If you're coming on a ski holiday, you're coming to SKI. You probably chose to come to Val d'Isère in the first place wholly or partly because of the great skiing here.
So to get the most out of your skiing - and your SKI holiday - the quality of your equipment cannot be overstated. Don't settle for old rubbish, badly fitted or poorly serviced.
Snowberry is widely regarded as one of the best ski hire shops in the world and for good reason.
Proper ski and boot hire is not simple and straight forward, it requires a high degree of technical knowledge, experience and input to get it correct.
We're horrified by how many other shops seem to treat rental as an afterthought. It's "just rental" - chuck it in a corner downstairs and staff it with a couple of 18 year old Saturday boys.
At Snowberry we have always specialized JUST in rental and we're passionate about making the whole rental experience as great as it can be. Over the years we have taken the whole concept of ski hire back to the drawing board and re-designed it bit by bit.Read more . . . .
New for the 2017/18 season, we have not just one but TWO great Snowberry shops ideally located in Val d'Isère. Whether you prefer STREETSIDE or SLOPESIDE, you'll find the same great equipment, high standards and great extras you've come to expect from Snowberry. You can even mix and match which shop you use when, depending on what suits you.
Our original shop just across from the slopes at Rond Point des Pistes - here you will find our premium and economy equipment, courtesy transport services, overnight storage, workshop and of course our ski school centre. All our partner ski schools are also located here.
Slap bang in the middle of the main steet, Snowberry Streetside is super-convenient for the many people who would have loved to use Snowberry but felt Rond Point des Pistes was too far out. Features our cheap-as-chips, no frills Budget range as well as our signature Premium and Economy kit.
At Snowberry we believe if you pay for the best kit you should be guaranteed to get it, and if you are prepared to compromise on ski age you should pay a cheaper price.
Almost 1000 pairs of the very best of the new skis on the market for the 17/18 season over more than 100 different models. Most other shops won't buy 100 pairs of skis, never mind 100 different models. All of our great extras and services come as standard with the Premium rangeSee the skis . . . .
A great compromise in terms of price/ski age, our Economy skis are only one season old and still newer and in better condition than skis you will pay twice as much or more for in other shops. All of our great extras come as standard with the Economy range too.See the skis . . . .
Just because you're looking for a cheap deal doesn't mean you have to settle for old rubbish or awful service. Our Budget range offers you the cheapest ski hire deal anywhere in Val, yet the skis are STILL only 2 seasons old and of course you still get the proper Snowberry service, just without the extras.See the skis . . . .
For far too long ski hire shops have just carried on doing everything the same old way, whether it suits their clients or not.
We don't do things the way they've always been done just because that's the accepted way to do it. We've taken a long, hard look at every aspect of what we do and thought again about the best way to do it. The result is:
"Ski Hire Re-Designed With Our Clients In Mind".
There is no doubt about it, the newest, best and most suitable equipment is the make-or-break for your ski holiday.
No other shop in Val d'Isère offers you anything like the range of equipment you'll find at Snowberry, with almost 1000 pairs of brand new 2018 skis over close to 100 models to choose from. New skis really do make a massive difference - it's a SKI holiday after all!Read more . . . .
In the end of the day it all comes down to people, and one thing no other shop can ever replicate is our amazing staff.
Having the most, best and newest kit in town is all very well, but it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference without the PEOPLE to fit, adjust, service and advise on it. We worked out we have almost 400 seasons of experience in the business between us, need we say more?Read more . . . .
Why bother buying boots, when rental boots can be this good?
There's no argument about it, your boots need to fit and there's a lot more to that than just "what's your shoe size?" We've always been fanatical about rental bootfitting but in the last couple of years we've taken our bootfitting to a whole new level.Read more . . . .
Proper boot-fitting starts by stabilizing the foot and limiting the dynamic mobility of the foot which is the main limiting factor when trying to fit boots correctly. To do this we put orthotics in every boot – free of charge!
It is absolutely correct to say that you cannot fit a ski boot correctly unless you first stabilize the foot using an orthotic. It just cannot be done.Read more . . . .
One of our most popular Snowberry Extras, and not surprisingly - leave it with us!
Our ski storage service at the Slopeside shop is a godsend for families with children, people staying a long way from the slopes or just anyone who can't be bothered to carry their skis home. Clients renting Premium or Economy kit Streetside are welcome to use this service too.Read more . . . .
We were shocked when we discovered most other shops now charge you to change your skis!
No matter what category or level of skis you hire from us - Budget included - you can change your skis as often as you like within the same price point at no extra charge.Read more . . . .
Whether on your first day or your last day, Snowberry's exclusive transport services take the hassle out of your ski hire.
“Traditionally”, you walk or get the bus to your chosen ski shop then lug all the kit back to the chalet yourself after you’ve been fitted for it. Then you lug it all back and forwards to the slopes every morning and evening and take it all back at the end. Is there not an easier way?Read more . . . .
At Snowberry we are totally upfront and honest - you get what you pay for and you pay for what you get, and that's it.
With other shops, you can be hit by all sorts of unexpected costs from booking or cancellation fees to insurance charges, massive excesses or a bill for a lost pole. It all adds up and before you know it your hire ends up costing you way more than you thought and your bargain is anything but!Read more . . . .
Ski hire isn't a commodity, it's not just a question of price!
Too many third parties are getting involved in selling other people's products these days, whether it's car insurance, hotel rooms, airport parking or in our case ski equipment hire. You have to ask yourself why!Read more . . . .
Mon - Thurs: 8:30am - 12-30pm / 2.30pm - 7.00pm
Fri: 8:30am - 7:00pm and Sat - Sun: 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
Mon - Thurs: 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
Fri: 8:30 am - 7:00 pm and Sat - Sun: 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
Important : Please note our opening will alter over Christmas / New Year due to Tour Operators' mid week arrival dates.
Our ski choice is just one area where we do it totally differently from everyone else.
Elsewhere you pay the same price whether you're one of the lucky ones who gets one of the very few pairs of new skis or one of the unlucky ones who gets kit that's a long way past its sell by date. We don't think that's fair!
We believe if you want new skis you should be able to book them and be guaranteed to get them, and if you are prepared to compromise on older skis you should get a cheaper price - so that's the way we do it.
Likewise, with boots and bootfitting, we're horrified how little importance (none!) other shops place on getting it right. It's quite simple, if your boots are wrong you might as well forget it! With other shops, if you're lucky they just might measure the length of your feet but many don't even bother with that.
At Snowberry we carry out a full eight point, four dimensional foot analysis, and that's before we use our expertise to select not just the right size but the right shape as well from our range of over 60 different boot models.
On top of that there's our fantastic staff (almost 400 season's of experience between us), our two huge and superbly-located shops and all of our unique, innovative and exclusive "Snowberry Extras" designed to make your ski hire experience - and your whole holiday - as perfect as possible.
Ski shops are NOT all the same.
Who said ski hire should consist of:
We've looked at all of this, and everything else, that's wrong with the way ski hire has "traditionally" been done and then looked at how it SHOULD be done. And that's what you will find at Snowberry.
Of course our equipment is what it's really all about, and we certainly believe that it's our job and our responsibility to make sure you get the very best and most suitable equipment for your time on the slopes.
Once again we've bought way more rental kit than any other shop in town - in fact probably more than most of them put together.
We don't buy cheap rental versions. We don't put intermediate skis in our advanced categories to keep our costs down. We don't window dress with a few shiny, new skis which hardly anyone is ever going to get. And we don't buy second rate brands that no-one every heard of or chain store own brand models either.
Nor do we mislead you by telling you our skis are "top quality", "recent", "high end" or whatever. And we certainly don't con you by showing you pictures of the latest models and hiding "or similar" in the small print only for you to find that the "similar" model you are give on arrival is nothing like the ski you hoped for in style, quality or age. Ok, it has a bendy bit at the front and a bit you stick your feet in the middle, but that's where the similarity ends!
Rent from Snowberry and we give you the choice of this season's new skis, last season's ones or our two season old budget kit - STILL newer and in better condition than the stuff you will end up with from a lot of shops in town. YOU choose how old your skis are, and the price of course matches!
When it really comes down to it, our staff are our very best asset. Without them, we could certainly talk a good game but we couldn't deliver.
And our staff is in the end of the day the one thing that really makes the massive difference between us and the also-rans.
Pretty much every other shop in town puts any experienced staff they do have on the sales floor. Rental is an afterthought, shoved in a corner in the back of the shop or downstairs and staffed by a couple of 18 year old "Saturday boys" who know little and often care less. Training, if there's any at all, consists of "there are the skis, there are the boots and here are the first customers now".
At Snowberry we now have well over 40 staff, all of them doing NOTHING BUT RENTAL. Last season our average age was 36 - twice the age of people working elsewhere! You probably won't find a rental team with this much experience and expertise anywhere in the World and you certainly won't in Val d'Isère.
It goes without saying that as well as being hugely experienced, our staff are also some of the best and most technical skiers on the mountain - whether up at the crack of dawn to get to the best off piste before work or competing the final stages of their ski instructor training in their free time.
More than half of us are regular returners, coming back to Snowberry year after year - in fact many of us have been working at Snowberry and before that our previous business here in Val d'Isère since the 1990's. This gives us an incredibly strong core of experience and knowledge (not to mention passion) which we transmit to the newer members of the team.
As for our newer employees, well we don't advertise for staff and Snowberry is regarded as one of the - if not THE - best and most prestigious and highly sought-after jobs in Val d'Isère. Usually, you will already be someone we know well, but if not you'll struggle to get in without a personal recommendation from someone we know and trust
Boots and bootfitting has been one of our specialties for more than 25 years.
Horrified by the traditional approach to rental boots - "What size are your feet? There you go!" - we have taken it upon ourselves to show the industry how it SHOULD be done.
Our rental bootfitting procedure, systems and expertise now put most sales bootfitters to shame. Actually, why shouldn't they? Whoever decided that although they would spend time and effort (sometimes hours) fitting boots for people who wanted to buy, rental was just a question of getting a pair of boots on your feet and getting you out of the shop?
The way we look at it is that whether you're renting or buying your boots, they're going to be doing exactly the same thing, so they need to fit in exactly the same way.
Over the years we have been developing and fine-tuning our rental bootfitting process to the level it is at now. Far from more or less throwing boots at people which sadly is what far too many shops do, we have developed an eight point, four dimensional analysis procedure.
But it doesn't stop there - after all there's no point in analyzing feet properly if you then just shove them into the closest thing you have to a boot that MIGHT fit!
We carry over 60 different models of adult boots so that we can match your boots as closely as possibly to the overall shape of your foot and lower leg. This means we take into account not just your foot LENGTH, but all sorts of other aspects including width, achilles, instep height, foot stability, ankle, toe box shape, calf and so on. Only by matching the overall shape of the boot as closely as possible to the overall 4D shape of your feet can we achieve a successful boot-fit.
It doesn't even stop there - as a worldwide first in rental bootfitting we are now equipping our rental boots with not one but three different types of skier orthotics to provide the optimum support, stability, comfort and performance.
We now select not only your boots, but also the orthotics (you might call them footbeds) we put into them depending on the size, overall 3D shape, stability and what we call the "strength" of your feet.
Our exclusive rental bootfitting process is now at a level where not only do people say they have never had comfortable hire boots until they rent from us, they are now saying they won't bother buying their own boots because they won't ever be as good as ours.
It is safe to say that every single skier, beginner to expert, needs some sort of sports orthotic in their ski boot.
The human foot is an extremely complex structure. It's dynamic in character and constantly changes its shape, volume, height and length as you weight and unweight it.
So how on earth are you supposed to fit this foot – with no fixed shape or length - into the fixed confines of a hard plastic ski boot without it being at best uncomfortable and at worst excruciatingly painful?
The easy answer is with difficulty! However, your bootfitter can limit this dynamic behavior of the foot by placing an orthotic underneath it, helping it maintain a constant shape and size.
Sounds simple but it works.
Skier orthotics support and stabilise your feet inside your boots, limiting the dynamic behavior – shape, length, height, volume change – and allowing us to choose a shell shape and length that closely resembles that of your foot.
Remember that every boot model has a slightly different shape so only certain models are suitable for certain feet.
Only by using an orthotic can we fit you in the correct shape and size of boot.
It is absolutely correct to say that you cannot fit a ski boot properly without first addressing foot instability issues.
The orthotic also has many other benefits relating to comfort and ultimately performance.
By supporting and stabilising the foot an orthotic will help to reduce foot movement in the boot which can cause rubbing and bruising. Blood flow is also improved resulting in warmer toes.
A supported foot has better contact with the boot and ski resulting in better feeling and control and it also improves body alignment - all of which lead to better performance.
If you have hired ski boots elsewhere in the past you may very well have experienced at least some of the following problems -
PROBLEM your foot moves inside your boot
PROBLEM you tend to over tighten the front clips of your boots
PROBLEM you sometimes suffer from cramping under the foot
PROBLEM your forefoot goes numb especially when skiing hard
PROBLEM you suffer from cold feet
PROBLEM you get rubbing on your inside ankle bone
PROBLEM your foot continually aches and hurts
PROBLEM you get bruising on your shin
PROBLEM your toes hit the ends of your boots
PROBLEM you find it hard to control your skis
PROBLEM your ski tips wobble when you travel straight
PROBLEM you find edging difficult
PROBLEM you’re getting blisters
PROBLEM you have a bunion
We are absolutely thrilled to be able to open our second shop in Val d'Isère for the 2017/18 season, and WHAT a perfect location to complement our existing shop at Rond Point des Pistes. You really do now have the very best of both worlds when you rent from Snowberry.
Our original shop at Rond Point des Pistes will continue to offer you everything you have come to expect from Snowberry. Here you will find our full range of Premium equipment (all guaranteed brand new for the 17/18 season) along with our Slopeside Ski Storage service, our Ski School Centre and our state of the art Ski Service Centre.
Our hugely-popular weekend Courtesy Transport service continues to operate from our Slopeside shop, collecting you at your accommodation and bringing you right to our door.
New for the 17/18 season, Snowberry Slopeside will also offer those looking for a slightly cheaper price the option of one season old skis from the Economy range not just for advance bookings but for on-the-spot rentals too. The only range not offered Slopeside is the 2 season old Budget category.
Slap bang in the middle of the main street by the central bus stop, our brand new Streetside location offers you the full range of Snowberry equipment. Guaranteed brand new skis for the current season in the Premium range, the one season old Economy kit or the cheapest ski hire deal in town with the 2 season old Budget kit - still newer and in better condition than skis you will pay twice as much or more for elsewhere.
Of course - because our ski hire is designed with our clients in mind - whichever shop you rent from you are welcome to use the facilities at the other shop whenever it suits you.
Clients renting Streetside can use the storage facilities at the Slopeside shop (apart from for Budget kit which does not come with storage).
Rent from one shop and change or return it at the other. You can even return some of it to one shop and some to the other - whatever suits you best.
Often when you come off the slopes in the evening the last thing you want is to have to drag all of your kit all the way back to your chalet or hotel.
Maybe your accommodation is a long bus ride or a steep uphill walk (or both) away. Maybe your tired kids don't want to carry their skis any more. Maybe you fancy a bit of après but don't really want to leave your skis outside the bar. Or maybe you just can't be bothered to carry your skis home.
No problem at all, if you have rented from our Premium, Economy or Junior ranges from either shop you are welcome to leave your skis at our Slopeside shop every evening and pick them up the next morning.
While we can't store your ski boots for you - we just don't have the space and most people now prefer to take their boots back to their chalet to warm and dry overnight anyway - we do have the facility for you to leave your street shoes with us during the day if you prefer to carry your boots in and out.
We're sorry but we don't offer ski storage with our Budget range as this is designed to be a no-frills, cheap-as-chips option.
We did a bit of research recently and discovered to our horror and disgust that other shops here in Val d’Isere are charging people up to 40 euros for the privilege of being allowed to change their skis!
Just to be clear, we're not talking about upgrading your skis to a more expensive level than what you originally paid for. We are just talking about wanting to try a different pair of skis - or maybe snowboard - within the same price point.
This could be for all sorts of reasons. Maybe the first skis you were given are too long, too short, the wrong shape or style. Whatever the reason, you just can't get on with them so you want to try something else, possibly something more suitable. Maybe the snow conditions have changed since the beginning of the week or you have planned a day off-piste with a guide so you want a different style of skis. Maybe your children want to swap over to a snowboard on a bad weather afternoon. Or maybe you just want to try something else.
At Snowberry it's your prerogative to change your mind as often as you like so you can change your skis as many times as you like (within the same original price point) at no extra charge. As for an upgrade, yes of course that's no problem either and the cost is generally literally only a couple of euros a day.
Why trudge through the snow or queue for a bus when Snowberry courtesy transport is available all weekend long?
Step out of your front door and into one of our luxury Landovers - in just a couple of minutes you'll be stepping out again right by the front door of Snowberry Slopeside at Rond Point des Pistes.
Our transport service means the shop round the corner from your hotel is no longer the most convenient place to hire from (if it ever was). We collect you from the chalet to bring you to the shop to be fitted so you literally walk out of your door and into ours.
Our courtesy transport service is available all weekend long (to our Slopeside shop only), give us a call when you are ready to come on 06 16 28 50 08 or ask your chalet host to contact us.
At the end of your week you don't even have to bring the kit back to us - we'll come and get it, leaving you with plenty of time to spare to do a bit of last minute shopping or a final crazy après.
Equipment collection is available all weekend or by appointment and subject to availability between 4pm and 6pm on weekdays.
If you are staying in a self contained chalet run by one of the tour operators who recommend us, we will collect your equipment automatically. If you are staying with a tour operator who recommends another shop or in a self catered apartment or hotel please call us to arrange to meet you to collect your equipment.
As with our other Snowberry Extras, sorry but our courtesy transport and equipment collection are not available with Budget hire.
Other shops quote you what seems like a cheap price to start with, and it's not until you look at the small print that you realize that's just the starting point. If you want what we at least would class as basic things that any decent shop should offer within it's ski hire price you can be looking at paying MORE than the cost of the hire in the first place again.
One well known site with several shops here in Val d'Isère quotes 60 Euros to hire their cheapest skis for a week. However if you add it all up, they charge you over 70 euros on top for basic "options" like getting a refund if you need to cancel your hire or return your skis early, taking out insurance against breakage or theft, storing your skis in the shop or having them serviced again midweek.
Oh yes, and there's also a one euro "Booking Fee". Okay, it's only a Euro, but this is on a website designed for no other purpose than to take bookings. It's downright dishonest to quote a price that does not include the fee for booking!
Then there are the nasty surprises lurking round the corner if something unexpected happens on your holiday.
no refund, or a massive admin change, if you need to cancel your hire even before your arrival
no refund if you need to return your equipment early due to illness or injury
a charge of more than the equipment cost the shop to buy in the first place if it's stolen or broken
an huge excess that they don't tell you about when you take out the insurance they offer you
a charge of more than a PAIR of rental poles costs to buy new if your child drops one pole off a chairlift
a procedure for claiming a refund that is so long and complicated that you just don't bother
Of course there's no justification at all for any of this. It's just another way for an unscrupulous business to make money out of their unsuspecting customers.
At Snowberry we are totally fair, up front and honest. We understand that accidents happen. We understand equipment gets broken and we accept that there's wear and tear. We understand not everyone takes to skiing. We understand that if your child is ill or injured you might have to stop skiing too for the rest of the week to look after them.
All Snowberry rental includes free damage insurance, with no excess at all. You break our skis, we give you another pair. You break a pole, you get a new one. Your skis are stolen - with insurance the excess is a fraction of the ski's original cost and even without insurance you never pay more than the depreciated value of the skis.
As for cancellations and refunds, return your hired equipment early for any reason whatsoever (even that you just don’t like skiing after all) - we will give you a full refund for the unused rental period, on the spot, in the shop. No conditions, no small print, no admin fee, no medical report needed.
If only other shops were as honest!
Ski hire isn't a commodity, it's not just a question of price!
Too many third parties are getting involved in selling other people's products these days, whether it's car insurance, hotel rooms, airport parking or in our case ski equipment hire. You have to ask yourself why!
Of course the very simple answer to that question is they are in it for the money. They sell you someone else's product, keep a fat slice of what you pay and pass the booking and a "net price" on to the actual supplier. They control you, they control the supplier, they give their cash flow a hefty boost and they ensure they make money more or less for nothing.
In an awful lot of cases they are not interested in which supplier is going to provide the best quality and service for you as the client, they are only interested in which supplier they will make the most money from. Often they know very little at all about the different levels or ranges of equipment the supplier offers, never mind what level or type of skier it is actually suitable for.
In the worst cases they simply lie to their clients about what they are getting and leave the clients and the shop to sort any problems out between them, leading obviously to infuriated shops and dis-satisfied clients. They will happily promise you, for example, that the skis will be new or that you will be able to get a particular model when that is simply not true.
One of the worst examples of this is a large tour operator who sells "ski hire" to their beginner clients with it only being stated in the small print that "ski hire" does not include boots which need to be booked as an extra. You can imagine the number of disgruntled people caught by that!
They'll tell you that they have some kind of special price or great deal/offer for you, but nearly always the best price can be got by going directly to the shop on their own website.
They will tell you booking your hire with them will save you time or guarantee you availability in a busy week but this is another lie as in most cases they do not even give the supplier any information at all about you before you turn up in the shop.
in most cases they will not even ask you your height or ability level. How can they possibly BOOK any equipment for you without even the basic information required by the shop to make a booking.
Likewise - think about it - if your rep is trying to get you to "book" your ski hire on the bus on the way to the resort what on earth is the point? There is no way they are going to be able to pass your "booking" on to the shop before you get there.
The fact of the matter is that "booking" your ski hire through your tour operator or another agent or middle man is nothing but a con. The shop in nearly all cases knows nothing at all about you until you arrive, clutching your prepaid voucher, and they certainly have not had enough advance information to reserve anything for you.
More often than not you have been misled in the equipment you have booked and will end up with a lower level or older (or both!) equipment than you thought you were booking.
All you have done is pay a third party months in advance. There is no benefit AT ALL to you in booking/paying for your hire through your Tour Operator. In fact you would more than likely have ended up paying less for better and more suitable equipment by going direct to the shop - who ARE after all the people best qualified to explain and advise you on the best choice from their various ranges.
We regularly have clients coming to us who have PAID their tour operator for hire through another shop in town but as so disgusted with the equipment and service on arrival that they decide to abandon their original booking and lose their money, and pay us again to hire quality kit.
And all of that explains why, at Snowberry, we do not sell our hire through Tour Operators or other third parties. Come direct to us for the best equipment, the best choice and the best price.