Man with skis getting ready for the slopes of Grand Hirafu in Niseko, Japan

Ski Equipment: What to Rent or Buy for Your Niseko Ski Trip

Heading to Niseko this upcoming ski season now that Japan is opening up its borders again? Oh, and it’s your first ski trip to Niseko?

I was lucky enough to have a really good friend who was really into skiing. He had rented from Rhythm Japan before. I greatly benefited from his knowledge, and I’m sharing what I learned about what ski equipment to rent or buy for my Niseko ski trip.

Table of Contents

Renting Ski Equipment from Rhythm Japan

What Ski Equipment to Rent

Here are a list of things you could consider renting:

  • Adult Standard Skis, Poles, and Boots
  • Ski Jacket and Pants
  • Helmet

The helmet is optional but recommended in case of collisions with other beginners and bad falls.

This worked out to be around ¥27,370 (S$374.30) after a 15% discount we managed to snag. No one said skiing would be cheap.

Rhythm Japan also offers wrist guards and Apres Boots, which are boots made for walking in the snow. These are not necessary.

Don’t Stress About Your Boot Size

You’ll need to measure your feet to fill up the booking form. You don’t have to stress about getting it right. The size input is not fixed and you can still get fitted and try on boot sizes at Rhythm Japan when collecting your equipment.

The Right Ski Length

Skis come in so many sizes. As a beginner, I was doing only on-piste skiing on green slopes. On-piste skiing refers to skiing on marked and groomed trails as opposed to off-piste which is on areas that aren’t patrolled or maintained.

The recommended length of skis for on-piste skiing would be from the ground to about nose height.

What Ski Equipment to Buy for Your Ski Trip in Niseko

Ski Goggles

Ski goggles are non-negotiable and completely necessary. You can’t go without them. The wind can be super strong and cold and make you tear up or have blurry vision. The ski goggles also protect your eyes from ice particles as you’re skiing.

Asian man with ski goggles on his head looks pensively into the distance while at a ski resort

You can get really lower-cost ones or mid-range ones from Decathlon. The Niseko trip is already gonna burn a hole in your wallet, so no harm in not going too high-end. We got the cheapest ones from Wed’zie via Decathlon and they worked fine. But if you’re feeling like you want to treat yourself, no shame either in splashing out on a fancy bougie pair of ski goggles from Oakly.

Ski Gloves

Again, I just bought the cheapest pair of Wed’ze ski gloves from Decathlon. I’m sure there could be potentially cheaper ones from Shopee, but I got most of what we needed from Decathlon. It was super convenient to shop for what we needed for the trip there.

We were all about function and price over style at that point, because accommodations, flights, ski rentals, and classes were coming to almost S$2,300 a pax and I wanted to keep our costs low. Since I had to still keep the budget aside for food and stuff we needed to buy, I didn’t splurge on these.

Apres Boots

Instead of renting the Apres Boots, I bought a pair of winter boots from Decathlon.

Decathlon has a decent selection of winter boots and winter shoes for an affordable price.

Slip-on Snow Cleats, Snow Spikes, or Anti-Slip Snow Hiking Ropes

To help us get a grip on the snow, I also bought snow spikes, snow cleats, or anti-slip snow hiking ropes to place over our snow boots.

While snow looks soft and fluffy, roads can get slippery throughout the day. Even with the slip-on snow spikes, I experienced slips and almost falls. Imagine what it would be like without them!

Ski Socks

We got strict advice to go for thin and high compressive socks. We heeded it and found affordable socks from Decathlon as well.

Ski boots tend to be high and grip tightly around the calf, in addition, they are really inflexible and hard. I had to look for socks that were compressive and would cover my calves well. Imagine spending hours skiing and putting pressure on the same area on the front of your calf or having repeated friction against the super-hard ski boots as you walk. If your socks end off too low, they won’t help prevent abrasion and blisters from forming. The higher the better.

As for why we had to look for thinner socks. If socks are too thick, they may cause fitting issues.

Neck Buffs

Asian woman cheekily makes a face while wrapped warmly we Balaclava.

Neck buffs are neck warmers made of thick fleece, wool, or other materials that will trap heat and keep you warm. The winds can get really strong and cold, so it’s something you can take off and keep away in your pocket when it gets warm or put on easily when riding the gondolas/ ski lifts and you’re feeling chilly. Even with the neck buffs, I felt cold sometimes. You can get neck buffs from any winter wear store… or yes, you guessed it – Decathlon.=

I hope you found this article useful and if you do have your own tips and tricks, please do share them with me in the comments! 

If you find this guide useful, you can buy me pasta!


2 responses to “Ski Equipment: What to Rent or Buy for Your Niseko Ski Trip”

  1. […] You’ll also need to settle your ski equipment before going to lessons. You can read this guide to renting and buying your ski equipment. […]

  2. […] Not sure how to go about renting your ski equipment? Here are tips on what to rent and what to buy for your Niseko ski trip. […]

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