I plan to snowboard in chile/argentina in august this year but before that I'll be travelling to a bunch of other places and so won't be carrying my gear around. I'm currently in New York and that's where my gear is. I need to know what would be the best way to ship my snowboard and other gear over to Chile? Is it worth it? Or are the rentals there good enough?
depends on what you ski. if your sticking to on piste skiing and for a week i would rent.
i first started skiing in south america in 2006 i rented skis and boots, from Las Lenas Cerro catedral and cerro castor in ushuaia, and i found if you rent from the resort itself they have decent gear but it costs about the same as places like in the states. if you rent outside the resorts its alot cheaper and the quality is not that good if your looking to head off piste into the backcountry.
the next year i took my skis and boots and felt much more comfortable in the backcountry and on piste. traveling with the skis is not really that much of a pain, how much time do you ever walk around with everything. you travel to and from buses and airports in taxis and maybe the occasional 20 min walk to the hostel.
if your serious about skiing hard in south america i would take your own gear down with you and maybe if your staying longer or traveling around i would just rent out a some sorta locker in Buenos aires or santagio and dump em then fly back home with them. or sell your gear down there ski gear is alot more expensive in south america you could get what you paid for em and then get new gear for nx season.
you'll find out loads more information on www.tetongravity.com their forums are full of cool info.
i'm in bariloche all season if you want to meet up to ski at some point this summer.
One thing is that Chile is not inexpensive to rent ski gear. I checked it out myself when I was there, so if you're planning on skiing elsewhere, like Argentina or New Zealand I would say bring it with you - it's going to save you money in the end most likely plus you get the use out of your gear!
To send it ahead to Chile you could try doing the following:
Use the Poste Restante service at the main Post Office in Santiago. Now, you might need to check how large of a pacckage they will hold but they held a really large box of clothes for me for over a month.
The way it works (if you are not already aware of it) is that you mail it to yourself
When you go to collect it, there is a board with names and corresponding numbers on it. You look for your name on that list, find the number of your package, ask for that number and you pay them a small charge for holding it.
It's an extremely effective service and I used it several times on my travels in various countries. If you want to send your gear on to NZ for example, you can do the same thing then as well.
Hope that helps.