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clothing needed on a ski trip, the expense of buying it to potentially use just one week a year, the risk of it being out of date or out of fashion after 3 wears – we’re wondering why more places aren’t offering the option of ski clothing rental?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…
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.
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.