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advanced beginner female looking to buy equipment - need some advice!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've been reading up on ski options & my head is spinning.  I need some help!

 

First about me:  mid 40s, ski east coast exclusively, 5'6", 160#, somewhat athletic but NOT adventurous - just looking to learn & enjoy (there is no way I will keep up with my husband or even my fearless 5 year old at this point). I'm only likely to ski 10-15 days/season, so I don't expect to ever get beyond intermediate level.

 

I know boots are the most important item, I haven't found the right pair yet, but I am looking. Right now I'm shopping for skis with bindings, I don't have easy access to demos, and I'm looking to buy instead of rent in order to save $ over time.

 

Questions:

 

- should I limit my search to women's specific skis? (many that I've seen on sale seem designed for more advanced skiers - and maybe at my weight I'd be okay on a men's ski, although the design features of a women's skis make sense to me...)

 

- would I be okay in a entry level ski, or would that limit my growth over the next few years? (I think I should look for an intermediate style - if you agree, which would you recommend?)

 

- if I choose used skis, how old is okay? and how used? (I imagine there are lightly used skis out there, but if I get a model that's too old, will I have trouble with getting the binding's serviced, for example...)

 

- at this point I'm thinking 155cm or so would be ideal (I haven't skied on longer), although I know by weight I should be at ~160cm, I'm still making wedge turns and I don't want my tips crossing... any really good reason to go with the longer length?

 

 

Thank you for your help! 

post #2 of 11
Get boots. This is where you should put 100% of your energy. Don't overthink the skis. You can buy them or rent them. But get your own boots.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Get boots. This is where you should put 100% of your energy. Don't overthink the skis. You can buy them or rent them. But get your own boots.


yes if you have to buy something buy boots, not skis.  At least not until you're gonna ski better and longer wink.gif

post #4 of 11

Agreed on the boots but the OP already said she's looking into that.

 

Welcome, ellienyc.  Since you are still using wedge turns, I would stick with a woman's ski.  It will be lighter and softer so easier for you to progress on.  You are not that heavy.  In fact, I am 5'2" and 140 lbs and I ski a 163.  For a start 155 will be just about right.   I personally am a Volkl ski fan. Although they are stiffer than most women's skis, I find them nice and stable. Judging by the nyc after your screen name, I assume you will be skiing back east.  Volkls are fantastic at holding an edge, which will come in handy on back east ice.  If looking at new skis (2013) you might want to consider the Volkl Adora or Aurena.  The advantage to Volkl skis is their beginner skis also carry you well into the intermediate level.  If you are looking for used skis, the Volkl Luna has been a favorite for a number of season and I have heard quite a few intermediate skiers rave about them.  If you are looking at used skis, the most important feature is the bases.  Small scratches are normal but there shouldn't be any big dings.  Topsheet marks are normal.  So long as the topsheet isn't delaminating (peeling up from the edges) which is really rare, then don't worry about scratches and marks.  As far as bindings go, you are right.  Stay recent - within the last couple of seasons - that way  a reputable shop will be happy to service the skis for you to get you ready for the season.  

 

Another favorite brand with women are the K2 models.  Although, I admit to not being a K2 fan that is just  a personal preference.  K2 makes excellent skis.  The truth is that with a beginner ski, you will probably be able to sell it down the road for pretty close to what you pay for it now.

 

Truthfully, all the ski companies make great skis now.  It is somewhat an issue of personal preference.  If you can't demo, read as many reviews as possible. Try to pick a ski that is rated "beginner to intermediate" and look for a waist (middle number) measurement in the 70's.  Pay special attention to reviews from back east skiers.  Good luck.

post #5 of 11

I would also look in to the Rossignol Attraxxion line (the 3 or the 6 I think). They are very smooth and stable and will help you nicely to improve your technique and confidence, so you canb at least keep up with you 5 year old. Her's a link: http://www.rossignol.com/IV/AA/alpine-women-skis-all-mountain-on-piste.html

 

Don't be put off by the 'all mountain' title, it just means they can do more than slice ice.

 

You could also have a look at the women's specific lines of Blizzard. I really like the fairly soft and forgiving flex of most Blizzard skis without them giving up on stability or fun. The edgegrip is just awsome. Check out the Viva 7.4 IQ. I think you'll love those: http://www.blizzard-ski.com/int/products/detail/product/show/viva-74-iq.html

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for your advice so far! 

 

As I said I am definitely looking to focus my $ on the boots, but the one ski shop I've been too so far didn't have anything that fit me that felt really comfortable, and I certainly don't want cut corners there!

post #7 of 11

Perhaps 'really comfortable' shouldn't be the thing you're looking for in a ski boot. Obviously they shouldn't hurt, but 'comfortable' often means 'too big', which doesn't really help your skiing. Moreover, a ski boot that's too big will probably hurt your feet more, since your feet will be cramped, searching for grip and stability.

post #8 of 11

Welcome to Epicski!  If you haven't already found them, check out the Epicski articles about buying boots and skis for the first time (click on Articles in the menu bar, next to Galleries).

 

May get some ideas from this thread from 2011 about buying boots in the NY, NJ area.

http://www.epicski.com/t/107980/looking-for-a-reputable-boot-fitting-shop-in-the-tristate-area-ny-nj-ct

 

Have fun shopping!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellienyc View Post

I've been reading up on ski options & my head is spinning.  I need some help!

 

First about me:  mid 40s, ski east coast exclusively, 5'6", 160#, somewhat athletic but NOT adventurous - just looking to learn & enjoy (there is no way I will keep up with my husband or even my fearless 5 year old at this point). I'm only likely to ski 10-15 days/season, so I don't expect to ever get beyond intermediate level.

 

I know boots are the most important item, I haven't found the right pair yet, but I am looking. Right now I'm shopping for skis with bindings, I don't have easy access to demos, and I'm looking to buy instead of rent in order to save $ over time.

 

. . .

post #9 of 11

I just wanted to say that many people would be thrilled to get out 10-15 days a season and I'm sure that over time you will progress beyond intermediate especially with a few lessons (you have taken lessons right?). My personal philosophy is that its not really worth it to invest in skis until you are making parallel turns, however I do see the value in having a ski set up that is fit to you and consistent. Have you considered doing a seasonal lease of skis? I did that my second season of skiing and it allowed me to 1) not deal with renting each time (less time wasted, less chance of broken equipment)  2) save money ($220 for the season vs. $25-35 per day) 3) encouraged me to go skiing more since it was now cheeper per visit 4) was consistent so I didn't have to learn new skis each time 5) allowed me to change length of skis mid season when I had progressed beyond the 146s I was on in the fall.

 The other option is once you have boots you should be able to go to almost any mountain and be able to demo skis right from their on mountain shop.  What mountains have you skied so far? I haven't been to a place where demoing at least a few varieties of ski is not an option.  Good luck! 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellienyc View Post

As I said I am definitely looking to focus my $ on the boots, but the one ski shop I've been too so far didn't have anything that fit me that felt really comfortable, and I certainly don't want cut corners there!

 

Red Flag!  Boots that feel comfortable immediately are too big, usually 2-3 sizes too big.  A boot that is actually the correct size for you will feel almost too small, quite snug.  The reason it needs to feel that way is that the liners will pack out over just a few days of skiing leaving you in a boot that is comfortably snug.  If you go to a ski shop to try on boots and they ask you for your shoe size and then go get some boots for you to try on, the person either does not know how boots should fit or doesn't care, most likely just doesn't know.  You need to visit a real boot fitter.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about terminology and fitting.  Then check the "Who's Who" to see if there is a fitter on the list near you.  If there isn't, ask here and someone will be able to recommend a fitter.

 

Do this right and you won't need to replace the boots for a long time.  As a bonus, your skiing will immediately improve when you have boots that are comfortable snug.  Don't even worry about skis until you get the right boots.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the advice - what I've gathered about the skis I'd like to find:   about 155cm, waist in the 70s, women's specific, & from the last few years

 

What I'm still mulling over is how old can I go - I can find used skis that are 5 or 6 years old that won't break the bank, but is that okay?!  Otherwise buying new, even on sale, it'll take me a long time to break even with renting....

 

As to boots, I certainly appreciate the wealth of knowledge you all have to share, but I guess I should have been clearer:  so far I've only tried on boots at one store, which only had 3 or 4 in my size, and all were too tight at either the ball of the foot or the calf.  I know I need some time & expertise to find the right pair, but as I am certainly NOT shopping for boots on-line, I am only looking for guidance on skis/bindings in this thread :)

 

Thanks again!

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