your sight except when locked or checked at a ski check. Last season we had 18 truly lost/stolen skis of over 100 reported lost, from over 24,000 rentals. Keep track of your equipment and hopefully you won’t have a problem.
Should I take a lesson?
Lessons can ease the apprehension and shorten the learning curve for just about everyone. They may very well determine if a beginner stays with the sport. Having said that, let us warn you about several things not mentioned in the fancy brochures.
Ski and Ride School starts at 9:45. One of the saddest things we see is the family strolling into our shop at 9 - 9:30 saying that they have lessons. In all likelihood we can get them fitted in time, but no way are they going to get dressed, find where they need to go, park and get there in time or condition to enjoy their lesson. Allow plenty of time the morning of your lesson. Better yet, get your equipment the night before and enjoy some hot chocolate while you watch everyone else frantically trying to find their lesson. Hint: they sometimes offer an unadvertised 11:00 beginner only lesson. Check it out.
The Ski and Ride School will try to bundle equipment with your lesson and lift ticket. In Economics 101 this is called a vertical monopoly. They will however, give you a reduced price if you have your own equipment. The difference between the bundled and reduced price is the cost of their equipment rental. Guess what. Our rates are less. Much less.
Is the altitude really a serious issue?
It can be. We're two miles up and cookbook recipes only have adjustments for one mile. Some people are affected more than others but a little common sense will help anyone. Don’t drive all night and then try to ski all day the day you arrive. Drink more water and juice fluids than usual and lay off the alcohol and caffeine. Don’t be surprised or panicked if you’re occasionally short of breath. If it’s severe or persistent, call for help (911). It could be serious.
How should I dress to ski?
For those not used to it, our cold can be intimidating. Wear a hat, or better, a helmet. It’s always nice to have a neck gator and heat packet in your pocket in case the weather turns for the worse while you're on the mountain. On real cold days, check your buddy. Little white spots on a nose means it’s time to go in, immediately! Frostbite is no fun. Always wear eye protection and sunscreen on the slopes. Snow blindness and sunburn is no fun either. Dress in layers. Two or three layers are warmer and provide more flexibility for changing conditions than a single big parka. Look for a technical material rather than cotton for your base (long john) layer, wool or fleece for your mid layers. A water resistant, breathable jacket and pant is very desirable. Whatever you do, loose the cotton socks. After you perspire a bit, it’s like having a wet towel wrapped around your foot. Hint: you can find a good selection of any of these items right here in Breckenridge, probably at a better price than at home. Competition among the many shops here is an effective form of price control.
Do I need a vehicle in Breckenridge?
Not really, especially if you're staying in town. Breckenridge is not a huge place. Most everything is within a 10 minute walk. There is a Free Ride bus service in town and there are reliable shuttle services from the Denver airport. Several resort lodges have their own in town shuttle service. The free Summit Stage will take you to the nearby towns of Silverthorne, Frisco and Dillon as well as the Keystone and Copper Mountain ski areas.
Under what circumstance would I want a vehicle?
The Free Ride bus only operates within town limits. The free Summit Stage serves many out lying areas but less frequently. Shuttle costs from Denver for 5 or 6 people may pay for a rental car. If you bring a vehicle, be aware! As with most resort communities, Breckenridge has its share of traffic and parking issues. Minimize your stress by walking or using the Free Ride bus service once you're here. Take advantage of Blue River Sports' and Mountain Wave's free storage of the equipment you've rented from them to lighten the load!
Is lodging as confusing as it seems?
It can be. The vast majority of lodging in Breckenridge is handled by lodging management companies that are contracted by individual condominium or home owners to manage the rental of their units. Even larger complexes which appear to be hotels are actually condominiums managed by an on site management company. Most buildings have several management companies offering rentals in that building. In addition, there are out of town booking companies that sometimes don’t know much about our town. Before leaving home, make sure you know which management company you are booked with, where their check in is located and how to check in after hours. If they don’t have a local number, insist on a 24/7 toll free number to call if there is a problem. You’ll save a lot of aggravation by booking with one of our lodging partners on our Local Links page.