How to Ship Skis

Shipping skis is a convenient way to transport your gear if you cannot take it with you in the car or on a plane for a ski trip. You can also ship skis to send as gifts for any family or friends who share your love of the snow. 

I’m Christine, a skiing fanatic who loves to get out in the snow as often as possible. I’ve shipped my skis several times over the years, and I know how to properly pack everything to keep it safe for the ride. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to prepare your skis for shipping, as well as how to choose a shipping service that best meets your needs. It’s not that complicated, but it’s good information to know. 

Let’s get a box and get started. 

What You’ll Need

Here are some of the materials you’ll need to ship your skis: 

  • Shipping box or ski bag
  • Heavy-duty rubber bands (to hold up ski brakes)
  • Bubble wrap/padding
  • Packaging tape
  • Utility knife or sharp scissors (if you build your own box)

How to Ship Skis

Shipping skis is basically just like shipping anything else except that your skis might be a different shape than your used to. Below is a breakdown of the steps you should follow to ship your skis properly. 

Step 1: Get your box or bag prepared

The first step you need to take is getting a box or bag ready to put your skis inside. I recommend using a cardboard box rather than a ski bag because this offers a little more protection and is easier for shipping companies to handle. 

If you have access to a cardboard box that is long and thin enough to match the size of your skis, you can use that. Since skis are a somewhat awkward shape, it’s more likely that you’ll need to make a box of your own. 

To make your own shipping box, simply use a box cutter, utility knife, or strong pair of scissors to shape several boxes into the necessary size to cover your skis completely. 

You’ll want to flatten the boxes and then fold, roll, and tape them until you fashion a box of the proper shape and size. You can build the box a little larger than your skis to make room for padding, but you don’t want it to be too small. 

Step 2: Prepare your skis for shipping

Once you have your box ready, it’s time to prepare your skis for shipping. You want to make sure that your skis aren’t damaged during transit, and this is where adequate padding comes in very useful. 

Before padding your skis, I recommend pulling back your skis brakes because this makes everything easier to complete. Ski brakes are the little tabs or wings that come down on either side of your binding. 

To do this, take a heavy-duty rubber band and place one end of it on one side of your ski brakes. Pull the band over the top of the binding and attach it to the other side of the brake. This will hold them up and out of the way, just like when you are skiing. 

Next, you’ll want to place padding around your skis. You can either place it around the entire length of your skis or just focus on the tips and tails if you don’t have much material. 

You can use bubble wrap, foam padding, or even towels and clothing to pad your skis effectively. Just make sure to wrap it tightly or even tape it in place to ensure it doesn’t slide around or fall off during shipping.

Step 3: Place your skis in the box

After you have your skis and your box ready to go, it’s time to place your skis inside of the box. There is no exact way to do this – just make sure that you take your time, so you don’t rip or tear the box while you are stuffing your skis inside. 

You want to make sure you have enough padding so that your skis aren’t sliding or moving around inside the box too much. If you feel like you need more padding once the skis are in the box, go ahead and stuff it in there to keep everything secure. 

When your skis are entirely inside of the box, tape it up and make sure that there are no weak points or damage to the outside. If you notice any issues, reinforce the areas with more tape so that the box is ready to be shipped. 

Step 4: Choose a Shipping Service

The final step is choosing a shipping service to send your skis to wherever they are headed. The three primary options for shipping skis (or anything else you want to send) are USPS, UPS, and FedEx. 

  • USPS is generally the cheapest option and is a good choice if you are on a budget or are shipping your skis within the continental US.
  • FedEx is usually the most expensive, but they have overnight delivery options and better worldwide service if you are trying to ship your skis quickly or to a faraway destination. 
  • UPS is in the middle ground of cost and will provide you with a reliable way to ship your skis via ground or air transportation. 

You can also learn more about the cost of shipping skis via different services here.

There are also some services that will help you pack and ship your skis, so you don’t need to follow all of the steps I’ve mentioned here. This can be convenient but will also increase the cost of shipping all your equipment. 

After you choose a service, you simply pay them the required amount, and they will put shipping labels on the box. Make sure you have your destination address and return address well marked to avoid any issues if the package gets lost or misplaced.

Other Considerations

Keep in mind that you might be able to bring your skis on a plane or bus if you are trying to travel with them to your final skiing destination. This can often be the easiest and most affordable option compared to using a shipping service. 

You also really want to make sure that your skis are well secured and padded. You never want to put them into a box without some sort of protection. If you do, you risk damaging your skis, ripping your box, or even losing your skis. 

Most shipping services charge by size and weight. If you want to save some money, you can always take your bindings off and just ship your skis on their own. This will cut down on weight, and bindings are pretty easy to pack in your personal luggage. 

Final Thoughts

Shipping your skis is pretty straightforward. If you follow all of the steps spelled out in this post, you’ll be able to rest assured that your skis will arrive safely and securely wherever their final destination may be.

It might make you a little nervous to send your skis off separately from you when you travel, but all of the shipping services mentioned here are reliable and do a great job.

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  • Leon M. Green

    I feel dumb!
    I just cut down a box in which a custom Venetian blind was delivered. Could have used it. May be able to expand the box that contained the new retainer strips for our Larson storm door.

    But I am very happy to have found your site via the third option in a Bing search.

    So, do you know of anyone who would be interested in a pair of 1994 Rossignol DV6Ma women’s racing skis? I got them in 1996 from Wilburger’s Ski Shop, Abington, PA. It still exists, but without a website nor email. I was planning to try Marketplace on Facebook. But having found you, I’m asking. I haven’t skied in in ten years to not further undo the nice ACL repair I got in 1994 before I had these skis.

    The window and gauge of one of the binder windows is missing. My brother told me that most likely the bindings would be replaced with new ones by a new owner, but that these skis were worth trying to sell instead of into the trash.


    • Christine

      Hi Leon!

      Bummer about the box, but luckily they are pretty easy to come by, and you should be able to find or make something that will work. For those skis – I’m not sure there’s actually much of a market for them. Ski technology has really changed since the 90s, and most ski racers want the latest models to help them go as fast as possible. Skis don’t really hold up as collector’s items. Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist is a good idea, but I wouldn’t expect to get that much money out of them. Sorry for that bit of bad news, but I hope you’re gearing up for a good winter, regardless!