I have had an all day session on an indoor snow slope (UK) and a day at Mutters in Austria (artificial snow; hardly any real stuff right now except on the advanced slopes).
I can zigzag using snow-plough and obviously want to progress to proper parallel skiing, so I want to do more trips to Austria and Switzerland, or even parts of Germany (a friend lives near Winterberg). Green or blue slopes.
Having spoken to loads of people and read up as much as I can, a few things seem apparent:
1) You have to get your own boots and a helmet. Boots are really important (I have Solomon Xpro 100 26.5 and had them fitted) and the rental helmets just smell way too badly :D
2) To progress to parallel skiing one needs something wider than a 10m wide slope - one needs a decent large area of snow.
3) If travelling by airline, most people rent skis because the airlines charge a lot for carrying them (up to £70) and sometimes don't load them if there is no room left.
4) There is a huge amount of used skis on Ebay but it's obvious that most of them are from ski-slope rental outfits who are selling (say) €300 skis for €250 and with two years' wear on them... hardly worth it. Very few people are selling good stuff privately. Some Polish outfits are selling new skis at amazing prices, say 50% off.
When I rented I was given 1.56m skis, usually Head; no idea which ones. I am 1.75m, 78kg.
There are two reasons I am looking to buy skis:
1) I live in the southern UK countryside and next to our house is a big field, which if it gets heavily snowed up (rare, but has happened 2x in last 5 years; about 30cm) would be really nice to mess about on. I guess this would be called off-piste...
2) I fly a light aircraft which works great for short-notice trips UK to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (2-4hrs). And it can take skis; up to 1.8m go in there OK. Has to be short-notice because it is very weather-sensitive.
So I have been looking at skis which would be OK for a beginner and still be OK once I get into doing it properly, and won't be completely useless on the local field.
Certain types which appear a lot on Ebay (mostly new) and which seem suitable in reviews are
1. Atomic NOMAD SMOKE + bindings XTO 10 2015
2. Skis Fischer Progressor 800 Black Rocker + bindings RS10 Powerrail
and I can get these new (bindings not attached so that's another £40 in a local ski shop) for under €200, in 1.56 length, from Poland on Ebay.
3. A local ski shop has some discounted skis in stock. The used Solomon one in this image
for £120 is the only one of interest. It is a wooden ski which the man says is quite stiff and was originally £600. If that is true I cannot believe it is going to be a ski suitable for a beginner because surely nobody would pay that.
I would really appreciate views on the three skis mentioned above, or maybe suggestions for others. I would prefer to not go above €200 unless there is a good reason. BTW I am in my 50s (but fit, doing mountain biking, walking up hills, gym, swimming) so will never go "completely crazy" on snow :)
Many thanks in advance.