How Long Do Skis Last?

Published by Harry Sowers on

Every skier wishes that their skis will last for years, and they’ll make many great memories with a single pair of skis. However, skiing is an extremely rigorous activity, and it is only inevitable that your skis will degrade and weaken the more you use them. Even the highest quality skis sold to the richest people eventually start to turn old at some point in their life span. If you had your skis for over several years, do you find yourself wondering, “Do I need new skis?” If your answer is a maybe or yes, then you’ve come to the right article. Here, you will learn how long the average pair of skis last, when they start to break down, and when you get new ones.

Do Skis Last a Long Time?

men on old skis

So you had your skis for one or two years, and you’ve been having a blast with them. You have seen all kinds of wonderful sights, and you have skied down many rugged trails and slopes together. But now you’re noticing that your skis are not as shiny as they once were. Perhaps the decals are coming off little by little. Maybe they are a bit more flexible than they should be. Whatever the reason is, all skis will eventually need to be replaced. But how long does the average pair of skis last? Are you doing something that you don’t know about to speed up the end of their lifespan? What is the timing for replacing skis?

 First, we’ll answer how long the average pair of skis last.

How Long Will Skis Last?

Now, the first rule you must know about the lifespan of a ski is that is it not calculated by how many years you’ve had them. The lifespan of a ski is counted by how many days they are used. 

Of course, we know that winter does not last forever. There are two to three other seasons that the world must cycle through every year. Hopefully, you live in an area where spring is still very cold, so there’s still snow on the ground for an extended skiing season. 

Considerations for Ski Age

Let’s say instead of three months of skiing, there are four months. While that does sound like a Christmas miracle, you still have to go to work, go home, sleep, complete all of your obligations, and do your errands. That means we have to find days when we can visit the slopes in order to use our skis. So, in that fourth month period, you can go to the slopes every other weekend. That’s four days a month for four months, which equals to 16 days of skiing time. That’s not so bad, especially if you work 40 hours a week, and you have to wait for winter to come to you. But if you are within several hours away from a mountain top with snow all year round, you may be able to visit more often. If you only ski 16 days out of the year, your skis will be able to perform at their best for at least six to eight years.

Average Ski Lifespan

The average pair of skis can only be used about 80 to 125 days, depending on construction and how well you care for them after you have finished skiing. This is great for a casual skier, but what if you’re a die-hard skier who skis 100 days out of the year? Do you have to buy new skis every year? Not exactly.

Notice that I did not say the lifespan of the skis will last for 6 to 8 years, but they’ll be able to perform at their best for 6 to 8 years. Because of wear and tear, your skis cannot always be at the top of their game. They will eventually weaken, even though their structure is fine. A well-made pair of skis can last for a long time, sometimes decades! The skis just will not be able to reach their optimal top speed, and you may feel some more bumps and then when they were first out of the factory. As long as the skis are cared for properly and stored correctly, you don’t have to part with them for a very long time. 

What Causes A Ski To Wear Out?

There are several different ways for a ski to degrade and lose its high-performing structure. Here are a few ways your skis eventually get old and can no longer be used. 

Wear and Tear

One way is just to use it normally. Wear and tear is a part of skiing. Even if you are a perfect skier and you never make a mistake or have a collision, they will just get old over time.

Poor Storage

Another way for your skis to get old is to not store them away correctly. You may have them out and ready when it is wintertime, but how do you store them during the spring, summer, and fall? Are they thrown in the back of your garage door storage unit and covered and with wax still on it? Or are they placed in a storage ski bag after thorough washing and rewaxing? If the area where you store your skis is humid, that will also speed up the rate at which skis lose their rigidity and structure. The skis may even develop mold and rust. 

Over the max

The third way for your skis to wear out is if you weigh more than the average skier for that pair of skis. Every pair of skis come with a manufacturer’s recommended height and weight for the person who is using this case. It is only a recommendation, so you do not have to stick to the weight it recommends. But if your skis were not built for someone your weight, they will not last as long as they would if you were the right size. But if you lose weight, your skis will last longer. Plus, your body will perform better without the extra weight. 

Improper Repairs

A fourth way to wear out your skis is to damage your skis in an accident or by going over rough terrain that they were not made for. Things that are flexible and made to do tricks should not go over extremely rocky terrain. But if they are repaired correctly, won’t the skis be fine? Yes, if they’re repaired correctly. You would not believe how many skiers decide to do their own repairs to save a buck and end up ruining their skis. Always hand your skis over to a professional when they need to be repaired. There’s no reason to try your hand at DIY repairs unless you don’t want to continue using the damaged skies. But if you are repairing the skis because you wish to take them back out onto the slopes, you are better off saving up some money and then giving it to a professional. 

Days of use

As I explained above, the lifespan of a pair of skis is not related to how many years they are but how many days they have been used. If you purchase a pair of skis and only use them five days out of the year, they will last much longer than skis that are used fifty or a hundred times a year. But, even over the years, the skis will not keep their original factory shape. But they will be cleaner and have less damage.

The last factor in your skis getting older is that there are now too many drill marks in your skis underneath the ski binding. While a few holes are all right, you cannot have too many binding holes because it ruins the ski’s construction. If you have rebounded your skis three to four times or more, you need new skis immediately. 

When Do Skis Wear Out?

Okay, so they won’t always be in Tip-Top shape, that’s understandable. But when do skis finally wear out? At what point in their degradation should you start shopping for new skis?

You should start shopping for new skis when the edges of your skis fade, there are small cracks in your skis, or your skis are bending more than they should. These are normal signs of degradation, and they will inevitably arrive. 

As long as the ski is not damaged or worn out in any area, including the edges and the bindings, you can continue to use them. But once your skis have cracks on them, it’s time to do some online shopping. 

When To Replace Skis

replacement skis

So now that you know the average lifespan of a pair of skis and how quickly they lose their best performance, it is time to figure out when to get new skis.

Obviously, if your skis are very damaged and how many cracks in them, its time to get a new pair of skis. A new pair of skis may cost a lot of money, but do you know what cost more money? Ending up in the hospital because the ski came apart while you were speeding down a trail. 

How Old Are Your Skis?

Also, it is time to replace your skis if they are more than ten years old. Skis change every five to seven years, so if it has been a full decade since your last pair of skis, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of skis you want next. As a general rule, the ski replacing timing is about every 6 to 10 years, depending on how vigorously you ski and how many repairs your skis have had. 

Most skiers replace their skis every eight years that is enough time to have used up all its top performance days, but your skies are still modern. If you go to eBay and search skis into the search bar, you will see that many skiers are selling their skis. Most of these skis are ten years older or less, so they are still safe to ski with.

Are Old Skis Safe?

As long as the old skis Are still in good condition, and there are no major structural problems, you should be able to use the skis. You just need to make sure you have the right boot to fit in them. But, you won’t go through the same experience as with a new pair of skis. 

Around every 5 to 7 years, new models are skis come out with brand new ski technology. So every half a decade, all of the skis that came out five years ago are now outdated. So if you have skis that came out 20 years ago, they will not feel like the same skis you are used to now, even if the old skis were made for the same type of skiing. Old skis are much harder to control, their edges are not as sharp, and the skis may weigh more.

If someone wants to give you their old skis, it is best to hesitate and ask more questions about this case before you take them. A free gift is nice, but their skis could be way different than what you’re used to, and then you will have to relearn how to balance and posture yourself.


Departing from a much-beloved pair of skis that you had for over a decade is difficult, but it is about time. New skis have better technologies, more safety, and they just perform better. You’ll be able to show off your practiced and tested skills with a brand new pair of skis. But, just because you don’t use your skis anymore, doesn’t mean you have to throw them away! If you are nostalgic and would miss your skis very much, you can always turn them into a decoration. Mount your old skis on the wall of your den or outside in the backyard where the sun can’t hit them. This thoughtful and decorative feature will make a great talking piece, and you can tell anyone who comes over about all the wonderful memories you had with those skis.

Categories: Ski


Harry Sowers

Harry grew up outside of Denver Colorado and has been skiing and snowboarding since he was 3. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college at UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.