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Ski Locks, Security Tips, and More

5 Ways to Prevent Ski and Snowboard Theft

Losing your skis or snowboard to a thief can be a financial hit that costs you upwards of a thousand dollars. Beyond the cost to replace stolen gear, your skis or snowboard may have deep sentimental value.  

While it may seem like overkill, ski and snowboard theft is rising at some resorts, and having your gear stolen could be a season-ender. If you’d rather play it safe, here are a few snowboard and ski protection tips to keep your gear in your hands.

1. Minimize Unattended Time

The total time you leave your gear unattended can influence how easy it is for someone to steal it. If possible, keep your stuff in sight, and never leave items unattended for more than a few minutes. If you are skiing or snowboarding in a group, take turns watching each other’s gear to make sure everyone is covered. And if you’re headed into the lodge to get food and a beer, try to sit on the patio or by a window overlooking the outdoor racks so you can keep an eye on your gear.

2. Personalize Your Equipment

Most criminals aren’t looking to steal ski and snowboard gear to use themselves. They’re usually looking to make a buck. Equipment that contains personal insignias or that’s covered in stickers is often less appealing than equipment that looks like it just came from the store.  

To label your ski equipment, put your contact information in multiple locations on your gear. If you plan on keeping your setup forever, consider engraving your initials or phone number somewhere clearly visible on the skis or snowboard. This will make a thief think twice before stealing your gear, and can even help you get your items back if they are stolen. 

3. Keep Your Gear Safe Off Mountain, Too

The risk of theft doesn’t apply only to the metal racks outside the on-mountain lodge. You’ve got to be vigilant about your gear before you get first chair and after your last run. Your skis are just as at risk on a rack outside the ski village bar, unlocked in the bed of your pickup truck, or at the base area while you chow down on some nachos. 

Instead, lock away your gear in your car or use a ski security device. Many ski resorts also offer ski lockers or gear check services near the base of the mountain, in part to cut down on theft. Some even have free lockers you can use if bring your own lock. While taking advantage of base area ski storage options might put a few extra minutes between you and those nachos, you won’t regret it if you go home with your gear at the end of the day.

4. Invest in a Ski Security Device

Even if you leave your gear on a mid-mountain rack in full view of security cameras, some criminals may still attempt to snag your stuff. DAKINE and Burton offer ski and snowboard locks that make it easy to secure your equipment anywhere. These lightweight ski locks fit into your pocket and allow you to lock your skis together or to a secure rack. 

To lock your ski and snowboard equipment, run the lock’s metal tether though irremovable equipment such as ski and snowboard bindings, then through a ski rack

Some high-end foldable locks, like this one from Abus, even double as a ski or snowboard alarm. If you wiggle this lock a bit, it will emit a warning sound. Hit it with a hard object or give it a sharp tug, and the lock sounds a loud alarm that will hopefully attract attention and scare away would-be thieves. Although thieves can destroy or cut nearly any lock, these devices act as a powerful visual and practical deterrent and add an extra level of security for your gear.

5. Report Theft Immediately

Most ski resorts operate a security or guest services department. Contact them as soon as you realize your gear is missing. They should help you report the incident to the proper authorities and may even help you track your items down if they’re still on the property.

Keep a list of your gear’s serial numbers. If your items are stolen, these unique serial numbers are the most effective way for police and law enforcement to track your gear. If you report a theft involving your equipment and include the serial number, most ski shops will receive a warning and flag the stolen serial number. If someone brings the items in for resale, the shop is legally obligated to contact the owner.

Of course, you can’t completely eliminate the risk that someone will swipe your beloved skis or snowboard, but you can take steps to protect your equipment from thieves. Keep these five tips in mind the next time you’re on the mountain, and encourage your friends and family members to do the same.