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1st Time Buyer-Intermediate Skis, Please Help!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

So, I just started skiing last season for my first time, went about five times, and want to start going A LOT more. I can do a good majority of blue runs, and expect to be doing blacks by the end of the season, trying to ski for 100 days, so I am looking for a ski that I can also grow in. 

 

I live in Colorado and am looking to ski 70% piste and 30% off-piste. I am 5'11" and 165 lbs or about 80Kg. I was looking at Dynastar legend 8000 skis and they seem good, but would like your advice! I'm new so any advice on skis and what skis are the best ones to buy would be awesome, I am not looking for brand new skis, but for older used ones because I am a college student and have a small budget. Thanks!

post #2 of 26

I will cut to the chase that pretty much the advice here will be that focus should be on boots and getting well-fitted boots that match you.  

 

Once that is sorted, 

 

Since you are looking for older used skis, and price is a factor.   Then you are somewhat at the mercy of what is available and if you are comfortable buying only in person or on the internet.  

 

You cannot go wrong with any popular ski made in the last few years, pretty much you can read reviews on any ski and they'll say this is a pretty good ski.  

So if you are looking for advice on specific skis, you are better off asking for what is the difference or comparison between several skis you are torn between getting.   End of the day though, you will have to try them out.

 

I believe the dynastar 8000 is somewhat older though (like 2008?) so if you can get it reallly cheap and change to something else after a bit, that's an option;   Otherwise go for something at least current generation which at least mentions rocker profile, and has a waist greater than 80.  

 

You should be able to find season2011 or season2012 used demo gear for just about the same price as much older gear.  Just about all the depreciation should have taken place.

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice! 

 

Where are the best places to get find good boots? All the sites I look into about the best boots seem to say different things. Should I just find some ski shops around town in Denver or mountains and ask them for their opinion?

 

About the skis, they are 2008's and have an 80 waist. I haven't been able to find any other demo skis for the same price, $200 and that have been regarded as a good quality with an equivalent waist size. But, wont any boots I find work well with the skis because they have adjustable bindings? 

post #4 of 26

Buying boots is very different to buying skis. Firstly don't be tempted to buy online whatever you do. Find a shop with a bootfitter who has a good reputation. He or she will guide you to the boots that best suit your feet and your level and then adapt them to fit properly. They will recommend an insole as well. For this you have to pay quite a bit but this is the part of your set up that makes most difference to your skiing progress and enjoyment. Don't compromise. Over here in the UK there will be reductions on the boots at this time as I'm sure is the case there but stocks may be very low and you may find it difficult to find something that is right for you.

 

As for skis I would echo the above about modern ski quality. You will get people expressiong preferences but skis are pretty much universally of a very high quality. Just a couple of things though. When you buy them have someone who knows what they are doing give them a tuning. Even the best skis can be uncontrollable of not set up properly. Secondly don't over buy. There are lots of great skis that won't help you at your level. They'll be too much ski for you. Find a ski with a tag that says it's good for progressing intermediates.

post #5 of 26

Hi

Being a intermediate myself with 1 season on skis (15 days), I would give my 2 cents:

- Boots first, so you need to try something that at least meets your foot shape (low/high vol, low/high instep, wide feet, etc). Bad boots is first step for terrible ski days. If you cannot bootfit, at least try to research a bit and go to stores and put some boots on so you can have an idea of what type of boot would be right for you. You need the smallest boot as possible, with the correct flex and snug but not too tight feel (too tight = bad blood flow = cold feet)

- If you are not going fast, skis without metal (or at least not double sheet of metal) will be easier and require less effort (then metal is good for stability and reduce vibration at speed, some skis would have basalt, carbon or other material to help that non metal ski a bit). Same goes for a bit of tip or tip-n-tail rocker, makes it easier on and off piste.

- I think you can buy a ski that is a bit more than your level, just to avoid you outgrowing the ski too fast (I almost bought a beginner ski when I started, would've been terrible waste of money. Only prob here is getting an adv ski that skis bad when going slow or lazy, like a too stiff ski, racing ski or skii with too heavy bindings.


After getting my boots and clothes set, I went trying as much skis as I could (could be a problem if its off season for you now...). Its good if you have access to a demo center, so in one day you can switch and test several skis. Sometimes you are better off buying a demo ski than used ski from other source.

Ive tried a couple of skis with 80mm under foot (in particular a similar ski to the one you've mentioned, a Dynastar Outland 80 pro) and they seem fine for irregular/bad pistes. Havent tried them offpiste.

I think you would be doing good with the ski you cited and similar ones around 80 mm waist more or less.

The good news is that there are several options in this category, used or new. I would say some of the Atomic Nomad (smoke ti, blackeye or blackeye ti), those dynastars, Head Icon TT 800, Salomon Enduro RX 800, Rossignol Experience line, Volkl RTM. This are some of the skis Im checking myself to be my one ski quiver.


HTH

 

post #6 of 26

I may have misunderstood icecookie but I got the impression he was suggesting buying boots without necessarily proper fitting. Don't! This is your interfcae with the ski. Compromise on other things maybe but not on your boots. I just don't get it why anyone would. Sure some people have relatively few fitting issues and this will be reflected in the fitting costs unlike me who has big issues and have to spend a lot. You do need some help though. The benefits are jsut incalcuable!

post #7 of 26
"*IF* you cannot bootfit"
post #8 of 26

Not sure what you mean IceCookie. Sure if you're an experienced qualified bootfitter do it yourself. Otherwise definitely not. There are so many factors involved in getting it right. Why do you think instructors, racers etc. seek specialist advice?

post #9 of 26
Like I said, I'm referring to all those situations in which you CANNOT bootfit, e.g. not enough budget, none available nearby, etc

If you can't bootfit then it's better to get smart and do what I've said, se researching, some basic fit with a normal store vendor, talking to friends, and etc


The solution isn't to save money for 3 years, sell your car and go to Switzerland to see the master of the bootfitter masters.

I suppose professional skiers seek pro stuff because they are professionals


Not everybody needs to have same investment and interest on something....


I appreciate the absolute very best servicing in the best boot available, but sometimes that's not it. It's like me wanting all my friends to buy the most expensive android phone out there just because for me that's really a must because I'm a geek

Being in this situation, I must say I didn't bootfit, just got some help from 2 nice sales guys and couple of emails to Atomic and I ended up with good comfy warm boots that I enjoy a lot (Atomic LF 90).

But then like I said I'm an obsessive detailist gear geek, and spent much time researching the topic

YMMV
post #10 of 26

A bit unnecessary IceCookie. I'm not advocating the silly thing you sarcastically mention. You say you've skied for a year. I've skied for 30 and instructed for 20. I would give advice like this to anyone buying boots. Sure money is an issue but we spend a fortune on peripheral things that are less necessary. What I'm saying is not to find the bootfitter to the racers but go to a reputable shop with a qualified fitter not a DIY. Lots of skiers believe they are in well fitting boots but when you look at their alignment it's not good and they are missing out. I hope you're not but I would ask a skipro to give you the benefit of their experienced eye. I want our thread starter to spend money wisely on the right things and optimise his progression. It is a constant frustration to see the amount of time skiers waste with poor equipment and poor technical  advice.

post #11 of 26
You say I'm being sarcastic but again you recommended for the case one cannot bootfit that such person should find a way of bootfit no matter what. I suppose in case he really couldn't then he shouldn't even thinking of going ski, as this would be an offense.

Then you pointed out you have 30 years of skiing, therefore your advice is much more qualified than mine. That's great, that's true, but like I said using, some perspective would be nice...


I'm done with this discussion as I already broke one of my new years resolution of not arguing in the interwebs...
post #12 of 26

Likewise and of course he shouldn't think of not skiing. I think you are looking for an argument by putting meanings to things that just aren't there. Good luck and enjoy your skiing.

post #13 of 26

Just reread my last post but one. I was out of order mentioning skiing experience. It doesn't help and isn't necessarily a measure of someone's capability or knowledge. There are plenty on here who have skied less and know much more. Sorry!

post #14 of 26

Boots first.  Don't shop for a good boot, shop for a good boot fitter.  If you cannot afford to get a good boot, the boot fitter will advise you on the best alternative.  If you cannot afford a boot fitter (doubtful, as some work in shops and their service is included in the price of a boot), then please read up on every boot fitting thread you can find; start with this one http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me .  In fact, read that one anyway.

 

Skis.  As budget is a concern, you will want to buy an older model.  The best scenario is new in plastic, new old stock (NOS), never on snow skis from a few years ago; next best is used.  To help with this purchase, I recommend you get a subscription to realskiers.com ; their reviews go back quite a few years, and are fairly accurate.

 

Good luck.

post #15 of 26

Boots:

The above argument basically is nitpicking over semantics for a corner case where all bootfitters died from a bootfitter specific virus, and boots and bootfitters are as rare as Buddha.

 

The summary is you should get boots fitted in a ski shop in person.  On the same note, older boots go on sale too; let the shop know that you are on a budget, then they can find you something that doesn't have the shinest graphics which will still work great for you.   But don't get too cheap in this area and make big functional compromises just to save money.  Note that the boots may not feel comfortable anyway until they break-in so it maybe hard to tell, but try to give as much feedback to the fitter as possible

 

Back to skis:

Given that last year was a very low snow year in lots of places, I would reorder Ghost's list to suggest that you can get used 2012 demos for relatively cheap which are in very good condition.

If I had the same budget, I may prefer buying the latest ski over  spending the same money on an unused older generation ski.  

If I don't have a set budget, it were the same 2012 ski, the monetary savings might be an extra $200+ for the privilege of "new".  The ski has been out only maybe 10-20 times.  Giving 10 people the honor to ski on it first for $20bills is worth it in my book.   Skis don't die after 10-20days.  Besides, a $25-$35 tuneup will make everything run proper again (if not already included in the used sale). 

 

As a side note, you can also ask about what skis might be a great value at the same shop you get your boots, and if what they may offer sounds good.  Or just ask their general opinion.   They are working in the industry they will give you some "expert" advice.  You can bring back their suggestions here for review, and if you decide to get it all from one place, that helps with the relationship with the skishop should you need assistance down the line


Edited by raytseng - 6/3/12 at 1:35pm
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

Okay, it seems like I need boots first, however, don't most ski boots generally work with all ski bindings? The bindings on my skis that I am getting are adjustable, just some basic demo skis, so I really won't need to get a boot before the ski right? 

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

Okay, it seems like I need boots first, however, don't most ski boots generally work with all ski bindings? The bindings on my skis that I am getting are adjustable, just some basic demo skis, so I really won't need to get a boot before the ski right? 

post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

Okay, it seems like I need boots first, however, don't most ski boots generally work with all ski bindings? The bindings on my skis that I am getting are adjustable, just some basic demo skis, so I really won't need to get a boot before the ski right? 

post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

Okay, it seems like I need boots first, however, don't most ski boots generally work with all ski bindings? The bindings on my skis that I am getting are adjustable, just some basic demo skis, so I really won't need to get a boot before the ski right? 

post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

Okay, it seems like I need boots first, however, don't most ski boots generally work with all ski bindings? The bindings on my skis that I am getting are adjustable, just some basic demo skis, so I really won't need to get a boot before the ski right? 

post #21 of 26

The bindings will accommodate any boots.

post #22 of 26

Properly fitted boots are absolutely the most important thing you will buy for skiing.  As long I'm using my boots, I can ski on pretty much any ski and have a good time because my boots fit.  Skis cannot make up for properly fitted boots.  And, boots that are too big will also be comfortable just like boots that are too small.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about fitting and terminology, twice.  Then check the "Who's Who" for a fitter near you.  Since you are in Colorado it should not be a problem finding one.  Pick someone and call to arrange an appointment.  Boots are so important that I would recommend buying good boots and renting skis for your first season.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnagy777 View Post

Okay, it seems like I need boots first, however, don't most ski boots generally work with all ski bindings? The bindings on my skis that I am getting are adjustable, just some basic demo skis, so I really won't need to get a boot before the ski right? 

 

If you are buying skis with "demo" bindings, they can be trivially adjusted to fit any boot, as they are built to do exactly this.  Some skis also have "system" or "integrated" bindings that are similarly adjustable.  If you are buying skis "flat" or used but with normal bindings, the bindings need to be mounted to fit the boots.  If the bindings are already mounted, you will probably need to have them removed and remounted (typically ~$50).

 

Whether new or used, I would also strongly recommend having your bindings professionally adjusted and 'release tested' to make sure they are working properly.  (It's not particularly hard, but the testing requires tools that you probably don't have.)  This may be included in the cost of mounting the bindings, or there may be a small charge for it if they are only adjusting demo/system bindings.

 

Another reason to get boots first is that if you are going to test/demo skis, you should really do that in your own fitted boots.  Otherwise you may have a hard time really evaluating the skis.  If you are buying used skis without trying them first, then yeah, you don't have to get the boots first.  You'll just have to go back and get the bindings mounted/adjusted once you have the boots.

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

Okay awesome. Now that I figured out where to get some boots what are some really good beginner or intermediate progressive skis? Because I am paying $160 for the 08-09 Dynastar 8000 skis but I feel like I can find some better skis for the same price. But I want a ski that will last me at least 3 years. I have only been skiing 5 times this last season but I am going to go way more this season, at least 70 days but I am shooting for 100, so I want a ski that I can progress in and not one that I am going to replace in a year or maybe two. I would also like one with an 80-85 waist and 170 to 175 in length. 

post #25 of 26

if you are skiing 70-100 days, why are you budgeting so low on skis?   

If you bump up your budget a bit (like 300-500) you will open yourself up to a lot more options and a lot more fun.

Think about saving $1 for every ski day somehow (by packing a sandwich or some other means).

 

There's no way the skis will last 100days and be the same as day1, so you also need to budget some money for tuneups, at least waxing to preserve your investment. 

So again, why spend so much money over the next 3years to maintain 160 skis.

 

That being said,Ice cookie already mentioned some skis above in post5, atomic smoke or blackeyes, salomon enduros.  I would also throw in K2 rictors as a good progession ski option.  

 

Since you're going to really use your skis, and seems your budget is tight, you really should compare the price for used 2012 skis and save the money that way rather then getting a new old ski.  You can check out powder7 or look on ebay for other sales.  There are a couple other threads in this forum where other people asked for ski choice advice.

.

post #26 of 26

I would look for a good fitter, but be careful and alert.   I came across a boot fitter in Dallas(Frisco TX) who was supposed to be an expert and owned his own shop,  but he sold me a boot that in actual skiing would have been a disaster.

 

I wore it around the house for a few days  and as the liner adjusted.   It quickly became apparent that the boot  had too much volume,  and was going to let my ankles flex (side to side).

I needed a 100m or less lasted boot. 

 

A common trick for many retailers is to upsize the boot to so that it feels great in the store and make the sale. 

 

The purchase in this case was not from a big box store but from supposedly a specialty store. 

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