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Ski length for a beginner - how critical?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi folks...

 

I recently got my daughter, age 17, interested in skiing (I haven't gone myself for several years....).

 

I've done rentals at the mountain a couple times to make sure there was interest. Rather than dump more money into daily rentals, I'm considering a season rental OR trying to find a used set.

 

She's 5' 7", and her rentals have been 155 cm. Doing some reading online, that length seems to be what's recommended for a beginner at her height. I found several possible options for used equipment locally via Craigslist, anywhere from 6-10 years old, but the skis are 168 - 170 cm. My question is this: will the extra 15 cm really matter all that much?

 

She was very comfortable with the length she was using, has been going down beginner trails, still turning with a slight wedge formation. I don't want to frustrate her if the longer skis would do that. (And I don't want to put a ton of cash down now for new equipment...)

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 22

Do not buy a ski that is too long.  You want to keep her enthused, not make it hard for her.  Do a season rental to make sure she is going to stick with skiing.

 

Good luck.  My teenage daughter is in ski patrol training right now and is loving it.  Our whole family skis on used skiis, spend the money on boots that fit.

 

Oh yea, give her a couple of lessons and get rid of the wedge now. the longer you wait the harder it is to break the habit.
 

post #3 of 22
It's doable but definitely not good, my skis are that size and I'm over 6'.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrezmer View Post

Do not buy a ski that is too long.  You want to keep her enthused, not make it hard for her.  Do a season rental to make sure she is going to stick with skiing.

 

Good luck.  My teenage daughter is in ski patrol training right now and is loving it.  Our whole family skis on used skiis, spend the money on boots that fit.

 

Oh yea, give her a couple of lessons and get rid of the wedge now. the longer you wait the harder it is to break the habit.
 

Thanks, I appreciate the input and it makes sense. I need to shake the feeling that I'm wasting money renting, but I know that's not really true.

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrezmer View Post

Do not buy a ski that is too long.  You want to keep her enthused, not make it hard for her.  Do a season rental to make sure she is going to stick with skiing.

 

Good luck.  My teenage daughter is in ski patrol training right now and is loving it.  Our whole family skis on used skiis, spend the money on boots that fit.

 

Oh yea, give her a couple of lessons and get rid of the wedge now. the longer you wait the harder it is to break the habit.
 

This is very good advice.  Especially the part about investing is boots that fit before worrying about skis.  I'd say skis that are more than 3 years old are not worth it.  Once you learn a bit more, should be able to get a good deal on appropriate skis that are from the last couple seasons.  A bit different for a teen than a younger kid.  At 17, she's not going to get much taller.

 

pmac:  Are you skiing with her?  Where is she skiing?  Who taught her to ski?

 

You might try renting off mountain.  Sometimes the equipment is in a little better shape.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

This is very good advice.  Especially the part about investing is boots that fit before worrying about skis.  I'd say skis that are more than 3 years old are not worth it.  Once you learn a bit more, should be able to get a good deal on appropriate skis that are from the last couple seasons.  A bit different for a teen than a younger kid.  At 17, she's not going to get much taller.

 

pmac:  Are you skiing with her?  Where is she skiing?  Who taught her to ski?

 

You might try renting off mountain.  Sometimes the equipment is in a little better shape.

Yeah, I'm skiing with her and siblings. We're in eastern PA, night skiing at Bear Creek. Also had them up at West and Titus in upstate NY. One of these days I'd like to take them to Gore, which I haven't been at in about 10 years.

 

She's learning from her mom... a Swiss citizen who grew up skiing over there quite a bit and is very good; taught me 30 years ago (although I'm very mediocre myself).

post #7 of 22

Sounds like it may be time to find a boot fitter and see if you get lucky.  A local shop might have a boot from a past year that fit.  Or be willing to make a deal on a current model given the way this winter is going.  The best way to search Epicski is to use Google with something like "philadelphia boot fitter : epicski".

 

That's neat that a 17yo can learn to ski from her mother.  When I started my daughter she was four.  I knew that ski school was the only way to go.  I'm good enough to help her practice but not to teach her new skills.  Still that way now that she is a tween.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmac100 View Post

Yeah, I'm skiing with her and siblings. We're in eastern PA, night skiing at Bear Creek. Also had them up at West and Titus in upstate NY. One of these days I'd like to take them to Gore, which I haven't been at in about 10 years.

 

She's learning from her mom... a Swiss citizen who grew up skiing over there quite a bit and is very good; taught me 30 years ago (although I'm very mediocre myself).

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Sounds like it may be time to find a boot fitter and see if you get lucky.  A local shop might have a boot from a past year that fit.  Or be willing to make a deal on a current model given the way this winter is going.  The best way to search Epicski is to use Google with something like "philadelphia boot fitter : epicski".

 

That's neat that a 17yo can learn to ski from her mother.  When I started my daughter she was four.  I knew that ski school was the only way to go.  I'm good enough to help her practice but not to teach her new skills.  Still that way now that she is a tween.

Well, we did a seasonal rental tonight from a local family-run shop, so we'll see how her interest maintains over the season and go on from there.

 

I wish we started earlier with the kids like you did... but we have four, skiing is expensive, and I was much more frugal back then vs now!

post #9 of 22

Sounds like a good plan.  I wouldn't worry about starting later.  Skiing is definitely an expensive family hobby.  I'm a retired older mom with one daughter.  My husband is a non-skier.  So when it comes to ski weekends and ski trips, my daughter is definitely spoiled because then I get to ski more.

 

You may get some ideas from this thread about how to make family skiing work.

http://www.epicski.com/t/92869/money-time-saving-tips-for-parents-with-small-children-who-ski

 

Keep an eye out for late season sales.  Sometimes they start in Feb, right after Pres. Day.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmac100 View Post

Well, we did a seasonal rental tonight from a local family-run shop, so we'll see how her interest maintains over the season and go on from there.

 

I wish we started earlier with the kids like you did... but we have four, skiing is expensive, and I was much more frugal back then vs now!

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Sounds like a good plan.  I wouldn't worry about starting later.  Skiing is definitely an expensive family hobby.  I'm a retired older mom with one daughter.  My husband is a non-skier.  So when it comes to ski weekends and ski trips, my daughter is definitely spoiled because then I get to ski more.

 

You may get some ideas from this thread about how to make family skiing work.

http://www.epicski.com/t/92869/money-time-saving-tips-for-parents-with-small-children-who-ski

 

Keep an eye out for late season sales.  Sometimes they start in Feb, right after Pres. Day.

 

Thanks for the tips!

post #11 of 22

I'll echo what others have said in in different threads consider good fitting intermediate level boots first.

 

Then consider a good quality beginner/intermediate ski (I'd lean towards intermediate, as it will give her a longer usable life and room to grow).  Forgiving enough to not hinder, advance enough not to hinder future progression (BTW same applies for the boots).

 

Just to put things in prospective on length, I'm 6'0" 170lbs and in the Expert Range, my SL ski is 165 and my GS ski is 176 (186 would be ideal).  So length is not as important as it used to be, the ability range and application it is designed for is more important (and that to some extent will drive the length).

 

A good ski shop can help you in this regard to get an idea what to look for.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input, oldschoolskier! If the maintains the interest this season, I'll definitely be looking towards intermediate gear for the reasons you mention.

post #13 of 22

For a rank beginner, I'd say get skis that come up to the chin.  It's important, yes, as is dulling the ski edges, and getting boots which fit properly (though to a beginner feel uncomfortably-tight).

post #14 of 22

Pmac:

It sounds like you are in the same area as me, did you rent at Buckmans?

 

One thing to keep in mind is with 4 kids, whatever you buy can be handed down to the younger siblings, so buying equipment may actually be cheaper in the long run, you just have to maintain it (i.e. do not let the skis sit wet, as the edges will rust.  I have seen skis totally ruined when that rust works it's way under the bottom surface).  Word of advice (which I am sure others will echo) is don't scrimp on getting boots that fit and are level-appropriate.  Your boots are the link between you and your skis, so they are probably the most important peice of equipment..

Also, keep your eye on ski shop advertisements in the fall.  Some (like Buckman's) have swaps in conjunction with early season sales.  Many times you can get decent used equipment or even 1 to 2 year old leftovers from the shop at a good price. And they can advise you on the used stuff (some older bindings will not be able to be worked on because the manufacturer has deemed them obsolete, and will not cover the shops in the event of a liability issue)

post #15 of 22

I have always been able to purchase  new boots  that fit and  are  one or two seasons old at a huge discount from the local ski shops.  They all seem to have leftovers and are happy to clean them out of the backroom.  Be sure they can actually do boot fitting, That's the critical part.

 

The time my daughter and I spend together on ski days is priceless.

 

Good luck!
 

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post

Pmac:

It sounds like you are in the same area as me, did you rent at Buckmans?

 

One thing to keep in mind is with 4 kids, whatever you buy can be handed down to the younger siblings, so buying equipment may actually be cheaper in the long run, you just have to maintain it (i.e. do not let the skis sit wet, as the edges will rust.  I have seen skis totally ruined when that rust works it's way under the bottom surface).  Word of advice (which I am sure others will echo) is don't scrimp on getting boots that fit and are level-appropriate.  Your boots are the link between you and your skis, so they are probably the most important peice of equipment..

Also, keep your eye on ski shop advertisements in the fall.  Some (like Buckman's) have swaps in conjunction with early season sales.  Many times you can get decent used equipment or even 1 to 2 year old leftovers from the shop at a good price. And they can advise you on the used stuff (some older bindings will not be able to be worked on because the manufacturer has deemed them obsolete, and will not cover the shops in the event of a liability issue)

Hi NJskier....

 

No, not Buckman's, but Sports Chalet; smaller family run outfit just off Rt 309 here in Allentown. They've been around forever, very helpful people. The season rental they provided for my daughter was a new set of Atomic Piste Rocker and boots for about $130. If we want to buy the skis at the end of the season, it would be a bit more than that, which sounds reasonable. We've been out a couple times since then at Bear Creek (small local place, formerly Doe Mountain), my daughter is really enjoying them, and my son the snowboard he rented. They've gotten comfortable enough that they're anxious to try a bigger place.... looking to maybe go to Gore for a day, an old favorite of mine back when I skied a lot more.

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrezmer View Post

I have always been able to purchase  new boots  that fit and  are  one or two seasons old at a huge discount from the local ski shops.  They all seem to have leftovers and are happy to clean them out of the backroom.  Be sure they can actually do boot fitting, That's the critical part.

 

The time my daughter and I spend together on ski days is priceless.

 

Good luck!
 

The common thread here is boots are most important. Having briefly used a pair of ill-fitting used boots, I totally understand!

post #18 of 22

You are on the correct path, boots must fit.
 

post #19 of 22

Pmac:

I'm fairly new to the area (transplant rom NJ) and I had not heard about this place, I'll have to check it out.

 

You should take your kids up to Elk Mtn (NE of Scranton) for a day.  They'll love it.  The mountain has the most consistant pitch top to bottom of any Pocono areas (most are either flat on top or bottom).  Great skiing and still an easy day trip from where you are. And usually a bit less crowded than most Pocono areas.  Just wait a week until they get some snowmaking to recover from this week's warm, rainy weather.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post

Pmac:

I'm fairly new to the area (transplant rom NJ) and I had not heard about this place, I'll have to check it out.

 

You should take your kids up to Elk Mtn (NE of Scranton) for a day.  They'll love it.  The mountain has the most consistant pitch top to bottom of any Pocono areas (most are either flat on top or bottom).  Great skiing and still an easy day trip from where you are. And usually a bit less crowded than most Pocono areas.  Just wait a week until they get some snowmaking to recover from this week's warm, rainy weather.

Thanks... I've had that one on my list too, I appreciate the feedback.

 

This is the local shop I was referring to:

 

http://www.sportschaletpa.com/

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrezmer View Post

Do not buy a ski that is too long.  You want to keep her enthused, not make it hard for her.  Do a season rental to make sure she is going to stick with skiing.

 

Good luck.  My teenage daughter is in ski patrol training right now and is loving it.  Our whole family skis on used skiis, spend the money on boots that fit.

 

Oh yea, give her a couple of lessons and get rid of the wedge now. the longer you wait the harder it is to break the habit.
 

ditto....

post #22 of 22

bump now that snow making has begun in Colorado.

 

Note: Remember this thread is the Beginner Zone before you reply.

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