Best Place to Buy or Rent Skis: Yes, kid, skis. They come two to a pair

California Ski Company

It’s rare in this day of shredding snowboarders and steep half-pipes for a winter-sports shop to focus on just one thing. But alpine skiing and alpine skiing only is the California Ski Company’s niche. If you’re looking for knowledgeable employees and quality service and boot-fitting (essential for feet stuffed into stiff alpine gear for eight hours at a time), plan a visit with owner Greg Whitehouse and his staff for some professional advice. They’ll chat with you about the type of skiing you do, what you’re skiing on now, and what kind of skier you’d like to be — then hook you up with the right stuff. These guys are proud of their specialty and, as such, Greg takes his staff on a weeklong ski trip each spring to check out the latest. If you’re looking to demo something they don’t have in stock, they can put you in touch with a company rep to find you the skis you need. But hurry, because CSC — the only shop in the Bay Area certified to offer pro deals for racers — closes when the Sierra snow melts in the summer. n

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