Renting Snowboards vs. Buying New/Used Snowboards

You have options when it comes to getting a snowboard. Renting or buying a board, whether it’s new or used, is how 99% of people obtain their boards. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. 

I’ve been snowboarding for nearly my entire life. Over the years, I’ve bought, borrowed, and begged my way into all types of boards. I’ve rented or purchased dozens of different options, and I know what’s involved in the process. 

I’ll show you the pros and cons of renting versus buying a new or used snowboard in this post. You can get your hands on a sweet setup either way, but it’s good to know the advantages and disadvantages of both. 

Time to start shopping.

Renting a Snowboard

If you are a beginner, you’ll most likely be renting a snowboard. Renting is available at nearly every resort and resort town, and there are plenty of options in terms of what type of board you can rent. 


Renting has its advantages. One of the main benefits is that you don’t have to dish out the cash for a brand new snowboard. This is great for beginners or anyone who isn’t sure if they will ride for more than a few days at a time. 

Renting is also nice because you don’t have to travel with your gear. This makes it much easier to get on a plane or car for a road trip to the mountain. You won’t have to worry about getting a snowboard or boot bag, and you can just pack your warm-weather gear. 

You can also try out different models of boards when you rent. This is great if you are shopping around for a new snowboard but don’t know what model you want. If you find a shop with a few options you like, you can rent each one for a day or two before purchasing. 


I think the most significant downside to renting is that you will rarely get a board that matches your exact preferences. You might get lucky and get pretty close, but usually, you will be stuck with whatever rental they have available in your price range.

Rental costs can also add up quickly. If you are going on a weeklong snowboarding trip and you rent equipment every day, you might end up paying more for rentals than what a board would cost brand new. I’ve seen this happen to friends multiple times. 

You might also get a board that isn’t in great shape when you rent. The board could be damaged or heavily used, which might affect its performance on the mountain. This is rare, but it can happen. 

Buying a New Snowboard

Buying a new board is a dream for many riders. I can remeber the day that I purchased my first snowboard, and it was an exhilarating moment. If you love the sport, you’ll be buying a new board (probably many of them) soon. 


I think buying a new snowboard can be almost as exciting as actually snowboarding. Well, maybe not quite as exciting as in reality, but it sure helps build the stoke factor. Getting a new snowboard will bring a certain smile to your face. 

Buying a new board also allows you to get precisely what you want. You can get a board that meets your exact needs or preferences, which can help you become a better rider. Getting a customized snowboard that works well for your style and ability level is ideal. 

Some new snowboards also come with a warranty or guarantee from the manufacturer. This means you can get a new board or get it fixed for free if any damages or defects occur when you are riding. That peace of mind is pretty nice to have. 


The biggest downside of buying a new snowboard is its cost. You can end up paying quite a bit of money upfront for a new board. It can be a substantial investment, especially if you need to purchase all of your other equipment at the same time. 

You are also going to be stuck with your board once you purchase it. I don’t see this as a huge negative, but you can’t always trade it in for a new model if you end up not liking how it rides or performs on the mountain. However, you might be able to sell it. 

Buying a Used Snowboard

Buying a used snowboard is another option that many riders don’t think of when trying to get their own equipment. I’ve had a lot of luck buying used boards over the years, but I’ve also ended up with a few lemons. 


If you find a board in good condition, you can end up getting an almost new snowboard at a fraction of the cost that it would be brand new. This is the most significant benefit of buying a used board, and I’m always looking for those diamonds in the rough. 

Price is a definite advantage for going the used route, but I also always like talking to the seller about what they liked and disliked out of the board. This can give you a better idea of how the board will perform than what the manufacturer or snowboard shop says. 


Buying a used board is inherently risky. It might have unseen damage that you overlook when you buy it. This can range from mild to severe, but you can’t go and return it either way. Once you buy a used board, it’s a done deal.

You also might need to get a tuneup right away if the board hasn’t been well maintained. That’s not a huge deal, but it does tack on an additional cost.    


Here are some quick answers to a few common questions about renting and buying snowboards. 

Are rental boards bad?

Not at all. You will have many different options when you rent a board, and some of these can be top of the line. If you go with a cheaper rental, you do risk getting a lesser quality board. Most rental shops offer decent mid-grade and high-end options. 

Is it cheaper to rent or buy a snowboard?

If you look at it for just a day, it’s cheaper to rent a snowboard. But if you plan on riding many times throughout the season, it will be cheaper to buy. Initial rental costs will be more affordable than a new purchase, but these daily costs will add up over time. 

Is it worth it to buy a new snowboard?

If you want to ride often and love the sport, it is worth buying a new snowboard. This is especially true if you are an experienced rider who knows exactly what you are looking for in a board. You can save some money if you buy used. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to renting or buying a new or used snowboard. The good news is, you’ll be ready to ride no matter which route you choose.   

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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