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could use some reccomendations

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I'm new to be he site and I understand these types of topics are in abundance so I apologize for that. I have been researching a ton over the past week.

 

By background is that I've been skiing for 3 years now and am ready to purchase my first set of skis.

I'll mostly be on Midwest hills with an occasional trip out to CO.  

As far as skill, I am realistic and would say I'm at the intermediate level. I'm quite comfortable on the blue runs and am ready to step up in difficulty to some black runs this season.

I am 6'3 and about 210lbs so I was looking at something in the ~180cm length and mid 80s or so in width.

 

I would like to get something in the all-mountain category. A couple skis I've looks at are the Rossignol Experience 88 and the Head Rev series (either 85 or 90). Also someone suggested to me to check out the Rossi Sin 7 but those seem to be a bit wide given my typical skiing conditions. I'm definitely open to any other skis. Unfortunately, given my location in STL, demo days are hard to come by so I can't really rely on those.

 

I realize that they cost money but I'm not really looking to spend $800 on some skis (ill be looking at 2014 models, old demos/used etc). Also some quick recommendations on some cheaper but quality boots as well would be great. I won't be skiing 50 days a season like id wish so I don't need to spend a ton of money but I don't want junk either. I'd just like to get my own so I can become familiar with them and progress like id like to.

 

Thanks for reading and the help.

post #2 of 25

You will get this from a lot of people, so let me be the first: It's far more important to find and settle on good boots first before you buy skis.  Be willing to spend some money here and don't settle.  You should probably read this: http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me and also this: http://www.epicski.com/a/ski-boots-the-most-important-piece-of-gear-you-will-own  before you do anything.  

 

While the ideal is to go to a great bootfitter and work with him and new boots, having lived in some out-of-the-way places and with less money, I know that it's possible you won't follow the "ideal" model.  BUT.... spend a lot more time on boots regardless.  Don't buy the first ones that "fit", don't buy "comfortable" boots, don't buy them b/c they're cheap, red, or available.  Buy boots only after you have tried on several and made sure they fit as well as they can and are as small as possible.  

 

TRUST US!  Many of us have lived through long boot journeys and it would be better for everyone if others didn't have to do the same.  Boots are quite simply the MOST IMPORTANT part of your ski experience.  As the saying goes... "you date skis; you marry boots".  Only after you have found the right boots should you even think about skis.

post #3 of 25

Ditto the rather depressing boot advice.  It isn't sexy, I know, but it's right.  I'd look for a good boot fitter, too, not just a retail outlet.  It costs a little extra, depending what you do, but there's no guesswork involved.  You can go here: http://www.bootfitters.com/find-shop?title=&term_node_tid_depth=24  I think I've set the search drop-down to Midwest, and you can refine from there.  Or you can go to a fitter out West (they're thicker than fleas out there, so I hear).

post #4 of 25
Ditto. Tritto? Glad they saved me from a lot of typing.
post #5 of 25

Buy boots young man. Boots. You can spend your life savings on the best skis money can buy, and its not going to matter a lick if you don't have good boots. 

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Yes, I obviously plan on getting properly fitting for boots. I just didn't know if there was a popular line that didn't break the bank too terribly hard. There is a shop in town that sells snow gear that I plan on checking out in the coming days. I'll get fitted there and try on as many as I can there

post #7 of 25

Good luck!

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-sig View Post
 

I just didn't know if there was a popular line that didn't break the bank too terribly hard.....

As others have mentioned (and will continue to do so), do not skimp out on boots! Buy the best fitting you can. If you can't afford them, save up until you can. Saving some coin buying boots that don't fit as well as those that cost more will cost you in the long run.

post #9 of 25

Boots are important.  More important than skis.  You don't, however, need the top of the line or any particular brand.  You just need a pair that fit really well.  For skis, I recommend not getting the top of the line but going down to the intermediate-advanced level boards.  They will provide a lot of performance while still being somewhat forgiving and easier to turn as well.  The mid-fat waists you are looking at should suit just fine.

post #10 of 25

I budgeted $1000 for my last pair of boots, and I walked out (after lifts and custom footbeds) $400 under budget.  I was happy.  But I was happier -- far happier -- when I skied them.

post #11 of 25

Just to round out and clarify: there are no "better" or "cheaper" or "popular" lines when it comes to boots.  Only those that fit perfectly (or close) and those that don't.  Technica might fit somebody; Atomic another; Lange another.  It's not like cars: there's no Suzuki, Hyundai, Ford, Buick, BMW, whatever pecking order. 

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

I budgeted $1000 for my last pair of boots, and I walked out (after lifts and custom footbeds) $400 under budget.  I was happy.  But I was happier -- far happier -- when I skied them.
Boots, boots, boots. Well-fitted boots will improve your skiing in surprising ways, and are virtually guaranteed to feel better than whatever you might think was adequate off the shelf.

I was desperate to get out of a pair of torture devices so I budgeted $1000 too but only came out about $50 under budget because the fabulous fitter I found doesn't tend to mark anything down. I never buy full retail, yet I have never regretted spending a penny of that money. My skiing improved immediately, my feet are happy, and every time I hear about boot problems I thank my lucky stars that I found the bootfitter that I did.

Basically, you can increase your boot budget by scaling back any expectations of buying new skis and spending $300 or $400--or less--on last year's demos, and get very good sticks for a deal. It's a little late for ski swaps, but check classifieds for people unloading last year's gear, find deals on demo or previous year's skis on evo.com, levelnine.com, backcountry.com...and any number of other sites. When you find something interesting, check out its reviews on epicski.com (use the search function--it's great), skis.com, blistergear.com, and other review sites.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

Basically, you can increase your boot budget by scaling back any expectations of buying new skis and spending $300 or $400--or less--on last year's demos, and get very good sticks for a deal. It's a little late for ski swaps, but check classifieds for people unloading last year's gear, find deals on demo or previous year's skis on evo.com, levelnine.com, backcountry.com...and any number of other sites. When you find something interesting, check out its reviews on epicski.com (use the search function--it's great), skis.com, blistergear.com, and other review sites.

 

 

Great advice, and if you drop $20 at Realskier, you can get solid ski recommendations back to 2010.

post #14 of 25

The problem to just asking "what skis should I buy?" is that everyone will provide their favorites, and you'll be left with a long list that may or may not reflect what's good for you. First, set out some priorities, what in a ski is more or less important. If you are mainly a midwestern skier, then grip and comfort on ice and man made is key. But do you like to zoom, are you more of a bump and freestyle guy, or do you cruise? How often and for how long do you go to CO? Each will ask for a slightly different ski.

 

Second, you said you've "done a ton of research," but I wonder if you've tried the search function here. There have been plenty of posts about the skis you mention, especially the REV85 (not my first choice for someone your size on midwestern slopes, better for CO), and a bunch of others. Moreover, for a while retailers here were routinely doing threads on genres like "100-somethings" that compared numerous different skis. Try posters like Dawgcatching, Phil, Sierra Jim who provide quality reviews. The Gear Reviews on the opening page can be searched by model, and the Gear Review Forum has longer and more discursive threads. Also agree that Real Skier may help; it has reliable reviews by brand, and although it's a bit biased here and there, it's a great way for a rising intermediate to sort things out.

 

Finally, you may be better served by getting boots near where you ski, rather than where you live. The further from a slope, the lower odds you'll get a great fit, IME, and the harder to get tweaks. In a slope side shop you can just bring them in at lunch. Skis are a different issue, go for the models you like and the price. Avoid package deals. 

post #15 of 25

I had free fitting adjustments on the last pair of boots that I bought.  Of course the "free" didn't include the half dozen 1-hour each way drives to get those adjustments.

Real skier's recommendations go back to 1999.  I can't speak to all those years but there are good skis going back at least to 2004 or so (when I decided to start looking for a new pair).  If buying used skis, make sure the skis have enough metal edge left to sharpen and have not been turned into a noodle by the previous owner. 

 

Agree with others, saving on boots that don't fit very well is false economy.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-sig View Post
 

Yes, I obviously plan on getting properly fitting for boots. I just didn't know if there was a popular line that didn't break the bank too terribly hard. There is a shop in town that sells snow gear that I plan on checking out in the coming days. I'll get fitted there and try on as many as I can there

I'm originally from STL as well. I don't know what shop you were referring to, but I suggest Alpine Shop in Kirkwood. They are the only shop I personally know of with knowledgeable staff. They have a location in Chesterfield as well, but their supply is very limited and focused on snowboarding, so make the trip into Kirkwood. 

 

If you can wait, you would probably do better to get boots during one of your trips to Colorado.

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

Yea I fully plan on getting properly fitted. I was just looking for suggestions on which boots to start trying on and any insight on the skis mentioned or other suggestions.

 

Yea the shop I was referring to was alpine shop. I actually swung by the chesterfield location today and like you said, minimal ski stuff. I'll probably check out the Kirkwood one next week. Thanks for the tip. I would have assumed they just had the same stuff.

 

I may just gut out rentals one more year and look at all the shops at the resort we go to  (crested butte, co) and try on a bunch of boots and might pick some up then (or hopefully at least find a pair I like and can order online when I get home) and look for ski deals after this winter is over.

 

thanks for the tips so far though

post #18 of 25
Because actually having a fitter is so useless.... Online???? You're going to use up someone's time in a store, walk out and buy them online? First of all, punching, molding, evaluating stance, cuff adjustments, are all part of the fit process FREE, at most boot shops. Most also have a return policy if they don't work out. It is a waste of money to try to buy boots online. Mine, in fact, at the beginning of the season (October) for that year's boot, were actually ten dollars less than any online place I checked when I got home. You're not buying flip flops, you're buying the main interface between you and the ski. Buy your poles, skis, bindings, base layer, mittens, online. Not your boots.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Because actually having a fitter is so useless.... Online???? You're going to use up someone's time in a store, walk out and buy them online? First of all, punching, molding, evaluating stance, cuff adjustments, are all part of the fit process FREE, at most boot shops. Most also have a return policy if they don't work out. It is a waste of money to try to buy boots online. Mine, in fact, at the beginning of the season (October) for that year's boot, were actually ten dollars less than any online place I checked when I got home. You're not buying flip flops, you're buying the main interface between you and the ski. Buy your poles, skis, bindings, base layer, mittens, online. Not your boots.

 

Totally.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-sig View Post
 

...or hopefully at least find a pair I like and can order online when I get home...

 

thanks for the tips so far though

Here's another tip: If you want to hang out at Epic, doing the "check it out and then buy it from us online" approach will not win you any friends here. And could produce a flaming that beats anything at TGR; we have better vocabulary. Many people you are right now asking for advice depend on working in/owning those slope side places you plan to game. 

 

Think about the logical extensions of using the staff of a good shop to help you buy online later: 1) When the fit needs some work - and it will - you get to do it yourself (how are you at grinding or pushing boots), or you go pay a shop about half the amount you saved to do it for you. If you buy at that good shop, free followup. IME shops look out after their customers. Do online warehouses?

 

2) After a while of this, no more good shops. Just online wholesalers. Then just Amazon.everything. And we know what a thoughtful, non-monopolistic guy Bezos is. :rolleyes 

post #21 of 25

you are also presuming that the online prices are going to be remarkably cheaper.


At this point, any ski specific store that is still in business is not completely idiotic, and are aware about this thing called the "internet" and the prices of ski stuff.  A few I know will say show me the internet price and they'll do their best to match it or bring it close.

 

They will be able to compete at least within reason with online retailers, enough so that it's not an automatic that you will save by doing a "brick and click"

 

Just be up front with your budget if that's a limiting factor, so you don't waste everyone's time and they will find you something if they can, or point you where you can go if they can't help you.


It's worse if you go in and spend everyone's time, then say, oh i only have $50, can we make a deal?

post #22 of 25

Get the E88s in 186,  they are what you are looking for.  The auto turn rocker makes them some of the easiest turning skis I've ever been on.  They do just fine in softer snow and steeper terrain if you need it.  Deep pow would be their limitation.  Definitely a great progression ski.  You should be able to find a cheap used set, they are a staple in demo fleets.

post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 

Ok. So lets forget about boots. I need to and will get them myself in a shop somewhere.  (I apologize if I upset anyone. Noob alert here)

 

After surfing around the internet today, I found a few other skis that sound like they will fit the bill that if I could get an opinion on them, and if they'd work for my purposes, id really appreciate it.

 

Atomic Panic

Atomic Theory

Head Rev 85

Head Rev 90

Fischer Motive 86

Fischer Watea 84

Fischer Watea 88

 

(as you may be able to tell by my suggestions, I'm trying to keep the skis under $500)

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-sig View Post

 
...or hopefully at least find a pair I like and can order online when I get home...

thanks for the tips so far though
Think about the logical extensions of using the staff of a good shop to help you buy online later: 1) When the fit needs some work - and it will - you get to do it yourself (how are you at grinding or pushing boots), or you go pay a shop about half the amount you saved to do it for you. If you buy at that good shop, free followup. IME shops look out after their customers. Do online warehouses?

2) After a while of this, no more good shops. Just online wholesalers. Then just Amazon.everything. And we know what a thoughtful, non-monopolistic guy Bezos is. rolleyes.gif  
+100, particularly the bolded bit. Buying boots online hurts both the brick and mortar retailer or fitter and you. Save $150-$200 on the boot online? Be ready to pay that much to a fitter, if you're lucky and happen to buy the right boot; otherwise you'll be springing for a second pair of boots and will likely still need the fitting. You'll probably get more comments of that ilk anyway; just keep in mind that it's a sensitive subject and don't take it personally when someone goes off because they haven't read the whole thread.

On skis, I agree it's best to read threads and reviews, because there are TONS of them on epicski and elsewhere. Then, loaded with understanding about ski characteristics, you'll have more pointed questions to ask.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yea I'm not just going to make my decision solely based on what comes out of this thread. I guess I was more looking for any little snippets about each one, or if any of the ones mentioned aren't even worth checking out or if one is more preferred than another. Still going to try and research more on each one.
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