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Rent, buy used or buy new

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have been skiing since I was a kid and now am close to 40, but only a few times a year.  I would say I am lower intermediate.

 

I am looking to buy a pair of skis, and am wondering whether I should go used, or new.

 

I am looking at ~$250 pair of skis w/ binding, new, and then I would still have to get boots.  Those I will buy new.

 

The second option is that I buy used.  I am looking at skis on 'Liquidation Sports' graded S, which means ...

 

Standard - Our Standard skis are sold just as they have been received by our warehouse. We check the bindings for proper operation, core shots and delamination and remove any unsafe skis. Chip sizes in the top sheet will be approximately 1/2 to 2 inches in length. The skis will have scratches and nicks on the top sheets, bases and bindings. To provide you with the lowest prices possible the chips will not be repaired. In addition, we will not sharpen the edges or sand and wax the bases. If you are trained skier or have a favorite ski technician these skis will provide you with the very best value! We realize not everyone has a ski technician on their speed dial. So, we are offering the following services at 1/2 our normal shop prices when you purchase them at the same time as your skis.

 

Will those be good?  I am looking to pay $125-150 for such skis w/ binding.  At that price, should I just go new?  Boots again would be bought new.

 

I would like to ski as often as possible, but the truth is I'm getting older and probably won't have time to improve that much.  I don't anticipate going more than say 4 or 5 times a year.  Maybe up to 7 or so if I take a trip out west, but then is it even prudent to carry on skis if I fly or rent?

 

Or the third option is even to continue renting.  At this point, I have been skiing more than 35 times in my life, but have never owned.  Every season I get amped to buy skis and maybe start going more, but then spring comes and I forget about it.  And now I'm older.  If I was 20 years old, I wouldn't hesitate to get the more expensive equipment, but at this point (when older, boring sensibilities kick in), I'm thinking the used skis would be good enough, or even renting like I said.

 

Thanks for opinions!

post #2 of 18

One foot in the grave huh?  Seriously, close to 40 is anything but old.  I started skiing when I was 18, had a fool for a student and an idiot for an instructor and developed just about every bad habit known(self-taught).  At the age of 60 I undertook learning to ski properly and at 65 became a certified PSIA instructor.  I'm now 70 and ski better, harder, faster than at any time in my life.  When I was 60 there were very few black runs at my home mountain that I would ski, now I ski the entire mountain, including the double black chutes and glades.  So, you can improve if you want to and the first thing on your agenda to help you improve is boots that fit your feet.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about terminology and fitting.  Then check the "Who's Who" and see if there's a boot fitter near you.  If there is, call and make an appointment.  If there isn't ask here and someone will be able to recommend a fitter.  This is the most important thing you can do for your skiing.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Lol, thanks for the answer.

 

I didn't mean to imply that I am too old to do it physically, just that it is a realistic possibility that I might not do it that often going forward, so I'd prefer not to overspend if that were the case.

 

Boots are definitely the priority for me and I will buy those new.

 

But you think the used skis would be fine?  That retailer seems to be very prominent.

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jontaejones View Post

 

But you think the used skis would be fine?  That retailer seems to be very prominent.

At $150 for skis, that covers, what, the cost of renting for one season? If you're planning to ski even one more season, it would make sense to me to buy. You might want to wait until spring and then check out the local used market though. You can probably find better deals, and you'll be able to inspect the skis in person. My daily skis are some old Volkls that some guy was giving away for free because they had a small core shot in each ski and he was moving away from skiing country. Picked up some new bindings from an REI used gear sale and that got me my everyday skis for $80.

post #5 of 18
Once you get really old, you'll have plenty of time to ski.

Never heard of the retailer. You won't know how often these were used or anything it sounds like. I can tell you now, that you don't want my old skis. Better to buy here where you can ask a lot of questions from the owner.

As to boots, "new" is not good enough. What you want is a good boot fitter, not a guy in a shop that happens to have boots. So, provide your location and get a recommendation from folks here. Also, READ UP on getting fit so you know when the guy is just trying to sell you a boot. Understand what a new boot should feel like (and it is not like a bedroom slipper!)
post #6 of 18

Here's my suggestion: focus on boots (which is pretty much what everyone will tell you, because it's true).  Then, once you have the boots, focus on skis.  For skis, the next time you go out west you might want to find a shop (ideally right in the ski village) with a really good selection of "demo" skis (which means top-quality skis, better than the typical rentals -- i.e., the kind of skis you'd want to buy).  You'll spend a little more, but you'll have a chance to spend quality time on several different skis (if the shop's next to the lifts, you could even swap out one or more times during the day).  Find the ski you like the best.  The shop should let you use some or all of the money you spent on rental towards the skis.  If it's toward the end of the season, you could negotiate with the shop to buy the rentals at a deep discount.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Once you get really old, you'll have plenty of time to ski.

Never heard of the retailer. You won't know how often these were used or anything it sounds like. I can tell you now, that you don't want my old skis. Better to buy here where you can ask a lot of questions from the owner.

As to boots, "new" is not good enough. What you want is a good boot fitter, not a guy in a shop that happens to have boots. So, provide your location and get a recommendation from folks here. Also, READ UP on getting fit so you know when the guy is just trying to sell you a boot. Understand what a new boot should feel like (and it is not like a bedroom slipper!)

 

My location is northern/central NJ.

 

I wouldn't mind if you recommended some boot fitters, but I was thinking of spending along the lines of $150 for boots.

 

That's kind of where I was trying to go with this.  I'm not really that good, or serious about it and don't have money to burn.

 

If I need to spend 400-500 dollars for adequate boots and fitting, then I will just rent for now until I pass another plateau or really get into it.  But I don't know if that is the case.

 

Sorry for the newbie responses.

post #8 of 18
You'll be burning money buying that kind of boot. Better to rent where you can run in and get a different pair, IMO.

Slight possibility of getting used boots where the person got the wrong boot and is unloading good boots that may fit you. But if you don't know how it's supposed to fit, then you're back where you started. Throwing money away.
post #9 of 18
I think Heino's is supposed to have a good boot fitter. Do a search here, maybe his name will pop up.
post #10 of 18

$150 might get you a new kid's boot, but unless a shop just wants to unload some inventory, you need to think about double that amount to get decent adult boots.  I spent nearly twice that and that was at true wholesale pricing because I work in a shop.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes, I know where Heino's is.  Thanks.

 

$300-400 may be something I am willing to spend but I need to think about it.

 

I'd essentially be taking $ that I'd have been spending on the skis and putting towards the boots.

 

Thanks for the tips.  I'm glad I asked.

post #12 of 18
It would make more sense to spend the money entirely on boots and rent the skis.
post #13 of 18
post #14 of 18

Put your entire budget toward boots. 

 

Get the boots done right and then any reasonably tuned ski will work as designed.  I'd get the boots dialed, ski rental or demo skis 4-5 times a year.  You'll see a massive difference and improvement if you personalize the boot.  Boots are way more important, a way bigger game improvement tool than skis - although skis are more fun.

 

Once you are skiing 10+ days a year, buying skis starts to make more economic sense, especially if you find a deal - but remember if those days are a flight away, you are paying baggage fees on both ends for the privilege of using the skis that you own.

 

Skis are commodities - get boots this season, and pick the racks for a good deal on skis next spring.

post #15 of 18
Just to clarify why we are telling you this.

Boots are the interface between you and your ski, the way you tell the ski what to do. If the fit is not snug, you'll be doing extra work and your commands won't be transmitted clearly to the ski. If the boots are too big especially, you will end up probably in the back seat, or clamping down on the buckles to get better control, and cut off your circulation. A frequently quoted stat here is that 90% of the skiers out there are in boots that are too big. People buy ski boots thinking they've been buying street shoes their whole life so that they know how to buy ski boots. They are wrong.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jontaejones View Post
 

Yes, I know where Heino's is.  Thanks.

 

$300-400 may be something I am willing to spend but I need to think about it.

 

I'd essentially be taking $ that I'd have been spending on the skis and putting towards the boots.

 

Thanks for the tips.  I'm glad I asked.


Have you considered a season rental?  Not as good as buying your own boots and some used skis, but could be easier on the budget.

 

I think you also asked about whether or not to take skis good for skiing near NJ on a trip out west.  The answer is probably "no." Especially if you don't fly Southwest and already own a ski bag.  Probably do better to budget for rental skis for a ski vacation that involves flying somewhere.  Even when I take my own skis (carry on my own boots), I'm ready to rent different skis if I catch a snowstorm.  Didn't make quite as much difference when I was an intermediate (ages 25-50) mostly skiing groomers infrequently but I still did it for a day or two.  As an advanced skier (over 55, retired, skiing 30+ days a season), I know more about skis and own all-mountain skis and rent more often for powder but still usually only for 2-3 days out of a ski week.

post #17 of 18
I would not buy those used, graded "S" skis. You could easily spend another $50-100 getting the bindings adjusted (or remounted) and tested, bases repaired, waxed.

I have no idea of what size skis you might need, but right here on Epic someone has 2012 Blizzard Magnum 7.6 with bindings, 170 cm, for $199.
post #18 of 18

Buy good boots that fit, this is the best investment in your skiing happiness that you can make.

 

Then buy a pair of used skis of Craigslist or Ebay. Just make sure they can be adjusted to fit your boots. I am not being snarky here but as you describe yourself as a low intermediate as long as you get a pair of reasonably soft skis you will be fine. At the end of the ski season there are often real bargains.

 

If buying used there is a gotcha. There is a list of 'approved' bindings, if your bindings are not on the list shops won't touch them.  Don't panic, Learn how to adjust your own bindings. It is not rocket science and Mr Google will help out.

 

I am happily skiing on early carvers with bindings that will possibly fall off the list soon bought for $60.

 

Oh yes avoid buying ex rental skis, look for a private sale of lightly used ones.

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