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Novice skier looking for advice... Novice skier looking for advice... Novice skier looking for...

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

 

So I'm a new skier from Edmonton Alberta, and I wanted to you guys a few things!
 
I'm 18 and I've skied four times in my life... I've recently gotten into skiing after I had a ski lesson at Marmot Basin. I skied a long time on the bunny hill, and just before we had to leave, I went on to try the School House chair. I wiped out a few times (I remember a snowboarder saying "happens to the best of us dude" haha), and came down proud. Coming back to Edmonton, I realized how fun skiing was, and I wanted to go again. So I went to Snow Valley (a ski club close by), and had another novice lesson there, practically repeating what I had learned at Marmot. I've been hooked on skiing every weekend since, until two weeks ago.  
 
I'm a beginner-intermediate skier, I could go down a hill and do the swerving motion, and I could stop pretty well going down at a fast-ish speed. I'm 5'10 1/2. I'm pretty skinny, I weigh more or less 130 lbs. 
 
Today I went to a Sports Mart close by and bought a pair of size 28.5 Nordica Cruise 60 ski boots (I researched on these boots and apparently they're a good transition from rentals), and I want to know what to do next. What skis (all mountain probably) and poles should I buy? Is it all right skiing at night (cheaper rentals and passes)? Or should I get a 2012/13 season pass from Rabbit Hill (they have this deal where rest of this season is free if I buy it, http://www.rabbithill.com/w/pages.php?pid=3&sid=2)?
 
I hope you guys didn't get to bored reading my wall of text haha, I just wanted to give some background info on my skiing experience. 
 
Thanks!
-Paul
 
*edit* whoops... I hadn't realized I pasted my title like 4 times...
post #2 of 29

Step 1:  Before you scuff them up, return those boots and buy some that are the right size.

To be fair, I've never seen your feet but given your other dimensions it's unlikely that 28.5 is the right size for you.  Especially in that particular boot which is fairly wide and soft.  Not that it matters much, but what size shoes do you normally wear?

 

In general, it sounds like you are on the right track (getting lessons, etc.)  Skiing at night is great.  The slopes are often less busy and 3-4 hours is a great length of time (especially when you are learning.)  You can probably find some used skis/bindings for cheap if you don't mind looking around a bit and doing your own research.  What's your budget for your total set-up (boots, skis, bindings, goggles, helmet, poles)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
I usually wear size 10 shoes. Hmm, I'm not too sure on my budget for everything. I have goggles already, and saw a helmet that's like 45$ and it's like the adjustable one. For the skis probably around 200$, are used ones alright? Like would they last me for a while if they're not super old? For ski poles, around 40-50$. These boots were 200$ originally, but it was 120$ on sale. Oh, and for my feet, I'm not sure if it's wide or not lol, its like 4" 1/3 or 11 cm. I just sized the length of my foot and it's 27.2 cm
post #4 of 29

Sounds like those boots are 1.3 cm too big.  I'd suggest going down a size.

 

Ski boots need to be snug, if there's any play at all and your foot can move around in the boot then you will have trouble with control.  A lot of skiing is fairly subtle and precise movements of the foot and if these are not transmitted to the ski nothing will happen when you make them - your foot just moves around inside the boot, instead of the boot moving exactly like your foot. 

 

As for other gear, nothing is as crucial as boots.  For skis, buy a pair of beaters for cheap with the intention of skiing on them for a season and then replacing them with something better.  Since you're not far enough along in your career to know what "better" is, just wait a bit before spending a bunch until you get an idea.  For poles, as long as they're the right length, it doesn't matter - find a garage sale and pick up a pair for $5..  For a helmet, buy whatever feels comfortable.

 

post #5 of 29

I wear a size 10 or 10.5 shoe, and I wear either a 27 or 27.5 boot. A 28.5 boot is definitely too big for you. Do yourself a huge favor and get a pair that's the right size, then have them fitted to you. Instead of buying them at a box sports store like Sports Authority (or the Canadian equivalent), go to a shop that has a good boot fitter and get your boots there. Most shops if you buy from them, they will do most of the fitting for free, and give you a discount on your footbeds. Undoubtedly, you will pay more for boots than $120, but it is worth every penny. You can borrow that money from your other budgets. No way do you have to spend $50 on poles. I haven't paid for poles... well, ever. And for a cheap beater pair of skis, you could get away with closer to $100.

post #6 of 29
I wear a size 11 street and ski a 26.5 (305mm) - my feet measure a bit longer than 27.5 and I have no toe room issues. If you are serious about getting better, don't buy into the idea of comfortable cruising in sloppy boots - you need a good fit more than an expert who has compensatory skills you lack.

See a fitter and look into a boot like the Atomic Hawx 80. You are tall enough to easily flex that boot and they are well priced for the features.
post #7 of 29

I wear a 10 1/2 street shoe and I'm in a 25 boot. 

Definitely have had some major modifications, but I think it's all good now....

post #8 of 29

man my ski boots must be too big, I wear a 9 and I'm in a 26.5

post #9 of 29

What everyone has said about ski boots - there is nothing intuitive about fitting ski boots;a good fit can feel very wrong if you've never experienced a well fitting boot. Without actually seeing your feet, nobody can tell you what's right, no matter how many different measurements you provide. Go to a good boot fitter and tell him/her you're on a budget.You won't get boots for $120, but most are good guys and will work with you to keep the costs down. 

 

I suppose you could buy a cheap paid of used skis and poles on sale (don't spend more than $20 on poles), but at this stage of the game, I think you're better off with a seasonal rental. At least in my part of the world, this equipment is aimed squarely at intermediate skiers and will probably be in much better shape than anything you buy for less than $300. Besides, if you ski regularly over the next year and keep improving, it's likely you'll outgrow anything you buy now.

 

post #10 of 29

I support the motion to re evaluate boot size, why? Because I made the same mistake when I bought my own gear. I went to the big box store, tried on some boots and picked a cheap one that I thought was comfortable. Size 29.5, I wear a size 12.5-13 shoe depending on the brand, and the 29.5 was WAY too big, way too wide, and had some nasty pressure points. I had to tape the arches of my feet to avoid blisters, and the front of the boot was roomy enough that I truly couldn't control my skis. I went to a bootfitter in boulder that was well reviewed, and got put in properly fitting boots in no time. Made a massive difference in my skiing, almost instant visible change. As far as skis go, take your time, demo a few (or alot) of skis and find something you like, untill then try to find a season rental. Goggles and a helmet should be on your list for short term purchases if you dont already have them.

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
You guys are right, i wore the 28.5's today and it screwed me over hahaha. I'll try to find a fitter so I could get my real size. Oh, and could someone explain to me how demoing skis work? Do I just go to a shop and ask or what?
post #12 of 29

different shops use different policies for the concept of "demo".   


At a most basic level it means their rentals for higher-end expensive or new skis, with a little more focus that the renter can buy those skis(like a test-drive).

So it's just a rental for a fancier set of skis for the day, instead of skis designed for rentals: 

 

1) The shop may have a policy where you can apply the credit of the daily demo rental fee(s) towards the purchase of skis from them.  They may allow you to credit a couple of days worth of rentals fees, so you can try out a couple options.

 

2) Some resorts have on-the-mountain demo center, with an option where you have to swap out and try as many skis as they have for the day, just head back to the demo center.  (Off the mountain shops, it's just a day rental, unless the ski really isn't working for you and you make a trip back to the shop to switch out).

 

 
post #13 of 29

The liners of ski boots pack out after about 5 days.  New boots should fit very snug--although there should not be any obviously painful spots--because they're going to loosen up after you've worn them.. Different brands and even models of boots will feet different shapes of feet--very hard to figure that out on your own.It's very hard to fit boots yourself if you're not experienced--on the other hand it's also hard to figure out who is a competent boot fitter--hopefully someone reading this is from Edmonton.  if you can't afford going to a boot fitter at least read all you can on the web--especially read about shell fit--taking out the liner, getting into the boots with your toes as far forward as possible and seeing how much room there is behind the heel. It's easier to adjust boots that are (a little) too small than boots that are too large, and even painful pressure spots can usually be corrected.  A good shop will guarantee the fit--usually free adjustments for a year. Also--you can soften boots that are too stiff, but you can't stiffen a soft boot. If you get a good pair of boots you will have them for many years and possibly several sets of liners.) If you can't afford good boots you might be better off renting for now.  Seasonal rentals and ski swaps in the fall (there are usually people there who can advise you) are good ideas for skis. Also--rental shops sell demos later in the season and you might be able to get some good advice on size and model there, although prices will be higher than at a swap. Craig's list is good if you know what you're looking for but at your level there's a good chance of winding up with the wrong ski in the wrong size.  A beat up pair of skis that are right for you is a good idea because you will likely move up the ladder in skis pretty quickly.  Beater poles are fine for now($20 is too much.)  I'm going to piss some people off and say that while I ski with a helmet it's not important enough to bust your budget at this point--better to spend on the boots.  Read equipment reviews on the web--skinet.com is the web site for ski and skiing magazines.  A lot of online retailers, like REI and dozens of others have reviews and can give you a good indication of what level of skier and what type of skiing a ski is intended for. You should probably be looking for an all mountain, intermediate ski. Also a lot of manufacturers' sites will have a ski finder section where you can plug in your height and weight, level of skiing, kind of skiing you want to do and come up with suggestions in that brand.  The only problem with that is that you won't find discontinued models, which is what you will probably be looking if you buy used skis.

When I was in high school I did all my skiing at night. Nothing wrong with that until you outgrow the runs that are open at night (around here it's mostly terrain park skiing at night.)

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Cool cool, getting awesome responses here! So I was on kijiji and I found lots of skis that are below a hundred bucks. But when i look for their models, it seems as if it's not even on the Internet, I'm guessing cause their outdated. How do I know what used skis I should go for? Like there hasnt been that MANY adjustments on skis for the last 5 years lets say, so are models from 5 years ago good to use? Oh and how much is it to tune skis, of your just going for a seasonal tune up?
post #15 of 29

You can find lots of used demo skis that will be for sale that are only 1-2 years old-but this will really start to pop up in april and throughout the summer and fall, as shops change up their inventory.   Right now you are mostly seeing sales for new skis that are unsold.  If you wait a bit longer then the used market will start to blossom.  

 

Most of the depreciation for skis happens fairly quickly.  20days on the ski "used" and it's at 50% of the original price.  The next 100days of use doesn't drop the value that much more.   So why buy a clunker when you can spend just a little more and get something a lot better.

 

While sure you can say people have been skiing and having fun for the past 50years, there HAS been great amount of improvement over the past 3years which will increase your smiles per hour.  How much are you really saving versus your other expenses skiing?  Say you increase your ski purchase from $100->$200.  Sure this is a 100% increase, but it's still only $100.   How much are you spending per trip for gas/food/lodging/lifttickets?  If you divide it out, maybe those better skis end up giving you twice as much fun and use, so maybe it's worth it.  

 

If your only focus is investment, buying a more recent brandname used ski will also be a better investment, as it will still retain some value which you can re-sell within a year (versus no-name ancient ski that no one wants).

 

 

Tuning skis-You can expect the price to be about $35-$60 for a "tune" which includes basegrind/edges/wax and maybe minor base repair, which is what you'll probably need for mistreated skis.  This is a labor service, so wildly varies both in price as well as quality.  But on that same token, you will find discounts/coupons/specials especially pre-season (for next fall) or late season, as shops want to draw in the last customers.

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

Oh cool cool. I was wondering, do you think it'd be a better idea to just wait for this season to end (mid-late march) to buy skis and boots, and just do rentals whenever I need to ski? I'll probably be skiing once or twice a week till the end of this season.

post #17 of 29

If you're going to get boots, there's no with getting your boots now.  Once you have good boots you are set for awhile, you won't need to change those.  Skiing in wrong boots will hurt your feet, impede your learning, and is a waste of a day.  

 

But the skis you will use will change as you get better; so it's an opportunity to try out beginner's and intermediate skis to have the right ski which will help you learn the fastest, and at the same time get a feel for what kind of ski you want to buy.  

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ahh I see... I'll get my boots ASAP then :P I heard I could book personal appointments with a fitter at Sport Check. I hope that works out for me haha. Thanks!
post #19 of 29

You probably need smaller boots.  A UK size 10 is about a US size 11.  Being in Canada, you may be using a UK size or a US size.  A lot of footwear comes from the manufacture in the US with US sizing,  I wear a US 11 in a well fitting pair of hiking boots, and a 27-27.5 shell.

 

You will probably find the best option for skis is consignment sales or left-over skis.  Good luck.smile.gif

post #20 of 29

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenonabun View Post

man my ski boots must be too big, I wear a 9 and I'm in a 26.5


Your boots probably are too big. I wear US 8.5 in a street shoe. My ski boots are 25.5 and if there were a 25.0 I'd be in those. Depending on the boot, you should at least try a 25.5.

 

Have you checked your shell length for fit? Remove the liners and stand inside the shells, toes just touching the front. How much space behind your heel?

  • 05mm = race fit, for performance and control without compromise
  • 10mm = performance fit, for skiers looking to improve
  • 15mm = comfort fit, for cruisers who don't ramp it up and don't plan to
  • > 15mm = misfit, for those seeking poor skiing, unnecessary pain and possible foot damage

 

My 79yo mother, who's now an easy cruiser, still skis in a performance fit. She's been in too-large boots before and understands the problems they cause. I watched her skiing improve almost overnight when she got in properly fitted boots, even though she was past 70yo at the time.

post #21 of 29

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulcognito View Post

Ahh I see... I'll get my boots ASAP then :P I heard I could book personal appointments with a fitter at Sport Check. I hope that works out for me haha. Thanks!

 

Great advice from the previous posters and a good decision! cool.gif

 

There's a more to fitting than getting the length right but that's a critical first step. We're similar in size and there's no way you belong in a 28.5. I'm 5' 10", 138lbs and wear a US size 8.5 shoe. I'm in 25.5 boots and would be in a 25.0 if they made that. Depending on the boot, you probably belong in a 25.5 or 26.5.

 

P. S. Don't go in wedded to a particular model or even brand, keep an open mind. A good fitter will look at all aspects of your foot/leg shape and recommend brands and models that should fit you best (each brand/model is built for different shaped feet). No magazine or internet guru can tell you what brand/model to be in, because the key factor is how does the overall shape fit your feet? That can only be assessed in person.

 

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglySkiRight View Post

 


Your boots probably are too big. I wear US 8.5 in a street shoe. My ski boots are 25.5 and if there were a 25.0 I'd be in those. Depending on the boot, you should at least try a 25.5.

 

Have you checked your shell length for fit? Remove the liners and stand inside the shells, toes just touching the front. How much space behind your heel?

  • 05mm = race fit, for performance and control without compromise
  • 10mm = performance fit, for skiers looking to improve
  • 15mm = comfort fit, for cruisers who don't ramp it up and don't plan to
  • > 15mm = misfit, for those seeking poor skiing, unnecessary pain and possible foot damage

 

My 79yo mother, who's now an easy cruiser, still skis in a performance fit. She's been in too-large boots before and understands the problems they cause. I watched her skiing improve almost overnight when she got in properly fitted boots, even though she was past 70yo at the time.


Of course, all these rules of thumb are thrown out the window if you want to use the boot for Alpine Touring.  I know that isn't what the OP is looking for but it's what I do.  I see some guys do some pretty amazing skiing in AT boots that very likely have a >15mm fit.

 

 

post #23 of 29
I didn't think they even made half size shells? The only thing that made the half size was the insole?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglySkiRight View Post

 

 

Great advice from the previous posters and a good decision! cool.gif

 

There's a more to fitting than getting the length right but that's a critical first step. We're similar in size and there's no way you belong in a 28.5. I'm 5' 10", 138lbs and wear a US size 8.5 shoe. I'm in 25.5 boots and would be in a 25.0 if they made that. Depending on the boot, you probably belong in a 25.5 or 26.5.

 

P. S. Don't go in wedded to a particular model or even brand, keep an open mind. A good fitter will look at all aspects of your foot/leg shape and recommend brands and models that should fit you best (each brand/model is built for different shaped feet). No magazine or internet guru can tell you what brand/model to be in, because the key factor is how does the overall shape fit your feet? That can only be assessed in person.

 

post #24 of 29

One more thought for the OP:

The right equipment will help but it's not going to teach you how to ski.  You are going to need to spend as much time at the hill as you can and you are going to want lessons.  Make sure you let that factor into your decisions.

 

If buying expensive boots means that you can go to the hill half as many times or won't be able to afford lessons, don't do it.

If renting skis means that you waste an hour every night-session waiting in lines or driving around, etc. then don't do it.

If waiting until March for a clearance sale means that your effective season will be cut in half, I wouldn't do that either.

 

Don't buy foolishly large boots or decade old skinny skis but also don't fret too much about minor differences in modern equipment.  Get to a point where your boots are tight, you are on skis that are a reasonable size, flex and shape for a beginner and you have a helmet and then hit the hill and invest in lessons.  View every run as a drill and practice, practice, practice.  Also learn how to fall safely. 

 

 

 

 

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by WC68 View Post

I didn't think they even made half size shells? The only thing that made the half size was the insole?


icon14.gif

 

That's why I said I'd prefer a 25.0 "if they made that". Sorry if that wasn't clear!

 

My preferred boots (Lange RS/RX series) only come in 24.5, 25.5, 26.5, etc. They don't offer xx.0 sizes AFAIK.

 

If they did offer a 25.0, it would traditionally be just a 25.5 shell with a thicker liner or insole to fill some space, as you said.
 

 

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve2222 View Post

Of course, all these rules of thumb are thrown out the window if you want to use the boot for Alpine Touring.  I know that isn't what the OP is looking for but it's what I do.  I see some guys do some pretty amazing skiing in AT boots that very likely have a >15mm fit.

 


Well, the OP might want to wait a day or two before hitting the BC gate... even at Rabbit Hill!  biggrin.gif
 

I'm hankering for the new Lange XTs, since I love my RX's so much. That's not really an AT boot, more side country, but I've never been in any sort of boot like that. Would a looser fit make sense? It sure doesn't seem right but what do I know? th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

 

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglySkiRight View Post


Well, the OP might want to wait a day or two before hitting the BC gate... even at Rabbit Hill!  biggrin.gif
 

I'm hankering for the new Lange XTs, since I love my RX's so much. That's not really an AT boot, more side country, but I've never been in any sort of boot like that. Would a looser fit make sense? It sure doesn't seem right but what do I know? th_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif

 

 



 

Will you be using a touring binding?

 

I'm still figuring this stuff out myself and haven't found any great rules of thumb.  I have heard "one finger fit for downhill, two finger fit for AT" and I know that thermomoulding with a toe cap is important if you are going to be touring.

 

The issue is that when you are skiing downhill, you are leaning forward all the time.  When you are touring, you go through a much larger range of motions and so if your boots are super tight, then your toe will often be banging the front of your boot.  After banging your toe a few hundred times, you will want a slightly larger boot.

 

My real point was that this statement seems like an exaggeration:

"> 15mm = misfit, for those seeking poor skiing, unnecessary pain and possible foot damage"

 

I can only assume that there are a lot of people doing some fairly extreme back country skiing in boots that have a looser shell fit than 15 mm.  Perhaps I am wrong?

 

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Very helpful advice from you guys! I actually just got the 2012/13 season pass at rabbit hill, since the deal includes the rest of this season for free, so im probably gonna go skiing around twice a week. I'm not so sure for lessons though, would it be possible to kind of learn things myself using like videos and instructions? Or would I just be really wasting time without someone teaching me how to do things?
post #29 of 29

Each person is different so it is hard to say.

 

Some people can learn quickly on their own or with videos/books/pro-tips.  But maybe they would've also learned even faster if they had a live coach. 

 

If they are free you should go for it, but lessons usually cost money, so you need to evaluate what you might gain for what price.

 

Maybe if you feel like you are progressing each day, that's good enough progress for you.  But if you find yourself getting stuck not progressing, or plateaued on a particular skll, then maybe a lesson will help speed you up. Number 1 thing is make sure you're having fun.

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