Okay, I regularly post on several other different forums relating to my other hobbies and am sure these questions get asked all the time and people are sick of them, but hopefully a few kind souls will take pity on me and try to help.
I've been reading threads on ski reviews and boots and boot fitting and everything else for a couple days now and just need to buy some gear and get it over.
Here's our info:
I'm 45 years old, 6'2" and 210lbs. Pretty athletic, but not a jock, I run a lot so I'm in decent shape (2,000 miles last year). I've skied very sporadically until the last 5 or 6 years and now I ski usually 2 times a year, usually 3 days each time. Always rented, and am finally going to buy some skis. I'm a tightwad and figure if I buy some used gear I'll save a few bucks over the next few years.
My favorite runs are going groomed blacks. i.e. International at Crested Butte, Pandemonium and Rays Ridge at Durango. Nice and easy and fast. Also ski some blues and greens with my wife and son. I struggle with moguls and avoid them if possible right now although I need to get better at them. I like to go fast. (or what seems fast to me anyway) I used my runkeeper app on my iphone and am averaging around 30 mph on the groomed blacks.
My wife is 5'4" and 125lbs. Also athletic and a runner. She is a much more conservative on the slopes and doesn't even attempt blacks. Prefers easier blues and actually even enjoys greens. She can ski harder blues but doesn't prefer them.
My son is 7 and growing and with us only skiing a couple times a year I think we will just keep renting for him.
I've never really had any issues with the crappy rental gear. Usually don't even pay to get the nicer stuff, just the "sport" category. This last week I don't even remember the brand name of my boots and I was skiing a Volkl Unlimited ski in 177 I think. Week before again, I don't remember the brand of the boot or ski, but I was skiing a 178 I remember. Never really had a pair of boots that was too uncomfortable or that didn't fit decent. When I put my foot on the measure thingy it says I should wear a 30.0, but I've always rented a 30.5 and it seems tight, and I've never felt that it got loose when I was skiing.
My wife always complains about her boots and this last week she liked her boots so I already bought her that exact make and model of boot. She's been anywhere from 149 to 154 on her skis and doesn't seem to notice a difference one way or the other.
We typically ski Christmas in Colorado and then maybe one more long weekend in January in Colorado and then New Mexico sometime in February if we can fit it in. Pretty much always skied "on piste", although Crested Butte has some off piste that I could possibly grow into and we ski there usually every Christmas.
Here's my plan:
I think I'm going to go ahead and buy a decent boot for myself online in 30.5. I know I should go to a boot fitter and all that jazz, but I've rented 7 or 8 different boots over the last 5 years in 30.5 and in all different brands and can't think of any that did't fit decent or ski well. I'm sure that's mostly because of my ignorance, but if I pick them up for a couple hundred bucks they can't be much worse than the rentals I've been using can they? Right now I'm looking at a used pair of Salomon Impact 100 CS.
I really am leaning toward a pair of the Salomon BBR 8.9 skis for me in 186. Probably going to take me a bit to get used to the longer length, but I'm worried if I got the 176 they wouldn't be enough after a year or two. I've been getting steadily better each year and going up a few cm each time. A few years back I was on 170's, now I'm on 177 or 178's. If I don't get the BBR I'll probably get something right around 180 in another all mountain type ski.
The boots my wife liked are crappy Salomon Focus GT's but she always complains about her shins hurting and these didn't hurt her shins so I just bought some. Found them for a whopping $40 used on ebay in her size so even if she doesn't end up liking them after a few uses it's not going to break the bank.
I've thought about buying her a pair of Salomon BBR 7.9 skis in 149, but not sure if that is too much or too little ski for her. To be more conservative and just get her closer to what she's been renting I've also looked at some Salomon Origins in 152 and Volkl Attiva Tierra in 154. This past week she had Volkl Unlimteds in 149 and didn't have anything good or bad to say about them one way or the other.
We aren't planning on getting into skiing any more than we already are. Just planning on around 6 days a year and trying to save a few bucks over the rentals and maybe get a little higher quality ski than I would get as a bottom of the line rental. One time a few years back they were out of everything in my size and they gave me a demo ski and I was amazed at how much nicer it was and I felt I could ski way better using it that I did on my regular rentals, but I have no idea even what brand it was.
Just thought I would ask and see if anyone has any thoughts or advice. I'm not going to go hire a boot fitter and buy a $600 pair of boots or anything like that. Just wanting to save a few bucks and get closer to demo quality instead of the basic rentals we've been using.
Thanks in advance. Nathan