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Boot Questions

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I haven't been skiing in a long time (my last pair of skis was a pair of 210 Rossi 3Gs that were as stable as a cruise ship, but don't ask them to turn unless you really mean it).  My 18 year old son is getting into it now, and he is headed off to college in Western VA, where he might occasionally get a chance to ski during the school year.  I don't want him to have to rent equipment every time, but I'm trying not to spend a lot of money.  I have picked up some skis that I think are adequate (Volant Power Karves with Marker M 7.1 bindings for $10 at a thrift shop).  Now I am looking for boots, and having the memory of many blisters from ill-fitting boots, I am not intending on going the thrift shop route, but I am still trying to keep the costs down.  So I am looking for suggestions.  What route can I go to get a good-fitting set of boots at a reasonable price?  

Thanks

post #2 of 24

Welcome to EpicSki.  Unless I'm reading the indemnification list wrong, the bindings on those skis are no longer indemnified and that means that most, if not all shops, will not adjust or test them.  Others on here may have a better handle on the list, but I can't find it on the list for this past season.  Best not to take a chance on the binding failing.

 

Where do you live?  It isn't really possible to to buy boots online and the majority of stores that sell skis and boots don't really know how to fit boots, places like Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, etc.  If you tell us where you live, someone here will be able to recommend someone relatively close to you.  In the meantime, go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about fitting and terminology, and also have your son read them.  Then check the "Who's Who" to see if there is someone listed there that's near you.  It is not a comprehensive list of fitters, only those who are at least sometimes active on here.

post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 What route can I go to get a good-fitting set of boots at a reasonable price?  

Thanks

 

The /best/ way to do this is to decide what your budget is and then go to a bootfitter, tell him your budget up front, and ask him to work with you.

That is not going to get you thrift store prices, though.   It will generally come in at the upper end of ski swap pricing.

@mtcyclist  is right to be concerned about the skis and bindings - 15 years old.    The ski was good to pretty impressive for its time but there have been 5 generations of shaped ski design since then.    Each design generation has brought about fundamental changes at levels the previous generation could barely match.    The binding was...adequate for its time.   Modern bindings are night and day better, in elasticity and toughness and overall weight and ...

There are some insane deals on both skis and bindings on the Internet right now - you can get a completely sorted, indemnified binding and a modern (last 3 years anyway) ski for less than the cost of one week of lift tickets - even WVa lift tickets.

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Wow.  The binding indemnification thing really surprised me.........and then not so much.  It is a lawyer's world, and the rest of us just live here.

 

Thanks for the info.  I guess that I will dump the Volants on CL and start looking for a good deal for the whole kit.

 

I live in Richmond VA.  I lived in Vermont for many years, so I'm not a total flatlander. 


Thanks again.

Mike

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 

  I lived in Vermont for many years, so I'm not a total flatlander. 

 

 

Yeh, Richmond is far enough away from skiing,  you still take time off and drive significant distances and you want to not lose time on a bad gear experience.   That goes double for someone new to the sport. 

If you had been in Davis, say, and had intended to ski these yourself, chances are fair-decent you would have been told to ditch the binding and mount something better yourself, coz that *was* a good ski for it's day and you can still have as much fun as we had in '98.

 

Welcome to the forum.   Let us know how it all turns out. 

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 

Wow.  The binding indemnification thing really surprised me.........and then not so much.  It is a lawyer's world, and the rest of us just live here.

 

Thanks for the info.  I guess that I will dump the Volants on CL and start looking for a good deal for the whole kit.

 

I live in Richmond VA.  I lived in Vermont for many years, so I'm not a total flatlander. 


Thanks again.

Mike

 

Sometimes lawyers save us from blown up knees.

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 

Wow.  The binding indemnification thing really surprised me.........and then not so much.  It is a lawyer's world, and the rest of us just live here.

 

Thanks for the info.  I guess that I will dump the Volants on CL and start looking for a good deal for the whole kit.

 

I live in Richmond VA.  I lived in Vermont for many years, so I'm not a total flatlander. 


Thanks again.

Mike


You have two choices from Richmond for a good boot fitter.  Either heading up to DC or to Charlottesville.

 

My home mountain is Massanutten.  There are a lot of JMU students who take advantage of the season pass options open to college students.  Where is your son likely to ski?

 

There will be ski swaps in Oct/Nov where you should be able to pick up cheap skis and poles.  But don't skimp on the boots.  "New old stock" can be found from a good boot fitter during early season sales.  Call ahead to make an appointment after Labor Day.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

Massanutten, when he is home for the holidays.  That is the only place he has been so far.  Actually, I think he went to Wintergreen once.  

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

I agree, if there is a reason. But I can't see any reason, unless there is a tendency for bindings to fail with age, which should be negated by tuning and maintenance.  

 

I am a tennis guy, and I am by nature suspicious of the technological "advances" foisted on us by equipment makers.  In tennis, the last sea change was the shift to graphite from wood, which happened in earnest around 1986.  Since then, not much has happened in racquet design to affect actual playability. I mean, Roger Federer was beating the world with late 1980s racquet technology as recently as two years ago.  Shaped skis seem to have had about the same impact to skiing as graphite had on tennis.  It was an immense change, which from what people tell me (like I said, I have never skied them) had made the art of carving turns almost ubiquitous (you used to have to be good to carve a turn, right????)    But, since the initial introduction of the shaped ski designs, have there REALLY been a lot of advancements, or has it beens smoke and mirrors with the sole goal of selling more skis?  I am asking this question earnestly, because I have haven't kept up with ski technology in the least.  

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 

Massanutten, when he is home for the holidays.  That is the only place he has been so far.  Actually, I think he went to Wintergreen once.  


In that case, consider giving Freestyle in Charlottesville a call.  Ask to talk to Dan about a boot fitting.  Just explain the situation and see what he suggests.

 

Freestyle has been doing a demo weekend at Massanutten in early Jan for a few seasons.  I've had good conversations with Dan.  Freestyle has a shop at Wintergreen.  They do a ski swap but I don't remember exactly when.

 

I have many reasons that I drive from Raleigh past Wintergreen to spend ski weekends at Mnut instead of Wintergreen.  If your son took advantage of the adv. beginner/intermediate group lessons at Mnut, he will be skiing the hardest trails in the southeast with good form in no time.  Mnut has more very experienced ski instructors than Wintergreen.  The ski school for kids had my daughter on the black runs by the time she was 6.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 

I agree, if there is a reason. But I can't see any reason, unless there is a tendency for bindings to fail with age, which should be negated by tuning and maintenance.  

 

 

There is, and tuning and maintenance can only somewhat negate that tendency in the very most expensive ones, which also happen to be the heaviest ones.    Aside from the tendency to fail, there is the tendency to have the setting points drift  (be inaccurate for the setting) and *that* incurs cost to you because the older the binding gets the more often you need to pay to have it checked (and chucked if they drift too far). 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 

   But, since the initial introduction of the shaped ski designs, have there REALLY been a lot of advancements, or has it beens smoke and mirrors with the sole goal of selling more skis?  I am asking this question earnestly, because I have haven't kept up with ski technology in the least.  

 

 

Yes.     Shaped skis started off being  slightly-shorter-than-GS-length skis with symmetrical sidecuts and no one had a really good idea of what they wanted the cores or the flex to be.      Let's call this the first generation.  Think  Elan SCX, Kneissl Ergo, Dynastar Max.    Ski tip widths are in the high 90mm ranges, ski waists are in the low 60s.      Not much versatility in these shaped skis, not much float,  race skis are still straight.    The term 'parabolic' really belongs in this era of design - those symmetrical sidecuts were surpassed almost immediately.    Bindings are *barely* revised editions of designs from the straight ski era, with marginally better materials and slightly better lateral release  but not much better elasticity.   Your 7.1s are from this era. 

Then, approx. 99-'01 shaped GS race skis and consumer detuned race skis really become good.  Really, really good, and versatile enough to be skied with skidded technique on a wide variety of terrain.   Think Volkl P30/P40, Atomic 9'18, K2 Patriot.  These were the years we skied "race carvers" everywhere including powder and moguls.    Ski tip widths go up and over 100mm, ski waists are in the  mid 60mm ranges.    Slalom skis are sort of off everyone's radar at this point; powder and "mountain" designs exist but are very specialty.   Your Volants are from this design era, a 'carver' design with some elements from the 'mountain' toolbox including a slightly wider waist.      

Then, approx. 2002-'04 Shaped slalom skis become very very good, and become the default "all mountain" ski.    These were the years we had 200+ pound guys skiing 150cm-160cm skis everywhere that wasn't powder.    Ski tip widths go up and over 110mm, ski waists up and over 70mm.   Think Atomic 9'12, 9'16, Dynastar Omeglass/Omecarve, Nordica Speedmachine/SUV, Elan 662/666.      There are (finally) specialty powder designs by most major manufacturers and there is a beginning of a trend to bridge the gap between "all mountain" SL types and powder skis.    These are the first 'midfats' - but they mostly feel like GS skis underfoot at this point.     Twintips become popular.    There is a tendency to create system skis, skis + bindings in one package.   Bindings get redesigned, even the flat ones; shaped skis are really not nice to previous designs. 

Then, 2005-'07 we had fat slalomish skis go into the mid-high waist ranges, 75mm+  and they truly become all-mountain, that is everywhere except big powder.   With the exception of one pretty-durn-fat-for-its-time ski (Atomic Metron) people start skiing slightly longer skis again, noticing that they can still do tight turns but with better modulation.  Powder skis become really good for their role, and people start experimenting with adapting flex and reversing sidecut.     Twintips become very diverse, from all-mountain to park-only to mogul-specific.   Mid-fats become good and for the first time become a decent this-is-my-only-pair-of-skis choice. 

 

By 2008 those mid-high-70mm waist skis become dated, even the Metron.   Mid-to-high 80mm designs can do just about everything they could, and more. Pretty much everyone with a quiver has a 95+mm ski in that quiver.    Reverse camber becomes an accepted thing in powder skis, and starts trickling down to slimmer skis by way of early rise shovels.    

In 2010 everything changes *again* - others can explain that; this post is already too long.    Suffice it to say that carving as the end-all-be-all went out 2 generations of skis ago. 

 

Now, you can make the argument that what I have broken down into 6+ generations of shaped ski design is really only evolutionary and that it doesn't really affect 'playability'.      I offer you the counterargument that every generation of design required someone 'playing' at a high level to re-evaluate their skillset and build it up to match the new gear.    I offer you the further observation that someone skiing an early design ski  will *not* be able to follow in the tracks of someone with an equal skillset on the new gear, unless the leader is deliberately keeping it tame.    As in: skiing evenly down the fall line on a groomer. 


 

post #12 of 24

That's a detailed explanation above, and a good one.  The short answer is that yes, skis have changed DRAMATICALLY over the past years.  For the better.  It's worth much more than $10 to get more modern planks.

 

This is coming from a defiantly anti-new technology guy.  Most of it is just B.S., but not so for skis.

post #13 of 24
^^^^^^. This. I still use my MacBook purchased in 2007, but would not use a ski that old as my every day ski. OK so I have upgraded my iPhone a few times but I use that more than my Mac these days.

*note I do like to take my 65mm wide Stockli's from 2002 out on ice and hard pack days, but then they're Stockli's smile.gif As an all-mountain ski? Nope.
post #14 of 24

Not that everybody in this thread isn't correct that new skis are in order, I'd just like to point out that this is the first time on Epic that I've ever seen somebody coming in asking questions about boots, who is told he needs new skis. :dunno

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
I'd just like to point out that this is the first time on Epic that I've ever seen somebody coming in asking questions about boots, who is told he needs new skis. :dunno


After the boot question was discussed the OP then asked about skis and if newer skis were better than older ones.  His question was being answered.  So you still have to wait to see it happen.

post #16 of 24
Probably he should start a new thread, because people interested in talking about boots look at this thread. Not that there isn't considerable overlap, but he wants people who like to talk about skis now. Once he opens that thread, people will tell him to get boots first, then proceed to push THEIR skis as good for him.
post #17 of 24

Well, I've rarely seen a situation in which someone had boots that didn't fit correctly and also chose a ski that was appropriate for their skill level.

 

Of course, I've come a long way myself with getting boots fitted, refitted, canted, then had binding remounted to lift the toe piece and adjust the ramp angle, which made a huge difference, probably more so that the choice of ski or the mounting position of the bindings.  

 

So yeah, assuming boots fit properly, maybe the ski doesn't matter as much as just making sure they are tuned and the bindings are safely checked and adjusted.

post #18 of 24

Go to Play it again sports (locations in Virginia) http://www.playitagainsports.com/Locations/List/VA

They sell used ski and boots with low prices and the equipment is what you are getting when you rent. They will fit your boots and skis and will be ready to go on the slopes.

Also, search galacticsnowsports in Google. They sell used equipment as well on the lowest price possible. Call and talk with someone to get proper fit and equipment.

Only after a season on the slopes and progressing you might want to buy an upgrade for you son. Simply sell what you have on craiglist or ebay and get something newer and better quality.

No need to buy expensive ski/boots now but $10 skis from thrift shop is dangerous. No technician will work on the skis and release check them (bindings are too old most likely) which may cause your son breaking his leg.

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 

Well, I've rarely seen a situation in which someone had boots that didn't fit correctly and also chose a ski that was appropriate for their skill level.

 

Really?    I've seen it quite often, particularly with middle class early-to-mid-30s enthusiasts just 3-4 seasons into the sport, most particularly with middle class early-to-mid-30's  female enthusiasts 2-3 seasons into the sport. 

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

Really?    I've seen it quite often, particularly with middle class early-to-mid-30s enthusiasts just 3-4 seasons into the sport, most particularly with middle class early-to-mid-30's  female enthusiasts 2-3 seasons into the sport. 

OK I should clarify.  Without well-fitting boots they may not be able to evaluate whether the choice of ski is really making as much difference.   And we all see people buying a model they aspire to because of rating and popularity rather than the actual conditions in which they ski and/or skill level.

 

Question, why do think 30-something females 2-3 years into the sport are not getting boots that fit?  Any theories?  

post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

Really?    I've seen it quite often, particularly with middle class early-to-mid-30s enthusiasts just 3-4 seasons into the sport, most particularly with middle class early-to-mid-30's  female enthusiasts 2-3 seasons into the sport. 

OK I should clarify.  Without well-fitting boots they may not be able to evaluate whether the choice of ski is really making as much difference.   And we all see people buying a model they aspire to because of rating and popularity rather than the actual conditions in which they ski and/or skill level.

 

Question, why do think 30-something females 2-3 years into the sport are not getting boots that fit?  Any theories?  

 

My notion is that the person bringing them into the sport has a great review-based idea of which ski to suggest/buy but zero concept of properly fitted boots, let alone achieving a skier-satisfying balance between casual comfort and performance fit.      I don't think this person's idea improves with time - I think the skiers themselves learn to self-evaluate (unless they give up :(  ) 

All just my own unsubstantiated notion, of course :)

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 

Wow.  The binding indemnification thing really surprised me.........and then not so much.  It is a lawyer's world, and the rest of us just live here.

 

Thanks for the info.  I guess that I will dump the Volants on CL and start looking for a good deal for the whole kit.

 

I live in Richmond VA.  I lived in Vermont for many years, so I'm not a total flatlander. 


Thanks again.

Mike

Please don't make your problem someone else's. The bindings cannot be adjusted by a shop, you know that. You are out $10.00 for them suck it up. ;) Besides, it will end up costing you more than $10.00 in time trying to resell them. What is your time worth? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike3216 View Post
 

I agree, if there is a reason. But I can't see any reason, unless there is a tendency for bindings to fail with age, which should be negated by tuning and maintenance.  

 

I am a tennis guy, and I am by nature suspicious of the technological "advances" foisted on us by equipment makers.  In tennis, the last sea change was the shift to graphite from wood, which happened in earnest around 1986.  Since then, not much has happened in racquet design to affect actual playability. I mean, Roger Federer was beating the world with late 1980s racquet technology as recently as two years ago.  Shaped skis seem to have had about the same impact to skiing as graphite had on tennis.  It was an immense change, which from what people tell me (like I said, I have never skied them) had made the art of carving turns almost ubiquitous (you used to have to be good to carve a turn, right????)    But, since the initial introduction of the shaped ski designs, have there REALLY been a lot of advancements, or has it beens smoke and mirrors with the sole goal of selling more skis?  I am asking this question earnestly, because I have haven't kept up with ski technology in the least.  

Your Volant has more in common than an old straight ski than what we have available to us now. There has been more change in ski design in the past 5 years than the previous 15 and there was more change there than the previous 50. 

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Please don't make your problem someone else's. The bindings cannot be adjusted by a shop, you know that. You are out $10.00 for them suck it up. ;) Besides, it will end up costing you more than $10.00 in time trying to resell them. What is your time worth? 

 

 

Yep. Time to make some shot skis, deck furniture, or a nice wall hanging. 

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmeb View Post
 

 

Time to make some shot skis

+1 Thumbs Up

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