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How often do you replace your skis?

post #1 of 127
Thread Starter 
Other than "gear lust" how often do you replace your skis? Is it based upon wear, time, or technology changes?
post #2 of 127

I haven't had to replace too many skis, though some are becoming close to the end of their lifespan (thin edges, not as stable/stiff as they used to be, etc.  Buying quality skis with three thick layers of steel sandwiching a solid wood core helps with that.:D;)


I do add to the quiver based on changing needs (ok, wants,  e.g. need/want a SL ski, need/want a GS ski.  If I had occasion to ski powder, I would want a powder ski.   I generally buy bargains, which allows me to need/want a better GS ski for my conditions.

post #3 of 127

My last two pairs have been used demos. With two low snow years in a row, the bases have been gone in two seasons.

post #4 of 127

I have the same disease as @Ghost, so I just keep adding to the quiver. Except for one pair of cross country mountainering skis that snapped in half after a late night jumping competition while under infuence, then I haven't had to replace any skis. One pair tries to tell me it's time to let go, but I just keep reparing them :rolleyes


After a while you end up with groomer skis for short (SL), medium (cheater) and long turns (GS), offpiste skis for deep and not so deep snow, AT skis, tele skis, cross country mountainering skis, classic skis, skating skis and roller skis. The bad side of that is that the shed is getting crowded and it's increasingly difficult to choose what to bring and what to leave behind when going on a trip.


Some says that skis loose their liveliness/performance after a certain number of days. Haven't noticed anything like that. I guess it happens gradually and most of my skis have lost their liveliness by now....

post #5 of 127

I don't replace, I add... :D

post #6 of 127
I used to replace after 100 days because 1) I was employed, and 2) everyone said to.

Now that I've been unemployed for over a decade and my husband has joined me, skis last longer. My Recons were retired due to loss of torsional rigidity after 208 days. Basically, they lost their hold on ice. I'd tried shop tunes to reset the bevel, and increasing the side bevel to compensate, but it just wasn't doing it. Comparing them to newer skis was night and day difference. Next skis to be retired (they are still in "rock skis" category) will be the Outlaws, currently standing at 176 days.

The next oldest skis are the Hell and Backs, with 90 days. It's time to start demoing to replace them, but if we have another winter like last year, it won't be this season.

My "new" skis have 43 days, so there's probably a whole season, maybe two, left in them, depending on snow conditions and usage.

But, will leave it to my feet to tell me, now that money is tighter.
post #7 of 127
Originally Posted by Oleg S View Post

I don't replace, I add... :D


It seems nearly every time I read about skis that get raving reviews from multiple people.

Lurking on this site doesn't help with this addiction.

post #8 of 127

there is no basic rule to how often replace the ski (or add).

It usually based on type of the ski, place where you ski and the season (snow condition or lack of it).


I've heard that racers kills the ski within 1 season (60-100 days) where powder skis do live much longer (assume that they would be ski on the snow, now rocks), so it is very specific and individual.. but may be the average is may be 150 days? (for some it is one season, for others is like 10 years, who knows).

post #9 of 127
Originally Posted by GerryF View Post

Other than "gear lust" how often do you replace your skis? Is it based upon wear, time, or technology changes?

Never in a great hurry to replace skis.  When I do, could be for any or all of those three reasons.


First skis I bought as a working adult got used for a week every 2-3 years for 15+ years when I was a intermediate on groomers only.  First good skis I bought after getting my daughter started got used for a couple seasons.  By then I knew a lot more and started demo'ing.  Once I found an all-mountain that I liked and bought during summer sales, the older skis got used only for skiing with kids in northern VA.  My current all-mountain have perhaps 100 days over 3 seasons, but are in good shape since half of those days are on short slopes in the Mid-Atlantic with no ungroomed terrain in sight.  But I know even more now and have become an advanced skier going off into trees and such a fair amount when out west, so likely to get replaced in another season or two.  Once I managed to sell the first all-mountain, that gave me an excuse to buy some carvers even though I got new boots last spring.

post #10 of 127

The life of a ski depends on the construction of the ski.  I always thought that the wood core skis last longer than the foam core skis.  If the manufactures blends the foam with more or less of any of the chemicals that makes the ski strong they could know when the ski would break down.  They would know about how many days of skiing it would last thus predetermine when you would have to replace the ski.   The wood core ski is more difficult to predict because the wood is a natural fiber and one species of wood will be stronger than others.  Even though the manufactures laminate different types of wood together it would be tougher to predict when the wood will break down.  Additional questions are does a wrap construction hold up better than a sandwich construction, does a metal sandwich hold up better than a fiberglass sandwich, do glass fibers last longer than carbon fibers, and does titanium metal sheets last longer than aluminum sheets?  All of these determine the life of a ski and depending on who you talk to you will probably get as many different answers. 


The type of ski may also have some contribution to life expectancy.  With all the stress put on a Slalom ski it may break down faster than a GS, Super G or DH ski.  The bump/park ski also seems like it would have less life expectancy because of the pounding they take.  A ski built for east coast hard pack and ice would have to be stronger than west coast soft snow/powder ski. 


Anyway a foam core ski I have a rule of thumb estimated 100 – 125 days on snow if sized correctly less if not long enough, and a wood core ski 175 – 200 days on snow if sized correctly less if purchased too short.  These are variable based on wrap vs sandwich construction. 

post #11 of 127
When people start to laugh. What's wrong with my skinny 207's?
post #12 of 127

another approach: when you see the price which you can not resist... :drool

post #13 of 127
Originally Posted by Oleg S View Post

another approach: when you see the price which you can not resist... :drool

That's how I got my Black Pearls one summer.  Was going to wait one more season.  But I'd demo'd them at Big Sky and knew that I wanted a pair.  When someone I knew from a ski forum put a pair up for sale . . . lightly used, right length, with good bindings that would fit my boots as installed . . . no hesitation, PM sent.  Bonus was that seller shipped to a friend in SLC so I didn't even have to lug them in an airport for the first trip flying out.

post #14 of 127

About 5 years.  Technology marches on, and each new pair is the best skis I've ever been on.  I've only skied one pair that actually lost their backbone, original Head Supershapes that had a lot of days skiing.  These were wooden core sandwich construction.


I replaced the Supershapes with Head Icon TT800, the best ski Head never sold in North America.  I just replaced these, still great condition, with Head i.Supershape Rally...technology marches on. I don't put a lot of days on my mid-fats or fatties, so I get more years from them.

post #15 of 127

Number of days is probably the best criteria.  At least for grip on eastern hardpack, once skis get to 125-150 days, the loss of performance is evident.  I ski about 60 days a year and normally have two skis in use - a hard snow carver and a wider all-mountain ski.  That means replacing one about every other year.  Current carver (Fischer SC) was new last year and the all-mountain (Fischer Motive 88) is about 3 years old.  The Motive will probably be replaced next year.

Edited by JimH - 11/5/15 at 4:51am
post #16 of 127
I've been involved in the industry for the past few seasons, so typically I'll sell a ski when it's still in it's shelf life resale prime to fund the next purchase. Bottom line though, I'll sell pretty much any ski I own at the end of the first season if someone's interested, but usually wait for the end of the second. Teley and AT skis stick around awhile. It's just a hassle to replace too much especially when they're not used as much as alpine gear at the moment.
Edited by markojp - 11/5/15 at 7:24am
post #17 of 127

For me it depends on what kind of ski it is. I had a daily driver that I got in 2010 and it was used heavily in the subsequent seasons. It reached the end of its effective life after about 120 days, but I kept it in the rock ski rotation for another couple seasons, where it got maybe 10 days of use per year. That ski was a midfat that was used in trees, bumps, and all sorts of gnar. It has been officially retired for this season, with probably somewhere around 150 days on it. Even if it hadn't reached it's logical end life, it would have been replaced by now, since the all mountain/ freeride category has changed so much in the past 5 years. 


On the other hand, I have a pair of carving skis I picked up in 2008, and they'll probably remain in my quiver for another few years. They only get 3 or 4 days of use per year, mostly when I have to run gates with my class. They don't see rocks or trees or drops or bumps, so they don't get abused like my daily drivers. Also, the technology on carving/ hard snow skis hasn't changed in the same way as soft snow skis has.... I know, somebody will say there have been changes, but it hasn't been as significant. That means I'm fine sticking with that carver for a while still. 

post #18 of 127
Originally Posted by GerryF View Post

Other than "gear lust" how often do you replace your skis? Is it based upon wear, time, or technology changes?


I don't replace. I add.

post #19 of 127
You could ask the same question about golf clubs.

I have three pairs of skis. One pair has one sheet of metal; the others have two sheets. I'd like to think that the lamination used has an impact on useful life.

Another important factor is waxing. I'm not sure if heating epoxy glue/fibreglass on a regular basis impacts its life cycle, especially tip/tail where skis are thinner.
post #20 of 127

The past 10 yrs I have gone through skis pretty regularly.  Always looking for the ultimate ski.  For example; this year was the worst/best for me I have brand new Blizzard Bones for my daily driver and brand new Praxis Protest for powder.  In almost 50 yr s of skiing this is the lst year I have entered the season with two brand new pairs. So life is great and am going to enjoy  the years left.


Life passes in stages;   Stage 1. Just starting to work don't have any money but then again don't have many obligations either. Stage 2.  Have family, obligations and it is a chore just trying to save a little.   Stage 3. Making more money, kids are in college, saving for mortgage and retirement.   Stage 4. Kids are gone, doing some investing now, some skiing.  Stage 5. Retired and handling $ ok.  Stage 6.  You are well on the downside of your years and now you spend, life is short, takes on a whole new meaning.    So thats sorta why buying skis, golf clubs etc. is no big deal.   Enjoy.


I can't wait to get on these:        


post #21 of 127

I usually sell them after 70 days and upgrade with something else. I have 5 pair that I use and ski 35-45 days a year so i usually buy a pair every other year

post #22 of 127

For me, I've been improving/changing as a skier every year, so what I want in a ski is changing, too. Demos tell you some things, but not everything. I don't generally do direct replacements, but the longest I've had any of my current skis is I think 3 years, and that's because they've been converted from alpine bindings to AT bindings - they're wonderfully forgiving skis.

post #23 of 127

Got my new skis at season's end in 2014 (Kastle FX84s), replacing 9 or 10 year old Dynastar ski cross 66s. The Dynastars replaced 10 or 11 year Salomons. I currently ski about 20 days a year in the East, and wait till the technology suggests there are better boards out there.  I tend to swap boots out more frequently, though -- about every 5-6 years.

post #24 of 127
I don't demo and usually buy skis on sale or slightly used for about 35-60% off retail street prices, then sell them after 10-40 days.

I've sold some skis I should have kept longer but also effectively had a long demo for about $15-$20/day. Ex: buy for $400, ski it for 10 days, sell for $250. Sometimes I do better sometimes I do worse. Keeps things interesting.
post #25 of 127
Every year.

Skiing the firm snow at GTR all season really takes a lot out of them.😎

post #26 of 127

Sometimes every year, sometimes twice a year, sometimes every 2 or 3 years, depending how long ski has enough edge to still be able to file it (or how little of edge is left that it tears off :), or when friend who gives them to me, needs to get them back to factory race department, because eventually all race stock skis need to get back to factory. :) But in general skis don't really have life time like that. You can easily ski them for years, especially if you are gentle with file and you don't file all the edges off.

post #27 of 127

I rarely get new skis. I have noticed that East Coasters generally have firmer conditions than we do out West so skis tend to be tuned to a premature death out there. Base and rails get thin with repeated tuning. This is also part of the reason behind racers killing skis in a season or less and typically, racers are more sensitive to the feedback from the ski so when a ski feels less active for them, their performance can be impacted. The Rossi's I skied yesterday are 03/04 B3's, they have 5 seasons at 100+ days in Jackson and maybe another 300 days in Colorado since. They still ski great, though cosmetically they have seen better days. They have also lost a little pop out of the bottom of the turn and almost the whole base is a giant base repair, but you only notice it on the groom. Nothing a good wax can't fix. I still ski my old Volant Chubbs I skied alpine before the B3's. I mounted them up with telemark bindings so technically, I have been skiing those since 1998. Still skiing good though.


But...my brand new Patron's with new Salomon STH-WTR 13's are not so patiently leaning against the wall waiting for good snow.

post #28 of 127

Wow, some of you guys are really strict about counting the number of days on each pair of skis. I'm not quite organized enough for that! 


For me, it's basically when edge hold/torsional rigidity is gone to the point where a tune doesn't fix it. But it's more complicated than that. 


The problem is, degraded performance happens so gradually that it doesn't really snap into focus until I demo something newer. But I do get a vague gut sense when my skis could be/used to be better, and start getting the itch to demo. And every single time, the increased performance when demoing a new ski blows by hair back. I used to relate this to improving skis, but now I think I just keep my skis too long after they're past their prime.


The lesson: trust your gut. It's not an "addiction" to upgrade if your skis' performace is degraded to the point where you start to question it, even subconciously. 

post #29 of 127

This thread got me thinking about the differences between all of us on EpicSki. Some of you talk about replacing every year because of hitting 100+ ski days on a ski, other's may only hit 100 days over the span of 6-8 years. I created this poll that I thought would be an interesting idea to find out how often we all ski. 

post #30 of 127
That's why this year's thing for skis makes no sense and why, with a multi-ski quiver, some record keeping makes sense. All of a sudden the skis just aren't doing it. Is it the tune, you, the ski? Knowing they've got x days on them will help answer that question. Plus make you feel a lot better about how much they cost. :-)
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