You can't just show up with loose skis and poles. You need to buy a travel bag specifically designed for skis, snowboards or boots. Ski bags range from basic zippered travel bags to accommodating ski bags to padded bags that also protect them. There are many types of boot bags, both cheap bags for storing boots only, and high-end bags for helmets, including pockets, more beautiful belts and even backpack straps. You'll find snowboard bags that can also act as suitcases, holding boots and clothes on the go. Generally, most airlines treat ski bags and boot bags as one. Generally, you can view airline policies for flying with skis online under Sports Equipment.
Do your research before packing up your skis, as some airlines may require certain types of luggage. Most airlines allow the use of soft bags. But Air Canada requires skis, poles and ski bags in hard-shell cases. If you have previously skied and are deciding whether to buy or rent equipment, researching the cost of renting and buying ski equipment can help you decide whether you should rent or buy. The cost of shipping the equipment there may help you determine what works best for you. Let's face it; managing skis, boots and other luggage at the airport is a bit difficult. If you don't want to check your ski boots, you can carry them and put them in an elevated compartment, but these skis need to be placed underneath.