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Beginner Ski Brands [college student in AZ]

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Okay so I am in my early 20s and am just starting to get into skiing. I wanted to know what some of the best skis are for beginners along with what some of your favorite brands for other gear are as well. Also, do people match all their gear or buy from various companies? I would assume it is just what you prefer but I don't know. Thank you to anyone that replies!

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoskier View Post
 

Okay so I am in my early 20s and am just starting to get into skiing. I wanted to know what some of the best skis are for beginners along with what some of your favorite brands for other gear are as well. Also, do people match all their gear or buy from various companies? I would assume it is just what you prefer but I don't know. Thank you to anyone that replies!

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where did you go to ski so far?

 

Probably a good place to start are some of the EpicSki Articles (middle of the menu bar) under the First Run tab.  In particular the one about buying new skis.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey thanks! When I was about 10 years old,  dad and some of his buddies got together and took all the kids out to Breckenridge for a ski trip but after that I hadn't been until recently because my mom hates the cold. Since then I have been up to the Arizona Snowball in Flagstaff and then Sunrise, AZ. That's the extent of my skiing but I have really enjoyed it and in a couple years when I graduate college I plan on moving to Denver to work with my uncle so I will have more chances to get out and go skiing. 

post #4 of 14
People should be buying skis/boots/bindings/poles/coats/pants/helmets from whatever company makes an item they like.

First thing to worry about is boots. It is your boot that transmits your commands to the ski. The problem is, beginners, and actually 90% of skiers, don't have the first idea how to buy the right boot, what it should feel like, etc. They end up worrying more about comfort than they should, paying for this desire for comfort by being unable to control the ski. As a beginner, you need to worry about control more than the characteristics of a ski, as you will not be able to sense a thing about a ski if you can't make it go where you want. You could be over matched by some skis, but you will be over matched by every ski if the boots are too big.

And by too big, I don't mean just length, I mean width, overall volume, size around the ankle area, size around the toe area, instep height, etc.
post #5 of 14

^^^^ This. Every major brand makes some models of skis, boots, and so on that are appropriate to a new skier. But IMO you should work on boots first, from a reputable ski shop, rather than a big box store or online. Also buy a helmet. But plan to rent skis and poles for the first 2/3 of next season. Take some lessons. You'll discover that whatever skis you liked in September are probably not what you enjoy in March, when the good sales start. 

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoskier View Post
 

Okay so I am in my early 20s and am just starting to get into skiing. I wanted to know what some of the best skis are for beginners along with what some of your favorite brands for other gear are as well. Also, do people match all their gear or buy from various companies? I would assume it is just what you prefer but I don't know. Thank you to anyone that replies!

I would rent everything first, if you go out and buy brand new beginner boots, have the fitted to you spend a ton of money and then discover skiing really isn't that big to you, well you just wasted a ton of money.

Renting will put you in decent gear to get going, once you have a general feeling of what skiing is, where your level is and so on, talk to your ski instructor and make some sort of a plan. 

You don't have to match brands, pick whichever suits your needs best. (just pick colors that go well together, stay away from white and light colors)
Clothes try to go for lightweight and layers

Gloves mittens if you wanna be warmer, fingers if you want dexterity, leather is better than high tech fibers imo.

Helmet (new) If you want one make sure it's for skiing (i know seems stupid but some people will use skate helmets and such)

Boots (new), this is the hard one. Go to a mountain shop make sure they measure your feet (length and width) it's important to have a good fit.
A good fit is not going to be comfortable at first, the liner will need time to brake in and adjust to your shape. The stiffness of the boot should be picked in relation to your body type/weight and skiing abilities. That's why I suggest you rent first.
Skis (used), on the softer side medium width (around 80mm) underfoot and medium radius (15-20m). Don't get park skis, big mountain 110mm+ wide, or race skis.
Poles (used), no need to buy expensive high tech stuff for now. Just make sure they are of the right length. You can find pretty cheap stuff on ebay or thrift shops.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoskier View Post
 

Hey thanks! When I was about 10 years old,  dad and some of his buddies got together and took all the kids out to Breckenridge for a ski trip but after that I hadn't been until recently because my mom hates the cold. Since then I have been up to the Arizona Snowball in Flagstaff and then Sunrise, AZ. That's the extent of my skiing but I have really enjoyed it and in a couple years when I graduate college I plan on moving to Denver to work with my uncle so I will have more chances to get out and go skiing. 

Do you have any idea how many days of skiing you can get in next season?  When my daughter was learning, I didn't bother to buy her skis until she was going to use them at least 20 days.  She was still growing, so I went with a season lease until she was a solid intermediate.  Then I got her new boots and used skis.  Even for myself, I didn't bother to buy good skis until I started skiing out west regularly.  But I've always had my own boots, even when I only skied a week every 2-3 years as a working adult.  I was an intermediate based on learning long ago but hadn't skied for 10 years after middle school.

 

Where are you?  You'd be surprised where it's possible to find a good boot fitter.  One of the best is in South Carolina.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

I don't know how often I will get out to ski. We have a ski/snowboard club here on campus so I am going to join that and I know over MLK weekend they take a trip up to Aspen. Also one of my best friends here at the U of A is from Whistler so I may be going up there with him over our winter break and I will also probably make it back up to Flagstaff at least a couple time but other than that I have nothing set yet. I live and go to school in Tucson, AZ so there is also Mt. Lemmon but I have heard it really isn't that good. Then again the people that have told me that have been skiing a lot longer than me. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone, I have already learned a lot that I wouldn't have known before. The few times I had been skiing before I just rented everything but I couldn't give you any specifics on what I got. 

 

So another thing is that for as long as I can remember my feet have been the opposite of pigeon toed (is there a term for that) and when I try to put my feet parallel to one another my knees are turned inwards which I imagine makes it harder for me to ski. Basically I just wanted to know if there is something I can do or buy that will allow me to stand in a more "natural" position that would make it WAY more comfortable for me?

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoskier View Post
 

Thanks everyone, I have already learned a lot that I wouldn't have known before. The few times I had been skiing before I just rented everything but I couldn't give you any specifics on what I got. 

 

So another thing is that for as long as I can remember my feet have been the opposite of pigeon toed (is there a term for that) and when I try to put my feet parallel to one another my knees are turned inwards which I imagine makes it harder for me to ski. Basically I just wanted to know if there is something I can do or buy that will allow me to stand in a more "natural" position that would make it WAY more comfortable for me?

Why are you feet pointing out? that is the question. Depending on the cause PT could be helpful, otherwise working with a boot fitter can gel setting you in a toed out boot, you could even adjust the binding on the skis. But all of this comes after knowing why are they the way they are.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

haha that's a good question. They aren't that bad but instead of being parallel they are at like 10 and 2 or 11 and 1. Anyways when I was super young my doctor said if I wore leg braces it would be fixed quickly but that it isn't anything that would be bad if they didn't and my dad didn't want to do it and thought they would fix themselves, so thats the extent of what I know. 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoskier View Post
 

I don't know how often I will get out to ski. We have a ski/snowboard club here on campus so I am going to join that and I know over MLK weekend they take a trip up to Aspen. Also one of my best friends here at the U of A is from Whistler so I may be going up there with him over our winter break and I will also probably make it back up to Flagstaff at least a couple time but other than that I have nothing set yet. I live and go to school in Tucson, AZ so there is also Mt. Lemmon but I have heard it really isn't that good. Then again the people that have told me that have been skiing a lot longer than me. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoskier View Post
 

Thanks everyone, I have already learned a lot that I wouldn't have known before. The few times I had been skiing before I just rented everything but I couldn't give you any specifics on what I got. 

 

So another thing is that for as long as I can remember my feet have been the opposite of pigeon toed (is there a term for that) and when I try to put my feet parallel to one another my knees are turned inwards which I imagine makes it harder for me to ski. Basically I just wanted to know if there is something I can do or buy that will allow me to stand in a more "natural" position that would make it WAY more comfortable for me?

 

I guess the question you need to think is what kind of budget you have for ski gear.  No need to answer here but you need to think about it.  If you can get to Whistler, there are good boot fitters there.  But during winter break not too likely to find many bargains.  Although a good shop usually has "new old stock" in the back room.  Sometimes you can get lucky.  You definitely want to start out with an experienced boot fitters who can deal with your feet.  I think "duck feet" is a common term for how they are pointed.

 

Mt. Lemmon is about the same size as my home mountain in northern VA.  The advantage of small places is that they are good places to learn or practice.  Especially if lift tickets and lessons are relatively cheap.  If you could ski everywhere at Mt. Lemmon in a variety of conditions, you'll be able to have a lot of fun at bigger mountains.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
 

 

I guess the question you need to think is what kind of budget you have for ski gear.  No need to answer here but you need to think about it.  If you can get to Whistler, there are good boot fitters there.  But during winter break not too likely to find many bargains.  Although a good shop usually has "new old stock" in the back room.  Sometimes you can get lucky.  You definitely want to start out with an experienced boot fitters who can deal with your feet.  I think "duck feet" is a common term for how they are pointed.

 

Mt. Lemmon is about the same size as my home mountain in northern VA.  The advantage of small places is that they are good places to learn or practice.  Especially if lift tickets and lessons are relatively cheap.  If you could ski everywhere at Mt. Lemmon in a variety of conditions, you'll be able to have a lot of fun at bigger mountains.

I guess I hadn't considered getting in days at Mt. Lemmon just to practice and get experience, that's a great idea. The lift tickets for a day on Mt. Lemmon seem like they are really cheap at least compared to what I have paid before/plan on paying in Whistler so I will probably start getting out there this season, I am sure the ski club goes out there as well so maybe they even get a discounted rate...something to look into. 

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoskier View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Mt. Lemmon is about the same size as my home mountain in northern VA.  The advantage of small places is that they are good places to learn or practice.  Especially if lift tickets and lessons are relatively cheap.  If you could ski everywhere at Mt. Lemmon in a variety of conditions, you'll be able to have a lot of fun at bigger mountains.

I guess I hadn't considered getting in days at Mt. Lemmon just to practice and get experience, that's a great idea. The lift tickets for a day on Mt. Lemmon seem like they are really cheap at least compared to what I have paid before/plan on paying in Whistler so I will probably start getting out there this season, I am sure the ski club goes out there as well so maybe they even get a discounted rate...something to look into. 

Early season can be a great time to do group lessons.  Depending on when you go, can easily end up with a private lesson for the price of a group lesson.  Does Mt. Lemmon have night skiing?  All the ski areas in the southeast have a lot of trails lit.  That's when a lot of college students hit the slopes since night rates are really cheap.

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