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high school beginner - ski length [WI and Powder Mtn]

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm buying skis (rather than renting) for my son, but am undecided on length.  He is a beginner with less than 10 days on the slopes.  I have settled on the Fischer Motive X (yes, lots of Fischer posts here lately) because I think they are a good ski in which he can progress.  He is 5' 8" and about 130 lbs.  He is athletic but cautious.  I have been thinking 165 cm, but maybe 160 cm.  The Fischer web site length calculator put him in 170 which I'm sure is too long.  I think it did that because this is an intermediate ski and didn't consider that I entered beginner in the preferences.  Other calculators put him in 155 or shorter.  I want to get this right, but I realize that "right" is a very fuzzy area.  Maybe I'm over-thinking this.

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWIski View Post
 

I'm buying skis (rather than renting) for my son, but am undecided on length.  He is a beginner with less than 10 days on the slopes.  I have settled on the Fischer Motive X (yes, lots of Fischer posts here lately) because I think they are a good ski in which he can progress.  He is 5' 8" and about 130 lbs.  He is athletic but cautious.  I have been thinking 165 cm, but maybe 160 cm.  The Fischer web site length calculator put him in 170 which I'm sure is too long.  I think it did that because this is an intermediate ski and didn't consider that I entered beginner in the preferences.  Other calculators put him in 155 or shorter.  I want to get this right, but I realize that "right" is a very fuzzy area.  Maybe I'm over-thinking this.


Even though you have already picked a ski, it can be useful to know where your son is likely to ski this season.  Where did your family ski last season?  Are you going to have your high schooler in more lessons?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

We have a 6 day trip planned to Powder Mountain, Utah this winter.  We are planning on a one day group (family) lesson for my wife and 3 kids.  We will also ski a couple of weekends in the Midwest.  So hopefully 8-9 days this winter.  Hopefully this will be our pattern for the next several years.  He has only skied in Wisconsin so far.  

 

I don't plan on having the family demo.  This is a relatively big expense for us, and I don't think they are at the level where they can notice or describe what they like or don't like about skis.  At $25-35 per day rental, they will be paid for in less than 2 seasons.  

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWIski View Post
 

We have a 6 day trip planned to Powder Mountain, Utah this winter.  We are planning on a one day group (family) lesson for my wife and 3 kids.  We will also ski a couple of weekends in the Midwest.  So hopefully 8-9 days this winter.  Hopefully this will be our pattern for the next several years.  He has only skied in Wisconsin so far.  

 

I don't plan on having the family demo.  This is a relatively big expense for us, and I don't think they are at the level where they can notice or describe what they like or don't like about skis.  At $25-35 per day rental, they will be paid for in less than 2 seasons.  


Have you already bought boots?  Have you considered a season lease?  When my daughter was growing, the break even for a season lease was about 7 days.  I didn't bother with buying boots and skis until she was good enough to ski blacks in the southeast and blues out west.  In her case, she was only a tween and definitely still growing but we were skiing enough that I was willing to spend the money for new boots and used skis.

 

I agree there is no reason for the family to demo skis.

 

Hopefully someone will comment about length.  160cm seems short for an athletic teen boy, 5'8", 130 lbs, who is likely to learn fairly fast but I have no personal experience with boys.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks, marznc, for the comments.  I don't have local ski shops.  We are a little over an hour away from some shops in Chicago and I have been there a couple of times.  I always find myself there 15 minutes before closing!  I was able to get him in a pair of boots that fit well, but not fit by a professional bootfitter.  I know buying boots on the internet is a crap shoot, but I think we did OK.

 

The ski areas in the Midwest that we have been to have lousy rentals, so I am trying to get them in something better than what they are renting, even if it is not optimum.

post #6 of 11

Paging @Kneale Brownson , @cmr40 for help for a father who is getting his family started in Wisconsin.

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

Thanks, marznc, for the comments.  I don't have local ski shops.  We are a little over an hour away from some shops in Chicago and I have been there a couple of times.  I always find myself there 15 minutes before closing!  I was able to get him in a pair of boots that fit well, but not fit by a professional bootfitter.  I know buying boots on the internet is a crap shoot, but I think we did OK.

 

The ski areas in the Midwest that we have been to have lousy rentals, so I am trying to get them in something better than what they are renting, even if it is not optimum.


where you folks at? I've generally found kids are pretty flexible at the beginning stage and agree with MarzNC that maybe a season rental might be a good compromise until your son has a bit more under his belt.

 

My brother in law is in Chicagoland and early on bought his youngest a set that included yearly upgrades (minimal price, I think ~$100 or $150/upgrade-season) allowed his kid to get fitted early season with Boots and skis. big thing for them was boots. Sure, they weren't custom but they were not rentals in that you kept them all season (unless needing to exchange) which for most implied when rented/bought had 10-20 days on em typical ...

 

 

 

pete

post #8 of 11

If you're deadset on buying, the Motive X would seem like a good ski for him especially if most of your skiing will be in WI.  IMO, the 155 and 160 won't ski that different for him so I don't think you could go wrong with either. I'm assuming he may still grow between now and December so maybe 160. I wouldn't go longer at this stage especially with all the skiing on ice we do in the MW.  The shorter skis will just be easier for him to handle than the 170's. For some reference, I'm 5'8" 170 lbs and consider myself an advanced intermediate and I ski 175 cm Fisher Motive 80's (stronger skier weighing 40 lbs more).

 

As other's stated, a season rental may not be a bad route to go though.  He'll likely progress quickly so while this ski may work for him this year, he may want/need something a little more advanced and longer next year.  In MI, the season rentals usually go for about $150 - $175 and that gets you new skis, boots and bindings. If you're willing to take last year's stuff, I think its under $100. We did it for a few years and it worked out great as the kids were progressing.

post #9 of 11

If your an hour from Chicago you can't be much farther from Milwaukee. There are two shops in the Milwaukee area that you can try, Les Moise and Laacke & Joys.

Les Moise has seasonal rentals with stores in Brookfield and Mequon. They even do a size exchange on the rental program. This means you could get longer skis for your western trip if your son has improved as the season progresses. As previously noted, boots are the most important item. The rental program helps here because his feet may grow a size during the season. One of the things that inhibits a child's develop is poorly fitting boots. A seasonal rental means you don't have to pick a boot to "grow into", which is a bad idea. Get boots that fit.

Alpine Valley, Cascade and Granite Peak are all great learning areas. A couple of half day lessons at one of these areas will go a long way toward you son's development.

My kids started at Crystal Ridge, all 150 feet of it, 25 years ago, we still go on annual trips together. Skiing is a great family sport you can enjoy for generations. Enjoy the season and get out as often as possible.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Milwaukee is more than 2 hours away from us in Northwest Indiana.  Our closest ski area is Timberridge, MI but most of our trips have been to Cascade.  The trip to Utah is at Christmas, so he will have 5 or 6 days skiing on softer snow before we come back and ski on the man-made snow here.  

 

He is 15 years old and I don't expect him to grow more than a couple more inches, maybe 5'10" at the most (but not likely before December).  My wife and I are 5'9" so he may get a little of her height (she has a brother who is 6'5").

 

Still on the fence between 160 cm and 165 cm.  Evo has 4 or 5 pairs in stock so I'm not under the gun.  I have my mind set on this particular model.  I just picked up the Motive 86 for myself and I'm looking at the KOA 75 for my wife.  I'm not sure why I am enamored with Fischer.  I was always an Atomic guy back in the day!

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCC55125 View Post
 

If your an hour from Chicago you can't be much farther from Milwaukee. There are two shops in the Milwaukee area that you can try, Les Moise and Laacke & Joys.

Les Moise has seasonal rentals with stores in Brookfield and Mequon. They even do a size exchange on the rental program. This means you could get longer skis for your western trip if your son has improved as the season progresses. As previously noted, boots are the most important item. The rental program helps here because his feet may grow a size during the season. One of the things that inhibits a child's develop is poorly fitting boots. A seasonal rental means you don't have to pick a boot to "grow into", which is a bad idea. Get boots that fit.

Alpine Valley, Cascade and Granite Peak are all great learning areas. A couple of half day lessons at one of these areas will go a long way toward you son's development.

My kids started at Crystal Ridge, all 150 feet of it, 25 years ago, we still go on annual trips together. Skiing is a great family sport you can enjoy for generations. Enjoy the season and get out as often as possible.


agreed, however you (OP) have a few nearby shops in Chicagoland that rent and allow swapping out the ski's boots, etc if needed. I think Viking Ski has this and I think the ones my brother in law used.

 

If your confident on growth slowing, and new to skiing, then I might aim to the shorter length as it is easier to learn. Does he do other sports such as skate board, roller blade, water ski, etc? even dance ... this may indicate slightly longer. my noting shorter is simply you said "3" kids, so you may get the benefit of hand me downs so it's a bit less important.

 

 

pete

 

 

ps, ahhhh NWI .. North West Indiana ... man ... I hated travel when I80 was for what felt like 10yrs being worked on .. however traffic sure moves fast if there isn't a backup/jam

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