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Need Help With Ski Selection (Newbie)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I really need help with selecting some skis to buy. I have only skied twice, but have done most of the slopes at my local ski resort the most difficult being "black diamonds" heard they are like blues at other places, i find the blues boring and the blacks to be a fun challenge sometimes. But I am going on a week long ski trip to Michigan in a couple months so it will be cheaper to buy than to rent skis. I have been reading around and looking around, but i have no clue what I'm doing. So I need some help! Thank you so much in advance!

So the facts:

1. I'm 6'2" and 200 lbs
2. Looking for all-mountain skis (will mostly be on 
3. Budget  < $200 for skis w/ bindings (looking for used mainly)
4. intermediate-ish
5. Good carving skis.

6. Mostly ski on groomed snow, will hopefully be going out west next year though.

Recommendations to help me:

1. Models to look for
2. Ski length
3. Waist length to look for (don't know if a smaller waist will be too hard for me yet)

post #2 of 10

Welcome to Epic.  You are unfortunately trying to make the horse push the cart instead of pull it, or so your post says.  Before buying skis you need to buy boots that fit your feet and not someone else's feet.  Skis are very glamorous with, sometimes, cool graphics but boots are way more important because boots transmit your intentions to the skis.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about fitting and terminology, also check the "Who's Who" and see if there is a boot fitter in your area or close by.  At the top of every page here, on a line below the Epic logo you will see the word "Articles."  Click on it and you'll be taken to the articles.  Read the one about why boots are important.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

ok i understand, but boot prices are pretty high, what if i can't afford anything over $150ish. Are there boots, if i go to a fitter, that i could afford?

post #4 of 10

Unless your feet are still growing, spend your ski allowance and boot allowance and get boots that fit and rent skis.  If your feet are still growing, read the wiki about how boots should fit and then go to a ski store and see what you can find in your price range but be prepared to be firm with the sales person who likely knows nothing about how boots should fit and may not even ski if its a big box store place.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

so i went to a boot fitter and tried on a bunch of boots and eventually i found one i liked and got a model year earlier on ebay for 300 less used. Ski wise i am looking at getting some nordica Hot Rod Modified XBS skis 170cm for $200, is this a good deal and would these be good skis for me to grow as a skier on?

post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by etm34 View Post

so i went to a boot fitter and tried on a bunch of boots and eventually i found one i liked and got a model year earlier on ebay for 300 less used. Ski wise i am looking at getting some nordica Hot Rod Modified XBS skis 170cm for $200, is this a good deal and would these be good skis for me to grow as a skier on?




1.  Used boots are generally no bueno. As they get used, boot liners pack out (to the shape of somebody else's foot) and no longer give you the fit you need to use them effectively. Worst case is they cause you lots of pain/cramping from your foot being too loose and you doing suboptimal things (like cranking on the buckles) to try and fix the problem.  It is also not uncommon for boot shells to be punched out wider in places to fit somebody else's feet.


Boots are not something to cheap out on. A bad pair of skis will make you wish for better skis. A bad pair of boots will ruin skiing. You cannot ski through cramping, and will not want to ski through boot pain.


2. You would probably do well to look for new replacement liners for your used boots. You can go aftermarket for a great set of liners like intuitions, or you can look on boards like here and TGR for people selling new liners that they have taken out to fit their aftermarket liners.  As long as your boots use a standard style liner (most do) you can interchange them with liners of the same size from another model ski boot.


Assuming the boot is really the correct size (did the boot feel uncomfortably tight in the shop? It should have), and the used boot shell has not been punched in a crazy way, new stock liners should go a long way in addressing the used boot problem.


3. Going to a shop and using their expertise so you can get the knowledge to buy a product online is generally frowned upon.

post #7 of 10

Yup, Anachronism kind of nailed it. While you can get away with a pair of used skis, buying used boots is just as bad (and possibly worse) as renting boots. Basically, you're dealing with the same problem either way. Ski boots should fit like as snug as possible, giving you the best and most direct control over your skis. With rental boots or someone else's boots, you'll for sure find yourself swimming in them a bit, meaning your foot has to move in your boot before your energy gets to your ski.


But, what's done is done, and with a situation like that, the best you can really do is try to find some fresh liners for the boots. Of course you could try to sell the boots again, but that might be more trouble than it's worth. So, on to skis.


Let’s start with the skis you’re looking at. While I’m sure the price is attractive on those, there are also a couple of drawbacks to going with that option. First and foremost… they’re used. They’re not going to have the same snappy feel as a new ski, and you’ll most likely have to start them off with a fresh tune, which will tack another $40ish on to the price. Then there’s the length issue. At your height, an ideal ski would be between 175-185 cm depending on where you place yourself  on the beginner-intermediate spectrum. If you’re more on the beginner side, lean towards 175. If you’re more on the intermediate side, lean towards 185 cm. Finally… the camber profile on those skis is a little out dated. In the last handful of years, skis have begun adding what’s called “Rocker”, which basically means the tip of the ski rises off the snow, rather than remaining in contact right up to the tip. The Hotrod’s appear to have a traditional camber profile which is perfectly acceptable, but not as much fun or as easy to learn on as some of the newer skis with an “Early Rise” Rocker profile.


So with that said, let me give you a couple of options that we have available over at Skiessentials that will come in right around you $200 budget. Keep in mind when looking at these skis that we do have a 10% off sale going on at the moment, so you can bump another 10% off the price you see on the site.


2013 Nordica Transfire 75 Skis w/ Fastrak Bindings: These would be my main recommendation to you. These skis were essentially made with a skier like you in mind. They combine Nordica’s Energy Frame Ca core with early rise in the tip to make a ski that’s easy to turn, but has a core that will allow you to progress with the ski right up to an advanced intermediate level. Technology aside, the bottom line with these skis is that they’re built for beginner skiers who are looking to build their skills. The one drawback to this particular ski, is that we only have it available up to a 174, so you’re still just shy of the 175-185 range. Still, they’re longer than the Hotrods you are considering and therefore a bit more appropriate for your size.

Price: $229.50


2012 K2 Sabre Skis w/ Marker M2 10.0 Bindings: The second ski’s I’d recommend for you are the K2 Sabres. Theses are also geared for beginners to intermediates, although I’d push them slightly more towards a beginner ski than an intermediate one. They also feature a bit of early rise rocker in the tip, which will help you start turning easier and avoid catching your tips. The real reason that I’m suggesting these though is that they’re available in a 177cm length, and they’re just barely above your price range. Compared to the Hotrod’s I think these would be worth the extra money.

Price: $215.10


So as mtcyclist said, welcome to Epic! And more importantly, welcome to skiing! It’s a great sport, and by getting started with the right equipment, I’m sure you’ll pick it up and be having a blast in no time!


Hope this helps!

Matt @ Skiessentials.com

post #8 of 10

+1000 to what they said.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

I know its frowned upon and i felt terrible for doing it, but after i found a pair i liked and fitted well i asked for the price and it was way out of my price range. I felt awful for doing it, but i needed to know my size and what boots i liked. As for the used ones i bought, they were used 3 times and are a model year under the ones i tried on, so hopefully they will be in good shape and fit well, if not i will sell them and get a new pair more than likely. I will see how they feel and that first and go skiing at an eaiser place in two weeks to get a feel for them. 




thank you for the advise, i will look into it!

post #10 of 10

Get the $20 dollar subscription to realskiers.com.  They have reviews that go way back to help you decide if that used ski is a killer deal or money thrown away.

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