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Need ski advice for occasional skier - visiting Tahoe

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi, new here, what a great community. Though I have not skied in about 4 years I'm planning on getting back to one or two trips a year starting with Tahoe this year (that's where we went 4 years ago too). I moved to Houston 5 years ago so the weekly ski trips that I used to do in upstate New York are not practical. In the past I've used GS skis and longed for shorter turning radius so I can get through mild to moderate bumps and control my speed on the steeps. Enough history. 


I'm now 55, 6'0" 195lbs. On my own I like the single black diamond runs. With my wife on the groomers, performance does not matter so much so I don't mind sacrificing cruising speed. I was thinking of something with around a 14m turning radius.


I'm thinking about getting a year or two old model. I would appreciate a short list of skis that I might find on ebay or here in the trading section. When I skied a lot I considered myself a lower expert, but I just won't be skiing that much any more. 






Edit: Title change to help with advice.

post #2 of 9

Welcome!  What have you done in the boot department?


Why do you want to own skis if you are skiing only once or twice a season?  There is something to be said for renting demo skis so that you can have skis that are most appropriate to the conditions and the company.  Then no need to mess with transporting skis & poles through airports.  That said, it's nice to own an all-mountain ski to avoid renting all the time.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the welcome marznc. 



Nothing very exciting there, I have N series Nordica rear entries. Maybe I had trouble finding a good boot fitter back in the day but with wide feet these were the first boots that I have been able wear without feeling my feet were pinched. Any recommendations on modern boots that are wide enough that I don't need a fitting magician? 10EEE is about what I need. It is with great trepidation that I consider new boots as I remember the pain. I doubt Houston is the hotbed of great boot fitters and trying to go through the process in a one week trip does not sound so conducive to enjoyment. 



I suppose that it is just nice to know what I will be using. Also our typical ski week is 3-4 days on the slopes spread out, so renting for the week seems like a waste and getting rentals every day seems like a hassle. I guess buying is kind of a waste too, but if I can find a deal on last years gear I can afford it. 


I saw some K2 Rictors on ebay in 167cm that seem pretty good to me from what I have been able to read about them. That seems to be one size short from what is generally recommended for my size, but considering that I am going for a short turning radius and not so much for speed I think that may be a good choice.


I missed a screaming deal on some older Salomon Scrambler Customs on Craigslist, but I don't know if the length would have been right. I was really talking myself into those for the $40.00 price tag. 

post #4 of 9

You might try the Ask the Boot Guys forum for advice about boots.  Note that only boot fitters can answer so it might take a while before you get a response.


I know someone with stats like yours.  I'll see what boots he ended up with.  He finally started getting current style equipment a couple years ago.


I'm sure you can get recommendations of who to work with in the Tahoe area.  Wouldn't hurt to check out your options if you plan to ski more regularly.  Boots have changed a lot.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I'll try that later. We bought new boots for my wife last time we were in Tahoe and she was very happy with them. But she does not have my fitting problems. 


How quick do Tahoe or other resort shops generally turn around boots requiring more extensive work? Is it typically a while you wait kind of thing, overnight, or a few days? You can see what I am getting at. Maybe that is also a better question for the boot fitters, but what are peoples experiences? 

post #6 of 9

Hi SideHill, Welcome to EpicSki


There are some great shops in the Tahoe area that do awesome boot fitting.  If you want to go to some of the best bootfitters in the country, you can go to Start Haus (Jim and Jim are on Ski Magazine's top 15 bootfitters and they're staffed with some really great guys who follow in their footsteps including Philpug)

If you're flying into Reno, you can go to Bud's shop which is near the airport, Snowind Sports.  He is also on the top 15 list of boot fitters.  Both of these shops have boot guys available to talk to here on EpicSki


Sierra Jim


Bud Heishman


Aaaaaand, if you want to do a boot fit at the resort, Northstar's True North has a couple boot guys who've attended masterfit and do a pretty darn good job.  That's where I hang out these days.biggrin.gif


Sooooo, here are some great options for you.  Does that help?

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Trekchick, Thanks for the welcomes here and in PM! 


Yes that list helps very much! I suppose I'll bring my old boots as backup in case it takes some time. I've done a bit of reading on the Boot Forum, wow, plenty more to learn. 

post #8 of 9

Follow the above advice. Boot first, skis second. It's boots which will make or break your vacation. Unlike skis, boots are very custom.


it took me about a week of going in an out of the bootfitters to get mine dialed. Not something you have time for if you are only skiing for a few days.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi guys. We took our trip to Tahoe and had a great time. Took the advice here and bought some boots the first day, had a couple of adjustments later in the week. Certainly the best boots I've ever had, made my old skis better and the demo skis great. Didn't have a car so went to the Powder House Demo and boot center near the Heavenly Gondola. The guys were great, and worked like fiends on my (and my wife's) boots to get me well fitted. Went with the Fischer Vacuum 12+ after trying 3 or 4 others that just were not going to work on my right foot. Now I have a close fit and much better control. 


So back to skis. Still want to get a pair of my own. And late season sales are close!


I demoed a pair of Volkl Kendos in 170. That seems a bit short given the ski length calculator on this site but it worked well for me. Conditions were very firm except for a few forays into the trees. The short length, early rise, and wider underfoot (88) gave me much more confidence and control in the softer snow than I have ever had  before. On the groomers they worked great, I was able to get into nice carves and they came right around as I would like in a short radius ski. Really loved them in those conditions, but in a very short stint in the moguls I was really thrown around a lot. Mostly my lack of technique, but I would like something a bit more forgiving to so I can stay there and work on that! 


Later in the week I skied my old skis and the "performance" rentals at Northstar for comparison, but wish I had demoed something like the Line Prophet 98. The  conditions didn't demand anything like that but I would have liked to see how they perform anyway. So I'm looking for comments on that choice versus my experience on the Kendos. I hear the tail is a little softer and yet is still overall a ski that I could use for my other purposes. Open to other suggestions as well. I will probably ski more Colorado and maybe Utah resorts in the nearer future as they are a bit better air fare from Houston.  

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