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Looking at new Setup - Where to begin?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I'm excited to have found this forum.  Seems like there are a lot of great members on here!

 

So, I've been rocking the same ski gear for the past ~8 years.  I have a pair of Nordica boots, the boots I learned on, and a pair of Volkl Karma's (circa 2006) that were rentals sold off by Big Sky resort.

 

I learned to ski on the east coast (USA).  As a product of this, I never really fell in love with the sport or felt the urge to upgrade equipment. It was just kind of a way to get through the winter until mountain biking kicked off.  However, I just moved to northern Nevada, and it's changed my skiing life forever!

 

Now that I've had my first taste of big mountain skiing, I've got a case of upgraditis.  My skis don't seem to be up to the task.  The rental binding has the feature where the heel can slide, and in the heavy powder of the Sierras it seems to be sliding under force.  This results in my ski popping off like a champagne bottle on new years.  So, while my boots definitely need replacing too, it's probably logical to get a decent binding on some better skis to start.

 

As far as skiing style, I see myself totally avoiding the terrain park.  Other than that, no boundaries.  We've been hiking away from the groomers to some steep bowls, hitting up the woods, basically seeking out some untracked snow whenever possible.  I can eventually see myself getting into some little rock drops and the likes, but gotta get the skills first.  I don't think these skis will need to be backcountry equipped, although there's a lot of intrigue to backcountry stuff.

 

When it comes to skis, I have no idea what to get.  My Karma is probably about a 74 underfoot, so I'm probably going to want something wider.  I'm 6', 190 lbs.  I need the almighty quiver killer, as I can't afford to have a lot of equipment.  The biggest constraint will likely be my budget.  I'm a grad student, so I really can't justify shelling out much more than $800-$1000 for boots, skis, and bindings.  Totally open to last years (or the year before) model.  Also would consider used gear, just don't know where to turn.

 

So I'm open to any and all suggestions.  Particular models or characteristics or even some articles on the subject.  Admittedly haven't dug in too deep, there.

 

Thanks a bunch!

Andrew

post #2 of 10

Andrew, getting the right ski boots will by far have the most important influence on your skiing.  #1 priority should be finding the best boot fitter where you ski so they can tweak and make sure to get the camber adjusted properly or no matter how good the skis, they won't work right.

 

On skis, there are so many great skis that it comes down to personnal preference. Only true way to figure it out is to demo alot of skis. With your budget, best thing is to look for ski mfg demo days, usually in Dec and Jan.  For free, you can ski a bunch of 88s, 98s, 105s from different mfgs until you stumble across the best ski for you.  Ski reps will usually make you a good deal on the spot ($500 or less for skis and bindings).

 

DO NOT BUY SKI BOOTS THAT ARE TOO BIG, bootfitter can always make them roomier but can not shrink!

post #3 of 10

Welcome to EpicSki and congratulations on moving to where you can ski the Sierras and thus have access to a great ski shop.  What you need to do is contact Start Haus in Truckee, CA or Bud Heishman at Snowind Sports in Reno, NV.  They WILL take care of you and get you into appropriate gear within your budget.  My only comment is that you really do need to start with boots, they are the most important piece of gear you will buy for skiing and if they do not fit properly, your skiing will suffer a lot.

post #4 of 10

Thanks for the recommendation mtcyclist!

Vitale232 - welcome, and of course we'd be happy to help you. These guys are steering you in the right direction - a good boot with the right fit is the most important first step. 

As far as skis - our standard recommendation to do it all here in Tahoe is around 98 mm underfoot - there's a lot of options in that range - I recommend reading the reviews on this site as a place to start. The Blizzard Bonafide tends to be a favorite.

post #5 of 10

Check out the basics about buying gear:

 

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

post #6 of 10

Welcome.  You are living my dream of moving to ski country.  Make the most of it.

 

As everyone else has stated.  If you are serious about getting good, boots will either help or hinder that goal.  A good fitting boot will allow you to ski an average ski well and encourage you to get better. But a poor fitting boot will prevent you from skiing any ski well and hinder you becomig a better skier.  If you are anywhere near Start Haus that would be a good place to start.  Haven't met them other than on here, but their advice always seems to be spot on.

 

Good luck,

 

Rick G

post #7 of 10

For Tahoe if I only had one ski, it would probably be 98 - 108mm.  There are literally dozens of great skis to choose from in that range.  Can't really make any recommendations without knowing how you like to ski.  Playful and turny, fast and aggressive with big turns, or somewhere in-between?

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Awesome responses already! Thanks, all. I guess i'll look into some new boots first. I definitely feel my feet moving before the ski responds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Can't really make any recommendations without knowing how you like to ski.  Playful and turny, fast and aggressive with big turns, or somewhere in-between?

To address this for a second,at this point I'm more of an aggressive, attack the hill skier. This is mainly due to my current skillset. I've been trying to work on getting quicker with my turns, and transition to a more 'playful' style. Does this affect the appropriate shape and stiffness?
post #9 of 10

Again, thanks for the props Mtcyclist. Vitale, like you I am also an eastern transplant now in Nevada and skiing the Sierras. Trekchick and I would be glad to spend some time on with you not only helping you with your purchase but also skiing with you and showing you around. Shoot me a PM and lets see when we can get together. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitale232 View Post

Awesome responses already! Thanks, all. I guess i'll look into some new boots first. I definitely feel my feet moving before the ski responds.
To address this for a second,at this point I'm more of an aggressive, attack the hill skier. This is mainly due to my current skillset. I've been trying to work on getting quicker with my turns, and transition to a more 'playful' style. Does this affect the appropriate shape and stiffness?

 

Yeah, as others have said, get properly fitted boots first.  Phil here set me up a few years ago and it improved my skiing immediately.  I would do that and then demo a bunch of different skis to get a better idea of what you like, especially if you're planning on a quiver of one.  Generally speaking, softer flex= more playful, but you may also sacrifice stability at high speeds or when busting through chopped up powder (just something to keep in mind)

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