What Are Demo Skis? (Explained)

what are demo skis

Have you ever been curious about what those “demo skis” are at your local ski shop or ski resort?

Demo skis are exactly what they sound like – skis that are available for people to “demo” or try out. They are a great way to try out a new pair of skis without having to commit to buying them.

In this post, we’ll explain what demo skis are and if they are really worth it. Plus, we also take a look at the differences between regular skis and demo skis.

What Are Demo Skis?

Demo skis are high performance rental skis. They are at the top of the line and are often  used by experienced skiers. The quality and performance of demo skis are both at the top level, so if you are at a ski gear rental shop, you will notice that demo skis are the ones that cost you the most. 

But, to rent a demo ski package, you shouldn’t necessarily be an expert skier. Even if you are just a beginner but love to take on a challenge, you may try it just like trying out ski boots with walk mode for the first time.

Most Demo skis are newer models that resorts want people to try before they buy. This is a great opportunity for skiers to test out different skis and find the perfect pair for them. 

Resorts will usually have a wide variety of demo skis available, from all different brands and with different features. Sometimes we could even find an unreleased “demo” edition of skis which will come out for the general public in the next few years. 

So why pass a chance when you get to experience some top-level innovations? Top ski gear brands such as Blizzard and Nordica always put out demo gear like these. 

Additionally, some ski resorts have special demo days where they let you try these skis for free like this one here.

It is a tactic manufacturers use and it lets skiers try new products and perhaps even get out of the comfort zone you are in because these demo products are top-of-the-line recreations. 

When Should You Use Demo Skis?

There is actually no barrier when it comes to using demo skis. Whether you have been skiing for a few days or years, you can still try and use a demo ski as you see fit. 

Most of the time, demo packages are used by intermediate to expert skiers. These packages are made up of the highest performance to try out the following version of the skis that are yet to be released.

But if you think you have the capacity to give these most top-level skis a try, what is there to hold you back? Plus, ski shops often discount their actual price and put them up for sale at the end of the season. 

These skis are discounted because they are already used, and the potential buyers will be buying second-hand skis.

When Should You Use Demo Skis

Therefore, no matter if they were used for a limited amount of time, you still get to own one of the best ski sets that are yet to hit the markets for a cut-down price!

Pros And Cons Of Buying Used Demo Skis

CheaperHave to wait till the end of the season
High performanceGet tuned a lot at the shop = lower lifespan
Latest technologyOften misused / abused 
Beautiful designsMight need a repair soon

Demo Skis Vs Regular Skis

Let’s take a look at how demo skis compare with regular skis. 

Harder To Ski And Control

Demo skis are longer and harder to control than demo skis, making them a bad choice for beginners. Plus, demo skis are often heavier. 

Regular skis are lightweight and overall bigger than demo skis offering more stability while sliding down at high speeds.

And unlike demos, you don’t need to know some techniques so that you won’t sink in powder-like snow. Hence regular skis are easier to keep a watch on your speed, and balance as well as slide easily over complex terrains. 

Demo Skis Have Demo Bindings

The most significant difference between the demo and regular skis is the bindings in them. While you get to choose your size, stiffness level, etc., with regular skis, the demos have demo bindings which is an adjustable binding that fits on any boot size. 

Due to the adjustability plate, the ski may feel heavier on your legs, whereas regular skis have lightweight bindings and would fit around your boots better than in demos. 

Don’t Worry About All The Jargon

You wouldn’t know anything about stiffness levels, camber or rocker as a beginner. And assuming that expensive ones will get you on the track right away is another rookie mistake you make due to the lack of knowledge. 

Therefore, the best thing you could do is to stick to the regular and most simple skis to practice your moves for a few seasons before moving on to the more advanced ones. 

Are Demo Skis Worth It?

It depends. If you are very much a rookie, then demo skis may not do you much good. 

But, if you are up and out for the challenge, as I already mentioned earlier, you may as well try them and see how you are doing in demo skis. But be careful, though and better to maintain a slower speed as well. 

If you want to go faster, check out our guide on all mountain vs carving skis to learn about the fastest type of ski. 

Are Demo Skis Worth It

But if you are someone open on the market looking for a new pair of ski gear for the next season, demo skis will not only give you so much insight about the ones on the line to come out to the market, but you will also be lucky to try them out and look for your next favorite ski set. 

If you are done training with your beginner skis or looking for a pair to tackle many unusual snowy terrains, I have to say that demo skis are entirely worth it. 


When Do Demo Skis Go On Sale?

Demo skis usually go on sale at the end of the season. But some shops may sell them throughout the season and on some you might even be able to reserve a pair. 

However you need to thoroughly inspect the skis before buying if the shop is selling mid season because they might be selling if they think the skis won’t survive till the end of the season.

How Much Does It Cost To Demo Skis?

Renting demo skis would cost anywhere around $30 – $100 a day, the prices depend on the skis, shop and location. If you are looking to buy demo skis, you can find them for as low as $150 and as high as $1100 for the newest models. But the average is around $350 – $600.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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