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Big Boy Gear 260+

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello all, long time reader 1st time poster.


I've been skiing on and off for about 10 years now and have put off buying my own gear simply because I can't justify buying gear while I'm still growing and I get a student discount to rent (about $30 with a student ID). Now I've reached a time in my life where I'm done growing and my student discount will end this Spring (hopefully lol) and I am really considering buying my own gear for the 1st time.


I apologize for posting another "1st time buyer" thread but I have read a ton of forums and watched plenty of videos about gear for "big skiers" only to read that they only weigh 200-220. Now I'm truly a BIG skier. I'm 6'2" 280lbs but I can ski all day at about an Intermediate level. I read all these topics and people post all these numbers and ski models just to get more confused and 2nd guess my picks. From what I've read there are some REALLY knowledgeable people on here which is why I decided to bring my quest here. Not saying the local shops don't know what they're talking about but I feel like they just try to sell me whatever they have in stock.


I'm looking for an All Mountain set up that I can feel confident on. I find more fun cruising and skiing tight trees and powdery conditions. Not a big speed guy because 280 screaming down the mountain gets a little wild sometimes. All my searches have lead me to the Mantras and Bonafides. Personally I feel drawn more to the Bonafides but I've never skied anything but rentals and I'm just going simply by what the Internet tells me. I'm looking for anything setup of Ski/boot/bindings in the Medium-High price range because I want something that will stand the abuse of truly BIG skier. I ski mostly on the east coast but once I buy my own gear I plan to head west in the near future.

If anyone has any experience of knowledge that can help me out it would greatly appreciated. 




post #2 of 5

I feel your pain (6'6", ~270).  All these stupid lightweight reviewers!  biggrin.gif


Step 1: get fitted for high-quality boots.  There's really no point in even demoing things until you have your own boots that fit you well.  If you have to cut corners, do it elsewhere -- it's easy to get cheap skis that are slightly used.  You can't ski well in poorly-fit boots.


On skis:


I generally find that I prefer skis that have metal laminates (like the Bonafide).  I don't have a problem bending them at sane speeds, and at high speeds I can overpower softer skis.


I haven't liked any of the Volkls I have tried, but I have not skied the Mantra and a lot of people swear by them.


The Bonafides are a very solid ski with outstanding reviews.  However, they're definitely a bit wide/off-piste oriented for most Eastern skiing.  I'm not sure I would want to be on them on an icy groomer.  But they're great for any kind of off-piste skiing, or in soft Western snow.  And no problem holding up to a big skier.


The best thing to do -- if you have the time, interest, and budget -- is to get boots and then demo a bunch of skis that you're interested in (ideally back-to-back in the same conditions; shops at or near a ski area will usually let you swap midday for free).  Then you'll have a much better idea of what you like and what works best for you.


You can also try to find a well-reviewed ski that you can get at a good price and seems appropriate for the kind of skiing you do and just buy it.  There aren't that many terrible skis out there these days, so you'll probably end up with something decent and get used to it.  You can always try to attend free manufacturer demo days and try new skis that way, or demo other skis later.




If you want something more Eastern/on-piste oriented, you might also try:


Blizzard Magnum 8.X (currently 8.0 and 8.5, used to also be an 8.7)

Head Supershape Titan (or the SS Magnum, for a really on-piste version)

Kastle MX88 (or MX83 for more on-piste focus)


The narrower versions of any of those (or any similar ski) will also work great, but become increasingly specialized for hard snow.  I love my Fischer Progressors, but they're not the most fun off piste.

Edited by Matthias99 - 1/29/13 at 1:11pm
post #3 of 5

Yep get boots first, make sure you find a good boot fitter, not just any ski shop tech.


The Mantra's might be a good first demo too.


Oh yea, take a lesson on the wider skis if you've only skied rentals.



Big difference.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses,

I definitely will be purchasing boots before buying any skis I just wanted some big guys opinions on gear since there's so many options. Unfortunately I will probably not have a chance to demo any skis at a "demo day" due to work and school but I'm going to look into some local shops and see if they rent the skis I'm looking at. 


Currently saving up for next season so I have plenty of time to sleep on it. But since I won't be buying till next season when is the best time for deals on gear?

post #5 of 5
But since I won't be buying till next season when is the best time for deals on gear?


Shops will try to clear out overstock or used demo gear towards the end of the season (March-April).  That's your best bet on new or new-ish stuff.


A lot of local ski swaps or sales happen in the fall (October-November), just before the start of the new season.  Sometimes shops will also have closeouts on anything they couldn't get rid of in the spring around this time, but that's less common.


Individual sellers (ebay, craigslist, etc.) sell stuff all the time, but I would think mostly over the summer or in the fall.

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