A few years ago I decided it was time for our family to start embracing winter, rather than hide from it, so we decided to give skiing a try. We began with a few lessons, we’ve been on a few ski get-aways, and to my surprise it has worked! Now, every member of my family longingly waits for snow each winter. This year, we decided to commit even further by purchasing our own equipment, rather than renting. However, this investment brings a new challenge —properly protecting and securing our equipment when it’s not in use.
Considering an average snowboard costs upwards of $500 and many skis go well beyond that, it’s no surprise that thieves find them to be an easy and attractive target when left unlocked or unattended. Luckily, there are a few ways to help protect your gear and make sure your days on the slopes stay fun and worry-free.
Lock ‘em up
- Invest in a good lock for your skis or snowboard, or rent one from the ski shop, then lock your equipment to the lockable stands provided at most hills. Opt for a combination lock so there’s no chance of losing your keys in the snow.
- Rent a locker to secure your personal valuables or use check-in services if available.
- Leave all unnecessary items at home or locked out of view in your vehicle.
- Consider investing in an anti-theft, tracker device like NeverLose, which attaches to your skis or snowboard so you can monitor your gear remotely with an app on your phone. Some of these devices even include alarms that will go off if a thief tries to make off with your belongings.
- Many resorts have special areas where skis and snowboards can be checked overnight or during the day. Take advantage of these secured areas when you are enjoying other activities like sipping hot chocolate.
- Don’t leave equipment unattended in or on a vehicle.
- Be sure to keep things secure at home by locking them up and keeping them out of site.
- If you can’t lock up your skis and there are no monitored areas to check them, separate them on two different racks — no thief wants to steal one ski.
- Position skis and snowboards with brand names out of plain sight.
- Loop your poles over your skis so it makes them harder to pick up and carry away.
Mark and record
- Mark your skis or snowboard with stickers, your initials, or another personal indicator to ensure they are unique and identifiable. This will help you keep track of your items, and identify them.
- Take pictures and write down the brand, size and serial number of all of your equipment and keep the information handy. Having this information available will make it easier to find the stolen gear and ensure that when found, there are no questions it’s yours.
If your stuff is lost or stolen
- If you’re sure your equipment has been stolen, report it to ski hill security or to the police as soon as possible. The sooner you report it, the better the chances of finding it.
- Your regular home insurance policy may not cover a complete loss of ski or snowboard items depending on your coverage. You may want to see if you can add special ski and snowboard replacement coverage onto your home policy in advance to better protect your gear.
Do you have any tips to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.