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Advice for New Skis [groomed trails in northeast]

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
  1. Where in the world are you skiing? Camelbak in PA, Mountain Creek in NY,  looking forward to more Mass/VT/NH this year.

  2. What kinds of terrain do you prefer? Groomed Trails

  3. How many days a year do you ski? 8-12

  4. How advanced are you as a skier? Mostly ski intermediate trails, working up to some blacks. I used to ski some easy northeast blacks about 7-8 years ago before I took a break in skiing. 

  5. What's your height and weight? 5' 11" and 150lb 

 

Three years ago I picked up skiing again and have steadily increased the amount of days skiing to around 8 last year. Last year I rented some random skis for the season at Ski Barn and figured I should get a decent pair as I try to progress and learn. These will be my own pair of skis and I would hope to keep them for several years. 

 

After a lot of reading I am thinking of something like K2 Amp 76, around 170 in length. I would also be up for any boot suggestions, I have a size 11(us) shoe if that matters. I know a lot of people suggest Demoing skis but it doesn't seem like that is very easy to do in my area. Also since my time on the slopes are limited by work schedules I would not want to waste too many days driving all around getting and returning skis so I will probably be buying them blind. Let me know if you think this is a drastic mistake and where I would be able to demo in my area. 

 

I am thinking $500 would be my absolute for Ski cost, and would prefer something in the $300-400 range. 

post #2 of 17

First, welcome to EpicSki!!

 

Do you have good boots from a proper bootfitter?

 

Forget about skis until you get proper boots - they're MUCH more important and make a much bigger difference to your skiing. 

 

If you haven't yet, check out the article linked below the one where you found the 5 questions you answered above. 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the welcome. Currently I have poles and helmets, no Skis or Boots. I guess I figured I would get them both together. I appreciate the advice I overlooked the boot article and will check it out now.

 

I am planning on buying the ski boots in person as I know how important hiking boot fit is and figured it is equally important for Skiing. The Skis I figured would have a possibility of being bought online for a discount if I look at previous years' models. 

post #4 of 17


Boots are first and foremost.  You need to try boots on to figure out which brands match your feet well.  For example, I have wide feet and Nordica seems to work well for me.  Consider going to a "ski expo" - they have one every year at the Meadowlands (sounds like you may be in the NY metro area).  I picked up my current boots at an expo in Denver that happened to be going on when I visited my daughter when she was at DU.  You need to try on some different types of boots and talk to reasonably knowledgeable boot people.  Don't buy boots blind if you can avoid it.  

 

Re: skis... Since you want to try the VT/NH skiing thing, look at Okemo's demo day.  Or look at the sites for the easiest place for you to reach and find out if/when they are having a demo day.   Talk to the reps about your skiing and they will guide you to what to try.  You can easily try 5 or 6 different makes and models of skis - lengths, widths, stiffness, camber, etc.  Make the same runs at least two or three times with each ski.  It is pretty remarkable how different they can be.  

 

Find what you like for your current skiing status.  If you fall in love with a particular set, GREAT.  If you just like a certain type, then do some research to discover a few different makes/models that fall into that category.  THEN, hit the web and find a pair of "demos" of the same makes/models (they will almost certainly be the previous year's model, which generally doesn't matter much).  You will almost certainly find "demo/unused" or "demo/lightly used", complete with bindings, for half or so what only the skis would cost new.  

 

This may sound like a lot of effort but it isn't.  I did this with my current skis and I love them.  Last year at a demo day I found skis I like even more but I'm not in the market to spend the money right now.  But I like the demo days 'cause I can try skis that are "forgiving" vs. "carving" (which, BTW, is probably what you want for where and how often you ski - roughly 65 or so mm underfoot), very responsive, etc.   Just as an example, last year I demoed some skis that were for skiers with much more solid technique than I have and I could see why.  They were RESPONSIVE and did exactly what I told them IMMEDIATELY and SHARPLY.  The problem for me was that I wasn't always ready to tell them the right thing to do at the right time and I could feel that I could get myself into some trouble under more serious ski conditions.  I find that sort of thing helpful as I try to refine my skiing (an aging, overweight guy who didn't start until 40).  

 

EDIT:  I skied PA and VT/NH to start.  The first pair I actually owned were not stiff enough to deal well with eastern ice.  Way to easy to get them chattering.  Just a suggestion but don't go too soft, pay attention to stiffness.

post #5 of 17

Seeing where you are skiing I am guessing you live in NW Jersey. Heino's would be my first suggestion of boots, please have an open mind going to the boot fit and please don't even mention that you are a size 11, it has zilch to do with what boot they put you in. . As far as the skis, you are light so you will want something you can bend. If looking in the price range you mentioned, you will need to keep options open. A short list:

 

Head Supershapes, Speed, Rally, or Magnum. Avoid the Titan too wide and stiff for you weight and needs

Head Rev 80. Yes i know it is the same width as the Titan but bends better for your weight

Dynastar Course Ti, the round tail version

K2 Bolt & Charger, They are around, better than you would think

Kastle RX12 if you can find one in your price range

Volkl Code S or L

 

Just a short list of ideas. 

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead View Post
 


Boots are first and foremost.  You need to try boots on to figure out which brands match your feet well.  For example, I have wide feet and Nordica seems to work well for me.  Consider going to a "ski expo" - they have one every year at the Meadowlands (sounds like you may be in the NY metro area).  I picked up my current boots at an expo in Denver that happened to be going on when I visited my daughter when she was at DU.  You need to try on some different types of boots and talk to reasonably knowledgeable boot people.  Don't buy boots blind if you can avoid it.  

 

 

Yes, you are right boots are first and foremost. You are correct and should have stopped there. You might have wide feet..but not all Nordicas are wide. Not all Langes are narrow Not all Dalbellos are 3 buckle. Every manufacturer offers a multitude of different shapes flexes and types of boots. It is this type of misinformation you might find at a Ski Expo and this is why you do NOT go to ski expos to buy boots. Please do not. Do to a reputable ski shop. Get with a proper fitter. Be flexible on your boot budget, if you have to spend more, do so. You will get more from a better fitting pair of boots and a lesser ski than a better ski and a lesser boot. 

post #7 of 17

Buy skis where you can find them but don't buy boots at an Expo.  Phil's suggestion, above, will be a good one — he knows what he's talking about.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Yes, you are right boots are first and foremost. You are correct and should have stopped there. You might have wide feet..but not all Nordicas are wide. Not all Langes are narrow Not all Dalbellos are 3 buckle. Every manufacturer offers a multitude of different shapes flexes and types of boots. It is this type of misinformation you might find at a Ski Expo and this is why you do NOT go to ski expos to buy boots. Please do not. Do to a reputable ski shop. Get with a proper fitter. Be flexible on your boot budget, if you have to spend more, do so. You will get more from a better fitting pair of boots and a lesser ski than a better ski and a lesser boot. 

^^^^Absolutely.  A ski expo is like a crap shoot and that's not what you want to do.  And randomly trying on a bunch of different boots is a foolish exercise.  If you deal with a good boot fitter, such as the one Phil suggested, they will measure your feet, both length and width and will bring two, maybe three boots for you to try.  And you will likely think they are putting you in a boot that's too short.  Listen to the fitter.  Ski boots never get smaller inside, only bigger.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the great help! I will definitely shop the boot first and foremost!

 

I will be back in Northern NJ next weekend and will check out Heino's for sure, sounds like a great place. What are your opinions on Ski Barn? I'll most likely be sticking with Heino for the boots but doesn't hurt to comparison shop.

 

Thanks for the list Phillip I'll start checking those out. Okemo's demo day seems early enough in the season on December 12th to check some out, great suggestion. 


Any tips on ski length for the icy "snow" we have in the northeast? I read conflicting reports on going by weight or height, which for me being a twig would be drastically different from like 155-170.
 

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandwoods View Post
 

Thank you all for the great help! I will definitely shop the boot first and foremost!

 

I will be back in Northern NJ next weekend and will check out Heino's for sure, sounds like a great place. What are your opinions on Ski Barn? I'll most likely be sticking with Heino for the boots but doesn't hurt to comparison shop.

 

Thanks for the list Phillip I'll start checking those out. Okemo's demo day seems early enough in the season on December 12th to check some out, great suggestion. 


Any tips on ski length for the icy "snow" we have in the northeast? I read conflicting reports on going by weight or height, which for me being a twig would be drastically different from like 155-170.
 


Comparison shopping -- for boots -- won't be about price. It will be about the care that's taken to fit you, the obsessive measuring, the custom foot beds, and the bookwork that turns the boot into a direct, comfortable linkage of the foot to the ski. That's the point of boots. A good boot fitter isn't going to screw you, but you should put more money into boots (which you'll be married to) than you do into skis.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandwoods View Post
 

 I'll most likely be sticking with Heino for the boots but doesn't hurt to comparison shop.

In the case of boots comparison shopping for price will NOT save you money and is more likely to cause you to spend more money.

post #12 of 17

Make sure you read the boot information and get a shell fit. It they dont shell fit you I would leave and find another boot fitter. You will accelerate you learning with a good and tight fit and if you have a good boot fitter you might just think the boots are just a little tight which is what you want. Phip is a master at this and one of the top ones to take advise from. I also like the Volkl S for you and all the others and here is a link for a new pair for $500. 

http://www.powder7.com/Volkl-Code-Speedwall-S-Skis-166cm-New-2014/for-sale/?utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=paid&gclid=CjwKEAjw7O6vBRDpi7O-8OWSkwESJACNFsgxWN2SbmG6NlfQUK6k7qP5eKpjEaizP-volevtvHX49hoCiMLw_wcB

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well that settles that then. I'll take the advice and stick with the veteran boot fitter. Thanks a ton everyone I really appreciate it. I hope to be around these forums semi-regularly as I try to up my ski game. 

post #14 of 17
Look at your private message
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandwoods View Post
 

Thank you all for the great help! I will definitely shop the boot first and foremost!

 

I will be back in Northern NJ next weekend and will check out Heino's for sure, sounds like a great place. What are your opinions on Ski Barn? I'll most likely be sticking with Heino for the boots but doesn't hurt to comparison shop.

 

Thanks for the list Phillip I'll start checking those out. Okemo's demo day seems early enough in the season on December 12th to check some out, great suggestion. 


Any tips on ski length for the icy "snow" we have in the northeast? I read conflicting reports on going by weight or height, which for me being a twig would be drastically different from like 155-170.
 


I don't think you'll find anyone who knows about what a boot fitter does recommending a Ski Barn as a place to buy boots.  Note that working with an experienced boot fitter doesn't mean you have to spend $800-1000 on a pair of boots.  Just as with skis, a good shop has previous model year boots available.  Buying a pair of "new old stock" that are properly fitted is a good approach for a first pair of boots.  I did that when I started during early season sales in the southeast and spent about $300.

 

Do you remember what length skis you have rented?

post #16 of 17
Go to Heinos and try to make an appointment beforehand with Greg, the owner and principal boot fitter. The other guys are good too, but Greg is the best. He stands by his work and will make sure they fit properly. It's the only place in the tri-state area worth going to. Prices are comparable to Ski Barn.
post #17 of 17
And friends don't let friends ski Mountain Creek and Camelback. At least not on a weekend. Try Belleayre, Plattekill, or Elk.
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