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eCommerce Tips & Trends

The Ultimate Guide to Shipping Skis (and Snowboards)

Shipping skis can be as awkward as carrying them. Read here for a full rundown on costs plus tips on how to save on ski shipments.
The Ultimate Guide to Shipping Skis (and Snowboards)
Ian Heinig

By Ian Heinig

 

April 14, 2021

Shipping skis and snowboards is a seasonal thing. Those twin tips that languished in your closet for three seasons, time to send ‘em to their new owner. Or perhaps you’re off to Colorado for Christmas. Wait, United charges $200 for an oversized bag?! Maybe it's better to ship your gear to the Airbnb than fly it in.

Easyship makes it fast and simple to get shipping rates for skis. Our free shipping rate calculator lets you instantly compare real-time accurate rates from all top couriers. Plus, you’ll always get up to 70% off rates when you use Easyship.

Here’s the ultimate guide to shipping skis (and snowboards).

Table of Contents

The Cost of Shipping Skis

Shipping skis (and snowboards) is more expensive than shipping other items. Skis are long and unwieldy, meaning they may be labelled “oversized” by shipping companies. Additionally, you may be charged an added fee for shipping a box of unusual dimensions.

Every courier charges more for shipping large parcels but what constitutes "oversized" varies by carrier. For example, USPS defines an oversized package as 108” (9 ft.) or more. UPS, by contrast, defines oversized as 76” or more – or just over 6 feet.

This means that you can save money by comparing rates between couriers. The easiest way to do this would be using our free shipping rate calculator.

Calculating the cost of shipping skis with Easyship shipping rate calculator

It’s important to remember that your shipping rate is based on the box dimensions, not the skis themselves. However, length depending, a shorter skis will likely cost less to ship than a long pair.

Now let's look at the cost to ship skis from top domestic couriers, including USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

Courier Services For Shipping Skis

1. USPS

The US Postal Service is the cheapest way to ship skis and snowboards. This is because it defines an oversized package as over 108” in length, or more than 130” in combined length and girth. This means you should be able ship skis via USPS without paying extra.

Here’s the Easyship rate quotes for a 6’ pair of skis sent from Los Angeles to Denver with USPS.

Easyship rate quotes for a 6 pair of skis sent from Los Angeles to Denver with USPS

At $24.26, USPS Priority Mail gets the skis there in 2-4 business days. We could save a buck, literally, with USPS Parcel Select but that takes 6 days. If we want signature confirmation, we could use USPS Parcel Select Signature for $26.31.

USPS is known for being cheap but neither reliable nor delicate. You’ll want to consider the possibility that packages get delayed, and book shipments accordingly.

Skis to Ship

2. UPS

Length depending, shipping skis with UPS may mean paying for oversized shipping. UPS assesses an oversized package fee for large packages, which is anything longer than 108” or 165” in combined length and girth.

Here’s the tricky part: what constitutes oversized differs between UPS.com and individual UPS Store locations. Each UPS Store is its own franchise, meaning it can dictate its own terms and conditions for shipping.

When I called my local UPS Store in Denver, for example, I was told that their location charged oversized box fees for any item over 83” in length. Ok, so my six-foot skis were going to be oversized.

The special UPS ski box would cost me $26, and the shipping service itself was going to be $76. All told, oversize fees included, I was looking at around $150.

When we visit UPS.com, though, we see prices from $50 to $250.

UPS Prices for Shipping Skis

The UPS site charges an oversized fee of $18 for six-foot skis. The cheapest rate was UPS Ground at $54.55, which would arrive in two days. UPS Ground doesn’t offer guaranteed delivery, though. We can up the price to $80.25 for guaranteed delivery with 3 Day Select, though.

For an additional fee, you can also bring your skis to UPS and they’ll package and ship them on your behalf.

3. FedEx

FedEx defines oversized packages as being longer than 96,” or having a combined length and girth of more than 130.” When we enter our shipment specifics for a six-foot pair of skis on FedEx.com, our rates look very similar to UPS.

FedEx Cheapest Skis Shipping Options

As expected, FedEx Ground is the cheapest option at $41.33 and arrives in three business days. Other options cost more, but offer guaranteed delivery which Ground does not.

4. DHL

DHL is a global courier that specializes in cross-border shipments. For this reason, DHL rates in the States can be expensive. It only makes sense to use DHL for international shipments, in other words.

DHL charges $89 for shipping oversized parcels. Unlike our other couriers, DHL sets oversized packages at a smaller size. Any shipment with a single dimension, or side, of 47” or more is oversized. So our six-feet skis are definitely going to cost.

Here’s the rates for shipping skis to Geneva, Switzerland from Denver, CO.

 DHL Express Worldwide rates for shipping skis to Geneva from Denver

At $187.21, shipping skis overseas isn’t cheap. As shown here, $102 of that total is import duty and taxes paid to the Swiss government. DHL is reputed as a reliable courier, however, and our package is guaranteed to arrive in just two working days.

To get the cheapest rates on shipping skis, be sure to compare all available rates with our Free Shipping Rate Calculator. If you’re shipping skis to a foreign country, you might also want to scope the duty and taxes for your shipment with our instant Duty & Tax Calculator.

Shipping Features For Shipping Skis

Skis and snowboards are both clunky and expensive. In other words, they’re an ideal candidate for shipping protections like insurance and tracking. Here’s a few value-added features to look for when you’re shipping skis, whether in a ski bag or boxed up.

  • Insurance

Most couriers automatically insure their shipments up to $50 or $100. Obviously, this amount of insurance won’t cover any damage, loss, or theft of a set of skis. You can purchase added insurance from your courier when you create your shipment.

Insurance rates for packages are calculated based on the declared value of the shipment, plus a small minimum. Here are prices for added USPS insurance.

All totalled, insuring a $1,000 pair of skis costs around $15. For peace of mind, this is a small price to pay.

You can also purchase shipping insurance up to $5,000 from Easyship at a discount on the retail rates on courier sites.

  • Fragile Shipping

Skis are sturdy enough to withstand shipment without damage – provided they’re packaged correctly. This means you don’t have to worry about labelling your skis as fragile. Just make sure you package them properly, which we’ll cover in detail in the next section.

  • Tracking

Fortunately, every major shipping courier includes package tracking with shipments like skis. This means you will have the ability to monitor the progress of your shipment en route its destination.

Skis to Package for Shipping

How to Package Skis for Shipping

Securely packaging your skis (or snowboard) is critical to avoiding damage in transit. Whether you’ve got a cardboard box or your own ski luggage, here’s a few pointers for shipping skis in good condition.

1. Pick a sturdy box: Skis need their own special packaging and it should be sturdy. Look for shipping boxes with 200# burst strength, either from wholesalers like Uline or courier companies. You can also use your own ski bag.

2. Box for savings: Your shipping rate is based on the box dimensions, not the skis themselves. This means you’ll want to use the smallest box available that can still comfortably fit your skis. You may want to remove the bindings if space is tight.

3. Wrap your skis: Each ski and ski pole should be wrapped with bubble wrap before being placed in the ski bag or shipping box. This helps prevent damage in transit.

4. Fill empty space: Stuff bubble wrap or air cushioning in the box to prevent skis from shifting in transit. Your edges may get dinged if you don’t. Material like paper isn't sturdy enough to provide a cushion.

5. Tape it good: Use packing tape to securely seal the sides and top of the box. Once sealed, you can arrange for a pickup or drop-off skis with your selected courier.

Where to Buy Shipping Boxes For Skis

You can order ski-sized boxes from courier websites or grab them at store locations, stock depending. Expect to pay around $20-25 for a ski box from the courier service.

You can also buy ski-length boxes from shipping supply wholesalers like Uline. Starting at just under $9, Uline is by far the cheapest way to buy shipping boxes.

Shipping Skis in a Ski Bag

Major courier companies like USPS and FedEx allow you to ship skis in ski bags or luggage bags. This way, you’ll save money on a ski box, and the hassle of all the packaging. If you’re concerned about the bag getting beaten up in transit, you can protect it with the free plastic wrap available from free at courier store locations.

Shipping Skis With Easyship

Shipping skis and boards may incur oversized package charges, depending on your choice of courier, and the length of the skis. Be sure to compare rates for shipping skis among all top couriers to get the best rate.

If you want to ship your skis with Easyship – and you’ll save up to 70% if you do – start by creating a free account. Easyship is actually free to use if you send less than 100 shipments per month.

If you found this article valuable, you might want to check out the following:

  1. All the Tips You Need to Ship a Bike (or eBikes)
  2. Shipping Luggage: How to Ship Luggage Safely
  3. What's the Cheapest Way to Ship Internationally in 2021?

Shipping Skis FAQ

How much do skis weigh in lbs?

A pair of adult skis weighs between 10 and 15 pounds, including bindings.

How much would it cost to ship a snowboard?

Just like skis, snowboards may be subject to additional “oversized” fees from shipping companies. Expect rates for shipping a snowboard to be comparable with rates we shared above, or between $50-200.