New Ski Clothing Rental Service In Val d’Isere

It’s one of those brilliant ideas that, once someone’s done it, you wonder why no-one had done it before. Hiring out ski clothing in a ski resort. That’s the new service being offered by Unplugged ski and snowboard shop, off Tourist Office Square, Val d’Isere.

Rental of skis, boots, snowboards, poles and safety kit is everywhere but it’s assumed you’ll bring your own clothing accessories on holiday. But with so much specialist clothing needed on a ski trip, the expense of buying it to potentially use just one week a year, the risk of it being out of date or out of fashion after 3 wears – we’re wondering why more places aren’t offering the option of ski clothing rental?

Plus there are many reasons that people would find it easier to turn up in resort without all their skiwear. If a ski trip is one stop in their wider travel plans, for example. Say you’ve just come from Barcelona and you’re next off to Morocco, dragging a huge ski jacket, salopettes and a helmet round with you could get cumbersome. If you’re trying to travel light, if you just lost your favourite jacket, if your luggage was lost on arrival at the airport… all pretty common reasons people get to resort and, before now, have had to go to huge expense buying new kit.

So we were pretty interested to hear about the first ski clothing hire service in Val d’Isere launched by Unplugged, offering rental of ski jackets, pants and helmets.

Unplugged is a cool and friendly shop that likes to offer something a little different. It’s already known as the best place to go for snowboarding gear in Val d’Isere, with the largest selection of brands to hire and buy in resort. We grabbed owner Stephane for a chat about the shop and the new service…

What made you decide to to launch the ski clothing hire service?
Well, because nobody else is doing it in Val d’Isere. We won’t get rich with it but again the people are so happy when their luggage has been lost between Gatwick and Geneva but with our service it won’ t ruin the first few days of their holidays. Or when a bunch of Aussies are travelling in Europe and they want to spend a weekend in Val d’Isere before they visit Barcelona few days later.
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Why did you decide to focus your shop on snowboarding?
Because everyone seems to think that snowboarding and snowboarders have disappeared but we believe the market is there, with passionate people and we want to be here for them because we love it too. We do also hire and sell skis though, with top brands like Armada, K2 and Volkl.
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So your staff are keen snowboarders?
We ride on everything; skis, snowboards, telemark. The staff has been in the mountains for almost ever and ride on an everyday basis.
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What advice can you give to people looking to buy a snowboard?
Find the right shop, the right choice, but more than anything the right advice. We love clients coming back to our shop with a big smile on their face because we gave them the right advice.
Is Val d’Isere a hot destination for snowboarders? 
As I said there are still a lot of snowboarders, and  Val d’Isere having such great terrain, deep snow conditions and a very good snowpark. Someone has to take care of the snowboarders and we are delighted to be this one.

Katie Downs

EDGE Magazine is your guide to a ski holiday, working or living around Tignes, Val d'Isere, Bourg Saint Maurice, Les Arcs, La Plagne, La Rosiere, Peisey Vallandry & Sainte Foy. Our website www.edgemag.net is packed full of useful live information, regularly updated features and interviews with something for everyone...snow-lovers, starter snowboarders, seasoned skiers, serious apres-skiers, seasonaires and locals. Pick up a copy of our magazine from December in loads of places in each resort including bars, restaurants, shops, cafes and airport transfer vans too. For more information and to request a media pack e-mail info@edgemag.net. We'd love to hear from you!

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