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To buy or not to buy... [beginner/intermediate in eastern Canada]

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I am new to skiing (and the forum) and am debating buying my own equipment. A little bit about me...

 

Height 5'8"

Weight 165 lbs

 

- Beginner skier (comfortable on green, might be okay on blue with some more practice)

- Will probably only be skiing a handful of times/year (Southwestern Ontario, Canada) but want to avoid the lines and price to rent

- Goal is to have fun, enjoy the winter, get some exercise with my kids at a local ski resort

 

I have the opportunity to buy 160cm K2 Lotta Luv T:Nine (Bindings Marker MOD11.0) for $250. I was told by the seller that they are in like new condition and about 3 years old. When I googled the ski for sale it looks like the 2005-2006 model. It also looks like this is a more advanced ski than what I would need. Is this a good or bad idea?!

 

I also found a new pair of Nordica Fire Arrow F3 Womens Ski Boots on sale at a local sports store for $149. I believe they are last years model. Again, this seems like a more advanced boot.

 

I'm not sure if it is wise to buy equipment at this point or keep renting? It seems so expensive to rent ($26-$36 per day depending on time we go and for how long). I was going to jump and just buy until I started reading more articles and this forum and realized there is way more to ski equipment than I realized!!!

 

Thanks for any input, this seems like a very informative place and I can't wait to learn more!

post #2 of 29
Similar discussion here and probably ten other threads.

Get boots. Not used boots, new boots. From a place that has a boot fitter who knows what he's doing, not just a kid working in a shop. Read up on boots on the gear forum. Not the brands, etc., but what people are saying about boot buying and fitting. It's not like shoe shopping.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadelineKB View Post
 

I am new to skiing (and the forum) and am debating buying my own equipment. A little bit about me...

 

Height 5'8"

Weight 165 lbs

 

- Beginner skier (comfortable on green, might be okay on blue with some more practice)

- Will probably only be skiing a handful of times/year (Southwestern Ontario, Canada) but want to avoid the lines and price to rent

- Goal is to have fun, enjoy the winter, get some exercise with my kids at a local ski resort

 

I have the opportunity to buy 160cm K2 Lotta Luv T:Nine (Bindings Marker MOD11.0) for $250. I was told by the seller that they are in like new condition and about 3 years old. When I googled the ski for sale it looks like the 2005-2006 model. It also looks like this is a more advanced ski than what I would need. Is this a good or bad idea?!

 

I also found a new pair of Nordica Fire Arrow F3 Womens Ski Boots on sale at a local sports store for $149. I believe they are last years model. Again, this seems like a more advanced boot.

 

I'm not sure if it is wise to buy equipment at this point or keep renting? It seems so expensive to rent ($26-$36 per day depending on time we go and for how long). I was going to jump and just buy until I started reading more articles and this forum and realized there is way more to ski equipment than I realized!!!

 

Thanks for any input, this seems like a very informative place and I can't wait to learn more!


Welcome to EpicSki!  Have you looked at any of the EpicSki articles about buying gear (boots, skis)?  Look at First Run (click on Articles on the menu bar).

 

Skis that are 10 years old are not worth buying IMHO.  Stick with skis that are at most 2-3 years old.  You are correct that the Lotta Luv was designed for advanced skiers.  I'd keep looking.

 

As for boots, buying them at a local sports store is not really a good idea in the long run.  It's not like buying running shoes.  Ski boots are best when they fit snugly, more like a glove than a sneaker.  There are specialists called "boot fitters" who are trained an experienced in matching up the right ski boots to someone unique feet and lower leg size and shape.  Note that for a first pair of boots, a good boot fitter should have "new old stock" from a previous season that will be less dollars.

 

Another approach for next season is a "season lease" from a good ski shop.  You get to keep the gear all season, which is less hassle and usually less money if you ski more than 6-7 days.

post #4 of 29

The boots? Not very nice for a beginner. The flex of 115 makes them quite stiff. I race on 120 flex, and I know other racers who are on 100. It takes a long time to build up strength and skill to get the most of stiff boots. Go soft!

 

Boots are the biggest priority. A good fit can keep you warm and on the slopes all day.

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the information/responses. We don't have any specialty ski shops or boot fitters in London, Ontario as far as I know. I think it's just regular sports stores. I'll have to look into that.

 

I have read some articles and threads on the site but wanted to post about the equipment so I didn't miss the deal if it was good! I honestly thought length was all that really mattered in a ski and that boots just needed to fit until I found the deals and started to research skis and boots. I had no idea how much there was to know! I'm glad I found this site and all the great info. I think I will start saving my money and get some more ski time in and then figure out what I need from there with a focus on boots when the time comes to buy.

 

Thanks again, much appreciated.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

We went skiing last night at our local ski hill. It's a small place, the highest hills only take a couple of minutes to ski down. We had a lot of fun and for only being on skis for the third time ever we did great. My daughters and I skied the green hills, a few blues and one black (the black was just steeper than the others - no obstacles or anything) and had no wipe outs! It's making me want equipment even more now - haha!

post #7 of 29


If you want to keep skiing a good amount of days in the next years, get fitted boots (talk to people in the hill on where to get fitted) and just use your current used ski (as you progress, your ski preferences (length, flex, width, weight) will change. If you can use your current ski, continue with it until you cna demo some real equipment (rentals tend to be low performing skis...)

 

Maybe you will do a ski trip to some bigger area and can get fitted there. Its still season, so no need to go crazy in end of season discounts

 

The thing with the boots are two:
i) Its hard and sometimes counter-intuitive when the boot fits right in the store (often they are alright in the shop and bad in the slope)
ii) Its a lottery, if you have regular feet, you might just buy a boot off the shelf and be happy, but if you have special features in your feet, then you mgiht get a painful experience that will ruin ski for you (and probably will be expensive in the long run)

good luck

post #8 of 29

+1 on getting boots fitted first -- IceCookie's advice is solid on looking for shops near the hill/mountain where you ski. Read up on how to get boots fitted, come with thin ski socks, and insist upon a shell fit on every boot you try on.

 

Note that if you decide to get boots this season, you should do so sooner rather than later. Even at the lower intermediate range, shops sell out of specific models and sizes, and won't restock their supply until mid-Autumn (with next year's boots). Skis are a lot more fungible, with end-of-season deals to be had.

 

And I wouldn't worry too much about irregular features on your feet (as suggested above) -- boot lasts have a come a long way in the last ten years, and there is a very good chance you'll find a boot that's right for you out of the box.

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 

There are no shops or bootfitters or anything in the city where the hill is. I know my brother in law gets his stuff when they go on ski trips out of province and the rest of the stuff they have is bought at regular sport stores.

 

I rented equipment this time around. The boots were a tiny bit too big but otherwise felt fine. I think my feet are fairly normal which is good! There is no chance to demo skis at this hill. They are all standard Head brand skis.

post #10 of 29

What about Corbetts in Oakville?  Doesn't appear to be that far a drive.  I drove 150 miles to get a pair of boots three years ago.  Proper fitting boots are worth it.

post #11 of 29

Well worth the drive to Toronto, Misty Soggy, or Oakville for well-fitted boots.

 

As to the skis, I think it is a good idea to get your own, and wouldn't be afraid of getting some that are slightly more advanced than your are, but lotta luv is more of a big mountain ski than a London ski. 

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

For the amount I will probably get to ski I doubt I would drive to Toronto at this point just to buy a boot - but, you never know! I guess it depends what I find around here.

 

I keep checking kijiji just to get me started and today a pair of Dynastar Exclusive Sensation Womens Skis with Nova Exc Fluid Bindings were posted. From what I can tell they are the 2010 model meant for Beginner to Intermediate skiers with Tip/Waist/Tail 113/69/96, tail profile is flat and turn radius in the 11-15 range. Binding DIN 3.5-11.

 

The ones for sale are 147cm long which might feel a bit short eventually but I was skiing on 150cm skis last night and they felt great. These were used for lessons for one season and then twice the following year. I don't know what's considered a good price though for used skis.

post #13 of 29

Look at it this way.  If you only ski 5 to 10 times a year, the boots should last you 10 to 20 years.  Worth the drive.  I would pass on the sensations; you would outgrow them too quickly.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Look at it this way.  If you only ski 5 to 10 times a year, the boots should last you 10 to 20 years.  Worth the drive.  I would pass on the sensations; you would outgrow them too quickly.


LOL, well that's good motivation! I might be going to Toronto (Downtown) in April. Is there anywhere around there that would have boots at that time of year?

 

Good to know about the Sensations. If I buy something I would prefer it to last a few years at least and then I can pass them on to my kids if I feel ready to upgrade. My oldest should be tall enough and good enough by then for whatever I have had!

post #15 of 29

I think you might just find lawn furniture in April.  Not sure though.

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadelineKB View Post
 

I am new to skiing (and the forum) and am debating buying my own equipment. A little bit about me...

 

Height 5'8"

Weight 165 lbs

 

- Beginner skier (comfortable on green, might be okay on blue with some more practice)

- Will probably only be skiing a handful of times/year (Southwestern Ontario, Canada) but want to avoid the lines and price to rent

- Goal is to have fun, enjoy the winter, get some exercise with my kids at a local ski resort

 

[snip]

Even as a beginner, for a ski that you are going to own it's better to go with a length that at least comes up to your chin.  If I did the conversion correctly that means somewhere 155-160.  Would you buy a coat for a growing kid with sleeves that are very likely to be too short in 6 months?  Not exactly the best analogy, but might as well spend money for a ski that will last a little longer.

 

Best way to find out if a boot fitter can help you in April is to make a phone call.  You would want to make an appointment in any case.  There is little risk to taking a couple hours to see if there happens to be a boot at the shop that fits your feet and your budget.  Even when I was skiing 5-10 days a season as a working adult, I owned boots.  Makes for a better ski day.

 

As I said before, best to stick with used skis that are 2-3 years old.

post #17 of 29

It is amazingly easier to buy a lift ticket and go ski than do the rental thing.  By all means buy.

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

Eeeeek! These have become available by a seller in the same city as me... Dynastar Active Xpress in the 153 length. Brand new, never been used for $275 (Reg price $500 + tax). It sounds like this is a good ski for an advanced beginner - intermediate level skier. I would say since I have only been on skis a few times this would be good. Any advice would be appreciated. I LOVE a good deal and can't afford to pay full price!

 

Here's a link to the ski...

 

http://www.evo.com/ski-packages/dynastar-active-xpress-11-womens.aspx

 

Again, I'm 5'8', 165lbs.

post #19 of 29
Do you have boots yet? Forget skis until you have boots.

Just from a logistics perspective, if you're only going to get one item, boots are first. Rental skis can be adjusted to the boots when you rent them. If you have skis and rent boots, you haven't saved yourself any time, as the skis you own must still be adjusted to the boots you rented every time, and unless you got rental bindings, that could become an issue with BSL lengths. Just because you have the same size boots as the last time, doesn't mean the BSL will be the same. I've actually had to have bindings moved when I've bought new boots.

And we'd rather you spent the money on the right boot, fitted by someone who knows what they are doing. Because, at this stage in your experience, you don't. It's not like buying shoes. And the wrong boot is the single most likely thing to make you 1) miserable or 2) unable to properly control the ski.

Right now boot stocks are dwindling. If you have your boots, you can be continuing to ski so that you gain experience and are able to handle the right length ski.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadelineKB View Post
 

Eeeeek! These have become available by a seller in the same city as me... Dynastar Active Xpress in the 153 length. Brand new, never been used for $275 (Reg price $500 + tax). It sounds like this is a good ski for an advanced beginner - intermediate level skier. I would say since I have only been on skis a few times this would be good. Any advice would be appreciated. I LOVE a good deal and can't afford to pay full price!

 

Here's a link to the ski...

 

http://www.evo.com/ski-packages/dynastar-active-xpress-11-womens.aspx

 

Again, I'm 5'8', 165lbs.

153cm is just up to my lips. My only concern here is that when there is rocker/camber/rocker you are supposed to go a bit longer. Would that really matter starting out? I have 2 girls who can grow into my skis so if this is still a good start for me I think my oldest could be into these in about 2 years.

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadelineKB View Post
 

153cm is just up to my lips. My only concern here is that when there is rocker/camber/rocker you are supposed to go a bit longer. Would that really matter starting out? I have 2 girls who can grow into my skis so if this is still a good start for me I think my oldest could be into these in about 2 years.

 

I'd re-iterate what Sibhusky said : "Do you have boots yet? Forget skis until you have boots."

 

I look at it this way (having just bought my first boots and skis myself)... if I really like the boots, the actual ski I'm using doesn't matter that much at my level. I've rented skis at a bunch of different places, and the only things that have annoyed me or caused any issues were boots - never the skis themselves. (And the boots only as I got better - when starting out, I never realized how much difference the boots could make. But as I've been progressing I notice it more.)

 

You can have a good time in good boots with just about any ski. If your boots are bad, you may not enjoy any skis.

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

Eeeeek! These have become available by a seller in the same city as me... Dynastar Active Xpress in the 153 length. Brand new, never been used for $275 (Reg price $500 + tax). It sounds like this is a good ski for an advanced beginner - intermediate level skier. I would say since I have only been on skis a few times this would be good. Any advice would be appreciated. I LOVE a good deal and can't afford to pay full price!

Here's a link to the ski...

http://www.evo.com/ski-packages/dynastar-active-xpress-11-womens.aspx

Again, I'm 5'8', 165lbs.

Before you jump on what may appear to be a bargain ...

Does that include bindings?

Do you know where you'll have the bindings mounted? When I lived near DC, all of the off-mountain local shops charged $85+ to mount bindings if you didn't buy the skis from them.
post #23 of 29
It says it includes bindings, but they are not mounted.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

It says it includes bindings, but they are not mounted.
I'm thinking that's just an ad/review and not the actual seller.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickieh View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

It says it includes bindings, but they are not mounted.
I'm thinking that's just an ad/review and not the actual seller.
Right, she did say it was a local store, now that you mention it.
post #26 of 29

Agree with boots first.  There is a real benefit to having skis too so you can skip the rental line-up, but don't buy skis until you own boots that fit.

post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much to all of you for your great advice and for helping this newbie out. I was able to find a bootfitter in the city I live in who came recommended by the lady that was selling the skis! I'm glad I listened to all of you - I was a full size smaller than I thought. He was able to get me into a boot at a reasonable price that feels great and has good flex. Because I bought boots from him he mounted the bindings on the skis for $20! Great deals all around. Now to get skiing to try it all out!

 

It will be so nice to be skiing in boots that fit and to not have to wait in the rental line ups anymore. They were always really long!

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadelineKB View Post
 

Thanks so much to all of you for your great advice and for helping this newbie out. I was able to find a bootfitter in the city I live in who came recommended by the lady that was selling the skis! I'm glad I listened to all of you - I was a full size smaller than I thought. He was able to get me into a boot at a reasonable price that feels great and has good flex. Because I bought boots from him he mounted the bindings on the skis for $20! Great deals all around. Now to get skiing to try it all out!

 

It will be so nice to be skiing in boots that fit and to not have to wait in the rental line ups anymore. They were always really long!


Glad it worked out well.  Good boots make a huge difference.  Does take a few ski days to break them in though.  I'm in the first week of new boots.  After taking it easy the first couple days, they are feeling pretty good now.

 

Have fun on the slopes!

post #29 of 29
There is a small ski shop in Georgetown also consider St Catherines is not bad for selection.
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