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Buy ski gear (boots / skis) in Los Angeles or Mammoth? boot fitter recommendations?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm an intermediate skier who is comfortable on most black diamonds - never skied powder, beginner on moguls... but I can survive (painfully slowly or uncontrollably) most double black diamonds (I grew up in Michigan, hence the ski background above).  I would love to learn to ski powder, glades, and get in to back-country stuff.

 

I'm looking for a better pair of ski boots (and maybe some all-mountain skis if the price is right) and my wife is looking for both ski boots, bindings, and skis for a beginner/brand new to sport (as she has been renting skis or snowboard sets) every time we go skiing.

 

I finally got her hooked on the sport and she actually suggested buying so she doesn't have to keep renting.

 

Should we find a good ski shop in LA (los angeles) or go to mammoth?

 

When is the best time to buy?

And will waiting for that best time off-set the price of renting her gear each time we go this season?

 

We are thinking of skiing next in 2 weeks.

 

I have terrible flat feet and wear a custom orthotics in my work dress- and tennis-shoes - made a world of a difference.  However, the orthotics don't work in any ski boots.  Should I buy custom boots? I hear its all about finding a good boot fitter...

 

Lastly, should I switch my bindings off my atomics (which are likely 10+ years old) to a new set of skis? or just buy a new set of bindings if I buy new skis.  The only benefit I can think of keeping the bindings on the skis is faster switch to "rock skis" when you upgrade your gear... but how hard is it to swap bindings myself?

 

I will try to post a picture of my skis and current bindings when I get a chance.

post #2 of 8

Welcome to EpicSki!  Good for you for introducing your wife to the fun of sliding on snow.  You've provided good info hopefully you'll get some advice from others soon.

 

If you haven't already, take a look at the EpicSki articles about buying gear.   Click on Articles on the menu bar (top of webpage).  When was the last time you bought boots or skis for yourself?

 

This article applies to both of you:

http://www.epicski.com/a/five-key-questions-when-buying-new-skis

 

It sounds to me like your wife is going to improve rapidly and is more than a pure beginner.  How often has she been?  Probably makes more sense to find a boot fitter and get some boots before your next ski outing.  Then demo a few skis for a day or two from a shop on or near the mountain so that she can swap them out to try more than one.  If she wants to buy new, most shops give credit for the demo cost towards new skis.  These days, skis are rated Beginner-Intermediate-Advanced-Expert but there is no hard line between the categories.  Many women who are "beginners" but intend to ski regularly are better off buying an "intermediate" ski that will last a few seasons.

 

That said, another approach for skis is to get something basic just to avoid renting for the rest of the season.  When I first got back into skiing, I was going to be skiing with my young daughter 5-10 days a season in the southeast (tiny mountains).  Already had old boots.  I bought former rental skis from company on eBay figuring that if I used them 3-4 times that was better than renting.  My daughter was on a season lease.  That gave me time to learn more before buying new skis for myself.

 

Seems like you are closer to Advanced, not Intermediate.  How old were you when you learned to ski?  Who taught you to ski?  Who taught your wife?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by medicine View Post

I'm an intermediate skier who is comfortable on most black diamonds - never skied powder, beginner on moguls... but I can survive (painfully slowly or uncontrollably) most double black diamonds (I grew up in Michigan, hence the ski background above).  I would love to learn to ski powder, glades, and get in to back-country stuff.

 

I'm looking for a better pair of ski boots (and maybe some all-mountain skis if the price is right) and my wife is looking for both ski boots, bindings, and skis for a beginner/brand new to sport (as she has been renting skis or snowboard sets) every time we go skiing.

 

I finally got her hooked on the sport and she actually suggested buying so she doesn't have to keep renting.

 

Should we find a good ski shop in LA (los angeles) or go to mammoth?

 

When is the best time to buy?

And will waiting for that best time off-set the price of renting her gear each time we go this season?

 

We are thinking of skiing next in 2 weeks.

 

I have terrible flat feet and wear a custom orthotics in my work dress- and tennis-shoes - made a world of a difference.  However, the orthotics don't work in any ski boots.  Should I buy custom boots? I hear its all about finding a good boot fitter...

 

Lastly, should I switch my bindings off my atomics (which are likely 10+ years old) to a new set of skis? or just buy a new set of bindings if I buy new skis.  The only benefit I can think of keeping the bindings on the skis is faster switch to "rock skis" when you upgrade your gear... but how hard is it to swap bindings myself?

 

I will try to post a picture of my skis and current bindings when I get a chance.

post #3 of 8
Go to Mammoth and go to Footloose. These guys REALLY know what they're doing around boots and custom fittings. I suffered for years with boot pain even though i had custom liners, multiple boots, multiple fittings, etc and these guys came with the right solution: recommended ZipFit liners and did a couple tweaks on my boots and for the first time in 10 years I am pain free!
post #4 of 8

I second what Swisstrader said. Hit Footloose at Mammoth. They allow you to demo BOOTS (not cheap rentals.) A bonus to getting boots at the mountain is you can ski them for the day, then take them in to have tweaks done. This is invaluable. If you can, go before the afternoon rush hits (starts around 2) so you will get faster service while it's quieter.

 

One thing to keep in mind in waiting for discounts is that sizes often sell out. I have found their prices to be competitive at Footloose, though. I wouldn't wait, especially on the boots. If you know you are ready to buy, do it so there's time left this season to tweak the boots and get them perfect.

 

We are heading to Mammoth ourselves this weekend. It's an amazing mountain and we love it there! So enjoy!!

post #5 of 8

I had good luck with Claude at SkiNet Sports in LA.

 

http://www.skinetsports.com/

post #6 of 8

Welcome to EpicSki.  If, and it sounds it like you are going to be skiing at Mammoth, get boots there because if the fit needs to be tweaked you can get it done and get back on the runs.  I don't think you need a "custom" boot, you just need to get boots from a knowledgeable boot fitter and it sounds like Footloose is a good option.

post #7 of 8

Footloose specializes in boot fitting and has a very knowledgeable staff . Plus its possible to demo a boot. They also will access your alignment needs and they are the kings of the Super Feet Corks footbeds. The shop owner Corty Lawerence is considerd one of the best boot fitters in the country.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

Footloose specializes in boot fitting and has a very knowledgeable staff . Plus its possible to demo a boot. They also will access your alignment needs and they are the kings of the Super Feet Corks footbeds. The shop owner Corty Lawerence is considerd one of the best boot fitters in the country.

 

Tom there did my Superfeet Korks in December. What a difference!! I have heard that a kork which is molded by an inexperienced person can make for a bad experience, so having an experienced person do it is a must. Corty put me in Zipfits last year and it also has made a huge difference. Kevin there has also helped me a TON--he is a pedorthist if I recall correctly.

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