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Gear Advice: Doing a Season After Three Year Hiatus [at Whistler 2015/16]

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

So, I'm lucky enough to be in Whistler for the whole of the 2015/16 season, but I'm unsure of what to do about gear.



I used to go skiing all the time with my family, and worked up to a pretty good level for someone who goes each year (able to execute jump turns, go down double blacks, etc). After that I stopped for a while (or rather my parents stopped taking me), but it all came back when I hit the three valleys three years ago. Haven't done any skiing since then.





Now, I'll obviously improve during this coming skiing, so what sort of gear should I look for? Should I buy right away or rent for a week or two?



What do you think?

post #2 of 20
Buy boots from a reputable local fitter. Fanatykco in the main village is a great shop with very experienced fitters. Given their proximity to the lifts and the likelihood that you will need tweaking of your boot fit, the location is very convenient. I have also heard good things about Erin Keam (believe he has worked at Skiis and Bikes).

As for skis, you should definitely demo and see how the season unfolds. Have a look at various shops and do some research, but there is no substitute for demoing. Nothing replaces good, properly fit boots and there is no such thing as a bargain in boots if they don't fit properly.
post #3 of 20

As above buy good boots .  As for skis will depend on where you are working, what hookups you can get, etc etc as to the best plan of attack.  I'd be tempted to pick up a cheap secondhand pair (provided they will adjust to fit your boots) - (ex demo/rental fleet can be a good source for this or various real and virtual listings boards) just as a daily driver then you've headroom to build up contacts in order to be able to demo stuff for free/cheap.  Obviously if you are minted then by all means slap your credit card down in the first store you find and make them work for the sale.

post #4 of 20

I second Fanatykco and Erin. Erin couldn't fix my feet but came very close, and Fanatyk are a wonderful bunch of people with a solid ski selection. Expensive boots though!

post #5 of 20

Also have good experience at Fanatyko, would add that if a boot fits well, helps your skiing, and is comfortable over the course of a day, it's not too expensive. Skimp on skis, not boots or fitters. 

post #6 of 20

Fanatykco is my go-to shop at WB. They'll guide you right with great boots and fitting, then they have an excellent selection of demo skis to try until you buy.

post #7 of 20
 Posted by fatbob View Post
 

  As for skis will depend on where you are working, what hookups you can get, etc etc as to the best plan of attack.  I'd be tempted to pick up a cheap secondhand pair (provided they will adjust to fit your boots) - (ex demo/rental fleet can be a good source for this or various real and virtual listings boards) just as a daily driver then you've headroom to build up contacts in order to be able to demo stuff for free/cheap.  Obviously if you are minted then by all means slap your credit card down in the first store you find and make them work for the sale.

The above is pretty good advice. Personally, I'd look for a pair of skis somewhere around 88 to 90mm waist that are competent in both hard and soft snow. There is a saying "we date skis, not marry them." There is no one ski that will thrive in all the conditions you will experience at  WB. By seasons end, you will be a much better skier than you are now, plus, have a much better idea of what ski fits your needs. 

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post
 

The above is pretty good advice. Personally, I'd look for a pair of skis somewhere around 88 to 90mm waist that are competent in both hard and soft snow. There is a saying "we date skis, not marry them." There is no one ski that will thrive in all the conditions you will experience at  WB. By seasons end, you will be a much better skier than you are now, plus, have a much better idea of what ski fits your needs. 

 

Agreed.  Looks for something versatile. Try before you buy, but if you are a committed skier, especially one focused on getting better each and every day on the hill, your skills will go up astronomically in a year. A ski that might have been too much for you at the start of the year might be perfect for you later.  And who knows the type of winter we might get!

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the advice! Apologies for the late reply - I've been trekking!

I was actually thinking of going to Vancouver for the gear because its supposed to be so much cheaper, but perhaps demoing is a necessity after all. I'm certainly not minted! I was looking to spend around 1600 - 2000. Unrealistic?

post #10 of 20

Several posters have mentioned Fanatyko ski shop. I'm not familiar with the name but there is a ski shop in Whistler that does not sell clothing, only skis, boots, bindings. I like their hard core attitude, so I was wondering if the shop that I am describing is called Fanatyko?

 

I'm not sure if ski rental shops in Whistler do it, but at lots of resorts you can apply 2 or sometimes 3 days worth of rental $ to an eventual purchase.

post #11 of 20
You're in the range with your budget. Most of the shops will apply a couple of days' rental/demo to your purchase. Kevan Kobayashi (owner of Fanatykco) is an excellent fitter, but my experience (and my wife's) has been that they have very good and experienced staff. As with any shop, it is the skill and knowledge of your boot fitter that ultimately matters the most - it's not just price point. Early evenings are your best time to go for a bootfitting, but be prepared: it's a very busy shop. But worth it, since you're there. No advantage that I'd see in purchasing in Vancouver.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Cheers, Alberto! Thinking I might buy from Fanatykco and then pick up second-hand skis elsewhere. Do you know how much the quality of bindings matters? I didn't even really think about them before, so the prices I've been looking at are pretty scary!

post #13 of 20

Good idea to buy the boots at Fanatyko, as you can get them fit as soon as you get off the hill, which will be priceless to get a good fit. It's always tough to remember EXACTLY where it hurt a couple days later at a local shop, but walking in from off the hill you know where that little problem is.

 

You can look for skis on Craigslist if you like, OR, there's the Whistler outlet store that has some decent skis (not great, but decent) for reasonable prices. One shop is in Squamish and the other in the upper village near the drugstore.

 

Bindings are like woman - everyone likes something different. Going with the major brands, there's nothing bad, but some like the elasticity of the Rossi/Look 's,  I like the feel of the Mrker Griffons and so on, some swear by the Salomon's, etc. There's not much bad in binding, but don't scrimp for a bargain basement binding.

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

Bindings are like woman - everyone likes something different.

 

I like my bindings like I like my women. Loose.

Anyway ... I have always just rented skis before and didn't even know that bindings could feel any different.

I'm not sure I have the expertise to buy from Craig. Do you know if advice is available at the outlet store? Or would I be able to pick up used ones at a ski shop?
 

post #15 of 20

Hi, I have lived in Whistler for last 10 years.  Fanatico good for boots def.  Boots are key to skiing well. 

 

Several options for skis.  Whistler Blackcomb demo skis at $20 at day from locations on ski hill.  You can take several skis out though the day, so can try diff makes and sizes v cheap.  If you then go onto buy from WB you will get the rental cash off.  Also if you have a seasons pass get a v good discount (20%) 

 

Whistler village has a clearance center that sell last year’s demo/rental skis...if you know someone with some ski knowhow then can find a really good deal. 

 

There is also a re-use it center in Function Junction that have a lot of skis.  These may be too far gone to be of use but worth a look.

 

I get my most of my ski gear from Squamish at 'Urban Alpine', great for boots and skis.  Some of the skis for sale are last year’s demo skis.  Some are almost brand new as we had such a bad season last year, the big skis were barely touched.  Again a thought.

 

Have fun...Whistler is skiing already and the snow is as good as most of last season combined!

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by otherjr View Post
 

 

I like my bindings like I like my women. Loose.

Anyway ... I have always just rented skis before and didn't even know that bindings could feel any different.

I'm not sure I have the expertise to buy from Craig. Do you know if advice is available at the outlet store? Or would I be able to pick up used ones at a ski shop?
 

 

My, I'm sure we could go a long way with that first sentence, but better off at TGR.

 

There's a lot of advice here Epic about what you'd like, but as said by Bikerbrown, you never go wrong when you demo, and that Whistler village shop was the one I mentioned, along with their sister shop in Squamish, plus he had another one he mentioned.

 

If you have the scratch, the Kastle FX94 keeps on getting rave reviews, and is a great "tweener" ski for WB. I have MX88's and MX108's for hard days, and Nordica Patrons for softer. Ask around - no shortage of knowledge at WB

 

Look back through here for recommendations from some opf the usual suspects, like Philpug, Finndog etc, and they'll be names that keep on coming back.

post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikerbrown View Post Some are almost brand new as we had such a bad season last year, the big skis were barely touched.  Again a thought.

 

Have fun...Whistler is skiing already and the snow is as good as most of last season combined!

This season is looking good then?

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by otherjr View Post
 

This season is looking good then?

 

Right. Opening day was fine :rolleyes

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

The guy who dropped me off here was good enough to take me to a place called 'Function Junction' in Creekside, just for a look-see. They had skis there for like $50 - he told me they were pretty good and has no reason to gild the lily.

 

So, thoughts on picking up skis here? I'll certainly head to Fanatyko for some nice boots, but the price point for these used skis is compelling. Problem being I wouldn't be sure what to pick.

Any advice?

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by otherjr View Post
 

The guy who dropped me off here was good enough to take me to a place called 'Function Junction' in Creekside, just for a look-see. They had skis there for like $50 - he told me they were pretty good and has no reason to gild the lily.

 

So, thoughts on picking up skis here? I'll certainly head to Fanatyko for some nice boots, but the price point for these used skis is compelling. Problem being I wouldn't be sure what to pick.

Any advice?

 

My advice: You usually get what you pay for and in general WB is not known for low prices. OTOH Value Village is well known for having $10 used skis.

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