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First pair of skis for newbie

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey all, been lurking for a while and finally decided to set up an account and ask a question.


I'm 22 and don't have very much experience skiing but am going to be on the slopes over 20 times this year after purchasing an Epic Local pass (breck, keystone, a basin, vail, and beaver). Being realistic I would say I'm pretty firmly in an intermediate category but am expecting to improve a lot this year since I have only skied ~10 days in my life with most of those coming last year. 


I already have gotten a good pair of boots and am now looking to get a pair of skis since renting sucks and I'll be skiing enough days I would probably spend as much renting as I would just getting my own gear. I'm obviously only going to have one ski so I want a ski that will let me do everything I want. I'm not any good at it but I enjoy getting off the main trails and hitting tree runs but I also like hitting up the groomers all the way down. I have never even skied a true powder day but certainly want a pair of skis that can hold their own in powder. I found a sweet deal for a new pair of Atomic Snoop 2011 online for $350 and have been seriously considering pulling the trigger. I'm 5'11" and 175 pounds and have been contemplating the 176s while greedily searching for info on this forum. 


Does anyone have any suggestions about whether this would be a good ski for me to start out with and ski for a couple years while I improve? I think the ski has traditional camber with no rocker and I'm not sure if that is something I should be concerned about? Also, I have heard the ski described as soft(er) which I'm also not sure if I should be concerned about?


Thanks for any help,


post #2 of 6

Welcome to EpicSki!


I have a pair of 2010 Snoops in 176 length and they are definitely softer than my groomer zoomer skis.  But I wouldn't be using them for groomers primarily anyways.  At 94mm wide and traditional camber, they're a competent all-arounder.  They certainly won't excel in any one category, but I got mine for cheap as a used demo set, so I couldn't pass them up either.  Same boat as you.  They'll be for east coast trees and the odd west coast trip for me.  There are definitely better skis out there as a daily driver for you, but the question is how much they'll cost.  


The one downside to these, however, is as you start to get better and picking up speed, the softness of them will ultimately hamper you on the groomers.  At your skill level now it's fine, but they're not groomer ripping skis.  You'd want something stiffer and a bit better all-around.


I made the same mistake with my own first set of skis; I bought what suited me at that time, but I very quickly outgrew them in terms of ability, and had to get a better and stiffer pair.  My second set of skis I bought was something I could develop into, and was much happier.


If you plan on eventually getting another pair, then these could help you learn.  If you only want to buy one pair for awhile, you may want to consider something a bit stiffer and a bit better for hardpack/groomers.  If you're on a tighter budget, buy used/demos.  You'll find some great deals out there.  Don't be afraid to keep looking if you need to.


Summary: They're not a bad set of skis at all, but they will have some limitations.  Just keep it in mind.


Hope that helps.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Awesome! Thanks for the feedback!


Couple more questions: What about the softer flex is going to limit me on the groomers and why is it beneficial to have? I guess I really don't understand still what a softer vs stiffer flex on a ski is used for or excels at on the mountain. Also, do you have any suggestions about what might be a better daily driver ski for a little bit higher price?


I'm still strongly considering the snoops due to the price and because I suspect it will be awhile before the qualities of a ski actually limit how I am able to ski and at this point I really don't have a very good idea of what my tendencies while skiing are and what I need in a ski so cheap is good. If I did pull the trigger, would the 176s be a good length or should I think about the 184s. I know the partial twin tip will cause them to feel a little shorter and I was also curious if the longer ski would cause the ski to feel stiffer.



post #4 of 6

Disclaimer: I am not a resident expert.  I can only go about what I know of my own experiences.


I weight 30 lbs more than you, and a few more inches of height as well, so the Snoops will be a bit less soft for you compared to my use.  Plus, I like charging harder on the groomers, and I have a set of skis for exactly that.  And I'm East Coast as well.  So there are some differences between our experiences and needs.  My Snoops are not for daily driving, they're only for west coast trips for pissing around and having some fun.


That said, the Snoops are a softer, lighter ski than my zoomers.  Pros and cons there. They'll handle better in the deeper snow, and should be well suited to west coast.  There are quite a few daily driver skis for you available, but unless you can find a great deal, they will ALL be FAR more costly.  Sounds like budget is a big consideration for you, and finding good used skis/bindings is sometimes hit and miss.  There are good deals though, they do exist.


The Snoops are very mild twin tips, no early/tail rise, traditional camber, so they don't ski that much shorter to be honest.  It's not like full rocker powder skis.  For your height, weight, and experience, 176cm should be fine.


Now here's something to consider: pull the trigger on the Snoops.  Spend 20 days on the slopes this year, see how your skills progress.  See how the Snoops stack up at the beginning of the season versus the end.  At the end of the season, you'll know if you want something more beefy/stiff/longer/advanced/whatever.  Trust me, you'll know.  At that point, you'll also know if you want to keep them or not.  You can always sell them after this season, recoup a good chunk of your money, put that towards a different pair if you like.


As your skills improve, you'll see what I mean.  You'll become much more knowledgeable, and also in tune with what you like, what you don't, what you might be lacking, and what you need.  Then you'll be more experienced to know the difference and make an informed decision.  Right now, the Snoops will work.  BUT........they may not later.  BUT......if they don't, you won't care, because you'll be a ski addict and searching for new skis anyways and won't care one bit.  Just like the rest of us wink.gif

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot again. That's exactly what I was wanting to know about the stiffness.


I agree that my needs/wants will probably change a lot after this year too. That's why I've been thinking about pulling the trigger on these since there is no reason to spend a lot of money on something I'm not sure if I will want to use in 6 months. And they are definitely the best deal I have found so far on a new pair of skis with 90ish underfoot and some twin tip. Long story short, I'm not worried about not liking these in 6 months or whenever I just want to get a quality pair of skis that will suit my needs as I imagine them to be and allow me to progress skill wise. Probably going to pull the trigger tonight after some more sleuthing around but we shall see.



post #6 of 6

Sounds like the Snoops will fit your budget and do what you want.  Versatile enough for your ability, and cheap enough to suit your $$.  They're fairly lightweight, won't push you around the hill, can handle some deeper stuff, will work nicely in trees, and do reasonably well on the groomers if you don't plan on crushing big GS turns or flat out speed.  They'll be a bit bouncy at higher speeds on groomers but by then you'll be good enough you'll know what you may want for your next set of skis.


They're good, especially for the price, and should be a great ski for your ability. Take care of them, get them regularly waxed, check the tune at the end of the season, and if you want to sell them, you should get a good price.  Sounds like you're ready to rock them!

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