How to rent from Sports Basement (esp. for kids)

Our local Sunnyvale, CA – Sports Basement is THE go-to spot for winter activities here in the South Bay area.

Not only do they offer ski/snowboard busses that take you there and back with same-day service, they are also a great place to rent gear that you don’t want to store all year round or if you have growing kids.

Having just gotten back from a snowboarding trip, here is a quick write-up of Sports Basement tips for those still snowbound. (Apparently the snow will be good till past May 26th, 2024)…

Sports Basement Purchasing Tips:

  • Buy Grown-up Gear: I highly recommend just buying the grown-up gear to save yourself the trouble, though renting first is a good way to try on the gear and see what you like.
  • Second Hand Section: They also have a light-used second hand section for good deals for yourself and/or the kids.

Sports Basement Rental Tips:

(all subject to change depending on how they run things every year)

Plan Ahead: If you plan to ski/snowboard more than one time during the winter months, you might want to go there earlier during winter when it’s less crowded and just rent out the gear for the whole season, which might be comparable to renting those two or more times.

Combo It: You might know your exact size for some rentals and not know it for other rentals. You might be able to save yourself a little effort by reserving online for the items you know your size for, and doing walk-ins for the items you don’t know the size of.

If you reserve ahead of time, the gear will be guaranteed to be there in the size you need. If you do walk-in, you run into the risk of there not being what you need.

  • Online Reservations (Quick & Guaranteed): If you know your sizes, you can reserve your gear online and maybe even prepay, for a somewhat quick pickup. Any changes to this or if you need fittings, may put you back into the regular queue for a longer wait.
    • Pop over to their website and just add-to-cart all the gear that you want to rent.
    • The key is to make sure you know your exact size.
    • If you end up needing to change sizes during pickup, they may kick you into the Walk-In’s queue
    • After check-out, just to go the store during your pickup date to make the pickup.
    • If you go pickup BEFORE your scheduled pickup date, you will be charged for the early pickup.

  • Walk-ins (Slow & Not Guaranteed): If you don’t have a reservation, you will have to get into the walk-in line which can be really long. We happened to be there on the busiest weekend (ski week) and waited nearly 1.5hrs for our place in line.
    • Walk-Ins Step 1: Put your name(s) into the Walk-In Queue (put a couple of people’s names down from your party)
    • Walk-Ins Step 2: Go through the nearby shelves to pick out your gear.
      • Snow/ski boots, kids helmets and goggles won’t be on those shelves, they will be in the fitting area for later.
      • If you need poles, you can walk around to the other side and pick out your poles.
      • Grab a rolling shopping tote to help hold all that stuff.
    • Walk-Ins Step 3: Once you’ve gathered all your gear, just wait up near the line for them to call you.
      • When we were there, they had a new system and it was a good thing we put all our names down for everyone in our party, because a few of our names got dropped from the list. (Imagine having to wait another 1.5hrs to re-queue.)
    • Walk-Ins Step 4: When you get called, tell them you need a fitting or you can check-out straightaway.
      • If you need a fitting, they will point you to this small area with one or two reps who will help you get fitted for your ski/snowboard boots, ski’s and snowboards, helmets and kids goggles (if needed).
    • Walk-Ins Step 5: Once you are done with all your fittings, you’ll then get directed to a counter to checkout all your gear. You are FINALLY done getting your rental gear.

Returning the Gear…

And with the hard part done… you can just push all your gear in their shopping cart to the same place you rented it, and they will quickly take back your return. This is the easiest part. Hope this helps!

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