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Ski Shopping

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I just learned to ski this year.  I can make it down intermediates fine and was just beginning black diamonds at the beginning of the season.  I will be attending a college 30 minutes from several different mountains and definitely intend to continue skiing and taking lessons.  I would like to get a new pair of skis and honestly know nothing about different brands and such so I was wondering what skis I should check out?

post #2 of 10

If I were in your place, I'd go with twin tips for the sake of versatility, but some general all-mountain skis would be fine too. There's lots of companies that produce great skis; I wouldn't worry about the brand so much as just finding the type of ski that you want. Narrow it down to a few models and then read reviews, compare prices, etc. If you are unsure of what length of ski to get, look at some ski sizing charts/guides (I'm sure there are some guides on the EpicSki forums) before deciding. If you plan to buy online, check out . They have good prices and huge selection, and their search options let you narrow down the type of ski you want and skis designed for your ability level.

post #3 of 10

See a bootfitter first.  As they say: skis, you date; boots, you marry.

post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

See a bootfitter first.  As they say: skis, you date; boots, you marry.

If you don't have good boots yet, agreed 100%.

post #5 of 10

Yes, boots first... but secondly, where are you going to be skiing primarily and do you intend to mix in any annual trips with these skis as well?

post #6 of 10

Boots first!  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum here at epic and read everything.  Though I'm currently obsessing over my next skis, my boots fit so perfectly that I have to get down to 165# so I can wear even thin ski socks.  They are a size smaller than my foot measures, but since I had them fitted, I can wear them all day long and not have one complaint.  If there are several ski resorts where you'll be going to college, you might want to wait until you get there.  This way, after you've purchased them and they've been fitted, if you need to have them tweaked, you can bring them back and they'll fix you up.  None of your gear is as important as your boots.  You will see that repeated several times here.


Since you don't know that much about the gear, search out someone that does to help you shop (after you get the boots).  Also make sure you're getting skis for you and not something that is designed for someone that does something you don't care about.  Just because a person is the captain of the race team, doesn't mean they be able to help get skis for you.  For now a good all mountain ski that is at the intermediate level will help you continue to improve.  I'm a believer in getting skis that are at a slightly higher level so you can "grow" into them; unless of course you're independently wealthy and can buy skis each time you improve.


If you tell us what region you'll be in, someone should be able to recommend a good place to go in that area.



post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'll be in Spokane, Washington so most of my skiing will be in that area.  I do live a couple hours drive north of Mt. Hood so when I come home on breaks I will probably be doing a bit of skiing there as well. 

post #8 of 10

I'm from Spokane as well. I think you will love how accessible the mountains are around here in the winter. :)


As everyone recommends.. get boots first! You can always demo skis until you find what you like -- or visit the (huge) ski swap on October 31 at the fairgrounds.


Recommended local ski shops:


Alpine Haus (talk to Brian for bootfitting)



We also have a GREAT local bootfitter in the area: Pat Sullivan at Alpine Pro Performance ( He's done a lot of work for me and my wife (and other local Epicski members) over the past few years.


Let me know if you have any more questions about the area, I'd be happy to help.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much!  I have gotten new boots but have yet to get new skis so I will definitely check out the ski swap and other places you suggested.

post #10 of 10

You might consider the Ski Fever show in Seattle Oct 28-30 or in Portland Nov 4-6.


It can be overwhelming, but also a lot of fun.  Lots of product reps hanging around as well as ski shops and resort.  You might go just because the participating resorts offer deals and discounts  (usually 2-for-1 midweek tickets).    If nothing else you will walk away with a bagful of brochures to get you more stoked.


That said,  you could hold off on new skis the first few times out on the slopes, go the rental shop at the ski area of your choice and demo some models.  A lot of ski shops in towns will also offer rentals (usually for a little less) but the advantage of trying demos on the mountain is that you can try different models on the same day.  I found it was very helpful to try 3-4 pairs of skis before investing in a good pair.  I believe you are your own best teacher, your own experience with skis is more valuable than mine.


I sometimes envy Spokane residents, you've got 49, Mt Spokane, Schweitzer, Lookout and Silver Mt all within a couple hours, plus Red Mt and Whitewater in BC. 


Caitlin, you mentioned being a couple hours north of Mt Hood?  Sounds like you'd also be in easy driving distance to White Pass or Crystal. Of course I love Hood, too.


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