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Buying first new skis in 10 years, help!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello everybody.


Man, ski technology has changed! My name's Eric. I'm looking to demo skis and boots as much as I can with the aim of purchasing at the end of the season. I would love, however, some direction so I know what would be best for me to demo. Some information I'd imagine you need:


1. I'm 24, 5'7, 160 lbs, and in good shape.

2. I would classify myself as having recently gone from Intermediate to Advanced. I'm looking for a ski that I won't have to replace in the near future. Because I'm looking for a pair I can grow into, price isn't really a huge deal.

3. I ski primarily east coast with the (very) occasional trip out west. While I'd like something with good grip, I don't necessarily want a pair of slalom racers that are totally unforgiving.

4. I know next-to-nothing about boots, as my current pair are basically rental fodder and not very good.


Some skis I'm tentatively interested in:


Blizzard Bushwhacker

Volkl RTM 84

Rossignol Experience 98

Nordica Fire Arrow 80 Pro (highly recommended by my local shop)

Nordica Fire Arrow 74 EDT


So basically, a wide variety of widths and somewhat of a variety of type of ski. If someone doesn't mind explaining the following while they're providing advice I'd appreciate it: rebound and the impact of waist width on the ski.


Sorry for the long post but thanks in advance!!!

post #2 of 6

Hey Eric, I'm very similar to you in height / weight / ski ability.  I too just purchased my first set of skis in a long time, and after a lot of research and a few days on the mountains, returned them and bought something else =)  Demoing is a great idea, I am just impatient apparently.


Wide skis are the rage these days, and are best suited to lots and lots of powder.  If you're like me and grew up skiing groomed / icy slopes and love to go fast, you will probably not like wide rockered skis.  (Google Rocker VS Camber)  The waist width is the best measure of float (in addition to how the ski is rockered):  60-70 are for carving / racing, 80-100 is roughly a compromise (ie all-mountain), and >100 is ideal for powder.


Rebound is how "lively" a ski is and typically is associated with a cambered carving ski (since rocker alone will not store any energy at all!).


At first I thought I wanted a good compromise all-mountain ski, and went with an Atomic Crimson Ti @ 170.  (Waist - 88mm).  It had great grip and speed, but wasn't very nimble, took a lot of effort to turn, and still wasn't particularly impressive on powder either.


Rather than compromise, I've since decided to buy a so called "hyper-carver", or a ski that can tear up the front side, while having even less powder performance (since I don't really ski deep powder anyway).  I plan, in the future, to buy a second ski that's quite wide for those days it dumps.  So ultimately, I think a 2 ski quiver is much better than 1.


My new ski is the Head Supershape Titan (which came in the mail today, can't wait to try it).  With a 78 waist it won't completely sink in light powder, but it has the camber and sidecut to make 12.4m turns :D  Race-bred technology and a carver's dream.



ALL THAT SAID, if you do want a compromise and are a big fan of powder, consider a wide ski or an all-mountain ski like the Rossignol 88 or Volkl RTM 88 - both have gotten rave reviews and use a combination of camber and rocker.  Just remember, they are still compromises and won't ski as well as a dedicated plank on either hard or soft snow.


Sorry for the long reply!  Any of you ski experts out there feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, still getting educated myself!



post #3 of 6

Rather than talk about skis, I am going to talk about boots.  Since you said that you know next to nothing on them, you should consider learning what you can.  The easiest way to find out of them is to see an experienced bootfitter, and go on from there.


The boot is the foundation to your skiing.  If your feet aren't happy, you won't be happy.  Don't get stuck on brands.  Get stuck on fit.  A good bootfitter will guide you towards the right direction.


I was in the same situation in regards to gear.  My last boots were purchased in 2002.  I narrowed down my selection to three boot models.  After all was said and done, I ended up with a Tecnica Demon 130.  A few years back, I would had never thought that I would ever ski in a Tecnica because I could not a good match for my foot.  Now I am in the process of breaking them in, and all is good for now.


You may want to do your search for a boot now.  It will give you time to find them, and break them in.  While you are breaking them in, you can demo skis to your heart's delight.  Also boot inventories are good now.  They may not be so good come the end of the season.


Good luck with your search.



post #4 of 6

Good luck trying to demo boots.  I will echo what Denny1969 said, except I would be even more emphatic.  Forget skis until you have boots  that fit your feet.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum, read the wikis on fitting and terminology then check the "Who's Who" to see what bootfitter is near you.  Make and appointment and get boots from said fitter.  Your feet will thank you and in the long run, your bank account also will because you won't be buying new boots every year.  Boots that fit properly are warmer and more comfortable than boots that are too big and your skiing will improve almost immediately as a result of having properly fitted boots.

post #5 of 6

I have similar stats and skiing conditions to you and in my thread I was recommended the Blizzard Magnum 7.6

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all for the advice. I went out and got fitted for boots yesterday; I ended up in a pair of Lange RS 110 boots and they fit like a glove. I'll definitely be demo-ing my top 3 (Fire Arrow 80 Pro, RTM 84, and Experience 88) in the same boots which should help me decide between them. Does anybody know what some of the major differences in how you ski them are? The local ski shop (granted, I do live in the East) is really pushing the fire arrow and saying that the RTM84 is going to feel "squirrelly". Thanks to all about the boot comments; you guys were right and I shouldn't have bothered thinking about skis without taking care of the boots first.

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