Image coming soon

Among other things, the reason behind the popularity of slide skiing is the ease of using the equipment. Photo: Skinbased/OAC ©Rami Valonen


Winter equipment rentals: Slide skiing grew, the traditional way of skiing clearly overtook skate skiing

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing were the biggest winners of the winter in terms of equipment rentals. The growth of mountain biking in particular is predicted for the coming summer.

Gliding snowshoeing, which made a breakthrough in the winter of 2021, continued to increase its popularity in the ending winter. Better availability of equipment contributed to the clear growth.

"More equipment was available for this season, which is why guided group trips of 10-15 people were possible. The popularity of the sport encouraged customers to ask for guided tours outside the most familiar landscapes to more special nature destinations, such as the gorge valley of Kolvananuuro", says the CEO of Kontiolahti Outdoor, which organizes equipment rental and guided activities in North Karelia, Kimmo Turunen.

Meter snow cover carries

At Kolilla Adventure Company Vaara, a third of the winter equipment rentals were sliding snowshoes and a third electric mountain bikes.

"We quadrupled the number of snowshoes for this season. The ease of the equipment and the metric snow cover fuel the enthusiasm of customers. Due to demand and a larger fleet, we started guided snowshoe tours," says CEO Katariina Rantlaiho.

The popularity of tobogganing is expected to grow next winter as well. Pontta informs the direction that the sales of domestic OAC sliding snowshoes increased by approximately 35 percent for this season.

"The more people try the sport, the better. Ease and fun increase the sport's reputation. I believe that in the future there will be more renters as well as people acquiring their own equipment", says Kimmo Turunen.

Butt wedged free

In renting cross-country skiing equipment, the clear victory of traditional skiing over skate skiing was significant. 80 percent of Kontiolahti Outdoor's packages were traditional skiing equipment.

The background of the phenomenon was the development of the fleet. Traditional skiing skis and bindings are more suitable for rental use than before.

"Today's bindings can be adjusted very easily without tools and even while standing on the skis and there is no need for grip lubrication. The new equipment has encouraged even tyhy groups of 10-15 people to the track", says Kontiolahti Outdoor's Turunen.

Summer of e-bikes and guides

Adventure company Vaara is preparing for summer's growing demand for mountain bikes by increasing the number of electric bikes.

"We are starting cooperation with the German bicycle manufacturer Canyon. Our e-bike fleet will more than double," says Katariina Rantalaiho, pilot of the rental company serving the village of Koli.

According to him, a significant part of bike renters are women. At the end of May, a mountain bike course aimed specifically at women will be organized in Koli.

"During the weekend, there will be riding technique training, learning about bike maintenance with the help of a skimpy, and taking care of your own body with yoga."

Kimmo Turunen of Kontiolahti Outdoor expects more diverse demand than before for guided mountain bike tours.

"We received three times more responses to our winter product development survey than we expected. Their message was that customers' wishes range from one-hour mountain bike tours to 5-6 hour guided tours. As many as 98.5 percent of the respondents were also interested in learning driving techniques - we aim to offer options for this already in the coming summer."