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.
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.
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