What's the Best Ski and Snowboard Lock?

What's the best ski and snowboard lock

I just bought a new pair of skis this season, yeeha! I'm super excited, but I also heard some horror stories from friends who's board or skis were lifted from a rack at the resort, even from high up on the mountain, never to be seen again.

I'm out shopping for a good lock and looking for the following characteristics:

  • one that is secure even if it's more expensive,
  • must be small and light so I can carry it in my pocket,
  • reasonable quality so I don't need to buy a new one next year.

Here's what I found...

The most basic retractable cable lock

The first thing I find on Amazon is this DAKINE Micro Green or others like it, such as this Bosvision 4-digit Combination locks. From reading reviews and examining the products online, it looks like they meet only one and a half of the three criteria I set: at roughly 2oz/60g they're small and light, but that's about it. The cable looks very thin and even the manufacturer admits that "it won't stop a pair of bolt cutters". The plastic looks alright, although some reviewers wrote that "plastic bits feel a little flimsy".

Photo: Amazon.com

A retractable cable lock with alarm

Off to find something better and mitigate the fact that the cable is thin, I stumble upon this FJM Security SX-776 Cable Lock Alarm. At first look it seems that I found my lock. It is small, light, and secure. If a thief uses a cutter to get through the cable a "Piercing 120 Decibel Siren" (manufacturer claim) might just turn them away from my skis. But upon second thoughts, what if I trigger the alarm myself and cause a big mess on the ski hill.

Photo: Amazon.com

A reliable lock that works with special racks

My search brought me to this next item, the Ski Key. This one looks very reliable, has great reviews, and meets all of my criteria, it's small, weighs only 2.5 oz, you can't cut it, looks very tough and sturdy. But it has one major issue: it only works with compatible racks, which lots of resorts make available for customers, but they're not everywhere. Bummer!

Photo: Amazon.com

A motorcycle helmet lock?

How about this Motorcycle Helmet Lock By Racing? Well, it's intriguing. At only 4 oz, it seems light enough to qualify, the cable looks much sturdier and quality seems to be good, according to reviewers. It is a little long and large for a pocket, though.

Photo: Amazon.com

A classic: the Safeman Quick Lock

The Quick Lock from Safeman is worth mentioning because it's very simple, easy to use, the cable is much thicker, and its overall design looks better to me than all the other products. However, I believe it's a little on the heavy side at 4.5 oz. Amazon no longer caries it, but it's available form a few sellers on Ebay.

Photo: Amazon.com

Equipment check

There's also the option of checking your skis of snowboard in with the resort. Yes, you can't beat the safety aspect of that, but it's not available all throughout the mountain, there may be lines, and it's just not as convenient as locking on a rack.

Conclusion

Have I reached a verdict? Not at all, but I have a strong preference towards the Safeman. It does look to me like it's the simplest, most reliable, and least likely to cause trouble out there. Yes, it's a little heavy - about the weight of an iPhone, but I think I'm willing to give this one a try.

How about you? Do you have any experience with picking a lock? What's your favorite, and why?

Update: The Safeman arrived a couple of weeks ago and I used it twice so far. I love it! It fits in my pocket just fine, it's not too heavy, the key works well even in the cold, and the cable looks much thicker than other locks at the resort. Here's a picture from this weekend.

 My new Safeman lock at Mount Baker ski resort

My new Safeman lock at Mount Baker ski resort