How Long Will My Skis Last?

How Long Will My Skis Last (1)

Skis are a big investment and they’re not cheap. They’re also very heavy, so it takes some time for your feet to get used to the weight of the skis.

But once you do, skiing becomes an easy sport that anyone can enjoy.

It’s important to know how much time you have on the metaphorical clock before you need to replace your skis though, especially if you’re using them regularly and plan for this to be a long-lasting hobby or sport for you.

The Life Of Ski

The lifespan of a pair of skis depends on many factors which we will discuss in more depth later on.

From a new pair of skis, though, you should reliably be able to get between 100-125 days of use before they start to get a little rough around the edges.

By days, we mean full days of skiing and not a couple of hours in the morning followed by a relaxing session in the sauna. That does sound lovely though.

For most hobbyist skiers, that would give you around five years of use if you ski around twenty days of the year.

If you ski more than that in a typical year, then they may need replacing before then.

Similarly, if you only ski ten days out of the year, then you should be able to use them for many years provided they aren’t damaged in storage or during travel.

The average lifespan of ski equipment is generally thought to be about five years although, as we have mentioned, this depends mostly on the amount you use them.

This five-year estimate includes all parts of the ski except the ski bindings.

However, If you want to keep your skis longer than five years, there are several things you can do to extend their life.

Extending The Lifespan Of Your Skis

The first thing you should do is make sure your skis are stored properly. Improper ski storage is one of the most common causes of damage to skis.

You should store your skis upright on a rack or shelf with no other items touching them.

Your skis should be protected from moisture by using plastic bags or wrapping them in paper towels.

You should also check your skis every year for signs of wear and tear. Look for cracks, scratches, dents, and worn edges.

If any part of the ski looks like it’s wearing out, it probably is.

You should also inspect your binding straps and screws every few months or as often as you use them if you are an occasional skier.

Make sure they don’t look loose or rusty. Replace any broken or missing screws.

If you notice any problems with your skis, have them inspected by a professional. A good shop will take care of your skis for a small fee.

What Affects The Lifespan Of Skis?

One thing you can do to help your skis last is to make sure the snow conditions are right for skiing before getting strapped in.

Skiing in dry powdery snow means more friction between the bottom of the ski and the snow surface. This helps prevent skiers from slipping and falling.

In wetter conditions, the snow tends to stick to the bottom of the ski, which makes it harder to control.

Accidents are more likely to occur like this, and therefore it increases the likelihood of you and your skis sustaining injuries.

Making sure you are only skiing in good conditions will help to prolong the lifespan of your skis.

Another factor affecting the longevity of your skis is the type of material they’re made of. Some materials are better at resisting the forces exerted by the snow while others are designed to absorb energy during a crash.

There are also differences in the manufacturing processes used to create different types of skis.

For example, carbon fiber skis are stronger and lighter than wooden skis, and old-fashioned skis made from only wood tend to break down faster when exposed to the elements.

Wood is susceptible to damage through moisture and weather damage whereas carbon fiber is a more resilient material.

If you’re looking to buy new skis, you may find that the manufacturer offers warranties.

These warranties usually cover the lifetime of the skis, but they won’t protect against damages caused by improper storage or maintenance. Nor will they usually cover usual wear and tear from use.

The number of hours or days of skiing you’ll use the skis for will vary from person to person, but the average skier, (if there is such a thing) can expect their skis to last for around five years.

The more you use them, the faster they will deteriorate, especially if you have to travel to get somewhere suitable for skiing.

Make sure when you travel with your skis that they are properly protected from accidental damage in transit.

You can’t rely on airline staff to treat your sports equipment with the same care that you would yourself, because you know how much your stuff is worth.

When you buy a pair of skis, you are investing financially in them, but also emotionally.

You’re buying the memories you’ll make with them and with other friends and members of your family who also share a passion for snow sports.

You’re also making a commitment to yourself and your leisure time. Whatever your skiing style may be, you’re committing to your own health, wellbeing, and you-time.

They say that where your energy and money go reveals what’s really important to you.

In this situation, you made a decision to prioritize your own peace and joy, now all you have to do is fulfill that commitment and use the skis.

Because we know what a big deal buying a pair of skis is, we want you to be able to make an informed decision about what type to get for your individual situation.

So, here is everything you need to know about buying skis.

Buyer’s Guide

How Long Will My Skis Last (2)

Types Of Skis – Show Me What You’re Made Of

Skis come in all shapes and sizes, well, sort of.

They all tend to be long and narrow and it’s hard to tell one set of skis apart from another for a beginner, but there are differences.

Here are some common types of skis you might find in a well-stocked ski shop or sporting catalog.

Snow Blades

Snow blades don’t look like your typical skis, so they stand out a little, however, these are one of the easiest ski types for beginners to pick up basic skills on.

These are sometimes called ski-blades, short skis, or ski boards.

Racing Skis

These are the ones you’ll see on the slalom events in the Winter Olympics.

They are long and narrow, although not as long now as they used to be in the past and so they can be tricky for occasional skiers to get used to, as the turning circle isn’t super-sharp.

They are built for speed on firm snow, and if that’s what you want them for, then great. Otherwise, they aren’t exactly versatile.

Freestyle Skis

These are built for the wannabe skateboarders who like to show off their skills on the rails, half pipes, or jump ramps.

They are mostly bi-directional so can go forwards or backward with stability.

These are mostly great for trying your tricks at the snow park, but you can get multi-use ones that you can use on the mountain too.

Free Ride Skis

These are for you cross country folks who like to ski off the groomed slope and choose to ski off-piste.

They can be used on the slopes without difficulty, but they can also handle untouched snow underfoot without a bother.

Carving Skis

This is the usual type of ski that a recreational or vacation skier will be used to. These are responsive and great at turning.

They are best used on the slopes than on the race track, or off-piste, which makes them great for occasional use.

Big Mountain Skis

Not just for mountains that are specifically big, but these are the skis you want for any extreme snow conditions.

If you’ll be encountering deep powder then these will get you through.

They have a larger surface area than most skis to keep you stable, even on untouched snow at high speeds.

All Mountain Skis

These skis can manage on most surfaces of the mountain, including off-piste and the tourist slopes.

The only problem with a jack of all trades approach is that they might not always deliver the ideal skiing experience you would get from a dedicated set of skis for a specific surface.

If you want some variety in your ski trip and want the freedom to be able to go anywhere the adventure takes you, then this type of ski would be a good idea.

Powder Skis

As the name suggests, these are for the extreme adventurer who doesn’t stick to the slopes.

They are even wider than big mountain skis so they can spread the weight over the untouched powder without cutting too deep.

A Material World

Skiing has been around for a good many years before man-made plastics came on the scene.

They used to be made of wood, but nowadays, skis have more than one component material.

Generally, skis contain a combination of plastics, wood, metals, carbon fiber, fiberglass, glues, and various resins.

Every brand uses slightly different combinations of material components and within each brand, their various types of skis are likely to be made slightly differently from one another based on their specifications and the requirements of the users.

Despite this, it is fair to say that usually skis contain a wood core of one kind or another.

Other layers of other materials are then added and usually finished with steel edges for rigidity and reinforcement.

Surrounding this is a top sheet, base, and sidewalls which are made from one composite material or another, based on the brand.

Which Wood?

Most skis indeed contain a wood core, but there are varieties within that.

Some manufacturers choose poplar, birch, beech, spruce, fir, maple, or even bamboo to create the base ingredient of their skis.

Some use a combination of several. Wood is a very versatile material, and different woods have different characteristics and desirable qualities.

Sometimes more pliable woods are combined with some other strengthening materials.

Common materials that are used in conjunction with wood for composite cores are:

Fiberglass – this is a strong and lightweight material made from strands of reinforced plastic, resin, and glass fibers.

Aluminum – A more expensive option than glass fiber as it’s made from natural ore, but it’s also strong and lightweight.

Titanium – One of the strongest materials you’ll find in any premium skis. Titanium is excellent at absorbing the shocks and vibrations from the ground as you ski and is extremely durable and therefore, also expensive.

Carbon Composite – This is a substance made mainly from organic polymers. It’s similar to fiberglass in cellular structure, but it is significantly more expensive to produce.

Final Thoughts

The primary factor which affects how long your skis will last in pristine condition is how much use they get.

The time skis last is usually measured in full days of use, so the less often you use them, the longer they last.

Then again, if you are not planning on using your own skis regularly, then it may be more cost-effective to hire skis when you get to the slopes.

If you are planning on occasional use of your skis then, you should also consider that ski technology is an extremely fast-moving industry and new advancements are frequently made in the science of ski composition.

So, to get the best benefits of modern ski technology, it’s a good idea to replace your skis every few years whether they are damaged or not to keep up with modern ski science.

If you are particularly anxious for your skis to last a long time without sustaining wear and tear, then you’ll need to pay attention to, and probably pay extra for, skis made from premium materials that are known for being long-lasting and strong.

About the author

Jesse Blaine

Jesse is the owner of, contributes to a lot of the material, and directs day-to-day operations. He lives in Colorado with his wife and kids and loves the outdoors. He’s an avid skier, hiker, kiteboarder, and adventure sports explorer. Jesse has also traveled the world and lived in five different countries. He speaks several languages and loves communicating with people

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