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New Skier Looking for Equipment Advice! [Canadian]

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hi! This is my first thread, I will super appreciate any responses!

 

I started skiing about five years ago, mainly at Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. I am 5"10 and weigh about 165lbs. I am fairly advanced and am comfortable with all black runs and some doubles, although I'm sure I'll get better! I keep off the groomers for the most part and hit the bowls, steeps, moguls, trees, and the like. However, I only get out maybe 10 days a year, but I am hoping in the next few years to ski a lot more. 

 

Two seasons ago, I ditched the rentals and went to SportChek to buy new skis. Being as uninformed as I was, I proceeded to buy the cheapest and coolest looking skis I could find. I ended up with a lovely set of Rossi Strato 7 racing/carving skis. However, as I've recently learned through internet research, a 70mm waist and racing build is not conductive whatsoever to off piste skiing in the west! Who would have thought? Not I! (Although It would explain why my first few powder days kinda sucked :P) Sunshine Village gets a good amount of snow, thus I am usually skiing chopped powder, crud, and blown over snow, with the occasional big powder day. This leaves me looking for a versatile all mountain ski that handles chop, crud, moguls, trees, and powder well, while still maintaining decent edge on groomers and hardpack. Being in Canada, my online shopping options are limited, but I found some 2013 Salomon Rocker 2 90 skis that ship free to Canada. http://www.comorsports.com/salomon-2013-rocker-90-ski-169-mens These seem like a good fit, but is this a good price? Will they be fun and usable on powder days? The reviews seem to be good, but I'm still not sure. Calgary also has a massive used and new ski swap every year that is happening this weekend. I am tempted to go take a look, as I've heard you can get fantastic deals there. (I know I'm cheap, I'm a student) It's just that if I go, I have very little knowledge of what to look for in skis, (they all look like two wooden planks to me) and I rely heavily on online reviews and forums. Should I buy the Rocker 90s? Or should I go to the swap? If so, what do I look for so I don't make the same mistake twice?

 

As for boots, the ones that I bought from SportChek were Rossignol Synergy Sensor 80's. They are great boots, but I bought them one or two increments too big in hopes that I'd grow into them. However, my feet have stopped growing and now I am left with boots that are too big. My toes do not come close to the front of the boot, and my heels lift. I've gotten used to this, however, and have no problem skiing in them. (Although I can get sore shins once and a while.) Is it worth the bother to sell and replace these boots, or should I just go with them? 

 

Thank you for reading, and I'm looking forward to some responses!

post #2 of 36

Maybe it's not in big enough font:

Five Key Questions When Buying New Skis

EpicSki is a great place to ask this question because we have plenty of experts and peers ready to help you make the right decision. If you come to them with the answers to the following Five Key Questions, your chances of getting a spot-on recommendation (and maybe even scoring a great deal) are increased exponentially.

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hmm... I'm pretty sure that I answered all of the "Five Key Questions" in the first five sentences! (The font is plenty big enough)

post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azimuth View Post

Hmm... I'm pretty sure that I answered all of the "Five Key Questions" in the first five sentences! (The font is plenty big enough)

Yeah, I think you did. Sometimes when you walk down Sesame street the first character you run into is Oscar the grouch.
post #5 of 36

Hullo to fellow Calgarian!  o/

 

Poor fitting boots I think should be the priority number 1.  Since you're a student and on a budget, if it's a choice between replacement skis and replacement boots for this season, get a good set of boots.  You'll notice a huge difference when you have ones that fit properly.  There are several good boot fitters in the city.  Lou of Lou's Performance Centre posts in this forum pretty often.  The guys at Ski West in Kensington have been good when I went in to purchase boots from them.  I'm sure others can recommend more spots in the area I'm not aware of. 

 

For equipment importance, I tend to rate it in order of most important to least important as boots > jacket/pants/gloves/helmet > skis > poles.


Edited by herbiebug - 10/22/13 at 7:53pm
post #6 of 36

Hey, don't feel bad, many people make the same mistakes as you did.  At least you learned, and now you know!  Move ahead. :)

 

As mentioned by more than one person, focus on the boots.  Bad boots and awesome skis will leave you miserable.  Great boots and crappy skis can be solved with a rental or swap, and then a day of fun.

 

Also agree with boots > clothing/goggles > skis > poles.

 

Good boots will set you back a bit of coin.  Try to get the best you can possibly afford.  Skis come and go, but boots are an investment for several years. Visit a real ski shop (stay away from Sportchek from now on) and talk to an actual bootfitter, s/he will work wonders for you.  Tell them your budget, they'll do their best to accommodate.  

 

As for skis, look for used ones or closeouts/clearance.  There are great deals to be found out there, and many people on this forum can help point you in the right direction, or help analyze which skis might work (or not) for you.  There are many skis out there, but that'll make far less difference than your boots.

 

Go to the swap, see what's there.  Avoid the skinny carving skis.  It's nearly impossible to make a blanket statement as to what to get, but generally you should probably be on the lookout for skis in the 88mm+ waist and something probably around 175-180cm or so for you (a few centimeters longer or shorter won't be the end of the world, regardless of what an equipment snob might tell you).  Those Rocker2 skis are nice, but doubt you'll find them used.  You might get lucky, hard to say.  It all depends on what's available at the swap.  And 169cm for you is too short for wider all-mountain skis that are intended for more off piste work.  Shorter is ok for carving skis, not for the conditions you're trying to find.


Edited by Gunnerbob - 10/22/13 at 8:44pm
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azimuth View Post
 

Hmm... I'm pretty sure that I answered all of the "Five Key Questions" in the first five sentences! (The font is plenty big enough)

you certainly did.

 

welcome to the community

post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses. Replacing the boots is probably the best advice. I hate to do it, since they were regular price $400 and I got them for $120, and probably I wont get another good deal like that. I guess it doesnt matter how good a deal it was though if the boots are too big. Herbiebug, how much can I expect to pay for last years clearance boots at Lous or SkiWest if I get them fitted? Would a price of $200 or less be enough do you think! (That's awesome that you live in Calgary and know the local ski shops, cause I dont!)

post #9 of 36

Spend your$ on boots from a top notch bootfitter like Lou's Performance Centre and sell your old boots for whatever you can get for them at the ski swap.

 

If you still have some $ left then consider Rossignol S3 in a 178cm. I just got a flyer in the mail from Sportcheck and they have some 2013 models for $329.98 with bindings. This is a fantastic price for what was the most popular ski at the demo ski centre where I worked last year at Sun Peaks. (we sold our used demos at the end of last season for $350.) Just don't ever buy boots from Sportcheck.

post #10 of 36

Defiantly find a pair of boots that fit, it will most certainly be the biggest factor in how well you ski. They don't have to be that expensive at all, just go to a fitter because people at sportchek know absolutely nothing about fitting a boot.  As for ski's, well the season still hasn't started yet in Canada and there are a lot of ski shops and big chain stores like sportchek looking to get rid of last years models.  Shop around, you still have time.

 

Welcome to epic.

post #11 of 36

X a million on boots first from a quality bootfitter such as any of those mentioned. Once you have a better idea what you want in a ski, another place to look for skis is Action Sports Outlet out of Oakville Ontario http://stores.ebay.com/ASOGEAR  I have bought several  skis and other bits of equipment from them and they are very good. Free shipping too. BTW DanoT's S3 post is a really good price as long as the binding is decent.

post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post
 

X a million on boots first from a quality bootfitter such as any of those mentioned. Once you have a better idea what you want in a ski, another place to look for skis is Action Sports Outlet out of Oakville Ontario http://stores.ebay.com/ASOGEAR  I have bought several  skis and other bits of equipment from them and they are very good. Free shipping too. BTW DanoT's S3 post is a really good price as long as the binding is decent.

I second the Asogear recommendation.  Their prices cannot be beat and the service is excellent.

post #13 of 36

I've purchased from Asogear, they're very good.  They're the online clearance arm of Corbett's in Oakville, Ontario.  Great people there.  Good prices, fast shipping, all new stuff on clearance.

 

If you're on a REALLY tight budget, boots from Sportchek *might* work, but they need to be 1 or 2 sizes smaller than you currently have.  Seriously.  When I first got back into skiing after 15 years off, I went to Sportchek.  They sold me a 29.5 boot.  After half a season and almost a couple wipeouts because I was swimming in them, I went to a bootfitter who put me in a 27.5.  Sound familiar?  Then I focused on skis after that.  You can ask around at local shops and see if they have old boot models laying around collecting dust for clearance.  You might get lucky.  Check out the ski swap.  Again, if you're on a reallly tight budget, you might find good used boots and then just get a new liner.  It's not ideal, but it's possible.  It depends how tight your budget is.  If you're a starving student with no money, then just rent and put your money into lessons instead. There's not much point of cheaping out to the point that you're throwing your money away. Better off saving for next year to get your own gear.  Not an easy call, but there are some options.

post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 

DanoT, thanks for pointing out that SportChek deal on the Rossi S3's. I'm seriously considering buying them. Can anyone else vouch for these skis? Do they have any significant weaknesses or limitations I should be aware of? Also, the bindings they come with are "Freeski 120 XL"'s. Are they any good? As for boots, I should still have enough to get a pair fitted, and I'll make that a priority.

post #15 of 36

Excellent bindings. The skis... soft. They ski short. They'll work fine so long as you don't try to ski them (or the rocker2 90) in anything shorter than 180 at your weight.

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 

what do you mean by soft? (I am a bit dull, sorry) :P

post #17 of 36

The flex is soft. They're great fun soft snow skis with a lot of tip and tail rocker. They're not so great on hard pack.

post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 

Well I've read a ton of online reviews and the S3 seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. They're great in powder and off piste, but perform surprisingly well on groomers and hardpack. Thanks DanoT! I know SportChek will mount the bindings there. Should I ask for a certain mounting location, or should I just go with the recommended setting?

 

Also, are there any more online stores that ship free to Canada like ASO that you know about?


Edited by Azimuth - 10/23/13 at 6:07pm
post #19 of 36

Hey Azimuth,when you go to the shop to pick up your S3's make sure when you see this years new sin7 ( replaces the S3 this year ) that you don't under any circumstances stop and put your hands on them.........just keep walking ....trust me.

post #20 of 36

levelninesports does $19.99 3 days shipping and they have great deals on last years models like a S7 if you want more powder oriented fun ski.

post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 

Viking9, why'd you have to tell me that eh? Would there be anything as versatile as the new Sin 7's from last year?

post #22 of 36

Yes, the S3's you're buying. :) 

post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 

So the S3's are pretty much the best I can get this year? Sounds good! I'll be sad when the sin 7's are going for $300 next year though :(

The main thing i've gathered about hte S3 that worries me is bad instability at high speeds on groomers and through thich chop. How big of an issue is that going to be?


Edited by Azimuth - 10/23/13 at 11:59pm
post #24 of 36
Go to Lou's in Calgary and get properly fitted boots. This will make more difference to your skiing than anything else.
(We recently bought two pairs of boots and skis from him and were very impressed. Can't wait for some snow now!)
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azimuth View Post

The main thing i've gathered about hte S3 that worries me is bad instability at high speeds on groomers and through thich chop.

Yep. High speed groomers - that's what you have your skinny skis for. Thick chop requires something wider usually with metal like a Cochise. Except in Spring I don't imagine Sunshine nor LL get a lot of chowder.

post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 

Dang, the Blizzard Bonafides look like a heck of a ski too. I wonder if I could find them at the Ski Swap tomorrow... 

What length would you recommend for those?

post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azimuth View Post
 

Dang, the Blizzard Bonafides look like a heck of a ski too. I wonder if I could find them at the Ski Swap tomorrow... 

What length would you recommend for those?

We had a few pair at Swap but it is a pretty high end swap. 

post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

We had a few pair at Swap but it is a pretty high end swap. 

As in the Calgary Swap last year? How much would I be looking to pay?

post #29 of 36

Azimuth,

 

I have S3's and love them, people often dismiss them because they are popular so not cool. Once you have your boots try and demo some if they are still available. If not the Soul 7 is probably the equivalent for 2014 even if the numbers are slightly different. The S3 was one of the first skis to combine twin rocker with a traditional camber and definitely the first to make it work.

 

What's good, They make you smile, so much your face will be aching by midday, they are relatively soft but the 186's work for me and I am north of 200lbs. They hold an edge if you lay them over but are also very forgiving so great for everybody including improving beginners. The softer edges also make them easy to land on even if you are not perfectly lined up or end up landing switch. I have friends that are strong and fast skiers but both bought S3's after demoing them. I mainly ski at Kirkwood and used them as my only ski for the last two seasons in all conditions and never felt like I was on the wrong ski.

 

What's Bad, They do rattle a bit at speed on groomers, I like this because it warns me to slow down, if you are a speed freak you my not like this. You will be annoyed that you didn't try them earlier and spent last year on inferior skis.

 

You will also see good deals on any S7 that are still available but be warned these are a different beast with a full rocker, unless you only ski deep powder you will need another pair of skis as well as S7's

post #30 of 36

The main reason that the S3 was the most popular ski at our demo shop is that they appealed to a very wide range of skier types and abilities. This should also make selling them if they happen to not be the OP's cup of tea that much easier.

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