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Old guy getting back in. [western PA]

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Wow.

 

(background for clarity) (I think in bullet points)

 

Stuff has changed  a lot since I bought.  I have been kind of out of skiing for a while, still occasionally got to go but it was with the kids and I had to hang with them. Life got in the way of going a lot, (years)  however, things are looking brighter now. I have had the kids out a few times and they are able to function on their own. I took off and was actually able to ski some intermediates. When I got back over and into my skis, and it felt GOOOOD. I think I can come back to intermediate pretty quick, and get back to eastern light expert even as a old guy.

 

I have skied for a while, started around 13 in NEPA (Jack Frost, Big Boulder) and kept it up in the service in WA. (Baker, Snoqualmie, Stevens) Hit Mt Hood a few times and did Bachelor in OR. Went to college, and Elk (NEPA) was close and a trip I made often night skiing after class, did Killington and Pico, then I moved and was 15 min from Shawnee.

 

I was refereed to as a "terminal intermediate" and that sums it up pretty well. I could do expert and not embarrass myself out west when I went a lot, but I didn't get to go as much as I wanted. Now I have done WPA/ Pittsburgh, and I like Blue Knob with the kids. Not a huge hill, but well taken care of.

 

When I bought last, the choice was stiff, flexible and flaccid, skis to. I have a set of 31 Y/O Swallow's that have a lot of miles on them. I replaced the bindings a few years ago because they grenaded. That makes me want to replace the boards and boots now that I am a little free to push again. I doubt I will ever go for a diet of steady black diamond, but a run or two will happen.

 

Anyway, the question.

 Starting with the most important part, boots, as a 6' 250lb 50 year old who kayaks and backpacks, I am not the smallest bear in the forest. Not exactly a chunky dunker (skinny dipping for fat folk) but no runway model. What would you folks who actually have skied stuff that isnt older than yourselves, think about the Nordica Cruise 110. I got my current Nordicas  mainly for the high arch, calf size, and pretty stiff flex. It looks like Nordica has continued that trend and it looks like the Cruise 110 is falling in the ability range I want to get back to.

 

Next. Skis.

 

Was this just to simple?

 

I need a hint to be able to talk to a ski shop. I mean, rocker, rocker/camber, rocker/camber/rocker, off the rocker...... I think..... a full camber or a rocker/camber is what I am looking for. Dont plan on "off piste" or what we used to call "out of bounds, you are on your own". Just eastern groomed stuff and if I am lucky, a trip or two back west and to VT.

post #2 of 29
Don't buy boots based on what you read. Go to a good boot FITTER, not seller, and get boots that fit. Billie Kaplan is supposed to be the "guy" in eastern PA. Might be others.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

Anyone in West PA? I am now above Pittsburgh. OR a trusted shop?

post #4 of 29

Go see Richard Bennett at Peak Ski and Board at their Gibsonia location. He's an excellent bootfitter.

post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmintmist View Post
 

Wow.

 

(background for clarity) (I think in bullet points)

 

Stuff has changed  a lot since I bought.  I have been kind of out of skiing for a while, still occasionally got to go but it was with the kids and I had to hang with them. Life got in the way of going a lot, (years)  however, things are looking brighter now. I have had the kids out a few times and they are able to function on their own. I took off and was actually able to ski some intermediates. When I got back over and into my skis, and it felt GOOOOD. I think I can come back to intermediate pretty quick, and get back to eastern light expert even as a old guy.

 

I have skied for a while, started around 13 in NEPA (Jack Frost, Big Boulder) and kept it up in the service in WA. (Baker, Snoqualmie, Stevens) Hit Mt Hood a few times and did Bachelor in OR. Went to college, and Elk (NEPA) was close and a trip I made often night skiing after class, did Killington and Pico, then I moved and was 15 min from Shawnee.

 

I was refereed to as a "terminal intermediate" and that sums it up pretty well. I could do expert and not embarrass myself out west when I went a lot, but I didn't get to go as much as I wanted. Now I have done WPA/ Pittsburgh, and I like Blue Knob with the kids. Not a huge hill, but well taken care of.

 

When I bought last, the choice was stiff, flexible and flaccid, skis to. I have a set of 31 Y/O Swallow's that have a lot of miles on them. I replaced the bindings a few years ago because they grenaded. That makes me want to replace the boards and boots now that I am a little free to push again. I doubt I will ever go for a diet of steady black diamond, but a run or two will happen.

 

Anyway, the question.

 Starting with the most important part, boots, as a 6' 250lb 50 year old who kayaks and backpacks, I am not the smallest bear in the forest. Not exactly a chunky dunker (skinny dipping for fat folk) but no runway model. What would you folks who actually have skied stuff that isnt older than yourselves, think about the Nordica Cruise 110. I got my current Nordicas  mainly for the high arch, calf size, and pretty stiff flex. It looks like Nordica has continued that trend and it looks like the Cruise 110 is falling in the ability range I want to get back to.

 

Next. Skis.

 

Was this just to simple?

 

I need a hint to be able to talk to a ski shop. I mean, rocker, rocker/camber, rocker/camber/rocker, off the rocker...... I think..... a full camber or a rocker/camber is what I am looking for. Dont plan on "off piste" or what we used to call "out of bounds, you are on your own". Just eastern groomed stuff and if I am lucky, a trip or two back west and to VT.


Welcome to EpicSki!  Plenty of old guys around who live in western PA.  Although, 50 is not really "old" around here. :)

 

You can use the tag link for Clydesdale gear under Topics Discussed (right hand column) to find some relevant threads.  Might give you some ideas when it comes to buying skis.  Probably a few threads related to buying boots too.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

Well used??

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmintmist View Post
 

Anyway, the question.

 Starting with the most important part, boots, as a 6' 250lb 50 year old who kayaks and backpacks, I am not the smallest bear in the forest. Not exactly a chunky dunker (skinny dipping for fat folk) but no runway model. What would you folks who actually have skied stuff that isnt older than yourselves, think about the Nordica Cruise 110. I got my current Nordicas  mainly for the high arch, calf size, and pretty stiff flex. It looks like Nordica has continued that trend and it looks like the Cruise 110 is falling in the ability range I want to get back to.

 

At your size you'll fold that boot in half.  I weigh about 150, 70 years old, and could ski that boot if it fit my feet properly, I know because we have one in the shop.  

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Clydesdale?  I tend more to Tennessee Walker.

 

Push me

 

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmintmist View Post
 

Clydesdale?  I tend more to Tennessee Walker.

 

Push me

 


:D You'll fit in here great!  The Clydesdales I'm aware of live in the midwest for some reason.  Except for my good friend with size 16 feet who grew up in VA but ended up in Oregon.  He was very happy to buy a custom pair of ONP3 skis last year.

 

Check out the recent thread about the EpicSki/DCSki Gathering at Blue Knob.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/129818/2015-mid-atlantic-gathering-blue-knob-feb-6-8

 

There will be folks getting together at the Snowy Luau at Timberline in WV in March.

post #10 of 29

Paging @Laurel Hill Crazie for suggestions about boot fitter in western PA.

post #11 of 29
He got one in post 4.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Welcome to EpicSki!  Plenty of old guys around who live in western PA.  Although, 50 is not really "old" around here. :)

 

 

Did you ask if we wanted to have a beer?

 

No, she said "old around here..."

 

Oh. 

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmintmist View Post
 

Wow.

 

(background for clarity) (I think in bullet points)

 

Stuff has changed  a lot since I bought.  I have been kind of out of skiing for a while, still occasionally got to go but it was with the kids and I had to hang with them. Life got in the way of going a lot, (years)  however, things are looking brighter now. I have had the kids out a few times and they are able to function on their own. I took off and was actually able to ski some intermediates. When I got back over and into my skis, and it felt GOOOOD. I think I can come back to intermediate pretty quick, and get back to eastern light expert even as a old guy.

 

I have skied for a while, started around 13 in NEPA (Jack Frost, Big Boulder) and kept it up in the service in WA. (Baker, Snoqualmie, Stevens) Hit Mt Hood a few times and did Bachelor in OR. Went to college, and Elk (NEPA) was close and a trip I made often night skiing after class, did Killington and Pico, then I moved and was 15 min from Shawnee.

 

I was refereed to as a "terminal intermediate" and that sums it up pretty well. I could do expert and not embarrass myself out west when I went a lot, but I didn't get to go as much as I wanted. Now I have done WPA/ Pittsburgh, and I like Blue Knob with the kids. Not a huge hill, but well taken care of.

 

When I bought last, the choice was stiff, flexible and flaccid, skis to. I have a set of 31 Y/O Swallow's that have a lot of miles on them. I replaced the bindings a few years ago because they grenaded. That makes me want to replace the boards and boots now that I am a little free to push again. I doubt I will ever go for a diet of steady black diamond, but a run or two will happen.

 

Anyway, the question.

 Starting with the most important part, boots, as a 6' 250lb 50 year old who kayaks and backpacks, I am not the smallest bear in the forest. Not exactly a chunky dunker (skinny dipping for fat folk) but no runway model. What would you folks who actually have skied stuff that isnt older than yourselves, think about the Nordica Cruise 110. I got my current Nordicas  mainly for the high arch, calf size, and pretty stiff flex. It looks like Nordica has continued that trend and it looks like the Cruise 110 is falling in the ability range I want to get back to.

 

Next. Skis.

 

Was this just to simple?

 

I need a hint to be able to talk to a ski shop. I mean, rocker, rocker/camber, rocker/camber/rocker, off the rocker...... I think..... a full camber or a rocker/camber is what I am looking for. Dont plan on "off piste" or what we used to call "out of bounds, you are on your own". Just eastern groomed stuff and if I am lucky, a trip or two back west and to VT.

 

Haw yinz doin', kid. Welcome to Epic. You are right to begin your upgrade with boots but any ski that is older than your youngest child should be retired soon.

 

First the boots. I will second kauffee's recommendation and say go and see Richard Bennett at Peak Ski and Board at their Gibsonia location. He has built his reputation as a boot fitter and in my experience he and the staff will take the time and fit you in a proper boot. Gibsonia is south on Rt.8 exit # 39 right off Turnpike their Monroeville shop is right near Boyce Park Ski Area but I know Richard mostly works out of Gibsonia. If that is not possible there is Willi's, the big shop in town, with three location, North Hills, South Hills and at Seven Springs Yinzer Mountain Resort and a "warehouse" location in Greensburg but if Greensburg is where you must go then I'd try nearby Cycle Sport and Ski.

 

No matter where you go I'd call ahead and ask for an appointment to get fitted for a pair of boots (a must at Peak) so you have a shot at getting the time needed to do the job right. If this is all sounding like a process, it is because this is the most important equipment decision you will make no matter if you are an occasional affectionado, a weekend warrior, or a weekday wonder like me (as in, it's a wonder I was actually able to collect a pension. You youngsters should look up that word.)  No matter where you end up you should expect your bootfitter to actually look at your foot, not just measure length and width and ask about your skiing. When you narrow down to a few chooses depending on the above then not only should you try on the boot but you should also pull out the bootie liner and put your foot into the shell to see how much of that comfy feel is due to padding that will breakdown fast leaving a sloppy fit. Well, I could go on but so many fine members here already have. Here's a list of useful articles: http://www.epicski.com/atype/2/Gear/tag/bootfitting

 

As for skis, if you're on a budget (especially after you spent a decent dollar on a good set of boots) your old bindings could be reused if they're still indemnifiable. I'm just a steelworker retiree but I think that word means that the manufacturer can no longer be held liable in case of failure. For you and me it means the bindings are too worn to be safe. Most shops don't rent demos but ask. I know that Willi's at Seven Springs does and this is the next best thing to hitting a demo days at the local hill. For, I can't remember maybe $40 to $60 buck, you pay a rental fee and the shop will let try about 3 or so different pairs to compare. It might be too late for a Demo day around here but that's when the ski reps come to town with their company's popular models and let you rip a couple runs and try a bunch of stuff. Of course you should have your new boots with you to shop the new boards. For all mountain skiing here in Stiller Nation I like a ski that is high 70 to mid-80 mm width underfoot, in around a 180 length with an early rise tip (slight rocker), sidewall construction, nice shape. a 17 to 19 turn radius but hey that's me and just what I came to like over the years but I was one never to heed the demo advice and bought  discounted or discontinued skis that the manufacture and reviews said were suited for  where and what I aspire to ski then just learned to like them. I did demo over the years and the rule is, buy the ski that makes you say wow. 

 

Ok, now you're all outfitted and you need to find somebody to ski with. All your kids are ripping tricks in the park, railing the hell out of their boards and in general being a bunch of twiitter heads or snap dragons or whatever social media dejour. You need to get aut ta da Springs and ski with the Over The Hill Gang, at 50 you just do qualify n at. Show up in the ski lodge on Tuesday and Thursday morning before 9 am in from of the First Tracks food service and look for the geezers and ask if you can sign up. Sign the book, Franz will ask if you need a lift ticket, if so he will give you a half price voucher, go to the ticket desk to redeem and if it's early enough, do a few front side runs then meet the geezers in front of the lodge by the highspeed six at 10 am and join either the easy does it crew or the Bode wannabes. An experienced guide or instructor will help keep the groups together. Essentially you all agree to meet at the bottom of a particular lift then ski with a group or individual that matches your terrain and pace preference. Do this to about noon, collect a free hot beverage coupon then break for lunch either together or on your own after you are also free to hang with like minded geezers or ski solo if you wish. It's as easy as that. The kids are jealous of the discount wondering why the seniors get all the discounts when we have all the money but they're kids and never understand that age has its privileges. I plan on being there tomorrow. Come on up with your old gear, you might find folks on stuff just as old and get a lot of feedback from chatty geezer like me.:D 

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm muppear near Butler so's I know where rut eight n'at is. Peak Ski his jus dawn der rud a bit. (From NEPA originally so I can speak "Up dee Eynon"  along with Pittsburgese.)

 

Budget, well, I get my moneys worth out of them so after I can get past the sticker shock..... I figure I am going to be used pretty hard when I start this rolling. I have boots on two of the kids, they need skis now that they can hold their own. The wifes gear isnt as old as mine, but it could drink legally, and you KNOW that I will never get away with just one full set. Daughter #3 has little interest, so I will rent for her unless she gets the bug. This is going to hurt no matter what.

 

My bindings are not well used, the skis and boots are so they should be mountable. Its boots first, then we will see what I can find out ski wise.

 

Probably not this year because of time and commitments, but I like the idea of Yinzer Hill midweek. If I did it this year I would have to sneak out of the house. Hmmm, go skiing in work clothes..... Anyway, I am trying to get the clan together for the Knob next Thurs. That might be it according to the weather.

 

Are there any post season sales that are a yearly thing around here? I am fine with leftovers.

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Did you ask if we wanted to have a beer?

 

No, she said "old around here..."

 

Oh.

Doc said I shouldnt drink much beer.

 

So I took one for the team and found single malt scotch. I am such a martyr.

post #16 of 29
Ahhh Sugarmans Eynon Drug,got my first boots there ,
post #17 of 29

Yunz up air fum Bahtlr nat at, get aut, ya jag off. I'm dahn air round Freeport n at, Sarver rilly. Yinz got me beat fr PA dialect. I'm 100% yinzer.

post #18 of 29

Fergit dat Phil guy. Gits me steamed when autsider call him Punxatawny Phil n at. Dat guuys from Philly. Ain't dat a part of Jersey or Delwhere?

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Ahhh Sugarmans Eynon Drug,got my first boots there ,

 

Youz guys know Scra'in too?!!

 

I got a pair of Elan RC Comps at that Sugarmans when I was about 12. Man I thought those were the coolest.

post #20 of 29

SNL could do a skit called The Pennsylvanians with material from this thread.

post #21 of 29

Scra'in ain't dat where Joe Biden's frum? He ran to Delwhere n yinz headed fr Orgun? Wassat say bout Scra'in?

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmintmist View Post
 

Doc said I shouldnt drink much beer.

 

So I took one for the team and found single malt scotch. I am such a martyr.


Good strategy. Which one(s): Highland? Islay? Lowland? Mull? Orkney? Skye? Speyside?  I'm kind of a lightweight myself and prefer The Balvenie Double Wood because it's sweet and mellow, just like my personality - at least post-consumption.  Sorry - you asked about equipment, not whiskey.

 

Like you, I'm an older skier who returned to the slopes after a prolonged time off. My first season back (2013), I rented and demoed to get a feel for the new equipment - everything was way better than the Hansen rear-entry boots and Rossi Roc 550's that are mouldering in my basement. During the off season, I did some research and then early the next season, started shopping. You've already gotten some good specific advice about getting good boots from a shop that knows how to properly fit them. A big "ditto" from me on this as well. When I was looking for boots, I tried on perhaps ten different models before settling on a pair of Atomic Waymaker 130's - which fit reasonably well and because they were the previous year's model, were reasonably priced. The shop worked with me over the whole 2014 season tweaking the fit and these are now the most comfortable boots I've ever owned. They are in fact the only boots I've had that can wear all day with no discomfort. My feet and legs are undoubtedly different than yours (low arches, wide, high instep, nascent hallux at the right toe and very robust man cankles and shins) which means simply that boots need to be individualized and you should be prepared to spend time seeing what's likely to work best for you. As to flex, it sounds to me that you ought to be something pretty stiff but you should discuss that with the shop.

 

You have much more latitude with ski selection. I skied successfully at my local, Elk Mtn near Scranton, and out at Alta/Snowbird with mid-fats (90mm) that had a tight turn radius (~18m), some early tip rise and fair bit of camber - the very definition of All-mountain skis. Best to demo if you can as YMMV. Here's a link to a website that provides a pretty good explanation of modern ski construction terminology: Mechanics of Sport

 

My parting suggestion is to look for older or discontinued models. I would up paying substantially less than half the MSRP for both boots and skis using this strategy, though I had to bite the bullet on bindings. Even there though, I saved a bit - I wanted Look Pivots (which are the modern update of the Look Nevadas on the 30+ year old skis in my basement) and found out the shop offered a DIN 12 version branded as Rossi FKS 120's for nearly $100 less.

 

Bonne chance mon frere. Let me know if you ever decide to head east to Elk.

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel Hill Crazie View Post
 

Scra'in ain't dat where Joe Biden's frum? He ran to Delwhere n yinz headed fr Orgun? Wassat say bout Scra'in?

 

Ain't sayin' nuddin. I get back uppda Scra'in a coupla two, tree times a year onacowna my pops still lives dere.

post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 

Laphroiag is a go to but I am partial to Talisker. Not a highland fan and while more expensive scotches are a little better, I dont feel that it justifies the price. If you like the peaty flavor, that is pretty mellow, Talisker is hard to beat. Oban is a bit smoother, but at least in PA for 25% more and it isnt that much more enjoyable, Lagavuland didnt impress me for the difference in price.

With the proper flask, I am pretty sure it is equipment.

 

I grew up near Harveys lake, went two years to PSU Wilkes Barre where i lived 40 Min away from Elk. I know Elk and a buddy of mine and I were just talking about making a trip. Like I said, I am just getting freed up to go more but I would like to take a trip to Elk.

 

 

Kind of hoping I can find a leftover that will fit. If not then match the existing bindings to a leftover ski, but the boot needs to fit. After Apr I figure on bringing cash, and with 4 potential clients, off season, I hope to do OK.

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post
 

 

Ain't sayin' nuddin. I get back uppda Scra'in a coupla two, tree times a year onacowna my pops still lives dere.


Scra'in, Wilkes-Barre. Used to get der troo Edderdsville. Dey gots a few bars der haina-or no?

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmintmist View Post
 


Scra'in, Wilkes-Barre. Used to get der troo Edderdsville. Dey gots a few bars der haina-or no?

Supposally daresa cupla.

post #27 of 29
Go see Richard at Peak Ski.
post #28 of 29
50 is not old. I didn't start skiing until I was 50! That's what I get for being a flatlander Texan. After boots, lessons are a must. I feel I've made great progress in the last 2 years thanks to them.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 

Swallow MGX

 

Test running a pic, so I picked my skis

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