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Suggestions for skis to buy?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing for a couple years now, and have been getting by on rented gear. I think I'm about ready to finally commit and buy a pair of skis. I don't really know that much about the available options, and was hoping for some suggestions to look at.


I live on the east coast (close to the poconos), and in general, I'm skiing on icier hard-packed snow most of the time. I want something a bit versatile and all-mountainish though, because I do, fairly frequently, go on trips to snowier areas. I mostly ski downhill, I'm not that into terrain parks or anything like that. 


Another thing I was hoping you guys could help me with was length. I'm 5'8" 145lbs; whenever I rent equipment, I usually grab skis in the 160-165 cm range. Is that about right, or should I be going a bit longer? 



post #2 of 3

I think I can give you a bit of base information that will hopefully help you out (I apologize for all the info, I kept feeling like I was leaving things out, so i was very thorough :)) 


before i get going, do you have your own boots already? I find lots of people jump to skis before boots and i HIGHLY advise you have your own pair of boots first. Good boots>good skis since if your feet aren't happy and you can't transfer energy well what ski you're on means nothing. also, If you're really nervous about what ski, a good option most good shops have, for an added rental cost you can take out the same skis they're selling on the floor.


Okay down to the meat of this:


For the kind of skiing you say you're doing, I would try and find something with a waist around 7X-89 (i'd avoid going bigger or hard pack carving becomes more difficult). I wouldn't worry too much about the tip and tail widths since those relate to the waist. The other thing to consider is what kind of turns you like to make (big/small). generally a Radius of 15 or less is a smaller tight carving ski and anything bigger is for, well, bigger high speed turns haha. 


As for ski composition, most ski's have wood cores of some sort(full wood core=a good thing), this is either sandwhiched or wrapped in various materials that help define what the ski will feel like. cheaper beginner ski's normally only have a fiberglass of sorts and are softer and quite forgiving. the middle is a carbon layer(s). they tend to give better snap out of the turns and honestly is the best balance of forgiving/fun and still being able to handle what you want and i would probably recommend for you. and alot of top end ski's using titanium, i don't know you or how you ski but from the impretion you've given (forgive me if i'm wrong), but i would avoid it as thats more money you don't need to spend and will probably have a negative effect on your skiing and will just be more work then you need to do.


I don't really want to pick skis for you and feel guilty if you don't like them, but as long you stay away from titanium keep the waist in the 70-90 range, has a radius that seems to fit your kind of skiing and around 160-170 in lenght


For the kind of skiing you do, you can't really go wrong with brand, but these are my own experiences


Rossignol Avenger series-these are great all mountain/groomer rippers, I love my own pair of them and they've never let me down and give me awesome feel and stability. I've alos heard goo things about the experience series but have yet to try them

Nordica hot rod: They make good ski's, though, i found they dont have as much feel as I like but i know alot of people that swear by them, I would look for one of their Hot Rods 

Dynastar Contact series: These are very underrated in my opiniont the, super easy to ski very well, awesome feel. ive been using them as my teaching ski's for the last few years and they've taken more abuse then any ski should and have handled it with stride. they can be a little bit softer then some people like however

Atomic:I know less about these, but I have NEVER heard a bad thing about these. they're supposed to make some of the best frontside/groomer skis out there

Head:These are awesome, I'm a little upset I don't own a pair myself, very similar to the atomics. just solid and reliable

(there are other brands, but for what you need, these are sort of the main ones)


to sum it up. all of them are good on hard snow and honestly you probably won't go wrong for what you're trying to do since i think a middle of the range ski will be fine for you. but I HIGHLY recommend demoing skis first. its really hard to talk about the differences or see them in store until you actually ski on the skis. PS: DONT let them over sell you in stores, I see people with ski's way above their ability level or needs everyday, it can actually harm your skiing and enjoyment of it (let alone your wallet)


post #3 of 3

I am 5'7" and 150 and am skiing 2009 atomic blackeyes 164  (no tip rocker).

So I think your target length is fine.  But even at the same length, the stiffness of different skis matters.


I think a lot depends on the type of skiing you are doing (or want to be doing).   and how hard you are driving the ski.When I'm skiing I'm trying to pushing as hard as I can and really drive that edge and carve in and push myself to maximum effort.  These blackeyes definitely are stiff enough for me that I can't push past their ability..

If you're more of a laid back skier cruising around, then you could use a less stiff ski which takes less effort to work.


Definitely don't get too much ski meant for much taller/heavier people expecting you will grow into them, as you won't be able to flex it and get it to work.



Agree with the other poster to spend the time on the boots, and also talk to the sales people at the ski shop;  especially if you can get a deal on previous season stuff, it will be a good compromise on price even if it's not the latest and greatest..

Edited by raytseng - 1/20/12 at 2:42pm
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