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Help With SKI Purchase

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi Folks,


Newbee here...

Profile; 51 yrs young - 135 lbs - 5'8"


Consider Myself a solid intermediate even though I have only skied a total of about 5 times in last 25 years.


For those of you of the era, I used to ski Hexcel Bluelites & Hexcelerators, Boots Nord 220 Comps - Sol 444 binds w/straps...Yes I am OLD...:-) I was pretty handy in my day tho.


Totally different experience going from straight edged boards to shaped. I am amazed at and love the forgiveness of the newer skis. I have rented the few times throughout the years since my equip is long gone. Last season, rented again, had a great time....but rental equip sucks.


Recently bought some low end Salomon boots, perhaps too flexible but they fit comfortably. (performance and control yet to be determined)


Advice on skis? While the "new" (to me) shaped skis are much easier to ski than the old ....the rentals I have been on seem to get sloppy at speed.


Not saying my technique is perfect...but I am inclinded to think the rentals have been more beginner oriented skis.


I am still relatively athletic, but light in weight. Looking for something that performs but doesnt feel like an anvil at the end of the day.


Any recommendations from you folks in tune with the technology about a good all mountain ski I can get into without taking a second on my house would be greatly appreciated. I like the look and reviews of the volkl ac20's and 30's...but they seem very "proud" of them if price is any indication. Note: Skiing a last or two year old model of any ski wouldnt bother me a bit






Edited by byronm - 10/20/11 at 11:07pm
post #2 of 4

Welcome to Epic, you are in the right place. First of all the sloppiness at speed was probably a culmination of a few things, part being a rental ski, part being a poor tune and a very good part being a rental boot and part trying to ski a 170cm modern ski like a 195cm straight ski. Lets think about the purpose of 99.64% off all rental make it back at the end of the day so it can be used again tomorrow. 


Unfortunately, I think you might be starting off on the wrong foot (kinda a pun intended) coming into this season with a low end boot that is too soft. While the ski is the fun and sexy piece of equipment to buy, the boot is PRIORITY. I would almost venire to say that you would be better off with a good, well fit upper end boot and that rental ski that you were on (with a good tune) than the low end  Salomon (nothing against Salomon, but even any low end boot) and an AC20 or 30. Yeah the boot is that important. 


With that said...So, since you want to talk skis, IMHO sine you also said that you are light and you have had skis like Hexcels (yeah I am old too)  in the past, I would shy away from the Volkls and look to a K2 or a Fischer, skis with a might lighter feel to them. I would also suggest a lesson. Skiing is a different sport than it was in the 70's and 80's and gear is radically different. Investing back into yourself to get the most out of the sport would be another great place to start. 

post #3 of 4

^^^^ Truth, all of it. Some additional info would help. Where do you ski? How often? What kind of terrain interests you? But from what you give here, suggest:


1) Rethink your boots. What is the model name? Do you know the flex? If it's in the 90-100 range, and they feel really snug, maybe all OK. If they feel super comfy, or flex at say 80, not a bad time to turn them around on Fleabay and go buy something more appropriate. (Issue here is that low end liners tend to pack out really fast, you'll be swimming in these things. Which will cause not just sloppy turns but actual pain.) This is why rental boots generally suck; they're packed out by a lot of differently shaped feet. Also, buying beginners anything tends to be self-defeating because you outgrow it pretty quickly.


2) As far as skis, brands like Fischer, K2, Salomon, or Atomic come to mind for lighter intermediates. Something in the mid-70's would be a reasonable call in terms of getting your technique up to speed and enjoying more of the mountain. BUT:


3) Cannot overemphasize the importance of lessons. Otherwise you'll be using old school technique on modern equipment, be either underwhelmed or just outgunned. In fact, my personal call would be to concentrate your disposable income on boots and lessons, keep renting until the spring, then you'll have a better idea of what you like, and the prices will be better. 


4) If you're serious about staying with the sport, Epic rocks. And some of our members who are also retailers can give you solid advice, good deals. But also suggest you join Real Skiers. Go find it here Excellent advice for beginners and intermediates who are out of touch with modern gear. Over here we sometimes tend to emphasize/review higher end stuff that's more than you need or want for a few seasons. 

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses....I am in arizona and ski on piste nearly this point anyway. I have been mostly cruizing. If we were to get a powder dump before a planned trip, I would likely demo some midi's or straight out fatty's.


The last few times, Flagstaff(snowbowl) and Pinetop (sunrise) as they are driveable day trips for me. But.....will be going back to Steamboat Springs, Co. where I learned. Also, my kid and her coworkers are talking about a Whistler trip. We will probably hit Telluride once and perhaps an old fav of the past Wolf Creek.


A portion of my skiing will be family oriented  trips with a daughter (bless her heart) who succumbed to the evil one board god, that shavith all good slopes and my toddler grandkid who will definately start on the right two skiis. But I will be looking for some "me time".


While I will be on piste most of the time....I dont necessarily want to be tied down to an all out; yes I did have some 190's but also had 180's and flexible 175's for bumps. No "one quiver ski" back then.


Point well taken about the "low end" boot. I bought the boots on a whim, new for $100 bucks while browsing potential demo skis, had them heat molded, etc. Probably did waste a Ben Franklin....honestly, I got caught up in the moment. Feable rationale at the time was not to expend too much until I did some research...provided by users vs. sellers..:-)


The model is a Sol Performa 4 maybe 6. The upside, all be it a potentially "disposable" or short term is fitted properly, does fit snug with good feel/connection to the sole of my foot.  Maybe enough to allow me to browse demo skis.  fyi..i bought a $20 pair of ski socks at the same time I had them fitted..mucho better than how  we used to double up thin socks, crank buckles until our feet cried and called it good.


In terms of flex, I am only able to compare the recently purchased recent rentals... vs. my old nordica comps. About the best I can do is say they are stiffer than the rentals and softer than the old comps. 


If you are still recommending a "do-over" on the boots, I might be able to get some store credit, while heat formed, they are still unused. Ultimately, I could chalk it up to educational expense and still bump up into a higher quality boot.  


Preferrably inter-advanced without too much I can indulge myself and relax a bit when my quads are burning :-) Some level of comfort without sacrificing too much performce...if that is actually possible. While nothing replaces a good, qualified fitter, pre-lim make and model recommendations appreciated.


Great!! Input about lessons in which I will definately invest. Any personal recommendations for instructors in areas listed above would be great info. Without a doubt I will be able to improve technique. 


Will definately look at some of the K2/Fischer/Atomic skis. Any  particular models you might recommend demoing in those lines would be great.  


I can appreciate the fact that you guys are advanced skiers, perhaps XSrs yet still taking the time to give input to someone blundering their way back into things. I will follow the link provided by one responder to a forum perhaps more suited so as to not encumber too much more of your time. 


Skiing is such a great matter when you start, return or length of time away. 


Thanks again





Edited by byronm - 10/22/11 at 1:36am
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