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Ski Purchase Advice

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am 19, looking to buy a pair of skis, maybe 2 this year. I am 5'6'' and weigh 150. I live in Colorado and am an aggressive skier. I'm basically looking for a 1 to 2 ski quiver that will hold up in the trees of any glade, wide open powder bowls, and anything steep and deep, and the cliffs I find along the way. On powder days and on those in between days. I have been looking at the BD amperages, armada TST, 4frnt crj, on3p caylor, sir francis bacons, and icelantic shamans, and a few others for if I only buy 1 pair, but Im still looking. I want to demo before I buy but can anyone help me with suggestions on skis to look at? I'm liking what I know about the caylors and the crj's but I have never skied any of the ones I've mentioned. Looking at boots and bindings too but not as much as skis if anyone wants to throw around some suggestions there too. 

post #2 of 15

Don't demo.  What ski are you going to ski on while you are demoing?  If you demo through a shop then it is going to cost you a lot of money and time and you only sort of get the money back when you buy the full price current year model.  So don't bother with demoing.

 

This is a great all around ski that you can buy, have a hell of a time on, improve your skiing, go anywhere do anything one ski quiver.  Since you are 19, aggressive and live in Colorado I would get the 186.

 

Don't spend too much time worrying about what the right ski is.  

 

$350 shipped for the ski

 

http://www.sturtevants.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=RA1SV01!ROSS0&color=N%2FA&size=178&

post #3 of 15

I disagree.  That's quite a list and demoing will help you to find the ski (or skis) that are best for you.  I assume that as an aggressive skier, you already own a ski that you can use while figuring out what you like.  Skis are expensive and at your age, you probably can't afford a "garage decoration."  Narrow down your list by what you learn through research and then demo a couple to see how they feel.

 

Truthfully, you should really focus on boots first.  It doesn't matter how great the skis are, if the boots don't fit right, nothing works well.

post #4 of 15

Not demoing skis is a HUGE mistake.  If you are anywhere close to Loveland ski area they partner with both Colorado Ski & Golf and Christy Sports on early season demo days.  The best one to go to CS&G's which is usually in mid-late November...usually $35-40 for a lift ticket, full day of demo skis and lunch.  No matter how much a magazine or your friend touts a particular ski there is no substitute for skiing it. Anyone that says this or that ski is "the best" should be avoided as far as advice goes.

 

Mustski makes a great point about boots.

post #5 of 15

Welcome to Epic! Would suggest looking at the reviews here in Member's Gear Reviews for 80-100 mm skis. Narrow things down to a couple or three candidates. Then, demo if you can. But you'll go broke demoing everything out there, and you'll be at the mercy of whichever store you're walking into, as to brands. 

 

The skis you mentioned are reasonable for someone your size. But keep in mind that a powder ski that'll hold up in the steeps may not be the same ski that will thrive in the woods. Think about skis that are good compromise candidates. Also, keep in mind that Colorado doesn't get 36" of snow every night. There'll be many times when you'll want a ski to handle last week's powder, or this week's slush and crud. Not to mention icy spots in the shade. So you might want to think about your "other" ski first, the one for off days. It's tougher to find a good all mountain that fits your needs than a powder ski, IMO. 

 

If you're actually trying for one ski to rule them all, then most of your candidates are too fat. The TST yes, maybe the Shamans. The others are  not going to make you happy on days when it hasn't snowed more than 6" in the past week. 

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post

Don't demo.  What ski are you going to ski on while you are demoing?  If you demo through a shop then it is going to cost you a lot of money and time and you only sort of get the money back when you buy the full price current year model.  So don't bother with demoing.

Some of the worst "advice" I've seen here in a long time, and I've seen some classic bad advice here.

 

"What ski are you going to ski on while you are demoing?" Well that would be the ones on your feet. eek.gif

 

Some of the worst ski decisions I've made have been on taking others opinions about skis. Demo as many skis as you can. You have some excellent ideas already, maybe add some of the larger Kastle's, the Cochise, and the Bentchetler to the picks and try as many as you can.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

Some of the worst "advice" I've seen here in a long time, and I've seen some classic bad advice here.

 

"What ski are you going to ski on while you are demoing?" Well that would be the ones on your feet. eek.gif

 

Some of the worst ski decisions I've made have been on taking others opinions about skis. Demo as many skis as you can. You have some excellent ideas already, maybe add some of the larger Kastle's, the Cochise, and the Bentchetler to the picks and try as many as you can.

 

Ditto.  Demoing pointed me to my Nordica Steadfasts, a ski that I never would have considered.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

Some of the worst "advice" I've seen here in a long time, and I've seen some classic bad advice here.

 

"What ski are you going to ski on while you are demoing?" Well that would be the ones on your feet. eek.gif

 

Some of the worst ski decisions I've made have been on taking others opinions about skis. Demo as many skis as you can. You have some excellent ideas already, maybe add some of the larger Kastle's, the Cochise, and the Bentchetler to the picks and try as many as you can.

 

Infrequent visitor and then only in the forums for a minute.  Saw the above post and felt I should respond.

 

I gave the advice based on my experience and opinion.  Here is the rough sketch of my experience and opinion.

 

I started skiing at age 2 in the winter of 64/65. Skiing was a family pastime enjoyed on weekends and school vacations with my family. I competed and skied with national champions and famous skiers in the NorthEast. I was a professional ski instructor for two years. Recently I have averaged: one trip west for 11 days with that broken into 4 days BC and 6 days lift served. I am a storm chaser in the East and average 8 days a year lift served skiing and 6 days BC mostly on and around Mount Washington (last year was tough).

 

Having spent my early childhood with Dover bindings, wool mittens, repainted wood skis and Maine winters, all gear today is amazing; however there are significant differences in skis.

 

Demoing skis in my opinion makes sense in the following situations (not a be all end all list)

1.When traveling and either you do not own appropriate skis, or the travel does not easily allow the carrying of skis. Note: in all cases try to bring your boots.

 

  1. You wear out a pair of skis a year (a ski with over 40 days is a rough number where they feel thrashed, but obviously lots goes into that) and buy new skis each year.

  1. You buy skis every few years, but want to buy new skis from a shop that refunds your demo money and has both a variety of skis and ideally sizes that you want to demo.

  1. You or your buddies are able to correctly set the forward pressure on their skis so you can try theirs.

  2. You are ok with virtual demoing. This means buying through a store like REI and returning the skis if you do not like them for a different model/size

 

Drawbacks to demoing:

Shop demoing: Limited to brands, models and sizes in the demo fleet. Among similar skis, differences in tune may be more noticeable than differences in ski performance. The day each model is demoed is subjectively influenced by mood, snow conditions, and physical equilibrium. I would wager that proper hydration, snow conditions and attitude (preconceived ideas about the skis, alcohol residue, stress level, socialization with buddies, weather conditions) on the day of the demo all highly influenc ski assessment. Shop demoing either commits you to the shop price of is very expensive if you demo several skis and then buy elsewhere.

 

On slope demo days: The same subjective influences are at play. You must ski the skis in whatever the conditions are on demo day. It takes a lot of your time standing around filling out paper work and waiting to have the bindings adjusted and take the skis out. Sizes and models you want to test may not be available or may be out on test. Mostly it takes away from a day of joy of flying down a mountain on skis and I have limited number of days on skis.

 

Demoing Buddies skis: Same listed influences above are at play.  Limited to buddies skis and yours or theirs ability to adjust forward pressure correctly on the bindings.

 

How to avoid demoing:

Trust someone: A friend, online reviews, magazine reviews, or shop recommendation. For many people the shop is the best place. Hopefully you are able to find a ski tech who you communicate and listen well to and who reciprocates. Skis are developed with models to respond to skiing styles and skiing conditions. There are general categories and we all have categories we can access.

 

Know yourself and ski dynamics: This applies to people who have a keen understanding of how they enjoy skiing and how ski dynamics relate to their skiing style. Often the skis they seek are difficult to demo. It has been at least eight years since I have owned a pair of skis that I could have demoed either through a shop or at a demo day.

 

There certainly are reasons to demo and people for whom demoing is beneficial. It is my advice that for most people demoing has less benefit than trusting a source for advice because of the subjective impact of demoing. Demoing has always been pushed by some on this board. There are other ways to achieve a good ski match. The costs of demoing are a drag as well as the limitations as to what can be demoed. Lastly demoing is not that fun and skiing really is fun.

 

I don't think the OP is really listening to this thread anymore.  If he is: 180cm, early rise in the tail and tip, around 110 cm would be a good place to look for one all around ski.  I would eliminate the Sharmans.

 

 

 

I would like to add that the advice of Snowfun3 from Boca Roton is affected by his fat enlarged breasts and his feelings of inadequacies in reflection of the archetype male David.

 

 

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post

 

Infrequent visitor and then only in the forums for a minute.  Saw the above post and felt I should respond.

 

I gave the advice based on my experience and opinion.  Here is the rough sketch of my experience and opinion.

 

I started skiing at age 2 in the winter of 64/65. Skiing was a family pastime enjoyed on weekends and school vacations with my family. I competed and skied with national champions and famous skiers in the NorthEast. I was a professional ski instructor for two years. Recently I have averaged: one trip west for 11 days with that broken into 4 days BC and 6 days lift served. I am a storm chaser in the East and average 8 days a year lift served skiing and 6 days BC mostly on and around Mount Washington (last year was tough).

 

Having spent my early childhood with Dover bindings, wool mittens, repainted wood skis and Maine winters, all gear today is amazing; however there are significant differences in skis.

 

Demoing skis in my opinion makes sense in the following situations (not a be all end all list)

1.When traveling and either you do not own appropriate skis, or the travel does not easily allow the carrying of skis. Note: in all cases try to bring your boots.

 

  1. You wear out a pair of skis a year (a ski with over 40 days is a rough number where they feel thrashed, but obviously lots goes into that) and buy new skis each year.

  1. You buy skis every few years, but want to buy new skis from a shop that refunds your demo money and has both a variety of skis and ideally sizes that you want to demo.

  1. You or your buddies are able to correctly set the forward pressure on their skis so you can try theirs.

  2. You are ok with virtual demoing. This means buying through a store like REI and returning the skis if you do not like them for a different model/size

 

Drawbacks to demoing:

Shop demoing: Limited to brands, models and sizes in the demo fleet. Among similar skis, differences in tune may be more noticeable than differences in ski performance. The day each model is demoed is subjectively influenced by mood, snow conditions, and physical equilibrium. I would wager that proper hydration, snow conditions and attitude (preconceived ideas about the skis, alcohol residue, stress level, socialization with buddies, weather conditions) on the day of the demo all highly influenc ski assessment. Shop demoing either commits you to the shop price of is very expensive if you demo several skis and then buy elsewhere.

 

On slope demo days: The same subjective influences are at play. You must ski the skis in whatever the conditions are on demo day. It takes a lot of your time standing around filling out paper work and waiting to have the bindings adjusted and take the skis out. Sizes and models you want to test may not be available or may be out on test. Mostly it takes away from a day of joy of flying down a mountain on skis and I have limited number of days on skis.

 

Demoing Buddies skis: Same listed influences above are at play.  Limited to buddies skis and yours or theirs ability to adjust forward pressure correctly on the bindings.

 

How to avoid demoing:

Trust someone: A friend, online reviews, magazine reviews, or shop recommendation. For many people the shop is the best place. Hopefully you are able to find a ski tech who you communicate and listen well to and who reciprocates. Skis are developed with models to respond to skiing styles and skiing conditions. There are general categories and we all have categories we can access.

 

Know yourself and ski dynamics: This applies to people who have a keen understanding of how they enjoy skiing and how ski dynamics relate to their skiing style. Often the skis they seek are difficult to demo. It has been at least eight years since I have owned a pair of skis that I could have demoed either through a shop or at a demo day.

 

There certainly are reasons to demo and people for whom demoing is beneficial. It is my advice that for most people demoing has less benefit than trusting a source for advice because of the subjective impact of demoing. Demoing has always been pushed by some on this board. There are other ways to achieve a good ski match. The costs of demoing are a drag as well as the limitations as to what can be demoed. Lastly demoing is not that fun and skiing really is fun.

 

I don't think the OP is really listening to this thread anymore.  If he is: 180cm, early rise in the tail and tip, around 110 cm would be a good place to look for one all around ski.  I would eliminate the Sharmans.

 

 

 

I would like to add that the advice of Snowfun3 from Boca Roton is affected by his fat enlarged breasts and his feelings of inadequacies in reflection of the archetype male David.

 

 

 

 

Maine Bud, not all venues have meager demo fleets. Crystal Mt WA as way more than enough, and demo fees are applied to purchases of new gear. I'm sure in this day and age we're far from alone (Jackson, CO, SLC.. .etc.... I'm sure must have great fleets) Sorry about your area if it's thin. Demo'ing works great for people who are changing geography or going to their first 'big' ski (or hard core piste ski for that matter), or are rapidly improving their skills. 

 

IMH experience, I've been happily surprised by skis I hadn't given a thought about. Conversely, I've skied on skis that on paper I should have loved, but found them no less than junk and even a single run a waste of good vertical. If you've skied a long time, have a good idea what you like, and have friends with similar preferences in skis, sure. It can help a lot  but not everyone is fortunate enough to have all that you're suggesting that will help avoid demoing. 

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post

 

Infrequent visitor and then only in the forums for a minute.  Saw the above post and felt I should respond.

 

I gave the advice based on my experience and opinion.  Here is the rough sketch of my experience and opinion.

 

I started skiing at age 2 in the winter of 64/65. Skiing was a family pastime enjoyed on weekends and school vacations with my family. I competed and skied with national champions and famous skiers in the NorthEast. I was a professional ski instructor for two years. Recently I have averaged: one trip west for 11 days with that broken into 4 days BC and 6 days lift served. I am a storm chaser in the East and average 8 days a year lift served skiing and 6 days BC mostly on and around Mount Washington (last year was tough).

 

Having spent my early childhood with Dover bindings, wool mittens, repainted wood skis and Maine winters, all gear today is amazing; however there are significant differences in skis.

 

Demoing skis in my opinion makes sense in the following situations (not a be all end all list)

1.When traveling and either you do not own appropriate skis, or the travel does not easily allow the carrying of skis. Note: in all cases try to bring your boots.

 

  1. You wear out a pair of skis a year (a ski with over 40 days is a rough number where they feel thrashed, but obviously lots goes into that) and buy new skis each year.

  1. You buy skis every few years, but want to buy new skis from a shop that refunds your demo money and has both a variety of skis and ideally sizes that you want to demo.

  1. You or your buddies are able to correctly set the forward pressure on their skis so you can try theirs.

  2. You are ok with virtual demoing. This means buying through a store like REI and returning the skis if you do not like them for a different model/size

 

Drawbacks to demoing:

Shop demoing: Limited to brands, models and sizes in the demo fleet. Among similar skis, differences in tune may be more noticeable than differences in ski performance. The day each model is demoed is subjectively influenced by mood, snow conditions, and physical equilibrium. I would wager that proper hydration, snow conditions and attitude (preconceived ideas about the skis, alcohol residue, stress level, socialization with buddies, weather conditions) on the day of the demo all highly influenc ski assessment. Shop demoing either commits you to the shop price of is very expensive if you demo several skis and then buy elsewhere.

 

On slope demo days: The same subjective influences are at play. You must ski the skis in whatever the conditions are on demo day. It takes a lot of your time standing around filling out paper work and waiting to have the bindings adjusted and take the skis out. Sizes and models you want to test may not be available or may be out on test. Mostly it takes away from a day of joy of flying down a mountain on skis and I have limited number of days on skis.

 

Demoing Buddies skis: Same listed influences above are at play.  Limited to buddies skis and yours or theirs ability to adjust forward pressure correctly on the bindings.

 

How to avoid demoing:

Trust someone: A friend, online reviews, magazine reviews, or shop recommendation. For many people the shop is the best place. Hopefully you are able to find a ski tech who you communicate and listen well to and who reciprocates. Skis are developed with models to respond to skiing styles and skiing conditions. There are general categories and we all have categories we can access.

 

Know yourself and ski dynamics: This applies to people who have a keen understanding of how they enjoy skiing and how ski dynamics relate to their skiing style. Often the skis they seek are difficult to demo. It has been at least eight years since I have owned a pair of skis that I could have demoed either through a shop or at a demo day.

 

There certainly are reasons to demo and people for whom demoing is beneficial. It is my advice that for most people demoing has less benefit than trusting a source for advice because of the subjective impact of demoing. Demoing has always been pushed by some on this board. There are other ways to achieve a good ski match. The costs of demoing are a drag as well as the limitations as to what can be demoed. Lastly demoing is not that fun and skiing really is fun.

 

I don't think the OP is really listening to this thread anymore.  If he is: 180cm, early rise in the tail and tip, around 110 cm would be a good place to look for one all around ski.  I would eliminate the Sharmans.

 

 

 

I would like to add that the advice of Snowfun3 from Boca Roton is affected by his fat enlarged breasts and his feelings of inadequacies in reflection of the archetype male David.

 

 


Just using more words doesn't make bad advice any better. OK, apparently in Maine all you get is one battered pair of ex-demo's to try, but at real hills, you get to try tons of stuff - back-to-back, sorta like this:

 

 

Oh, and yes, I live in south Florida, and spent over a month at that particular hill in the PNW last winter. Maybe check the Trip Report section to see how my last winter was. I'm fairly certain it was better skiing wise than yours.

 

I learned of my love for Dynastars at a hill in the northleast about a decade ago, when attending demo day at Flatton, and finding the Skicross 10 as a revelation. Or, of course, I could listen to some stoog who'd never tried them, and tell me about something else in a shop where he gets a bonus to sell another pair of somethings, that he has too many of.

 

Anyway, given you advice probably a good thing you don't visit often, and btw, personal insults don't lend an air of authority to your retort, particularly when it's as lame as your initial "advice".

post #11 of 15

Boots must come first as suggested above or it won't matter what they're strapped too.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post


Just using more words doesn't make bad advice any better. OK, apparently in Maine all you get is one battered pair of ex-demo's to try, but at real hills, you get to try tons of stuff - back-to-back, sorta like this:

 

 

 

lilywhite is absolutely correct that boots are the most important piece of gear to get right.

 

 

 

 

Snowfun3 I will shorten it for you.

 

Demoing through a shop is either expensive in the cost of the demo or in the purchase of the retail skis through the shop. 

 

Demoing on the hill is time consuming and takes away from the enjoyment of a day skiing.

 

Demoing is susceptible to subjective observations.

 

Most skiers could find equally good ski matches without demoing. Most skis made today are good skis and you just need to match skiing style and terrain skied between the skier and the ski.

 

Skis within a ski category will show differences due to wax and edge tune, and mounting point and to a smaller degree binding selection.

 

Snowfun3 you do not need to read any further.

 

 

 

I propose a thought experiment to illustrate that demoing is not that effective.

At a mountain demo day select skiers who fit the epic skier profile. Offer them a fifty dollar coupon to the favorite watering hole at the mountain if they will fill out a detailed survey of three skis. They can ski the skis in any order they choose. Tell them they need to give a ticket to the ski reps when they pick up the ski, this way the reps will know which skis to grab and how to respond. List the prices and dimensions of each ski on the form.

 

Ski A: Kastle 98BMX. Big poster of Chris Davenport (think he promotes them) out front. Have the reps really rave about the ski-how smooth and powerful it is and how it ups ones skiing.

 

Ski B: Moment PB & J. Real ski and just added to the test to provide some potential context.

 

Ski C: The exact same Kastle 98BMX, but this time dressed in the Line Chronic skin top and bottom. No posters of this ski. Other skis are highlighted in posters and out front. The rep does not have much to say about the ski except that it is Line's Park/all mountain hybrid ski.

 

In this thought experiment, the highlighted variable is hype. Other subjective variables, friends, mental/physical state, terrain skied, conditions, weather, and objective variables, edge tune, bottom prep and mount point, could all play a role in evaluation.  That is a heck of a lot of variables.

 

Based on my observations on the hill, hype plays a large role in how people respond to a ski. In the thought experiment, I imagine that the results of the surveys would show a distinct difference in the responses to ski A and ski C.  The reps hype, the graphics and what is known about the kastle, the information of dimensions and price on the rating form would contribute to measurably different evaluations of the same ski.

 

 

post #13 of 15
Maine bud, I'd say a number of folks here giving advice are MUCH smarter than you're giving them credit for.

Again, sorry that your local reality is so limited and meager. Truth here locally is very different, and who ever pays MSRP for anything?
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post

lilywhite is absolutely correct that boots are the most important piece of gear to get right.

 

 

Demoing through a shop is either expensive in the cost of the demo or in the purchase of the retail skis through the shop. Well, here's a thought - don't demo through a shop. I rarely pay for demos. That picture of WB, all of those demos are free.

 

Demoing on the hill is time consuming and takes away from the enjoyment of a day skiing. Wait. Trying on new skis at your favorite hill takes away from the enjoyment. Wow, you're doning it wrong. Really wrong.

 

Demoing is susceptible to subjective observations. Right - like your own subjective observations instead of someone else's for skis for YOU. (go figure, eh?)

 

Most skiers could find equally good ski matches without demoing. Most skis made today are good skis and you just need to match skiing style and terrain skied between the skier and the ski. There are such MAJOR differences between skis within catagories, sizes and types, that such a statement just shows the extreme level of cluelessness. No wonder you don't understand the importance of demoing.

 

Skis within a ski category will show differences due to wax and edge tune, and mounting point and to a smaller degree binding selection. Of course, and so what. That makes it useless to demo? Clueless, truly clueless.

Here, we'll try a little more. Last year's demo loves - Kastle MX83, Prior (forgot model), K2 Rictor (and I hated the Recon) Dislikes - Elan Amphio (heavy and responseless), Dynastar Cham 94 (for a Dynastar fan, these sucked).

 

Anyway, to continue your "loigic", then why bother trying helmets, boots or anythoing else. Just buy what you're told to and everything will be right. Duh, seems like giving too much credit.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilywhite View Post

Boots must come first as suggested above or it won't matter what they're strapped too.

 

Precisely.  If your boots don't fit properly, demoing skis is truly a waste of time.  And buying skis is a waste of money.  Get properly fitted boots first.

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