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Ski research advice [in northeast, a Beginner Zone thread]

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have never been on skis before and looking to take up the sport this winter (or as soon as the local mountains open) I have snowboarded for about 3-4 years in the past but have since given it up about 7 years ago. I definitely plan on renting first but will probably limit it to 2 rental sessions before I am looking to buy. I also plan on taking a lesson or 2. I have begun the process of researching skis and visited my local ski shop to ask a few questions. A rep at the local ski shop suggested 3 different skis at 3 different price points, construction and levels. The one he strongly suggested was at the top of the price scale; it was also the one that seemed to fit my needs. (I sort of trust this shop as I have a standing relationship with them because they service my mountain bikes in the summer.)  I have been to websites to research other skis but have no idea what to look for as the descriptions and reviews have a degree of vagueness to them.

 

 I am interested to hear practitioner opinions on how to select the best ski for my ability at the best price.

 

I’m looking for something this is good for a beginner but also something I can grow into skill wise. I have no ambition to race or become a world class skier looking to settle at an average intermediate skill level. I live in the northeast and from my experience with snowboarding this area has its own characteristics when it comes to terrain.

 

For reference the 3 skis he suggested were (in order)

1.      Volkl RTM 77 $699

2.      Dynastar Powertrack 79  $499

3.      Nordica Fire Arrow 74  $599

 

One more thing

I found these skis for an insane price that seem to fit my needs as well

Salomon 24 X-Kart  $199

 

They are described as a quick turn ski the Volkls are more of a carving ski. Which is more desirable?

 

I know this post is all over the place, any response would be greatly appreciated

post #2 of 9
While I understand the desire to not throw money down the drain renting, I also think that the ski you need this year is not the ski you will want after 20 days. Plus, at this stage, you don't even know enough to know if you like the ski. Maybe a seasonal rental?

Plus, as we all know, it's boots that are important! Some reading material: http://www.epicski.com/atype/2/Gear/tag/bootfitting
post #3 of 9

Frankly, as a rank beginner, you probably wouldn't be able to feel the difference in various skis.  Your skill will progress quite rapidly at first as will your ability to handle longer skis.

 

i.e., a ski that feels great after your first two or three days might feel entirely too short after seven or eight days on snow.

 

Many shops offer season-long demo programs; i.e. you're paying the shop a flat rate to demo skis throughout the season.  I'd look into that first.  By the end of the season, you'll have a better idea of what you do and don't like in skis, and then we can revisit what skis would be best for purchase.

post #4 of 9
An echo.. Clearly, we posting at the same time..
post #5 of 9

Where are you?  Differing local conditions will require different kinds of skis. 

 

Boots are the most important piece of equipment.

 

You probably want to start with easy forgiving beginner-friendly ski and work your way up to more advanced skis.  The recommendations from the shop are all fine skis, but I wouldn't recommend a rank beginner start out on them.

 

A seasonal rental is a great idea if you can find one. The next best thing is to go to a swap (lots of them this time of year) and buy a pair of 3 to 6 year old skis.  Ski on them for a year and sell them next season for about what you paid for them and then buy something more suited for your (presumably greatly increased) skill level.

post #6 of 9
There are a handful of skis that will take soemonemright up the ladder and still work at the lower end of expert. The Nordica Avenger comes immediately to mind, as does a Head Rev 80.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by reynamwit View Post
 

I have never been on skis before and looking to take up the sport this winter (or as soon as the local mountains open) I have snowboarded for about 3-4 years in the past but have since given it up about 7 years ago. I definitely plan on renting first but will probably limit it to 2 rental sessions before I am looking to buy. I also plan on taking a lesson or 2. I have begun the process of researching skis and visited my local ski shop to ask a few questions. A rep at the local ski shop suggested 3 different skis at 3 different price points, construction and levels. The one he strongly suggested was at the top of the price scale; it was also the one that seemed to fit my needs. (I sort of trust this shop as I have a standing relationship with them because they service my mountain bikes in the summer.)  I have been to websites to research other skis but have no idea what to look for as the descriptions and reviews have a degree of vagueness to them.

 

 I am interested to hear practitioner opinions on how to select the best ski for my ability at the best price.

 

I’m looking for something this is good for a beginner but also something I can grow into skill wise. I have no ambition to race or become a world class skier looking to settle at an average intermediate skill level. I live in the northeast and from my experience with snowboarding this area has its own characteristics when it comes to terrain.

 

For reference the 3 skis he suggested were (in order)

1.      Volkl RTM 77 $699

2.      Dynastar Powertrack 79  $499

3.      Nordica Fire Arrow 74  $599

 

One more thing

I found these skis for an insane price that seem to fit my needs as well

Salomon 24 X-Kart  $199

 

They are described as a quick turn ski the Volkls are more of a carving ski. Which is more desirable?

 

I know this post is all over the place, any response would be greatly appreciated


Given your experience sliding on snow, although the technique is obviously different I doubt you will be a beginner for long.  The best way to research skis is to go to a free demo day . . . after you buy a pair of boots from a recommended boot fitter.  I was surprised that even an an intermediate, I could tell the difference between skis.  Didn't understand the jargon enough to appreciate written reviews, but I knew what felt good and what felt uncomfortable because I was in less control.

 

How did you choose snowboarding equipment?

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

sibhusky

Thank you for the reference. I have read a few posts that stress the importance of correctly fitting boots and expanding budget to have them fitted. I plan to get boots first, can any boot fit in any ski binding? If this is the case is it possible to use my own boots with rental or leased skis.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by reynamwit View Post
 

Thank you for the reference. I have read a few posts that stress the importance of correctly fitting boots and expanding budget to have them fitted. I plan to get boots first, can any boot fit in any ski binding? If this is the case is it possible to use my own boots with rental or leased skis.


Yes, it is almost always possible to own boots and rent skis.  The only time it's a problem is if you have really big feet.  A good friend had to buy boots and skis because he wears size 14 shoes.  Even demo bindings typically do not fit ski boots that long.

 

The fit for bindings is based on a boot's BSL (boot sole length).  For some reason, ski boot sizing is based on mondo, so usually in the 20's.  The BSL is usually stamped on the edge of the boot somewhere so it's easy to find when renting skis.

 

An intermediate/advanced skier who lives in a region that doesn't have big mountains such as in Rockies may well own boots and skis for local skiing but only take their boots out west.

 

Few people who do a lot of research first would buy a used boot.  However, after some research buying a used ski for a first ski is a reasonable option for a beginner/intermediate.  Whether to do a season lease or buy something that will only be used for a season or two is personal preference.

 

You will want ski poles too.  No reason to spend a lot.  Do you know of any ski swaps near you?

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