Rental Equipment Test Program information for Ski Area members





Smarter Buying: Testing versus Hype

More than seven years ago we began testing ski and snowboard rental gear – because we wanted to find durable products. Today many are durable, but the testing keeps us all honest. Most suppliers participate in the testing at two ski areas that try to rent the test equipment daily throughout the ski season and then report on what they find.

Now, we’re also looking for ease of rental use; compatability of systems with existing inventory; equipment performance and customer satisfaction.

SARA-BP does not recommend equipment – we just report on what we find and you choose from among many participating suppliers. We negotiate group pricing at the SIA Show in January and you choose the products that fit your rental, demo and accessory shop needs best!

To read the newest rental test report, go to the "Special Member Offers" section and log-in.

This is the seventh year of our testing – and the rental gear just keeps getting better and better. Everything we received was acceptable and was better than when we began this process. Any of it would make reasonable ski area rental shop inventory – but some is better than others and that is what we have tried to discern.

Some equipment does not get a full season test – generally because the supplier has not received the new models from the factories until later in the season. We test them for as long as we can. We have noted shorter duration tests whenever we can.

The test is completely voluntary. No supplier must participate; but we try to make the tests useful to them as well; by sharing information on their own products as we go along. Some, like Elan this year, use the information to make modifications to the products before the final designs are to be built.

Overall most of the test equipment continues to improve as the tests continue. Suppliers are willing to address any concerns and questions we have and seem committed to helping us offer quality products to our guest at a reasonable cost.