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Skiswap guidance and new gear purchasing guide

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 



So the military has kind of limited my skiing for the last 7 years or so, maybe 3 days of good skiing the entire time. Now I find myself in the Pacific Northwest, with a massive skiswap coming at the end of the month, and I'm desperately looking for some advice and guidance on purchasing some new/new to me gear.


I'm 6'3", 220, and when I last skiied I'd say I was a 5-6 skiier, comfortable with variable carves on all blues and some blacks. Enjoy playing in the powder and widely spaced trees, but tight turn radius bumps and woods starting to hit the uncomfortable level.


Also I was primarily a East Coast skiier, with the occasional trip to a big mountain, so I've never really skiied BIG POWDER on a regular basis.


I currently have a pair of  '05 Tecnica Rival X7 boots with custom lining and footbeds (which are amazing and are one of the best fitting/comfortable boots I've ever worn.


So now to the question, what should I look for a the swap, for a year or two (or clearance) stuff that might get me back into the swing of things and really enjoy Northwest skiing.


Some random web searching led me to the Volkl Kendo 177s as something that if I had lots of money would be right in my playing field.


Unfortunately I'd love to keep skiis and bindings under the $400 level, if thats even a possibility.


Any information/help/pointers on skiswaping, would be greatly appreciated.


Ski Swap is the 29th.



post #2 of 10

Since you'll be skiing in the PNW, I would recommend something in the 94-98mm width range, like the Volkl Mantra or K2 Hardside/Brightside with traditional camber underfoot and early rise/rocker tip.  And at your height 177 might be a bit short if you get skis with early rise since they ski "shorter" than the stated length.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, I'll keep my eyes out for something like that or similar.


post #4 of 10

Get in line early - the good stuff goes fast.  It'll look like a blue light special on karate clothes for the first hour or so.  If you see a pair of skis you like, hold on to them while you're looking at the others, 'cause they might be gone if you go back.  You should be able to get some decent used gear for under $400.

post #5 of 10

First, thanks for your service, and welcome back.


At your weight, you should be looking for something in the high 170s at minimum, 180s preferably (especially for twin tips or rockered skis).  The bad news is that that's not a size range where improving intermediates tend to play, so supply of appropriate skis will likely be limited.  But the good news is that, if there's any supply, demand will be extremely limited and pricing should be pretty good.


If you're looking for one ski, I agree that something in the high 90s under foot is going to be the way for you to go.  But that's a pretty hot category.  You may have better luck on your budget by going for something in the 80s under foot for the time being and planning to add a PNW soft snow ski for next season -- something in the 105-120mm range under foot.  As a practical matter, you're going to be trying to get your legs back this season and improve your technique, so you may not be venturing off piste a whole lot.  And on a big day, try to demo something.


Where are you located and where are you planning to ski?  You may find some folks on this board who are willing to lend you skis for a couple of days this season, so you can get some informal demoing in.


post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 



 I think you hit the marker on that one, the plan is to regain my confidence in both myself and skiing, as well as adopting to a fatter ski underneath me.


I'm on the Kitsap Peninsula, basically a stones throw (or a ferry ride, take your pick) from Seattle. That also means that unless I want to do overnighters, which my budget doesn't particular favor right now, I'm looking at Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass, and Summit at Snoqualmie. I've had some friends rave about Crystal, one guy takes off every Thursday just so he can ski there without the weekend crowds. I guess if I get a bonus at work, or get a nice christmas present, I might make a trip up to Whistler. I remember the last time I skiied Mount Tremblant in Montreal, they told me on a good day they'd rather ski there, but on a bad day they'd rather ski Whistler, makes me yearn for 30 minute summit runs.


If I do happen to show up at a mountain on an amazing day, I think stopping at the demo tent and asking for suggestions is definitely what I'll do, as well as looking at something more suited for conditions next year once, as you put it, I get my legs back.


And here's maybe the stupid question, is there a place on the skis where the dimensions are printed, should I be bringing my ruler to measure the portions so they are where I want them to be? Only really purchased skiis previously based on length, which I have a rough eye for, or from a dealer.

post #7 of 10

Some skis have the dimensions on them, some don't.  Some widths are prominently featured (think Fischer Watea 94) in the name, and some are printed along the bottom or side.   And some aren't on there at all.  So if you have a nice little plastic ruler, tuck it in your pocket by all means.  Dimensional data is only part of the ski buying equation, but it sounds like you'd be happier knowing that.


At your height and weight, I don't think you'd have a problem with skis up to 186 cm long.  And twin tips will ski even shorter than their published length.

post #8 of 10

Dimensions are usually printed on the ski, but not in a consistent location.


Sending PM with some ideas.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Picked up a pair of 2010 Volkl Mantra's for $425 new in plastic, I think it was a decent deal, although I'm a little scared of the 184 length, which I think will kick my ass for a few days worth of skiing until I get into the mix.


Two questions now to follow up


1) based on "TheDad's" suggestions, I'm going to get some Dynastar PX 12 bindings at a 100 width and I should be good. Ski patroler said that he's had experience with the tails grabbing some and recommending detuning them...any thoughts?


2) Got a wonky walk/ski switch on my technica's, anyone had boot repair service done by them with good results?



post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Luinitari View Post

I'm a little scared of the 184 length

At 220 pounds... don't be.

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