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Beginner/Intermediate Skier Needs Help Choosing Skis

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone,

 

I just joined this forum today in hopes of finding some good advice on which skis I should purchase. I've spoken with 3 people who work at 2 different ski shops, but I still have a lot of questions.

 

Here's my situation:

 

I've been skiing only 8 days in the past 5 seasons, but I've decided that I want to become much more active in the sport, so am hoping to go a lot more this season and in future seasons, and as part of that, I have decided to purchase all my own gear. I live in DC, and the only places I've been skiing are Whitetail and Ski Liberty. I went a couple months ago and rented 163cm skis and was able to do moguls (slowly), smalls jumps, and a black diamond with absolutely no problem (I fell only 1 time the entire day). After that trip, I purchased a pair of used K2 Comanche Sport 167cm skis online. The Comanche's look pretty beat up, but the base of each ski is in fine condition; the tech at the ski shop I took them to to get the bindings adjusted said the skis look like they'd be perfectly functional for about 3 seasons (being used about 5-7 times per season). So a couple days after buying the Comanche's, I drove to Whitetail, excited to give them a shot, but the moment I put them on to simply walk to the ski lift, I could tell there was something wrong. They felt ususually heavy, and it was also difficult for me to maneuver them. That entire day, it was like I was skiing for the first time again. I could barely get down the hills without falling once or twice, and it was very difficult for me to carve. The Comanche's I bought are 167cm, and I had only used 163cm before, so I'm not sure if it was the length, or the weight, or both, that was giving me trouble.

 

So now I'm searching for the right pair of skis for myself. Considering that I'm 27-years-old, 5'8" tall, about 195-200lbs, and I'm a beginner/intermediate (closer to beginner), does anyone have any advice on what I should purchase?

 

One of the ski shop folks suggested the Volkl AC 10 (he stated that it is a very lightweight ski), and one of the other ski shop folks suggested the 2011 K2 AMP Force with Marker M2 10 bindings (I can get the package for $400). Should I go with one of these skis? Or does anyone have a better suggestion?

 

Also, should I purchase 163cm, 160cm, or something a little shorter? I'm ok with giving up some speed for more control, as I still have a lot to learn; but I weigh almost 200lbs, and from what I understand, if I get a ski that is too short, it won't support my weight very well and won't float on the snow the way it should.

 

Any advice is much appreciated!

post #2 of 9

I would advise working with the K2 you bought. At 200 lbs. you don't want a real lightweight ski. Take the 400 you would spend on new skis and invest in some lessons. When you get a bit better, go to a demo day (or 2) next winter and see what you like. Read Ski Press and Ski magazine's gear issues first and have a list of skis to try. If in fact you work on the sport over a winter or 2 and improve, you won't like any of the skis you would buy now anyway.

post #3 of 9

I agree with vsirin: you should be able to get plenty of mileage out of your K2s.  What were the conditions like the day you tried them?

 

I've seen those skis outfitted in many of the on-montain rental shops out West.  That makes me think they are a good beginner/intermediate ski.  I would have recommended a slightly shorter ski to start.  It will be more difficult for you to ski moguls and quick turns but will be better at speed at 167 cm.  Still, they represent a good starting point.  

 

My advice would be to spend some time on groomed snow on your K2s and see if you can get the hang of them.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

vsirin and dmourati:

 

Thank you both for your feedback.

 

Good question about the conditions on the day (actually the night) I tried them. I was night-skiing at Whitetail, and it was very icy; it was probably the iciest conditions I've ever been skiing in. With that being said, my previous time skiing was also night skiing, and the conditions were icy, and I did just fine-- but I will say it wasn't nearly as icy as the time out with the Comanche's.  

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

anyone else have similar, or different opinions?

post #6 of 9

I can't comment on the skis because I don't know anything about them, but you should have purchased boots from a boot fitter first.  Boots are by far the most important gear you can buy for skiing.  Properly fitting boots allow you to control your skis.  I don't even want to think about how much money I spent over a couple of decades buying hot skis always thinking my skiing would be better with a better ski.  When I finally got boots that actually fit my feet, my skiing improved instantly.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis there about fitting and terminology and check the list of fitters for one near you.  If there isn't a fitter near you, ask and someone can probably recommend one.  I would also recommend you get yourself into a serious exercise program.  I'm also 5'8" but my weight during the winter varies from about 147 to 150.  During the summer when I'm cycling 25-30 miles a day and backpacking it comes down to about 140.  You'll feel better and your heart will thank you.

post #7 of 9

Fellow noob here. also searching for skis.  (disclaimer- maybe you do own boots, but i didnt see you mention that)

 

Listen to these guys..

 

I had not skiid in a decade, but when i decided to get into the sport only a few months ago, i spent one day on the snow (with a lesson)and knew i wanted to do this, so i went and got fitted for boots.  Rental boots suck. Rental skis suck too at most places, but get your own boots, and youll be much happier.  The way i see it, how can you possibly judge a ski in a rental boot??

 

Good luck on your ski hunt, im on one too and cant wait to actually own a ski thats not a rental. Although waiting till next winter to try it will be frustrating. My demo opportunities are slim.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I think I'm good with boots. I tried on about 5 pairs at Ski Chalet (they helped me find the right fit) and eventually stuck with a pair of Nordica Cruise 80.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 


Good luck on your search. Same here with the demo opportunities. I'm going to do a better job of planning ahead for those next season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WC68 View Post

Fellow noob here. also searching for skis.  (disclaimer- maybe you do own boots, but i didnt see you mention that)

 

Listen to these guys..

 

I had not skiid in a decade, but when i decided to get into the sport only a few months ago, i spent one day on the snow (with a lesson)and knew i wanted to do this, so i went and got fitted for boots.  Rental boots suck. Rental skis suck too at most places, but get your own boots, and youll be much happier.  The way i see it, how can you possibly judge a ski in a rental boot??

 

Good luck on your ski hunt, im on one too and cant wait to actually own a ski thats not a rental. Although waiting till next winter to try it will be frustrating. My demo opportunities are slim.

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