Val d’Isère’s ski rental shop, Snowberry, expands ready for the 2017/18 winter season

Snowberry, the award-winning ski rental shop in Val d’Isère, has doubled in size for this winter, with the opening of a second shop right in the heart of the town.

Brand new Snowberry Streetside is located in an ideal position on the Avenue Olympique – the main high street – between the two roundabouts.

It complements Snowberry Slopeside, which is just off the edge of the Rond Point des Pistes (where the ski buses turn). Skiers renting from either outlet can exchange or return their equipment at both, and store skis overnight at Slopeside.

Jock and Susan Dun have been running top ski rental shops in Val d’Isère ever since they arrived here from Edinburgh in1991.  Ten years ago, in partnership with former world champion skier Annie Famose, they launched Snowberry, now one of the most renowned rental shops in Europe.

They are credited internationally with having revolutionised the whole business of ski and boot hire. Success has come from NOT just doing things in the traditional way like other shops have always done, but by what they call Rental Done Right across all ability levels.  They provide new equipment for those who want it, as well as reliable older skis for those on the tightest budget. At both ends of the scale, there’s no better deal in town.

Strangely, for what is undeniably an expensive holiday, ski rental has revolved traditionally around finding what’s cheapest.  But as Jock Dun says: “If you were going on a driving holiday, would you seriously hunt around at your arrival airport for the cheapest car on offer, no matter that it eats oil, has a broken shock absorber, bald tyres, and dodgy steering?”

He continues: “Ok, not everyone can afford or want a Ferrari or a Mercedes, but it just doesn’t make sense to settle for a potentially dangerous banger that should be in the breaker’s yard.  Choosing what you are going to put on your feet on a ski holiday is of equal importance both to your enjoyment and your health.

“Here’s my first tip: if you walk into ski shop and the bloke says: ‘Try these boots for size,’ walk out. Boots matter just as much as skis.”

At Snowberry, boot-fitting includes as standard a full foot and lower-leg analysis, thermic sole scan and stability check, as well as not one, but three different levels of skier orthotics.

Premium Gear

Choose from more than 800 new pairs of this season’s skis, covering the full ability range from beginner to expert. No other shop in the resort even guarantees new skis at every level, let alone offers almost 100 different models from which to choose.

Ski / board hire for six days costs from €108.75 pp

Economy Gear

New for the 2017/18 season, Snowberry’s popular Economy range of one-season-old skis is available across five ability levels. This will now be available not only for advance bookings, but also for shop rentals.

Ski / board hire for six days costs from €93.75 pp

Budget Gear

Skis that are guaranteed not more than two seasons old, again across five ability levels. This no-frills kit is newer and in much better condition than what you’ll find in many other shops, at twice the price. *For this range transport, storage or equipment collection services are not included.

Ski / board hire for six days costs from €45 pp

Children’s Gear

Snowberry pride themselves on the quality of their junior equipment for children as young as two and up to 12 years. Also its the only shop in town guaranteed to supply a certified safety helmet to any child renting skis or board, regardless of whether or not rental has been booked in advance.

Also new for this season, a proper range of junior expert skis including high-end junior race skis, all-mountain and specialist off-piste skis.

Ski hire for six days costs from €56.25 pp for children from approx. three (height dependent) to 12

Snowboard hire for six days costs from €74.25 pp for children from approx. seven (height dependent) to 12

And, most importantly, the staff

Susan Dun says: “The knowledge, experience and practical skills of our staff is all vital to our ability to provide the best possible equipment and service for our clients and this is something that no other shop, no matter how good their equipment is, can replicate.

“One of the main reasons we are able to confidently expand into our second shop is the strength and depth we have in our team of managers, senior staff and returners at Snowberry. We certainly don’t believe in employing 18-year-old ‘Saturday boys’ and last year I worked out our average age was 36 plus, and that we had almost 400 seasons’ of experience between us!”

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