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When to buy?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Background: 45 y/o, 6'1" 195#.  Skied mabye 20 times from age 15-18, then never again until moved to the PNW 4 years ago.  Over the last 3 winters have managed 20-30 days/winter, and have moved from approx. level 4 to 7 (hard to tell - from perusing the multiple "what level am I" threads that would be my best guess).  Toward the end of last year spent most of my time up and down the Northway chair at Crystal (mostly black diamond) and doing fairly well.  I bought my own boots and put intuition liners in them half way through my first winter (WHAT a difference), but as of now I am still getting season rentals on the skis.  Don't remember the exact model - they are some all mountain shaped Heads (get them at Sturtevants).  I am considering buying my own skis this year, and believe it or not my question is not "what ski", but rather whether I really should buy at this point.  I feel that I am fairly rapidly improving, and if I bought skis for my current ability would I need to replace them in a couple of years?  Would it be better to wait a year or two and see where I "level off."  BTW season rentals are about $150 if I remember correctly.

 

 

 

It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life - Terry Pratchett

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 29

NOW is the best time to buy! Leftovers are at their best selection and the new skis are fully stocked and you have the best options. The main purpose of a rental ski is to make it back at the end of the day (or season), performance is mostly a coincidence. Rental skis tend also to have performance draining rental/demo bindings, they usually are heavier and have a disconnect with the ski. There are some great leftover values that you can get some serious set ups for the $400.00 range. which after 2 years you could probably sell for $150-200 and be better than renting an inferior ski for 150/yr for 2 years. 

post #3 of 29

I agree with Phil...while your skills may continue to improve with rental skis, you have improved enough that you are going to notice the difference between a basic all mountain rental and a higher performance ski...I would suggest looking for a ski in the "easy expert" category as you are probably good enough to handle it now, but won't outgrow it right away.

post #4 of 29

With respect to you specific question - I would also suggest to buy now (depending on your $ situation). New skis generally work better than the rental fleet (e.g., have better edges or are of better build quality or are just better to ski on ). IMHO, you should look at the skis as a tool that will help you improve. Review Epic Ski forums or ski mags, and find a ski that performs well in the area in which you want to improve (e.g., carving or bumps or general all mountain or whatever) & get the tool that will help you do that. If you take the plunge, get something good and not just a rental-like ski with consumer graphics from a big box store.  I agree with Philpug that you can pick some good bargains now on GOOD skis.  You will probably want new skis again in a couple of years if you are truly bitten by the sport, and that will evolve with your increasing skill level and knowledge of the sport,   

post #5 of 29

deffinitley buy. why put it off so you have to another time?

post #6 of 29

I've been in a very similar situation as you, skied a handful of times from 15 to mid 20's, than almost nothing until 'mid' 40's, past 4 years getting 30 - 40 days per year. First of all - DEFINITELY get your own skis.  Get PERFORMANCE skis - don't even look at big box stores like Sports Authority, etc.

 

If you're skiing 20 - 30 days per season, and plan to do at least that this year, than yes, I agree that now is the time to buy.  You will be served much better with your own pair of skis rather than the typical season rentals.  

 

Personally, I have found that the best "deals" on last years skis can be obtained at the 'end' of the season, March through May. A lot of skis that are the really good sellers get swooped up pretty fast, than it appears things stagnate a bit through the summer, than start creeping back up after Labor day.  I wouldn't 'waste' this entire season on rental gear, waiting for a slightly better deal at the end of the season, so now is as good as it's gonna get going into this upcoming season.

 

Many ski shops are having labor day sales. You mentioned Sturtevants - they are having a sale now, only about 10% off, but it's better than full price.  They have a great selection of new 2012's and there's some really great skis available for 2012.

 

There's also the Labor day tent sales - there's SkiBonkers at South Center / Westfield Shopping Center in Tukwila going on this Labor Day weekend.  Personally, I've gone there several years in a row, their prices aren't any better than what you can find in a store or online, and they have an 'All Sales are Final" policy - It's a lot of hype, trying to give people the perception that they're getting a great deal, but in reality, the good deals there are far and few between. Might be worth a look if you're in the neighborhood, but mostly a waste of time - I don't recommend it.  If you do go, you need to know what it is you're looking for, and what the typical store / online price is, otherwise you can end up with overpriced junk.

 

And last but not least, I do have  brand new (2010 - 2011) Rossignol S3's, never been mounted with bindings, in 186 CM that I need to sell. I'm in the 'greater' Seattle area.  So, if this is a ski you're interested in, PM me and we can discuss.

 

I would also suggest, even after you buy your own skis, go to the free demo days, sometimes at Crystal or Stevens Pass and demo a bunch of skis - that's really the best way to find something that works for you.  Some years, they'll do Demo Days in the beginning of the season, sometimes at the end.  I was at Strutevants last weekend and they said they would not be doing one until March at the earliest (They often sponsor and organize the demo day).

 

I don't personally know Philpug, but he always seems to have very good advice... so whatever he said !

 

Good Luck  ---- and get your own skis. Once you do, you'll be wanting to buy a new pair every year !

post #7 of 29

Absolutely buy.  If you are doing "fairly well" on the Northway chair, then you're probably already good enough at this point that the season rentals you're getting are holding you back.  Plus I think it wouldn't be too hard to find a ski that you enjoy and can ski for a long while; I don't think you need to buy a ski with the intention of growing out of it.

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks all!  I appreciate the input.  Leaning heavily toward buying skis this year.  Part of the problem in looking to buy skis is that as I have improved, my ski day has shifted significantly over the last few years from 75% blue groomed to about 35% (although I still really enjoy trying to get the rythm down and carve the heck out of it), and I am not sure where that ratio will fall over the next few years.  Will have to ponder for a bit rolleyes.gif 

 

 

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alveolus View Post

Thanks all!  I appreciate the input.  Leaning heavily toward buying skis this year.  Part of the problem in looking to buy skis is that as I have improved, my ski day has shifted significantly over the last few years from 75% blue groomed to about 35% (although I still really enjoy trying to get the rythm down and carve the heck out of it), and I am not sure where that ratio will fall over the next few years.  Will have to ponder for a bit rolleyes.gif

 

 



dude ive been skiing for years, and even though i only ski about 10 or 15% on groomers nowadays, its still a feeling like no other to take a good carving ski down a perfectly groomed cruiser linking some long archs together at mach 1. id say buy some skis that have some groomers capabilities, even if you dont ski the corduroy ,much. but thats just my opinion.

 

good skiing to you

 

post #10 of 29

Really not a problem. There are many really good all mountain skis that carve nicely, that do well in many conditions and that you can grow into.  See what Sturtevants  has to offer.  You might be a little too focused on the "what will I like to (or be able to) ski in a few years."  There is no way to answer that question accurately.

 

Look at it this way.  The chances are high that a good all mountain will ski better than a rental.  So, even if you decide in three years that you would like something different, you have both enjoyed the new ski and improved faster because you are no longer in rentals. 

post #11 of 29

Yes - don't worry about what ski you'll want 2 years from now.  Get a good all mountain ski that you'll like today.

 

Even if you do want a different ski 2 years from now - your 'old' skis will still have value and can be sold, or, you can use them as your 'rock' skis.

 

More skiing - less pondering !beercheer.gif   At 'our' age, not worth putting things off till next year !

post #12 of 29

If you're not a beginner, I recommend purchasing skis that are  a level up from your current performance level.  Better skis, make skiing more better.  When I got back into skiing I bought some cheap "intermediate" skis and boots from Level9.  After a couple of years on those, I realized the boots were too big and the skis were too soft.  New boots with foot beds from a qualified fitter and new skis from StartHaus (a really, really good deal on Nordica Jet Fuels) and it was like night and day, huge difference in stability, control, speed, and fun.  There's a lot of really good skis out there in the advanced-expert, expert range.  Pick one and go for it.

post #13 of 29

Alveolus - pretty much unanimous - tell us what you end up buying !

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Warning! Lame excuse and self thread jack ahead!

 

I was already researching skis - when Mrs. Alveolus gently reminded me of an iron clad agreement we made. We had laid out an absolute budget for the next year (saving for Europe next summer along with a remodel). I certainly can spend the extra 300-500 to get skis this year, however the cost would have to come out of the total ski budget (no shifting money around between allocations unless in extreme emergency). My simple suggestion that mabye she wanted to skip skiing/ski less/not take lessons this year was amazingly not met with enthusiasmth_dunno-1[1].gif ("They are YOUR skis"). The little wiggle room that was built into the budget has been largely wiped out by the need to buy new soft goods for daugher Alveolus ("who told you you could keep growing?"), along with a new helmet for her (some chowderhead cracked her old one by dropping a tool box on it). That left two real options. Cut out some/all of my own lessons (I really think the lessons are a big reason I have been progressing so well), or cut our annual Whistler trip down from 6 days with family and ski esprit/adventure camp all around to 3 day solo trip (I have to go as I am speaking at a conference). Again amazingly cutting the Whistler trip was not met with joy in Mudville. Very long story short - no skis for me.

 

Now the thread jack. My plan would be to demo as much as possible this winter depending on the replies to this thread. I figure it will at least give me SOME idea of what I like/dont like and what I am looking for next spring/fall (the skis WILL be in the budget from the outset next year). I expect I will still continue to improve with the rentals (arrow/indian, pilot/plane..right?) . I have no experience in using demo skis - how much do they usually cost? If the cost is nominal (expecting to make it up when you actually buy skis), do they get cranky about serial demoing (here comes that cheap b$%&&* again)?  

post #15 of 29

Honestly, I have no idea how you can rent skis and not have it cost more at seasons end unless you stay under 10 days.  In your shoes I would be looking in Gear Swap here and on TGR for lightly used gear.  I have some 184 Dynastar Mythic Riders that have never even been base ground yet with the Fluid binding system (intergrated adjustable binding) that I will likely put up in Gear Swap in December for $350.  Buy used in the beginning.  Then when you sell them in a year for something else they cost you a $100-$200 bucks to use for a season or two.

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post

Honestly, I have no idea how you can rent skis and not have it cost more at seasons end unless you stay under 10 days.  In your shoes I would be looking in Gear Swap here and on TGR for lightly used gear.  I have some 184 Dynastar Mythic Riders that have never even been base ground yet with the Fluid binding system (intergrated adjustable binding) that I will likely put up in Gear Swap in December for $350.  Buy used in the beginning.  Then when you sell them in a year for something else they cost you a $100-$200 bucks to use for a season or two.


Season rentals, skis only = $140
 

 

post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alveolus View Post




Season rentals, skis only = $140
 

 

Like a car lease $140 flushed.  I like my idea better.  But whatever keeps the peace with the wiferolleyes.gif

 

To your question, "I have no experience in using demo skis - how much do they usually cost? If the cost is nominal (expecting to make it up when you actually buy skis), do they get cranky about serial demoing (here comes that cheap b$%&&* again)"?  At Mammoth good demos are $50 a dayeek.gif

 

post #18 of 29

Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post

To your question, "I have no experience in using demo skis - how much do they usually cost? If the cost is nominal (expecting to make it up when you actually buy skis), do they get cranky about serial demoing (here comes that cheap b$%&&* again)"?  At Mammoth good demos are $50 a dayeek.gif

 


Yeah, that's pretty much the going rate at the Seattle area ski areas.  If you're on a strict budget, I think your "demo as much as possible" plan is going to have some problems.

post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post

rolleyes.gif

 At Mammoth good demos are $50 a dayeek.gif

 



Yep, pretty much flushes the demo alot idea.  Start brown bagging lunch and stuff the 10/day in a piggy bank. Man I hate cold cuts for lunch

 

post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 

Still think doing some demo a good idea.  As in the o/p I last skiied in the early 80's before resuming 3 winters ago.  Have no real idea what I'm looking for.

post #21 of 29

You say that you are taking lessons.  Get your moneys worth & ask the Instructor for ski recommendations.

JF

post #22 of 29

keep it simple.  Go to a ski swap, but prior to this go through a ski mag and look for all mountain skis that have good reviews.  Keep the underfoot size in about 80 to 90ish range (a few mm either way won't make much difference). Make a list of what you find acceptable.  Then go to the ski swap and look.  There are almost always people around ski swaps who give free advise.  Ask for help finding a decent all mountain ski that is on your list or similar.  Keep the length about 170 to 180ish range.  Reject skis that cost too much.  Look at the base and make sure there is no significant damage (there will always be some minor scuffs on used skis). Buy the skis.

 

Remember that the most important part of a good pair of skis is what is behind the eyes of the person standing on them!smile.gif

 

post #23 of 29

Going back to Phil's post, right now is the least expensive time to buy quality close-out and used equipment  Compared to rentals, owning a decent pair of skis just makes everything else you spend money on have more value.  Your time spent skiing rather than waiting in line, getting adjustments, doing returns, dealing with reduced performance, doing returns at the end of the day.  There really are some great used values here in the gear swap, or have Phil check out what's left from the Starthaus consignment sale. In my opinion you pay over and over for not getting the right equipment and especially boots.  You took that first step last year, and the hard part is done.  Time to complete the set. 

post #24 of 29

Alveous  -  You've got your priorities - stick to them.   Much better spending a week actually skiing at Whistler with family than owning a new pair of skis and not being able to ski as much.

 

The best time to demo are the free demo days - In the PNW they will usually do at least 1 a year at Stevens or Crystal........most major brands are there, and you can spend the entire day demoing as many skis as you want.

 

I would assume Whistler has an on-mountain demo center. Most major and even smaller resorts usually do.  Typically about $50 for the day, and you can swap out different skis as many times as you want during a day.

 

 

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

Update....

 

After the (sometimes strident) advice above, I put off getting my season rentals.  Have been poking around at swaps and the internet to see what I could learn.  Today I found something that completely sealed the deal for getting my own skis this year......I found the exact same Head shape 3's that I have been season renting for the last 3 seasons, brand new for $220 with bindings.  3 seasons @ $150 per....arrrrrgh. That is leaving aside any performance issues.

 

I should have listened to you all earlier. 

 

P.S.  At the same place I saw the head 3's, saw a pair of 176cm head sweet fat things, after researching here they see to be the same as the mojo 90's other than the top sheet (lime green butterflies...shudder).  there was a fair amount of back and forth in the threads as to whether they were actually EXACTLY the same, but any small difference would not likely mean a lot to me (other than the lime green butterflies....shudder).  at $180 without bindings I may just pull out a can of Krylon.

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 

Ok so I did it.  Just picked up a pair of 178 cm legend sultan 85's at a swap, seem to be in great shape.  Just one question...is it "deen-a-star" or "dine-a-star"?  Heard bothe

post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

Talking to myself,  but thought I would recap the thread for the next gaper along to ask the same question (and uses the search).

 

Me:  started skiing 3 years ago after >20 year layoff, using season rental skis, seem to be progressing well/rapidly.  Should I buy my own skis now or wait till I "level off"?

Bear Horde:  BUY NOW!!  Improved skiing, actually costs less

Me:  Unexpected expenses.....not buying the cost argument...doubt my skiing affected that much.  Meh...I'll rent again this year

Bear Horde:  Are you "special?"  Think you have rocks in your head...buy hey, it's your head.

 

Month goes by, planning to get the season rentals but enough niggling doubt that I held off picking them up and kept poking around at swaps and the internet.  Then saw the EXACT same ski (Head shape 3) that I have been season renting the last 3 years @ $180/year, online, brand new with bindings for $229.

 

Me: Wiped the rock dust off my shoulders that had fallen out of my ears and picked up a year old pair of Sultan 85's with bindings at a swap for $350.

Bear Horde: ....crickets.....(assuming polite "told you so")

Wife: Why am I season renting?  Just ordered her a new pair of K2 Sweet Luv's.

 

Moral:  Get your own skis, if for no other reason than the economics.  Will post a ski "review" below in a month or so .... will likely be along the lines of "Yup, I ski better" as I don't really have the vocabulary.

Caveat: Get your own boots first (we did first year back to skiing)

 

 

PS:  It is pronounced "Deen-a-star".  I assumed it was "Dine-a-star" (dynamite, dynamap, dyne/cm2, dynamic etc...), must be a French thing

 

 

post #28 of 29

Congrats on the new gear.  Now I need to take my own advise and do the same. wink.gif

post #29 of 29

yep, European skis with American names (or at least English spelling), but holding the National accent. works better with French than German however.

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