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Beginner skier looking for the perfect 1st set of skis to buy.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm new to epic ski and the skiing community in general. I skied a couple of times in high school but then didn't ski again until this past winter. I loved it. I am 34, 6'2" 200 lbs. I skied several times this past winter in Michigan. I was confidently skiing all of the green (beginner) slopes and most of the blue (intermediate) slopes. I am looking to purchase my first set of skis. I would like skis that , as my skill level increases, I will not outgrow. At my local ski shops, salesmen have recommended the Volkl AC 30, the Nordica Hot Rod Igniter CA, and the Atomic D2 VF 75. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I would just like to make the most educated purchase possible. Thanks!
post #2 of 18

Well, the advice I would offer is...just make sure you first spend money on good well fitting boots.  This is by far the most important.  If the boots dont fit, controlling the skis will be difficult, and your feet will hurt.  Not fun.  Second spend money on good quality ski clothes, gloves, goggles etc.  You dont need to be an expert to appreciate warm, dry and comfortable.  Not to mention stylish!

 

After all that, spend money on lift passes, lessons etc.

 

After that, buy skis.  If you cant afford new, buy used.  Skis are ironically the least important of all the stuff you have when determining how much fun/success you will have.

post #3 of 18

Dankmanfu,

 

Welcome to epic!

 

What Skidude said.

 

Perfect fitting boots matched with crappy skis will out perform perfect skis with crappy fitting boots every time.  There is a whole forum here "Ask The Boot Guys" with a wealth of information.  If there is one area of skiing to not cut corners and scrimp, this is it.

 

This doesn't mean don't be thrifty.  You can be fitted in new boots that are last years model and save big $$.

 

As a for instance; I bought my boots new (as in not used) but a year old. The money I saved (40%) covered the cost of custom footbeds and the rest of the fitting and there was still money left over.

 

Be prepared to have to travel.  I ended up making a drive that is in the area of 2.5 hours to get to a good boot fitter.  Longer when you consider stopping to eat and the rest.  I find doing such things tedious (I won't usually drive that far to ski) but is was well worth it.  Changed my skiing experience and enabled me to ski at a level I didn't think I could achieve. 

 

As for Skidude's comment on the skis being the least important - This past season I did my best skiing on skis that I found on Craigslist for $50.  They were used and 7 years old.  Top was dinged up pretty well but the bottom and edges had some life.  Bindings were good too.  They had been sitting in a garrage for years.  Like buying anything used (or new), its best if you know what to look for and what is good/bad.

 

Many ski shops have rentals/demos so you can try different skis.  In all honesty, if I was in your boots, I would invest in boots and gear (to make sure I was comfortable on the mountain), then lessons and/or a season pass.  What you need now more than anything is milage.  Taking "a" lesson can get you started, but you should take them often.  Even though I'm an instructor, I get one to two lessons each weekend.  The more you do this upfront the further you will go faster.

 

I bring all this up because just a few years ago I was in the same boat as you (though a much older boat); skied a little in HS, and over 25 years later at 45, picked it up again.  Three years ago I got the boots I mentioned above, did the adult clinic and got a season pass.  Two years ago I became an instructor.  It would have never happened without getting the CORRECT boots for ME and lots of lessons.  Now I have way more fun, ski more trails.  It used to be more of a chore than anything else.

 

Yes the boots are that important.  Mine fit so well that though I'm in them sometimes well over 12 hours, I don't mind.  The boots are the foundation of your comfort and CONTROL on the mountain.

 

You'll probably get a few more post saying the samething but not as long winded as mine biggrin.gif

 

Ken

post #4 of 18

You date your skis, you marry your boots. 

 

No one ever complained about their feet hurting from having the wrong skis.

 

What they said.

 

Where in Michigan are you, so we know where to refer you. 

 

 

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am in Traverse City Michigan. I have my ski apparel already, mostly Descente. I have comfortable Nordica boots that were form fitted for my feet. I have wide feet and had a hard time finding comfortable boots, but mission accomplished. I actually purchased boots and skied rental skis all last season.I usually do a 1 hour lesson every morning before I hit the slopes. Boyne has great ski academy. I've tried to approach this sport properly. I guess my main question is about the ski itself. It seems that most ski shops are recommending intermediate to advanced skis. However, as a beginner, will these work for me? I would like something that I wont have to upgrade after a year of improving technique. I'm not interested in glades, moguls, park, or anything that adventurous .....yet. Just want to be able to enjoy most runs on the mountain on the weekends and TRY to keep up with my 4 year old son who has a much steeper learning curve. Lol. Thank you all for your advice and patience with a middle aged newb.
post #6 of 18

Dank,

 

You ARE on the right track, good for you. icon14.gif

 

Next question, will 80%+ of your skiing be in Michigan? I am assuming that with a 4 y/old it will. With that said, with the skis you mentioned, I would put the Nordica first, The Atomic second and the Volkl a distant fourth. I would put the Sultan 85, Nordica HR Burner and Blizzard Magnum 7.6 in the mix as options with the Blizzard being the top choice of any of the skis mentioned. It will hold well on your harder snow (see: ice) and still be compliant enough to help you progress and not overpower you. 

post #7 of 18

Welcome to EpicSki!

I grew up in Northern Michigan.  You have some good ski shops that should be able to direct you based on what they have in stock.  I would start with Don Orr Ski shop, or Boyne Country Sports.  If Crystal Mountain were still open, I'd suggest that you go to their ski shop but they close when the mountain closes.  If you end up waiting until next fall, and make it to Crystal, tell Jim and Darron I said hi!

 

As for skis for you.......it may be best if we know how many days you got in and what kind of hills you ski(blue/green/black) and if you plan on taking any trips west or are you sticking to Michigan hills for the time being?

 

One of the first skis that comes to mind for a good learning ski that will take you to the next level without having to be replaced quickly is the Blizzard mag 7.6, then there is the Fischer progressor 7, ............etc

 

What have you seen available in stores where you've been looking?  That may help us help you get whats available this summer.

 


Edited by Trekchick - 6/25/11 at 8:03am
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dankmanfu View Post

I am in Traverse City Michigan. I have my ski apparel already, mostly Descente. I have comfortable Nordica boots that were form fitted for my feet. I have wide feet and had a hard time finding comfortable boots, but mission accomplished. I actually purchased boots and skied rental skis all last season.I usually do a 1 hour lesson every morning before I hit the slopes. Boyne has great ski academy. I've tried to approach this sport properly. I guess my main question is about the ski itself. It seems that most ski shops are recommending intermediate to advanced skis. However, as a beginner, will these work for me? I would like something that I wont have to upgrade after a year of improving technique. I'm not interested in glades, moguls, park, or anything that adventurous .....yet. Just want to be able to enjoy most runs on the mountain on the weekends and TRY to keep up with my 4 year old son who has a much steeper learning curve. Lol. Thank you all for your advice and patience with a middle aged newb.


Well this changes everything.  Key information.  So, though everything already stated prior to this post is still true, we can move on to the follow up.

 

First, you aren't middle aged so for get claiming it.  If you were middle aged, I'd be a geezer and that ain't happening!

 

Second, I'm usually of the school that says, "buy gear that skis better than you do."  That way, you know it isn't the gear holding you back.  Usually, a beginner using an advance/intermediate ski is fine.  All that will happen is you won't use all the features (i.e. having a microwave with 50 different settings and only making popcorn - the popcorn will be fine and the MW is available to move on to other foods).

 

There are exceptions to this because of ski stiffness and ski length, but at your size and approach with lessons, you shouldn't fall into that trap; especially if you discuss this with the ski shops you are dealing with.

 

Folks like Phil and TC know gear inside and out and will steer you straight.  I'm just trying to discuss the concern about gear being "too advanced".

 

Ken

 

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dankmanfu View Post

 Thank you all for your advice and patience with a middle aged newb.



34 is middle age?????????????????????????????hopmad.gif

 

 

 

 

 

As for skis it generally breaks down like this:

 

The key criteria that determines if a ski is "Expert" or "Beginner" is its torsional stiffness.  Or put another way its ability to resist twist.  Beginner skis are torsionally soft, or twist easy.  Expert skis are torsional hard, or dont twist at all (or very slight).  Intermediate skis are in between.  Now the reason is, torsionally soft skis are "forgiving".  This means as you make little wobbles the skis wont respond, and just keep doing what they are doing.  This is good for beginners as it makes the skis tame and easy to stand on.  Expert skis however dont need to be forgiving, they are torsionally stiff to enable fine movments to be translated into the ski doing somthing...ie the perform. 

 

Walk into a ski shop and twist the beginner skis, it will be easy.  Then try the expert ones....you will easily be able to tell the difference.

 

So the tradeoff is forgiving for performance.  What is better?  Well if you dont make wobbles, go for an advanced ski.  It will help you learn too, as when you move you will get a reaction from the skis.  With lessons etc, I think you will be ok with this approach.

post #10 of 18

I was in this same situation approximately five years ago. I went with the Volkl, and while they were a great ski in the begining, theysoon became to soft for me as I advanced. I bought the previously suggested sultan 85 and have been extremely happy. They are much heavier than my Volkl, but I don't really notice the extra swing weight, and I really appreciate the stiffness on steeper and icier slopes. I also considered the Blizzard 7.6

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
34 isn't middle aged. smile.gif I said middle aged newb. It is slightly old to be picking up a new sport, but with one season under my belt I am already obsessed. (obviously. It's 80 degrees on the lake and I'm in full blown ski finding mode) I have been to Don Orr ,they recommended the Volkl AC30, and I've been to boyne country sports, they recommended the nordica hot rod igniter ca. I will ski 100% in northern Michigan for at least 5 years, until my kids are older. I have a 2 year old son with down syndrome who probably won't be ready to tackle an out west trip for a bit, but someday. I seem to see a recurring theme with the blizzard 7.6 . I'm going to check these out.
post #12 of 18

The AC30 and Hot Rod Igniter CA are both solid recommendations to take you to the next level and make you happy for a few years in Northern Michigan.

That is a fine start!

 

post #13 of 18

The AC30 is far from a good ski to help even an "advanced" beginner to improve, it is too stiff and needs too much speed to get going especially for smaller Michigan hills, you will be at the bottom before you get enough speed to get it going. 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your help. I now have a new set of Blizzard 7.6s heading my way. I had never even heard of the blizzard brand. I look forward to learning more and sharing my experiences. Again thank you all very much.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dankmanfu View Post

Thank you all for your help. I now have a new set of Blizzard 7.6s heading my way. I had never even heard of the blizzard brand. I look forward to learning more and sharing my experiences. Again thank you all very much.


Great, if you're not getting them from a local ski shop(per your comment "heading my way"), I hope you got them from one of our EpicSki Sponsors.  They tend to treat you right around here.

 

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
I got them from a locAl ski shop, but they had to order them for me. (summertime low stock) However I will gladly use the epic ski sponsors in the future for items I cannot get locally.
post #17 of 18

Its always good to hear when a Local Ski Shop can hook you up.

If they can't, then its great to remember that our Epicski Sponsors are the EpicSki Community Local Ski shops

beercheer.gif

post #18 of 18

I have VF75s. They work great on groom slopes, also on some crud very stable. I love them but maybe they are too stiff for beginner.

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