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15 year hiatus - what to purchase for now [in northeast]

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Not quite a beginner as I grew up skiing 1-2 weeks per year (I'm from Florida but my family has been coming up to Vermont since the 70s).  Life happened and I stopped coming up at about 15 or 16.  My family never purchased equipment for us when we were kids as we skied so infrequently, so I've never skied on anything other than rental equipment.  

 

Anyway, I'm living in the northeast now and skied five days over Christmas and remembered how much I loved it! I have at least three more trips (2-3 days each) planned for the next month, with hopefully a couple more before the winter is over.  Since I'm now living just a couple hours from where I grew up skiing, have friends who also love it, and don't see my situation changing in the foreseeable future, I am thinking it makes sense to invest in my own gear…? 

 

After some obsessive research I have decided to start with a good pair of boots; I'm planning a trip to the Boot Pro in Ludlow at the onset of my trip up this weekend, and then continuing to rent skis poles/helmet for the rest of the season as all my money will be gone.  Does anyone have any input on this boot place? Or any others in Ludlow?  Am I jumping to purchase boots too soon with only five days on the mountain? Is there any reason why it would be better to wait? Not soon enough with the skis? I'm guessing I'll buy a helmet maybe in a sale at the end of the season and then look at used skis next year once I figure out my ski style more and what skis would work best.  Is this reasonable or am I completely missing the mark?  

 

Thanks! 

 

Mod note: moved to Ski Gear

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSkeris View Post
 

Not quite a beginner as I grew up skiing 1-2 weeks per year (I'm from Florida but my family has been coming up to Vermont since the 70s).  Life happened and I stopped coming up at about 15 or 16.  My family never purchased equipment for us when we were kids as we skied so infrequently, so I've never skied on anything other than rental equipment.  

 

Anyway, I'm living in the northeast now and skied five days over Christmas and remembered how much I loved it! I have at least three more trips (2-3 days each) planned for the next month, with hopefully a couple more before the winter is over.  Since I'm now living just a couple hours from where I grew up skiing, have friends who also love it, and don't see my situation changing in the foreseeable future, I am thinking it makes sense to invest in my own gear…? 

 

After some obsessive research I have decided to start with a good pair of boots; I'm planning a trip to the Boot Pro in Ludlow at the onset of my trip up this weekend, and then continuing to rent skis poles/helmet for the rest of the season as all my money will be gone.  Does anyone have any input on this boot place? Or any others in Ludlow?  Am I jumping to purchase boots too soon with only five days on the mountain? Is there any reason why it would be better to wait? Not soon enough with the skis? I'm guessing I'll buy a helmet maybe in a sale at the end of the season and then look at used skis next year once I figure out my ski style more and what skis would work best.  Is this reasonable or am I completely missing the mark?  

 

Thanks! 

 

Mod note: moved to Ski Gear

Welcome to EpicSki!  What you want to ask for is "new old stock."  Meaning something from a previous model year.  Good boot fitters have a collection in the back and can help you find a boot that fits without blowing the budget completely.  Good for you in figuring out that boots come first and are worth the investment.

 

Might find some useful ideas about a boot fitter in the northeast in this thread:

http://www.epicski.com/t/119820/boot-fitters-new-england

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the tip! I will definitely ask about "new old boots," I'm totally open to previous years' boots - hopefully the stock won't be too picked over!  I was happy to see the Boot Pro was recommended on that list; I'd like to stay local to Okemo so I don't have to spend too much of my ski time this weekend driving, and in case I need to go back to any additional help :) 

post #4 of 17
I have a place at Okemo and can strongly recommend The Boot Pro. I got fit for boots a few years ago by the owner right before he opened his The Boot Pro shop. He is very thorough and definitely knows boot fitting. I would be very surprised if you are not well treated at The Boot Pro.
post #5 of 17

Boots are always the most important piece of equipment.  I hand-carry my boots when I fly...don't want them lost.

 

The best time to buy boots is at the September sales.  The shops will have new stock they want to sell to get money to pay their bills, and last year's left overs they really want to sell.  The end of the season is the worst time to buy.  Some shops will put buyers into just about anything to get it out the door.

 

The most important thing is the boot fitter.  They need to know feet and know their stock so they can ask you about your skiing, look at your feet, and have a few suggestions ready for you to try.  Even with recommended stores, try calling ahead, make up a story about someone coming in with foot problems and ask who is their most experienced boot fitter.  Ask the fitter's working hours.  When you go in, don't mention the call, but ask for that fitter.

post #6 of 17

Soft Snow Guy might be right that September is the best time of year to buy boots, but you need boots now.  

 

Also echo, good work on identifying boots as the most important item.  Boots will outlast many pairs of skis if you get the right ones and replace the liner at least once.

 

Boots fit much better today with the heat form liner.  Take your time shopping and be willing to go look more if you are not happy with the fit.  

 

Skiing definitely helps the winters go buy and it is so much fun.

 

 

Skis, bindings and poles should be pretty cheap and very serviceable used.  This is a good place to ask if you find something on craigslist.

 

Don't undersell your ability.  With your past ski experience the way modern equipment has made skiing easier you will be schussing along in no time.

post #7 of 17

+1 on the Boot Pro, from what I've heard.  I demoed skis there a couple of weeks ago (great customer service), and, discussing the skis on the lift and here, I was told very positive things about their boot-fitting.  There are many good boot fitters in this neck of the woods -- two that I know: Bill Haight, Green Mountain Orthotics Lab at Bromley (and, in theory, soon to be at Stratton, too), whose work I can personally attest to, and Nick Blaylock at Mt. Snow Sports.

 

Good luck!

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

 

The best time to buy boots is at the September sales.  The shops will have new stock they want to sell to get money to pay their bills, and last year's left overs they really want to sell.  The end of the season is the worst time to buy.  Some shops will put buyers into just about anything to get it out the door.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post
 

Soft Snow Guy might be right that September is the best time of year to buy boots, but you need boots now.  

 

Also echo, good work on identifying boots as the most important item.  Boots will outlast many pairs of skis if you get the right ones and replace the liner at least once.

 

Boots fit much better today with the heat form liner.  Take your time shopping and be willing to go look more if you are not happy with the fit.  

 

Skiing definitely helps the winters go buy and it is so much fun.

 

Skis, bindings and poles should be pretty cheap and very serviceable used.  This is a good place to ask if you find something on craigslist.

 

Don't undersell your ability.  With your past ski experience the way modern equipment has made skiing easier you will be schussing along in no time.

 

Would the sales at the beginning of next season be worth skiing in rental boots for the rest of this season? (remember that's all I've skied in, so that's kind of where my expectations are at currently… you can't miss what you've never had?)  I was originally planning on renting everything for this season anyway until I really started jonesing for my own gear and read all these threads raving about boots and how they can change your life. My feet were killing me in December when I went, but since I've only ever skied in rentals I just thought that's what ski boots feel like. 

 

Also, YES! as a Floridian in New England I had a rough time with winter last year, but I'm having so much fun already, even only having had a few days on the mountain :) 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSkeris View Post



Would the sales at the beginning of next season be worth skiing in rental boots for the rest of this season? (remember that's all I've skied in, so that's kind of where my expectations are at currently… you can't miss what you've never had?)  I was originally planning on renting everything for this season anyway until I really started jonesing for my own gear and read all these threads raving about boots and how they can change your life. My feet were killing me in December when I went, but since I've only ever skied in rentals I just thought that's what ski boots feel like. 

Also, YES! as a Floridian in New England I had a rough time with winter last year, but I'm having so much fun already, even only having had a few days on the mountain smile.gif 

You do as you like, of course, but you may want to watch for the late season sales, too.

The great thing about skiing is what it does for your appreciation of winter. After a while, you may find yourself impatient in July.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSkeris View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

 

The best time to buy boots is at the September sales.  The shops will have new stock they want to sell to get money to pay their bills, and last year's left overs they really want to sell.  The end of the season is the worst time to buy.  Some shops will put buyers into just about anything to get it out the door.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post
 

Soft Snow Guy might be right that September is the best time of year to buy boots, but you need boots now.  

 

Also echo, good work on identifying boots as the most important item.  Boots will outlast many pairs of skis if you get the right ones and replace the liner at least once.

 

Boots fit much better today with the heat form liner.  Take your time shopping and be willing to go look more if you are not happy with the fit.  

 

Skiing definitely helps the winters go buy and it is so much fun.

 

Skis, bindings and poles should be pretty cheap and very serviceable used.  This is a good place to ask if you find something on craigslist.

 

Don't undersell your ability.  With your past ski experience the way modern equipment has made skiing easier you will be schussing along in no time.

 

Would the sales at the beginning of next season be worth skiing in rental boots for the rest of this season? (remember that's all I've skied in, so that's kind of where my expectations are at currently… you can't miss what you've never had?)  I was originally planning on renting everything for this season anyway until I really started jonesing for my own gear and read all these threads raving about boots and how they can change your life. My feet were killing me in December when I went, but since I've only ever skied in rentals I just thought that's what ski boots feel like. 

 

Also, YES! as a Floridian in New England I had a rough time with winter last year, but I'm having so much fun already, even only having had a few days on the mountain :) 


Couldn't hurt to talk with a boot fitter and see what's available.  You can make it clear that you're not sure whether to buy now or continue renting for the rest of the season.  The sooner you get your own properly fitted boots, the more fun you can have.  It's not like the difference would be hundreds of dollars.

 

My experience is that after Pres. Day weekend, it's possible to find "new old stock" at a pretty decent price.  A matter of luck if there are boots that fit your feet from a previous season.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

After a while, you may find yourself impatient in July.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
The sooner you get your own properly fitted boots, the more fun you can have.  It's not like the difference would be hundreds of dollars. A matter of luck if there are boots that fit your feet from a previous season. 

 

I don't know about impatient in July.. I am used to 10 month long summers… 

 

@marznc that's kind of what I'm worried (not actually worried but thinking…) about, that enjoying my own pair/being comfortable would be worth more than $100 or so off. 

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSkeris View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
The sooner you get your own properly fitted boots, the more fun you can have.  It's not like the difference would be hundreds of dollars. A matter of luck if there are boots that fit your feet from a previous season. 

 

@marznc that's kind of what I'm worried (not actually worried but thinking…) about, that enjoying my own pair/being comfortable would be worth more than $100 or so off. 

You said you plan 2-3 more ski trips this season, perhaps more.  You are going where there is a highly recommended boot fitter.  Make an appointment and go boot shopping.  :) 

 

As for skis, no reason to buy any yet.  Once you have your own boots, look around for free demo days.  Ski swaps are in the fall.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

;) Precisely what I wanted to hear - I'm glad to know, though, that I'm not being unreasonable! 

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSkeris View Post
 

;) Precisely what I wanted to hear - I'm glad to know, though, that I'm not being unreasonable! 


Around here . . . always reasonable to go shopping for gear.  Especially from a good local ski shop.  :D

post #15 of 17

Agree completely on getting boots now .. and from a real fit place.. make sure they can do shell work.. and I'd suggest more boot(stiffer) than you think would be perfect right now.. your skills will grow into them..

far as renting ski's ... I'd suggest buying used/demo's now...  if your going to ski 3-5 more weekends, your rental costs will more than offset the cost of buying.. and you'll have them next season ... I've seen plenty of good used stuff in the 2-400 range ..

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
So after a late arrival Friday, night I woke up early Saturday and headed down to The Boot Pro and picked up these babies:
Atomic LiveFit 80W. Didn't hurt that they were on sale either. (Also they are a full size smaller than I was given at the rental shop...)

I was hyper aware of my feet and my skiing all weekend, I think because I was looking out for a difference, but I definitely felt more confident and more conscientious about what I was doing. Very happy with my purchase smile.gif

Thanks for all your input, and for sure go see The Boot Pro if you're in Ludlow and in need of boots biggrin.gif
post #17 of 17


a good boot fit, in the right performance level can make you feel like a super hero..... enjoy your vacation

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