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post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi guys. I am a beginning skier. I've been skiing 5 times now. I want to rent equipment for a season. What size, binding, etc should I be looking for. I don't have a specific type of skiing in mind. I just want to have fun. I'd like to get a set of skis/bindings that are for beginners, but could still be useful to me as I improve.

 

Where in the world are you skiing? 

Southern California, specifically Mt. Baldy

 

What kinds of terrain do you prefer (groomed runs, moguls, race course, park'n'pipe, trees, steeps, backcountry/sidecountry)

Not sure, but probably groomed runs

 

How many days a year do you ski?

10-15

 

How advanced are you as a skier?

Beginner

 

What's your height and weight?

5'7 140 lbs

 

 

So what should I be looking for in searching for equipment? Can you guys recommend specific ski brands or types? Thanks a lot.


Edited by caunyd - 1/11/13 at 1:05am
post #2 of 25

Hi, Depending on how much skiing you plan on doing and your age, you will be more comfortable, progress faster and easier and have more fun by investing now into your own properly fitting boots, if you have not already done so.

 

As for skis, beginner level allmountain skis and bindings are all very similar, if in good condition, sized and adjusted/tuned properly, they will all be the same,  so it comes down to cosmetics and ofcourse price.

 

You will out grow or out ski the skis alot faster than the boots, which are the most important component at this stage. The Beginner Zone has alot of great info.

 

Happy New Year, be safe and have fun.....!

post #3 of 25

Here's my recommendation: http://k2skis.com/skis/all-mountain/force-1213

 

 

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwr1vwf View Post

... you will be more comfortable, progress faster and easier and have more fun by investing now into your own properly fitting boots, if you have not already done so.

 

Happy New Year, be safe and have fun.....!

 

This is great advice.

 

Once a new skier, as a beginner, decides they want to continue skiing for years to come, the very best advice they can take is to get themselves set up with a properly fitted pair of boots.  Most people get it backwards and buy skis first (usually on the advice of a friend who's been skiing for years) and their progress can sometimes suffer as a result.  Getting good boots that fit properly is the crucial first step when it comes to ski gear.   

 

Go and see a respected boot fitter.  Talk to them about how you ski, where you ski, how often you ski, how you would like to ski, and where you would like to ski.  If you're on a bit of a budget you ask them to fit you into a boot that is 'new old stock' - new boots that are models from a previous year.

 

A few boot factoids for you:

  • most people on the hill are likely skiing in a boot that is at least one size too large;
  • when a boot is too large you have to haul the buckles on very hard to gain control of the skis, and that pressure can interfere with the flow of blood to the foot - usually across the top of the foot - leading to pins & needles, cramps and "my feet are killing me, let's go home"; 
  • in the store the boots that will fit you properly will likely feel really, really snug - like they're maybe half a size too small, but without any pain or 'hot spots'.  That's your fit.  The liners will pack out slightly over time, and they'll become comfortable (at least as comfortable as ski boots can be) with a little use;
  • the majority of factory footbeds are notsogood (to put it mildly); upgrading the footbed is almost always a great idea - talk to the fitter about this;
  • if the fitter decides he's found you the right boot, but recommends blowing the shell out a little (stretching the plastic shell a tad) then put your trust in the fitter.  Most good fitters will work with you to get the fit just right by altering the boot bit by bit.  That's why it's often a good idea to work with a fitter at the snow.  You can go ski and come back to tweak the boots over the course of your ski trip; 
  • don't believe anyone who tells you their ski boots fit like slippers - it's always nice to take them off at the end of the day.

 

[edit]  In all of the above the most important point is to find a great boot fitter, and put your trust in their experience.

 

Best of luck, and enjoy your season.

post #5 of 25

caunyd, 

 

Do you already have boots or were you planning to rent those also? 

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all responses guys. Nolo I was planning on renting the boots, but maybe after the advice her, I might just buy.
 

post #7 of 25

Good call. Let us know how it goes!

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

Where would I find a good boot fitter? Would it be in a large sports equipment store like Sports Authority or Sports Chalet? Any specific boot brands do you recommend?

post #9 of 25

The best boot is the one that fits your foot, in a flex that fits your particular characteristics and skiing ability.  The fitter will recommend the right boot for your feet after spending some time with you.  Feet are very individual things - they're all different in some way - so it's not something easily done over the interweb.

 

All manufacturers make boots of varying flexes, so you won't be limited on that front.

 

Someone will be able to recommend a good fitter in your area.

 

Best of luck.

post #10 of 25

I think a place called Sports Chalet sounds like it might be more likely to have a decent boot fitter than the alternative. This is a generality, however, and reflects my personal bias toward specialty ski shops. 

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

Nolo, unless I'm understanding you wrong, you're saying places like Sports Chalet might have a decent boot fitter than the alternative (Specialty ski shops)? That doesn't make sense to me. Also, as this is a beginning investment, how much should I reasonable spend on these boots. I'm not sure what my budget is because I don't know how much boots and their fitting costs. Obviously I'd prefer to pay less, but still get reasonable quality.

 

Also what length skis would be appropriate for me. I'm 5'7 140 lbs. Nolo thanks for the specific recommendation on K2 skis. Any other recommendations on a specific model/brand? edit: I just went on the Beginner Zone, so it should be between my chin and nose.

 

Thanks again guys. This is very helpful to a rookie like me.


Edited by caunyd - 1/14/13 at 4:33pm
post #12 of 25

Nolo, Sports Chalet is a socal chain, not a specialty shop.  The best bootfitter in LA is Claude (the boot Nazi) at skinet sports http://www.skinetsports.com/ but I suspect he doesn't carry much low end stuff.  Still, if you are sure you want to pursue this a good intermediate boot will take you a long way.  If you get footbeds and outgrow the boot you can take them with you to a new boot.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by caunyd View Post

Where would I find a good boot fitter? Would it be in a large sports equipment store like Sports Authority or Sports Chalet? Any specific boot brands do you recommend?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

I think a place called Sports Chalet sounds like it might be more likely to have a decent boot fitter than the alternative. This is a generality, however, and reflects my personal bias toward specialty ski shops. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caunyd View Post

Nolo, unless I'm understanding you wrong, you're saying places like Sports Chalet might have a decent boot fitter than the alternative (Specialty ski shops)? That doesn't make sense to me. Also, as this is a beginning investment, how much should I reasonable spend on these boots. I'm not sure what my budget is because I don't know how much boots and their fitting costs. Obviously I'd prefer to pay less, but still get reasonable quality.

 

Also what length skis would be appropriate for me. I'm 5'7 140 lbs. Nolo thanks for the specific recommendation on K2 skis. Any other recommendations on a specific model/brand? edit: I just went on the Beginner Zone, so it should be between my chin and nose.

 

Thanks again guys. This is very helpful to a rookie like me.

I think the "alternative" nolo referred to is Sports Authority . . . also known as a "big box store."  In general, you won't find a boot fitter of any level at Sports Authority.

 

Ski shops often have boots from previous model years.  If you are lucky, can get into a good boot with the help of a boot fitter that is substantially less than a current model year boot.

 

Using Google to search Epicski by using something like "southern california boot fitter: epicski" is one way to find relevant info.  Here's a recent thread that includes recommendations for a boot fitter that should be near you.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/116380/returning-after-a-20-year-break

post #14 of 25

Hi again. A specialty ski shop, meaning a store that only sells skis, snowboards, and maybe bicycles is much more likely to have experienced boot fitters and seasonal ski rentals than a big chain sporting goods store in a shopping mall, because buying a pair of ski boots (the right boots for you) is not like buying soccer cleats. I can't stress enough to you the importance of the boots over the skis at this stage. Even If your on a budget, or are a student, you can get boots selected for you by an experienced bootfitter and some over the counter performance footbeds for around the same price as you can at the big chain stores

 

 

Plus these big stores do not rent equipment, at least the ones around here don't All boot brands have a variety of performance levels, and design boots to fit certain foot shapes, so the more the fitter knows about your foot the more likely you are to get a good fitting boot. this is not like trying on cleats or dress shoes, after examining your feet and stance, he or she will come back with 4 or 5 boxes of boots. you should try them all on and walk around the store, plan on being at the store for a minimum of 1 hour. Ofcourse if you have discomfort you can go back for adjustments and customization of the fit.  As for ski size they will handle that also, based on their assesment of you. You can look for skis in the mid to high 160cm's, but like I said they will take care of all that. I'm sure someone here can reccomend a good shop in your area, if not ask around at the mountain you ski at. Good luck

post #15 of 25

Sorry to have confused you caunyd, look for a specialty ski shop to find a qualified boot fitter, not a "big box" sporting goods store. What ski area do you generally visit? Oftentimes the shop at the ski area will have a boot fitter, depending on the area, of course. 

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

So I called Claude at SkiNet. So far he's the only boot fitter I have called. He said that just for the custom orthotic, it's $200, plus anywhere between 400-700 for a boot that fits me right. So that's a range of $600-900 for my first boot. Is that what most people do when they start? It seems little expensive for a beginner. What do you guys think?

post #17 of 25

Factory footbeds are usually pretty ordinary.  A decent off-the-shelf footbed should cost about $40-50, and will be 1,000% better.  A custom footbed will be that bit better again, but the amount of improvement you get (over an off-the-shelf product) will depend on your foot and stance.  Custom beds here cost between $150 and $180.  $400-700 sounds about right for new boots.  You *might* be able to do a deal on an older model boot, assuming the store has the right pair available in your size and is willing to give you the deal.

post #18 of 25

That's pretty much the price of admission.  Many people can get by without the custom orthotic.  Lucky folks can find a previous year's model that fits.  I've rarely heard of someone getting a good boot setup for less than $500.

post #19 of 25

Good boots should last 60-100 days of skiing so you are looking at about  $5-6 per day (a beer in the lodge).  The foot-beds will last for 2-3 sets of boots so maybe $1 per day, the tip on your beer.  Drink one instead of two and you paid for comfort AND performance for years.  You'll even leave your boots buckled when you are drinking that beer.

 

PLUS, it is much more expensive to do it like most.  Buy a bargain pair of boots, be miserable for 10-20 ski days, buy another pair of "cheap" boots, be miserable again...rinse and repeat.   Not only will you spend more but you'll get less from your lessons and get less enjoyment from your expensive skis, bindings, lift tickets, gas, airfare, etc.
 

post #20 of 25
Quote:
You'll even leave your boots buckled when you are drinking that beer.

 

Truth!  I went to Claude with a pair of boots that were basically the right size but had hot spots on both inside ankles.  Other people had dealt with this by gluing little pieces of foam to the outside of the liner and attacking them with heat guns.  Claude took a look at the liners and said "the first thing I'm going to do is get rid of all this crap"  Then he built footbeds that addressed the cause of the hot spots, which was over pronation.  The boots fit perfectly and I never even had to unbuckle them at lunch.  Ultimately the liners began to pack out and I went from skiing them on the first or second loosest slot on the buckle to the tightest.  The guys at Footloose in Mammoth fixed that with zipfits, and I am back to happily forgetting to unbuckle them at the end of the day.

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by caunyd View Post

So I called Claude at SkiNet. So far he's the only boot fitter I have called. He said that just for the custom orthotic, it's $200, plus anywhere between 400-700 for a boot that fits me right. So that's a range of $600-900 for my first boot. Is that what most people do when they start? It seems little expensive for a beginner. What do you guys think?


That's not what most people do, but that is what they should do.  I started with leather lace up boots from the Salvation Army for $5.  I progressed to second hand ankle high leather boots with buckles and plastic on the sides, outgrew those and went to sloppy rentals.  When I finally bit the bullet and shelled out real $$$ for decent boots with custom footbeds and custom foam liners, I realized what I had been missing all those years. 

 

The boots and footbeds will last a long long time.  The liners are fairly cheap if amortized over their lifetime, especially compared to what you pay for lift tickets.

 

The price given seems realistic, and worth it.

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

Factory footbeds are usually pretty ordinary.  A decent off-the-shelf footbed should cost about $40-50, and will be 1,000% better.  A custom footbed will be that bit better again, but the amount of improvement you get (over an off-the-shelf product) will depend on your foot and stance.  Custom beds here cost between $150 and $180.  $400-700 sounds about right for new boots.  You *might* be able to do a deal on an older model boot, assuming the store has the right pair available in your size and is willing to give you the deal.

I didn't get custom footbeds until recently . . . after it was clear I'd become an advanced skier and was going to keep skiing 20+ days per season.  Even when I was skiing on rental skis when I was skiing less than 10 days a season, I've always had my own boots.  Not very good ones, but better than rental boots.

 

My first experience with a boot fitter was to replace an old pair of rear-entry boots from the 1990's with a 4-buckle boot geared for beginner/intermediate (softer flex) during early season sales in 2008.  I was an intermediate spending a fair amount of time skiing with my young daughter at little hills in the southeast at that point.  That pair of boots "new old stock" meaning new but from a year or two before.  The boot fitter knew how often I was likely to ski, what region, and what type of terrain, so took that into account as he pulled out boots for me to try.  When we found a good candidate, I stood around in them for 20-30 min before making a decision to buy.  Added an off-the-shelf footbed without hesitation.  In my case, I got out the door for about $300.  Needed a little tweaking for one hot spot afterwards, which was the advantage of going to a boot fitter near a mountain that I was going to every so often.

 

By the next time, I'd discovered there was a good boot fitter relatively close to my house.  A little unexpected in central NC.  Once again, got new old stock.  Went shopping during late season.  Out the door for something like $600.  Added a customer liner, Intuitions, at Alta the next winter.

post #23 of 25

Going back to your original question . . . as long as your feet don't hurt in rental boots and you get ones that aren't too big, it's reasonable to rent for a little while longer.  But if you want to continue skiing more and improve, investing in boots is the first step.  After that, personally I think a few lessons is worth more in the long run than buying skis.  That would help you get good enough to make a personal demo day worthwhile.  That means paying $40-50 to try out several skis to see what seems more fun.

 

My first pair of shaped skis were former rental skis from eBay.  Better than renting basic skis and gave me time to learn enough to know what to buy later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caunyd View Post

Hi guys. I am a beginning skier. I've been skiing 5 times now. I want to rent equipment for a season. What size, binding, etc should I be looking for. I don't have a specific type of skiing in mind. I just want to have fun. I'd like to get a set of skis/bindings that are for beginners, but could still be useful to me as I improve.

 

Where in the world are you skiing? 

Southern California, specifically Mt. Baldy

 

What kinds of terrain do you prefer (groomed runs, moguls, race course, park'n'pipe, trees, steeps, backcountry/sidecountry)

Not sure, but probably groomed runs

 

How many days a year do you ski?

10-15

 

How advanced are you as a skier?

Beginner

 

What's your height and weight?

5'7 140 lbs

 

 

So what should I be looking for in searching for equipment? Can you guys recommend specific ski brands or types? Thanks a lot.

post #24 of 25

I registered just for this thread and may be a little late, but the OP sounds sort of like I did.  I started at Baldy at the age of 36 and am 38 now.  If anyone skis Baldy they know it was closed last year so really I've only got a year and a half or so of experience.

 

Anyhow, after renting what seemed like every ill fitting boot conceived I finally went out and bought a pair at REI.  In my opinion it was the key to advancing and keeping me focused on skiing versus battling the equipment and wondering why I was having a hard time turning with random fitting boots.  I also got a free pair of 165cm ski's that were in good condition and had them set up.  The boots were $200 new and work far better for me than the extremely stiff rentals I've used in the past.  The fitter kept trying to get me into a stiffer and more expensive boot but these felt the best.

 

I'm 6'2" and 215 or so and realize what I am using is probably not for everybody, but as soon as I was using my own equipment my skiing and enjoyment markedly improved to where I'm pretty comfortable on the only intermediate open at Baldy right now and skiing all the open intermediate at Snow Valley.  Also, getting lessons and trying another resort besides Baldy was a big help early on as Baldy isn't much of a beginner mountain in my opinion, but a season pass is dirt cheap.

 

Not sure if this is exactly answering the question, but thanks for reading.

 

~S

post #25 of 25

soporific: Welcome to EpicSki!  Have you checked out the Beginner Zone yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soporific View Post

I registered just for this thread and may be a little late, but the OP sounds sort of like I did.  I started at Baldy at the age of 36 and am 38 now.  If anyone skis Baldy they know it was closed last year so really I've only got a year and a half or so of experience.

 

Anyhow, after renting what seemed like every ill fitting boot conceived I finally went out and bought a pair at REI.  In my opinion it was the key to advancing and keeping me focused on skiing versus battling the equipment and wondering why I was having a hard time turning with random fitting boots.  I also got a free pair of 165cm ski's that were in good condition and had them set up.  The boots were $200 new and work far better for me than the extremely stiff rentals I've used in the past.  The fitter kept trying to get me into a stiffer and more expensive boot but these felt the best.

 

I'm 6'2" and 215 or so and realize what I am using is probably not for everybody, but as soon as I was using my own equipment my skiing and enjoyment markedly improved to where I'm pretty comfortable on the only intermediate open at Baldy right now and skiing all the open intermediate at Snow Valley.  Also, getting lessons and trying another resort besides Baldy was a big help early on as Baldy isn't much of a beginner mountain in my opinion, but a season pass is dirt cheap.

 

Not sure if this is exactly answering the question, but thanks for reading.

 

~S

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