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Help a complete noob find a first pair of skis/boots!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone,


This winter will be my second season skiing, and man, I wish I had gotten in earlier! I rented a few times last season, enough to know that I'd rather invest in my own equipment - the thing is, I'm pretty much broke... so I've been monitoring craigslist for some deals and I was wondering if I could get a few pointers...


This week I'll be checking out 2 different pairs of boots, a set of 2005 Tecnica's (line/model unknown), and a set of 2002 Nordica F4's. From a quick google search they seem to be around the same price range - so I'm planning on going by fit/feel, as one set is size 10 and the other is 10.5 (I wear a size 10 shoe). Anything I should know before I bite on one or the other?


And as for skis - I'm 24 years old, 6'0" 160lbs. My thought was to go for something in the 165-170cm range, but there is a nice pair of 2005 Youth K2 skis (137cm) with Rossignol bindings that are on sale with the Tecnica boots. . . would it be a bad idea to just go with those? Wouldn't that give me tighter cutting/turning control as opposed to longer skis? I don't know anything about skis - what should I do?!

post #2 of 12



What should you do?   Not rush buying gear.


Read this in regard to your boot questions...



If you wear a size 10 shoe, you probably will fit into a 9 or smaller boot. 10 would almost for sure be too big.


Those ski's are too short and too soft for you. Toys. 


I would encourage you to keep renting and take several lessons, THEN think about investing in equipment. What you would buy today is NOT what you would buy after 10-15 days on snow and 5 or 6 lessons.  Save yourself some headaches and dough.  Rent at the ski hill from a shop that will let you trade in your skis for something else at mid day, that will make it easier to find what works best for you.




Get that gear and have a blast on it, you can always upgrade.smile.gif


Skiing is FUN but the wrong gear takes alot of the fun out of it.



post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply,


In talking with one of the sellers (the size 10.5) he told me he wears a 10.5-11 shoe, and the boot was too small for him (which is why he's selling). So I know that doesn't mean it will fit me - I'll probably try it on and it will be too big... but for $50 it's worth a shot. My experience with rentals, however, was as you said - I had to go down a size to get a snug fit (although then it was a little too tight).


As for skis, you're probably right, I'll wait and see what else comes down the pipe, although I'm still pretty new and I'd prefer control and maneuverability to speed at this point. The thing I liked about the K2 skis is they're not quite double tip but the backs are rounded and have a slight upward curve so I could easily ski backwards with them...



post #4 of 12



Getting the right pair of boots should be your main concern.  And that typically means going to a professional (and reputable) boot fitter to get the correct boot for you.  Skis come and go, but your boots are critical.


The majority of people on the hill are likely skiing a boot that is a size too big for them (which is why you'll likely fit into a 9).  Read up on boot-related threads here, but remember that ski boots are a very personal thing, and what works for one person may not fit another at all (feet come in all shapes and sizes) so take boot reviews with a grain of salt.


There's a top-15 boot fitter thread running right now.  Heading off to see one of those stores is probably the best advice you could take at this stage of your skiing career.


post #5 of 12

+1 for the boots. I wear a size 13 shoe so according to that I need a 310mm boot. That's what a chain store agreed w/ about 9 years ago when I bought my first pair of boots. The boots "fit" and my toes had just enough room to move so it felt good to me. Just went to Larry's in Boulder and they told me I needed a 280mm boot. They will feel small if they fit right but that's why you need to go to a professional boot fitter before and after you get them (if you can't afford to buy them there). 


And those skis are waaaaaaaaaay too small for you. Shorter skis aren't necessarily going to give you better handling/be easier to handle like you would think at first. 

post #6 of 12

Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read all the wikis about boots and fitting, probably 2-3 times.  As a beginner you are walking into a mine field trying to fit yourself.  The odds are very good that you will end up with boots that don't fit, in fact it is pretty much guaranteed.  Add to that the fact that you want to get used boots and it is guaranteed. You have to be concerned with the length of the boot and the width.  The boot needs to fit you in both dimensions.  Boot liners are only good for a certain number of days of use before they are packed out and need to be replaced.  Packed out liners are uncomfortable and cold.  The liners in 6 year old boots are probably shot.  Used boots is something you should just really avoid.  Go to the local shops and find out what kind of deals they have on old stock.  If you are near a ski area there is probably a yearly ski swap and you can find some terrific bargains at those, if you know what to look for.  Spend your money on boots that fit and rent skis.  

post #7 of 12

Tell us where you live, I'm sure one of can recommend a good boot fitter close to you.


Didn't read all the post but I'm sure they say the boots are to most important part.


You need to find a good boot fitter and build a relationship with that person. I have been going to the same person for almost 20 years.

You don't need the latest greatest boot at this point.


My fitter spent over 2 hours about this time last year with my GF getting her into a good low end boot. She never complained about her feet all season. I think the boots were under $300.00 I don't care, she was happy with them.

post #8 of 12

At your height the shortest skis you should be on are 165cm... and I'd recommend going over 170cm at least.  And yeah, like everyone else said, worry about the boots first.

post #9 of 12

Being on a tight budget is always a challenge but there are ways to save money (ie-buying used skis).  However, there are some things you don't want to cheap out......like boots.  This doesn't mean go for $800 custom fit boots, but you REALLY should consider going to a shop and getting a proper fitting done.  It will make a world of difference.


Spend a larger portion of your budget on better boots, not skis.  Your feet will thank you, your learning will hasten, your fun factor will increase exponentially.  Invest in boots, then get used skis.  At least 170cm length.  Don't jump at the first ones to come along.  Be patient, more deals will come, not to worry.  Plenty of time before the season starts.  Fight the reflex urge.......stand put.  In the meantime, continue to research and learn.  And find a bootfitter near you.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, this is very helpful.


I live in Buffalo, NY and the more popular places to ski around here are Ellicottville and Kissing Bridge.

post #11 of 12

You might want to check out this place, Mud Sweat  n' Gears, in Ellicottville.

post #12 of 12

Kissing Bridge has a ski sale and swap coming up in November. I have never bought anything there but I have seen some nice used gear there in the past. Im sure you will find something in your price range. Another option is a trip north to Lockport. Snowflake Ski Shop is a great place. They have been my go to shop for over 25 years now. Snowflake is also the on site ski shop at Kissing Bridge but I prefer their Lockport store. 

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