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First Ski Purchase

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

So this is my first forum post, woot woot! Anyways, I've decided that this Christmas will finally be the one I somehow obtain a pair of skis. I've gone skiing only a handful of times over the past few years due to my time schedule, but I love it and it looks like there is a chance I will end up in the Seattle region. I've always rented skis, and done fine with them, but I really want a pair to call my own and learn the ins and outs of. That being said, the little knowledge I have of skis I have gleamed off of buyer guides and my limited personal experiences. I understand how camber/rocker works, but not necessarily which setup would be best for my taste. I believe my ski style would be best suited with a pair of all-mountain skis. I enjoy almost all aspects of the mountain and would like to have skis that are easily adaptable to different environments. Price is not an issue per say, but I don't plan on racing or doing anything too crazy, so I don't need top of the line gear.

 

Any suggestions on boots/bindings would be helpful too. I'm 6'4'' and weigh 180 lbs. If you don't feel like typing copious amounts of information I would appreciate any and all links so I can research on my own. I just want to make sure when I finally pick my setup I am making the right decision.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

edit: shoe size - 12, I tend to stay on groomed trails and I enjoy carving more so than flying down the mountain. The Volkl RTM 80 interests me.


Edited by Humblefunk - 10/8/12 at 10:19am
post #2 of 16

Welcome to EpicSki! Have you found the articles section yet?  A place to start to learn more about buying boots and skis.

 

http://www.epicski.com/atype/9/Level_One

 

Boots are much more important to spend time and money getting a good fit from a boot fitter.  There is an expression that you marry your boots but only date your skis.

 

Where have you skied so far?

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that reference, reading like crazy! I had no idea how important boots were. It makes sense though. Just gotta get to one of those boot fitters now....

 

I've skied at Sunday River in Maine and have been to Taos, NM (AMAZING). Anything earlier than that was at several mountains in NJ/PA that I don't remember. I currently live in MI, with parents in MA, but like I said I hope to be in the northwest region (WA, OR) or even CO starting next year.

 

According to the Ski Length article I should be shooting for 180cm. Also, since I plan to only purchase one pair of skis my understanding is that I should be looking at the 80mm width range.

post #4 of 16

If you find a Demo Day near you during early season, those are a lot of fun.  The idea is that multiple vendors set up tents at the base and you can try out skis for a run or two, usually for free or a nominal fee for the day.  Of course, can also pay for demo rentals any time.  Obviously much better to already have your own good boots.

 

Even on short trails, it's quite possible to feel the difference between ski types.  I learned that doing Demo Days in the mountains of NC where a run from the top takes 3 min even for an intermediate who is comfortable with some speed.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your responses, I really appreciate it. I've been searching for demo days, but am in a bit of a bind. My friend wants to go to Telluride in the first week or two of January. I would really like to have my own skis for that trip, but I'm not sure if it will work out unless it snows early. I guess I will have to play it by ear.

 

So I will find boots before then, but are bindings just bindings then? It's nice that I can get those out of the way (although we'll see how matching goes haha).

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humblefunk View Post

Thank you for your responses, I really appreciate it. I've been searching for demo days, but am in a bit of a bind. My friend wants to go to Telluride in the first week or two of January. I would really like to have my own skis for that trip, but I'm not sure if it will work out unless it snows early. I guess I will have to play it by ear.

 

So I will find boots before then, but are bindings just bindings then? It's nice that I can get those out of the way (although we'll see how matching goes haha).

My advice would be to concentrate on boots.  Plan on renting demo skis at Telluride.  Change once a day, assuming you don't rent on the mountain.  Usually cheaper to rent off the mountain, especially if for a longer period.  Depending on conditions, what would work best on that trip may not be what's worth buying for general use.  For example, I own a Rossi ski that's all-mountain but not that great in more than 8 inches of powder.  I ski them in the southeast in all sorts of conditions.  I take them for trips out west.  Usually end up skiing on them about half the time because I've been lucky about fresh powder.  If I owned a pair of fatter powder skis, I would have to lug them around in the airport too.  Not worth it to me for one or two trips a season.

 

Have you looked at any threads about how to fly with boots and skis?

 

Can't help about bindings.  So far, I've gotten skis with "system bindings" so I didn't have to think about one more piece of equipment.

post #7 of 16

Boots, boots, boots, boots!  I can't tell you how much money I wasted buying "better" skis and always being disappointed that I never got better with better skis.  I bought whatever boots were on sale and felt comfy in the store and none of the places I bought them ever advised that I do anything different.  My feet were always cold and hurt most of the time.  When someone finally convinced me to buy boots from someone that actually knew something about how boots should fit, my skiing improved instantly and rather dramatically - my skis actually did what I wanted them to do.  I no longer worry about getting the latest hot ski because as long as I have boots that fit I can have fun on just about any ski.

 

I agree about renting skis in Telluride.  The conditions you are likely to encounter there are very different from what you will ski in Michigan.  At Telluride you will probably want something at least 90mm underfoot and early rise.  For skiing where you currently live I think you need a ski that is more hard snow biased than the Volkl RTM series, something like the Blizzard Magnum 8.0 CA or Ti.  It's the same width underfoot but has traditional camber plus tip and tail rocker which makes it a lot more versatile than the Volkl.  I highly recommend that you not buy a full rocker ski without trying it, especially if you want to use it on hardpack or if it will be your only ski for a while.  Some people like full rocker on hard snow, I am one of those who does not.

post #8 of 16

Firstly let me say that I'm very much on board with the whole 'boots first' concept.  Hugely important.  On the other hand I managed to demo the RTM80 about three months back and would say the 'rocker' on that ski is very, very subtle - the bases are virtually flat.  The ski performed flawlessly on hardpack conditions that day; less Teutonic than the stiff-tailed Volkls of years past (like my Supersport Allstars for instance) but that's likely a good thing for most.  There was certainly no shortage of grip.  Keep them in the mix for a demo at least. 

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humblefunk View Post

Anyways, I've decided that this Christmas will finally be the one I somehow obtain a pair of skis.

The best time to get the skis or boots in terms of price is early or late season, not Christmas.  Also possible in the summer if you know exactly what you are looking for.  I was not quite ready to spring for my Rossi skis in the spring after learning that they worked for me on a trip to north Tahoe.  But found a (new) pair for under $500 during the summer on eBay from a ski shop.  The length I use is not a popular length, so that helped.  So I figure the money I spent on demo rentals was a good investment.

 

Last season I did a personal "demo day" by getting skis from a shop on mountain at Big Sky.  Checked out 4-5 pairs of potential skis based on online research.  Found a couple that I like.  More importantly, figured out what I don't like that much.  But not going to build a quiver yet.  However, I know which wider skis I'd rent if there is deep snow to play in.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

You guys are awesome, I've been learning so much haha! As it stands, I don't really want to start a quiver. I enjoy blue runs and toss in the occasional black diamond. I enjoy carving and tend to stick to the front side of the mountain. Ideally I would like to be able to go down groomed runs at any stage of the day and still have a good time. During my research I heard that you should purchase a ski to the level you want to be at, not where you currently are. On a scale of 1-5, 1 being novice and 5 being expert, I would currently place myself at a 3. I've never had formal lessons but can get up on edge easily enough.

 

With all of that taken into account, I believe I should be looking for a ski around 80mm in width. I am still not sure which rocker/camber setting would be more appropriate, but I am looking into that. I want a ski that can handle being on groomed runs all day, even with the natural crud that builds up (I believe I am using that term right). Ideally this ski would perform on both west and east coast, but I can understand if it cant.

 

Here is a list of skis that I have compiled that might suit my desires.

 

 

 

Any suggestions/changes to this list or my thoughts above are much appreciated.

post #11 of 16

The list looks good as far as options.

 

However your pricing that you are intending to spend looks completely out of whack.  I suppose you are looking at MAP for 2013 new skis, but you should re-review your numbers taking into consideration actual street pricing.  Especially as your first set of skis, it's comforting to know you're not spending way too much.

 

Many of your choices for 2013 are the same as 2012 or even 2011 models.  (the blizzard skis are new for this year so you're stuck with that pricing).

 

So for sure, you should be able to a new Rictor or Blackeye for much less ("2012" models, but make some more columns and research it out).   The others maybe as well.

 

If you go for used demos, you can even save more, and it's nice to know maybe you aren't putting in the first ding.

 

For example with just minimal searching (i didn't even look for lowest or really good deals).
blackeye Ti:

2013 $799

2012  $549   http://www.evo.com/outlet/skis/atomic-blackeye-ti-xto-12-bindings.aspx

2012 (used) $350 http://www.powder7.com/Atomic-Nomad-Blackeye-Ti-Skis-174cm-Used-2012/for-sale

so someone else using this for 23days saves you $200...

 

This is not only on the internet, If you want to buy local, your local actual ski shop (not a sports shop)

should also still have 2012 or even 2011 carry over stock for cheaper and competitive with internet prices.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

The list looks good as far as options.

 

However your pricing that you are intending to spend looks completely out of whack.  I suppose you are looking at MAP for 2013 new skis, but you should re-review your numbers taking into consideration actual street pricing.  Especially as your first set of skis, it's comforting to know you're not spending way too much.

 

Many of your choices for 2013 are the same as 2012 or even 2011 models.  (the blizzard skis are new for this year so you're stuck with that pricing).

 

So for sure, you should be able to a new Rictor or Blackeye for much less ("2012" models, but make some more columns and research it out).   The others maybe as well.

 

If you go for used demos, you can even save more, and it's nice to know maybe you aren't putting in the first ding.

 

For example with just minimal searching (i didn't even look for lowest or really good deals).
blackeye Ti:

2013 $799

2012  $549   http://www.evo.com/outlet/skis/atomic-blackeye-ti-xto-12-bindings.aspx

2012 (used) $350 http://www.powder7.com/Atomic-Nomad-Blackeye-Ti-Skis-174cm-Used-2012/for-sale

so someone else using this for 23days saves you $200...

 

This is not only on the internet, If you want to buy local, your local actual ski shop (not a sports shop)

should also still have 2012 or even 2011 carry over stock for cheaper and competitive with internet prices.

Those prices are all MSRP. I'll definitely look into previous models. I wish I could go to a ski shop, but I do not have one nearby. What should I look out for when comparing models, something so significant that would warrant a case for purchasing the newer year?

post #13 of 16

How far is the nearest real ski shop?  Before last season started I drove 140 miles(one way) to buy new boots, then a couple of months later drove about 200 miles(one way) to have then professionally fitted and custom foot beds made.

 

Your list appears to have only current year models.  Consider this ski which is no longer made, http://www.evo.com/outlet/ski-packages/rossignol-avenger-82-basalt-skis-tpx/axium-120-bindings.aspx#image=55334.Size.LengthCM_162_Image.jpg  Less than $500 including bindings and this is a great ski.  I know a lot of instructors who on these the past 2-3 seasons and every one of them raved about the skis.  I tried a pair one day and they were very nice, just not what I wanted at the time.

post #14 of 16

You may have to research each ski to find the differences.  

The graphics will for sure change every year, but it's the same design for about 3years or so. 

 

When they really do put out a new model, usually you will notice a naming or dimension changes, or new features in it's description.  If you are ever not sure, search here, and then post if you can't find it

post #15 of 16

Your list looks good but the RTM 80's aren't as good an option if you pre like carving on the frontside; there are better options than that one.

 

As others have indicated, based on what you want/like/need, your better bet is looking at demo/used skis, last year's models, or going-out-of-stock products like the Avenger 82's that mtcyclist mentioned, though 162cm is likely too short for you size/weight and where you want to go. The argument could be made that shorter is better to learn the carving fundamentals and improve, but the issue is that you will quickly find yourself gaining speed and confidence as you progress, and you'll probably want something longer and more stable, less turny.  Depends on your preferences though, there is no wrong answer there!

 

There are plenty of frontside skis out there that would suit a developing intermediate skier, and would save you a great deal of money, despite what the marketing departments of most manufacturers would have you believe.

post #16 of 16

I highly recommend a new wave rental like Black Tie or a similar valet ski rental.

 

Especially if you have your boots, you can rent a pair you targeted, and if they don't float your boat, call them and they can meet you at the nearest lift with an alternative pair to switch to.  Your ski boot length and binding settings enable them to just swap you out to try a different model.

 

They save money on storefront shopspace, and meet you at your hotel/condo for the initial fitting.

 

If nobody else has these, it is a niche unfilled in your market.

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