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Buying used skis

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So, I've been skiing my Volkl Vectris Carvers for about 14 years now (with a few years off while I was in the military).  I'm thinking it's high time I got some new skis.  I'm wondering what everyone's opinions are about buying used skis.  I've got my eye on a pair of barely used Volkl Kendos fitted with Marker Griffon bindings (binding will need to be remounted to fit my boots).  Would these be a good step up, and is there anything I should look for when buying used? 

 

I'm 6'3", 230 lbs.,

skiing East Coast,

mainly groomers with some off-piste when able,

Prefer blacks, avoid moguls whenever possible

like to vary my runs between carving nice lines and getting up on the speedometer (controlled, but aggressive)

 

My wife is starting to get into the sport, so much of my skiing in the immediate future will be slower, but I don't want to limit myself when she decides she wants to take a break and I can break off for some runs on my own. 

 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  I'm buying used because with two children I can't really justify dropping the coin on brand new stuff.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 11

What length are the Kendo's?  I demo'd a pair last season and found them to be quite nice for eastern skiing.

 

Can you see them before you buy them?  My main concern with used skis the condition of the bases and how much edge material is left.  If the bases are so warped that you need a stone-grinder to make them useful or if the edges are down to a guitar-string of thickness then keep looking.  You say that they're "barely used", but I'm something of an expert at finding rocks with "barely used" skis.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

184.  They're listed on Craig's List, so I'll definitely see them before I buy them.  The pics included with the listing look pretty good, though they are admittedly far away. 

 

Here's a link to the listing. 

 http://winchester.craigslist.org/spo/4789369137.html

 

Love to hear your thoughts.

post #4 of 11


I had good luck here (Kastle RX)...

http://www.ebay.com/usr/snowsportdeals?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2754

 

They were in good condition (per two ski repair shops) -- but not "lightly" used...   And, with the demo bindings, they were easy to fit to my boots.

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post

184.  They're listed on Craig's List, so I'll definitely see them before I buy them.  The pics included with the listing look pretty good, though they are admittedly far away. 

Here's a link to the listing. 
 http://winchester.craigslist.org/spo/4789369137.html

Love to hear your thoughts.

To be clear, a "2012" ski is from three years ago (not two). The bindings look like last year's, which lends credence to the idea that the skis were bought as new old stock last year (good). Otherwise they may have been redrilled (not as good). Seems like bigger guys often like the Kendo.

I loved my carver vectrises, even though I bought them too long, thinking I knew better than the shop guy. But yes, you're overdue for an update.
post #6 of 11

Regardless of anything else that is a pretty good deal and from the photos given they look to be in nice shape with the most recent Marker Griffon binding.

 

That being said the Kendo specifically, and most skis generally, have changed a bit since 2012 with the coming of age of rocker profiles in most all skis- from recreational skis to carvers and of course more soft snow oriented skis. 

 

If you are looking to move into the present generation of skis, though anything remotely recent is a big step up from what you have been using, I would take a serious consideration at looking at looking at a ski with some moderate rocker.  Though most "cutting edge" technology from ski companies is heavy on hype and low on substance, adding tip rocker in skis generally makes them way more friendly to most skiers.  Turn initiation becomes a piece of cake, skier stance can be a bit more upright and relaxed, and the performance in any soft or uneven snow conditions gets much better.  The downsides of rocker are pretty minimal and really only appreciable at the highest ends of hard snow performance. 

 

Here is a quick link to a newer "closeout" Kendo (2014).  Packaged with the same Griffon, it is fully warrantied, mounted to order (or not at all), and shipped free of charge.  And in the end only $200 more than the older, used option on clist. 

 

This is Euro Kendo.  Just the same as the US/N. American version except with a more durable matte topskin. 

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post
 

I'm 6'3", 230 lbs.,

skiing East Coast,

mainly groomers with some off-piste when able,

Prefer blacks, avoid moguls whenever possible

like to vary my runs between carving nice lines and getting up on the speedometer (controlled, but aggressive)

 

Given these stats, you need a rockered ski like you need a trepanation.  Don't believe the hype.

 

My experience with used skis (and new skis after they have seen over 100 days or so) is that they lose their torsional stiffness and therefore their ability to hold an edge on Eastern Firm (TM).  That might not matter so much with a 90mm+ wide rockered ski, but for anything that's designed for your intended usage buying used means accepting a downgrade in performance.  Unless you can find a ski that was used lightly, but that's sometimes hard to see.  .

 

That said, there's been so much improvement in the technology since the Vectris came out than almost any modern groomer-biased ski, used or not, will be a big step up.

post #8 of 11

@KingGrump runs those in the east coast

 

And I use the Elan Apex (very similar) on the west coast on firmer snow days

 

Maybe the grump will chime in here

post #9 of 11

The Kendo is a fun ski; kinda stiff, fairly groomer oriented for a mid-width ski.  Very powerful and snappy. I liked my pair.  Should be night and day vs. your old skis.  I would make sure it has less than 30 days on it; skis tend to start to die a bit after that.  They lose edge grip and snap, become kinda dead, can't hold on hard snow as well. 

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the replies.  I'm wondering if there are any recommendations for OTHER skis that you all would make.  While it seems that there is a lot of support out there for the Kendo, is there a different ski which you all might think would serve my needs better? 

 

Thanks again.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post
 

I appreciate the replies.  I'm wondering if there are any recommendations for OTHER skis that you all would make.  While it seems that there is a lot of support out there for the Kendo, is there a different ski which you all might think would serve my needs better? 

 

Thanks again.


I think dimensionally you are in the right category with the upper 80s, low 90s underfoot.  Most versatile ski width for the east IMO.  The other ski that I would recommend is the Blizzard Brahma.  I prefer it to the Kendo for a number of reasons.  I also have owned both 180s and 187s in the Brahma. 

 

The top end hard snow performance probably goes to the Kendo, but the Brahma isn't appreciably worse.  But it is a lot easier to ski the Brahma both aggressively and passively.  Which will come in handy on the runs you decide to slow it down and ski with the Mrs. 

 

The Brahma will also serve much better in off piste skiing.  I think it is hands down a more fun ski in trees, bumps, and soft snow. 

 

But for the most part you are looking in the right realm for the type of ski.  And Kendo vs. Brahma you are probably looking at two "right" answers. 

 

-jake

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