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Newbie ski gear

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hello,

   I am a newbie who has done about 9-10 days of skiing and I can do the blues and want to try the blacks? Can someone suggest a decent ski package for beginners which includes skis, poles and helmet? Budget is around $1000 but looking for value for money

post #2 of 21

I'm a beginner myself, but I'll jump in and give you the same advice everyone has given me (and will likely be giving you here).

 

Buy boots, and either rent the other stuff or use the leftovers on that.  Boots are by far the most important piece of equipment you will have.  Bad fitting boots on great skis will be a much worse experience than the alternative.  Those great skis won't do what you want them to do if you don't have the right boots.

post #3 of 21

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where did you ski?

 

Since you are just getting started on the fun of shopping, check out the EpicSki articles about buying equipment.  Click on Articles on the menu at the top.

 

As for a helmet, buy that separately sooner rather than later.  You'll need to try on helmets to find the best fit.  There are lots of different shapes.  Also good to try a helmet at the same time as goggles.  Some helmet and goggles combinations work a lot better than others.  Late season sales have already started, which is a good time to find a helmet as shops mark them down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by salilsurendran View Post

Hello,

   I am a newbie who has done about 9-10 days of skiing and I can do the blues and want to try the blacks? Can someone suggest a decent ski package for beginners which includes skis, poles and helmet? Budget is around $1000 but looking for value for money

post #4 of 21

It's got to be boots first. Skies change year on year as will your ability.  Buy a good pair of boots first, make sure you buy custom foot beds to go in them and get checked out for an "A" frame because though "cuff canting" can help a little, but  wedges are by far the best.  OK all this costs but it is worth it in the long run.  Your boots need to fit and support you properly. When you rent skies you can try demos, or change out if you want to try something else.  Make sure that you have a good ski tech giving you advice and a retailer that offers a range of at least 3 to 4 makes of boot.  Your height, weight, age and ability all make a difference to the type of boot that you get.  Allow plenty of time to buy your boots, try them on, walk around the shop, even ask to try the boots in a pair of skies, finally make sure that the shop will make further adjustments to your boots if you find that the fit is not just right even after you have skies in them for a week.  I spent 3 hours buying my latest pair of boots, used them for a week and then got the shop to tweak them (for free of course) to adjust the fits after the liner had bedded down. Having taught skiing for 30 years this is what I always advise my clients.
 

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
These are the candidates that I am thinking of buying with the one on top the most likely. Please advise:
 
Boots
Rossignol exalt 80 
Atomic Hawx 90 
Salomon Quest X 100
 
Skis
Rossignol Experience 83
Volkl RTM 75iS Skis -
Volkl Kendo 163cm 
K2 Amp 
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by salilsurendran View Post

These are the candidates that I am thinking of buying with the one on top the most likely. Please advise:
 
Boots
Rossignol exalt 80 
Atomic Hawx 90 
Salomon Quest X 100
 
Skis
Rossignol Experience 83
Volkl RTM 75iS Skis -
Volkl Kendo 163cm 
K2 Amp 

my advice on boots is that you forget everything you have just said above because you will not know what boot suits you by looking at them online. some makes are better for narrow feet other for wider ect. this is where a GOOD boot fitter comes in. 

 

Find a good boot fitter and let them chose the best boot for you, this is the most important thing because a good boot fitter will measure your feet ask you some questions and help you find the right boot and get it fitted correctly. this can be a time consuming process but it is well worth it. 

 

as for skis what i would suggest is that once you have your boots and are used to them get to a demo day go with an open mind and just try lots of skis!

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wardy89 View Post

my advice on boots is that you forget everything you have just said above because you will not know what boot suits you by looking at them online. some makes are better for narrow feet other for wider ect. this is where a GOOD boot fitter comes in. 

 

Find a good boot fitter and let them chose the best boot for you, this is the most important thing because a good boot fitter will measure your feet ask you some questions and help you find the right boot and get it fitted correctly. this can be a time consuming process but it is well worth it. 

 

as for skis what i would suggest is that once you have your boots and are used to them get to a demo day go with an open mind and just try lots of skis!

These are the boots that I tried at my local retailer. Can I try multiple skis on a demo day? I went to Kirkwood and their rental center didn't have demo skis.

post #8 of 21

all i can say for the boots is that in my opinion you just have to find a good boot fitter that you trust and let them guide you with the decision. 

 

for demoing skis most good specialist ski shops will have a demo quiver of some sort, they usually charge you to use them and then deduct the price of renting them from a new set of skis should you buy a set through them. 

 

the other way is to find a resort that is holding a ski demo day where the ski manufacturers turn on mass with there skis set up stools and let people try them.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by salilsurendran View Post

These are the boots that I tried at my local retailer. Can I try multiple skis on a demo day? I went to Kirkwood and their rental center didn't have demo skis.

Not true.  Did you ask?  Sometimes the demo center is a different area then the regular rental area, as it is at kwood.

http://winter.kirkwood.com/site/lessons-rentals/kms-demo-center

 

Pretty much every demo center will let you try out multiple skis in a day, but there are some warnings.

 

It is your time and clock ticking to get back to the shop and then switch things out. Especially if they get busy, this can take significant time for them to set you up with the next skis.  And they are not going to hold every type of ski just for you.  So if other people end up renting all the other skis out, then you may not have any choice.

 

This actually holds true for regular skis too. If for some reason the skis you have on are really not working well for you, every place I know will welcome you back to get you on something else.  They want you to have a good time.

 

I would say though, if you are truly a newbie, I would suggest doing your demos at another resort other than kirkwood.  The terrain is awesome, however the majority of it is not targeted towards beginners and the grooming is not as finely manicured as the other resorts(take that however you would like), so you may have a rougher time learning regardless of the skis you choose.  Additionally the lifts are not as fast so you will not get as many runs in.   If this is how you wish to learn though, more power to you.   Plenty of junior shredders and rippers learn at kirkwood and seem to just do fine, and end up better than me by the time they are 15.


Edited by raytseng - 3/2/13 at 1:42am
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wardy89 View Post

all i can say for the boots is that in my opinion you just have to find a good boot fitter that you trust and let them guide you with the decision. 

 

for demoing skis most good specialist ski shops will have a demo quiver of some sort, they usually charge you to use them and then deduct the price of renting them from a new set of skis should you buy a set through them. 

 

the other way is to find a resort that is holding a ski demo day where the ski manufacturers turn on mass with there skis set up stools and let people try them.

So I guess what you are suggesting is that I don't buy boots online since if I buy from a local retailer then they will have the boot custom fitted for me?

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by salilsurendran View Post

So I guess what you are suggesting is that I don't buy boots online since if I buy from a local retailer then they will have the boot custom fitted for me?

That's for sure.  Buying boots online is a mistake, except in rare exceptions where you are pretty experienced, know precisely what you need (model, make), and are sure that the boots are going to be perfect right out of the box.  Not likely for someone buying his first pair of boots.  Not likely for many - I'd never buy boots online.

 

 

Quote:

These are the boots that I tried at my local retailer. Can I try multiple skis on a demo day? I went to Kirkwood and their rental center didn't have demo skis.

Why wouldn't you support that local retailer?  You realize that your local ski shop is in business to sell things to you and provide value added services like bootfiting, adjustments, mounting bindings properly, and giving professional advice (that is typically more spot-on than what you receive from strangers on an Internet forum).  They are not there to be the internet's showroom so you can save $30 buying boots online.

 

But don't buy local only because it is the "right" thing to do after you have wasted their time trying on boots.  Buy local, and be willing to pay a slight premium over the world's lowest online price because of the value-added services.  Especially with boots.  You need someone to properly fit you.  You need someone to check alignment.  You need someone to make quality footbeds (do it, spend the extra $150 even as a beginner).  You need someone to make adjustments (a punch here, a bit of foam there).  Your local specialty shop is your friend - and will probably come close to any price you find online when you consider everything - and to the extent there is a slight premium, it is worth when it comes to boots.

 

Skis, whatever.  Buy online if you want, but then you are paying an extra $50 minimum to get them mounted locally.  So it is unlikely that after shipping and mounting you really found a deal (because the ski industry has pretty strict pricing requirements of its dealers - the internet guys don't get any real pricing benefit, prices basically drop in unison for online and brick and mortar).  Now if you are talking about a ski that your local shop doesn't have and you know that it is going to be right for you (not sure how you'd determine that at this point, however) go for it - but that isn't going to be a deal, you'll be paying a premium for the privilege, unless you've found an odd end from a prior season where there is a screamin' deal (but I'll bet that your local has something comparable that would work equally well - and at this stage you don't need to be picky about ski models).

 

Someone who has only skied 8-10 times needs to find a good specialty shop, either local or at the mountain where you do most of your skiing, lean on their boot fitting expertise (agree with the advice above that it is crazy to talk about models of boots without the context of fit) and take their advice on an appropriate ski to get you through the first 2 seasons (the cold, hard truth is that the ski won't matter much - anything in the appropriate performance band will be fine).

 

But since you've asked, as for your ski choices above, eliminate the Kendo for sure.  Way too stiff for a beginner.  At only 8-10 days, green/blue groomer skier, that ski will make you worse, not better.  Be honest about your ability level and let the shop shop choose the ski.  Save some $ here.  I can almost guarantee that the ski they recommend won't show up in any glowing magazine reviews, nor will it impress or thrill the crowd here on Epic.  That is the point.  You are just a beginner and no one here talks much about the kind of skis you'd benefit from and appreciate.

 

Good luck and have fun.  And find a good local shop where you can spend your $1000 wisely - and get good advice.  Right now there are deals everywhere, so the timing is good on the ski side (possibly less so on the boot side when stock is more limited).

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

So I bought Lange boots from a local retailer and they fit me well. I feel it is a bit too much comfortable since I believe the boots expand once you break into them. With respect to skis I am finding it difficult to demo skis since my local shops usually rent out all the demos before I get a chance to go and pick them up. However, I rented the performance skis from my local shop which were Elan Slingshots http://www.ebay.com/itm/Elan-Slingshot-2013-size-166cm-With-Salomon-Z10-bindings-/321089131658?pt=Skiing&hash=item4ac267548a and liked them a lot. These skis are 166 cm in length and 85 mm waist. I liked them a lot more than the Atomic Ti SKIS (165 cm and 75 mm waist). However, I noticed that when I went into somewhat deep snow with Elan slingshots I immediately sunk. I don't usually ski groomed runs but would also like to go into the trees once in a while. Will the Elan slingshots be a good choice for me as I get better and I start skiing more challenging terrain like moguls etc. Will it not work on powdery terrain at all?

post #13 of 21

Were your boots comfortable the very first time you tried them on?  Did the shop remove the liner from the shell and have you put your foot in just the shell, called a shell fit, to ensure the boots are the right size?

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

I remember the first time the boots were not comfortable. But the shop removed the liners that came with the boots and put in another one.

post #15 of 21

Did they have you put your foot in just the shell?

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Did they have you put your foot in just the shell?

No

post #17 of 21
If you haven't skied these boots yet, but they are comfy, they are too big and you should take them back. Please go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about fitting and terminology. Then take the boots back and make sure they do it right, even if you have to tell them. If this was a place like Dick's or Sports Authority they know nothing about fitting boots.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have skied once and they are comfy. I bought them from sports basement.

post #19 of 21
They're too big. Try taking them back.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by salilsurendran View Post

I remember the first time the boots were not comfortable. But the shop removed the liners that came with the boots and put in another one.

I don't know if your boots are too large or not.  None of us do.  Only you know if you went to a quality fitter - but a quick web search suggests that Sports Basement isn't likely to have an expert boot fitter on hand (it looks like a general purpose sporting goods store, not a specialty ski store).

 

And not doing a shell fit is a bad sign.  Also, swapping a liner on a beginner's boot is a bad sign.  Why would they do that?  Did they replace the stock liner with a custom fit liner like an Intuition (you would know because they would have baked it, and you would have gone through a process to mold it to your foot)?  If so, why?  For a beginner who isn't reporting any fit issues, it would be odd to go to a customer liner right out of the hole.  Without more information, my guess is that you were initially swimming in the boot and they swapped in a new liner to "fill the volume" because the shell was too large.  If so, very bad.  Won't work.

 

Here are the two pieces of advice that you don't really want to hear. . . but you came here so. . .

 

1.  Boots.  Everyone likes to save money.  But boots are not the place to cut corners.  Go to a real specialty ski shop with a qualified boot fitter. Pay full retail if necessary.  Do this in the fall when they have full stock.  Let the fitter decide on the boot, don't worry about boot reviews.  Pay what it costs.  The price will be somewhat shocking - be prepared to spend at least $400-500 all-in.  if you do a little better, great.  But money saved on boots at the margin is money wasted downstream getting it right (as you are seeing now).  Do it right once and you are set for a number of years.  And while you are at it, pay the extra $150 for properly fit foot beds.  You will thank us later.  To the extent that you are into Sports basement a few hundred bucks in credit (unless they give you cash) when you return your current boots - use that money on soft goods for next season (i.e., Under Armour cold gear works great - as well as fancy dedicated alpine brands) and a pair of cross-trainers for your pre-season workout program.  Find a ski shop for your boot fit.

 

2.  Skis.  I suspect that you are really fired up about skiing and and picking out a pair of skis.  The magazines, the web reviews, the endless discussion.  Skis are cool and fun to think about.  I get it.  Guess what?  It doesn't matter.  You are a beginner - and that is OK.  Welcome to the sport.  The good news is that anything correctly sized, in an appropriate performance band will be fine.  This is where you either rent or save some money.  Like I said above, nobody on this site will be all that excited about the skis you pick (assuming you pick something appropriate for a beginner).  You won't read about them next fall in Ski Magazine.  Those are good facts.  If you buy a ski that folks on this board typically like and use (i.e., a Kendo), you did it wrong. 

 

Something like the Elans you rode should be fine for the next couple of seasons (your next 40 ski days).  At that point, you'll want something higher performing.  But not yet.  85 underfoot is plenty for you.  The reason that you felt them "sink" off piste is (a) because you were skiing in soft snow off piste (and that's what happens to some extent, even with fatties) and (b) you've only skied 10 days - you need to learn how to ski in soft snow.  I think that it is a mistake to read reviews of very experienced skiers, using high performance skis in very different terrain than you've ever experienced in your 10 days, and then infer that to the sensations that you are feeling as a newbie wandering a few yards off the groomed track.  The reality is that you are a long way from feeling the subtle performance differences among skis and that the ski is the last thing that matters right now.  At this point, you are feeling the driver, not the ski.  Ski reviews (professional or lay) are totally meaningless at this stage.

 

Get high quality, appropriate, well fit boots.  Rent or get some a deal on some skis this summer. And spend the rest of your $1K on lessons. 

 

Good luck and have fun.

post #21 of 21

Dude, advice from another Adv. Intermediate skiier.

I really think you are jumping on owning a gear a way too early.

 

Stick to Rental a little longer (Even though its very frustating at times). Go to a big mountain or do a week long trip with 5-6 skiing days. Take private/1on1 lessons and try out demo gear.

Really in 5 days your skill level would change so much that the Skis that would have been awesome for you one day1 would limit you so much on day 5.

 

Basically, if you are athletic and starting skiing at age of 25-30 (like I started skiing at 30) your learning curve is wayyyyyyyy much different than most people on these forums who have been skiing from childhood age. So basically you have to find your skills to mature a bit and get to a certain stage before you can actually judge a ski well. I bet, just like me... you dont understand a thing about Camber/Rocker/Underfoot/STiff vs Soft ski and how it all matters for you. (I admit, despite being an engineer, I cant relate these terms to my skiing YET).

 

Or... play a safe bet... go for well reviewed all rounder skis like Bramha/Steadfast/Kendo/Sultan 85 (just throwing some names). They might be a bit too advanced for you right now, but you will get there quite fast if you are passionate about skiing. Just control your temptation and stop looking at ski gear on internet every single day for another 2 months :P. Wait for prices to fall down as season ends and pick may be a use pair of skis untill you understand all skiing terms and judge a ski well.

 

About shoes, that is something you should go first and it feels like your current shoes are definitely big for you. Get them fitted properly or change it. Blast the boot-fitter for getting you a lose shoe and make them offer you a replacement.

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