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How do you buy your skis?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, for the longest time I've always gone to my local ski shop and asked to talk to their "expert" about skis.

 

They go through the usual, ask some questions and do some stuff and in the end of the day you buy what they suggest and go ski with it.

 

But how do you know these are the best skis for you?

 

 

 

I recently asked my shop if they would let me test or rent similar models to the ones they are selling so I can decide myself what I like.. They said no.

 

heh.

 

 

So what do you guys do to buy new skis? Just take the word of the guy at the store? Or do you have a way to test them before you buy them? 

post #2 of 20
As has been said many times, we try to demo. If the shop doesn't do demos, find another shop.
post #3 of 20

Demoing is always a great option.  It's tough to know exactly how a ski will feel without getting on it.  If possible, get out on some demos.

 

That being said, sometimes demoing isn't an option.  In that situation you have to put some trust in the ski shop sales associate.  Unfortunately, not all sales associates are experts at determining the correct ski for a customer.  Sometimes a shop will have a slow moving ski and the staff will push that ski more than others.  If you have a good relationship with a ski shop employee who tries a lot of skis themselves, is knowledgeable, and is willing to spend the time to talk to you about the differences from one ski to the next, there's no reason why you can't trust their opinion and skip the demo.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Fair enough, I will make sure to get them to let me demo the skis. 

 


I looked up a review for a place thats a 30 minute drive from where I am... one of them was bad mouthing the other place that doesn't let you demo.... Guess I'm never going there again! 

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel47 View Post
 

I looked up a review for a place thats a 30 minute drive from where I am... one of them was bad mouthing the other place that doesn't let you demo.... Guess I'm never going there again! 

 

In today's day and age, it's pretty rare to find a shop that doesn't offer demos of the exact skis they are selling.  It's like a car dealer not letting you test drive...

post #6 of 20
... though few will have every manufactured length.
post #7 of 20

There were tons of opinions in the demo / no demo thread but for me demoing is the way to go.  That said we bought the wife's skis last season with no demo.  It was a tough decision not knowing if we were doing the right thing because as an extremely cautious beginner she was trusting me.  Lots of research.  Tricia had a great interview that helped and led me to a bunch of reviews.  Once we thought we had it figured out we called @skiessentials.  They also ask all the right questions.  Bought from them and had skis in a few days.  For her it all worked out and she loves the skis.

post #8 of 20
I've bought four pairs of skis in the last two years, and all of them were bought online without any demo beforehand. I'm a sucker for a bargain, so can't pass up those half price deals on the net.

I do lots of research on line, and haven't had any bad surprises yet.

(I should probably add that three of the four pair were race skis, so it's not like I would have had a chance to demo them anyway. Can't even look at them on the rack, as no shops here even stock race skis.)
Edited by Alpha407 - 1/27/16 at 1:19pm
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha407 View Post

I've bought four pairs of skis in the last two years, and all of them were bought online without any demo beforehand. I'm a sucker for a bargain, so can't pass up those half price deals on the net.

I do lots of research on line, and haven't had any bad surprises yet.

(I should probably add that three of the four pair were race skis, so it's not like I would have had a chance to demo them anyway. Can't even look at them on the rack, as no shops here even stock race skis.)


That is reassuring.

 

I've always bought my skis from stores, I will try buying my next skies online and see how it goes. Hopefully I have the same luck you do. 

post #10 of 20

I have read up on particular skis and come up with a few to think about, then I wait around until a good deal comes along.  My last purchase was a new pair of Elan 888 Alus for $189. So far no duds.

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

I have read up on particular skis and come up with a few to think about, then I wait around until a good deal comes along.  My last purchase was a new pair of Elan 888 Alus for $189. So far no duds.


New or used? 

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel47 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

I have read up on particular skis and come up with a few to think about, then I wait around until a good deal comes along.  My last purchase was a new pair of Elan 888 Alus for $189. So far no duds.


New or used? 

As above.  In the wrapper.

 

I should note that I had to keep checking to see that the price was as I noted above; I couldn't believe it!  Right after I bought them (they had 8 pair of 186s for sale) the price for the rest of the skis went up by $100.  I think someone must have listed the price wrong but they honored it for the ones I bought and changed the price to $289 when they found out their mistake.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

As above.  In the wrapper.

 

I should note that I had to keep checking to see that the price was as I noted above; I couldn't believe it!  Right after I bought them (they had 8 pair of 186s for sale) the price for the rest of the skis went up by $100.  I think someone must have listed the price wrong but they honored it for the ones I bought and changed the price to $289 when they found out their mistake.

Wow.

 

Amazing deal.

 

At that price, you don't even need to care about whether you'll like them or not. Its a steal. 

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel47 View Post
 

Wow.

 

Amazing deal.

 

At that price, you don't even need to care about whether you'll like them or not. Its a steal. 

I'm kicking myself for not buying two pair.

post #15 of 20

Take a look at this site, http://www.skiessentials.com/

 

Then google the ski you like and read the reviews. Then go back to that site and buy it.

 

I did that when I bought my Volkl Shiro's from them a couple years back. Great price and the ski is exactly what I wanted. I have since bought two more pairs of skis and The Knee Binding from them.

post #16 of 20
In the past I've read up on different skis until I found one that sounds like it had the characteristics I'd like, then I've purchased either online or in a local shop. Only once in the past decade did I go with a salesperson's recommendation and he sold me a 163cm ski (I was 5'9" and 180# at the time -- bad fit).

If it turns out I don't like the ski I can either sell it soon and recover a good chunk of my money, or if I bought from REI I can return it and get my full purchase price back
post #17 of 20

Most ski areas (other than the really small mom-and-pop venues) have a demo center.  At my hill it's $50 for a full day or $35 for a four hour demo.  You can try as many different skis as you want.

 

Also, many manufacturers have a rep that travels around with demo skis that you can try for free if you're there on the right day.

 

So, my method is to hit the demo center or the free demo day, find a few models that I like, then wait until June or so for the deep discounts online. You can find deals for about half of what you pay in-season.  After a few years, I sell them in-season for about what I paid for them. 

 

For instance, I bought a pair of Dynastar Sultan Legand 85s about four years ago, new in the wrapper for $300 (on-line in the summer).  Mounted them with a pair of bindings I already owned, skied on them for three seasons, and just sold them at a swap for $300.    My Tiger Shark 10 foots were purchased with bindings for $400, three seasons later they sold for $375.  That's how you buy and sell skis.

 

Do not just go to the shop and let them tell you what to buy.  For one, the guy at the store (and it's almost always a guy, isn't it?) probably has never actually skied on any of them.  For another, even if he has, your tastes are going to be different than him. 

 

And then there's the problem with the recent fad of rockered wide skis - I was in one of the local shops the other day and they didn't stock a single model that was appropriate for prevailing local conditions.  Everything was meant for that two foot dump that never happens around here.  The only reason to buy skis like that is if you're a member of the Optimists Club.

post #18 of 20
Industry demos the last four years, prior to that I rarely bought skis. The last six pair have all been the result of industry demos (5 pair) or free shop demo (1 pair).
post #19 of 20

Typically 1 year old stuff from beer league racers with more money than me.  Pick up a set for around $400 have them ground and I'm about 1/2 what it would cost for new.

post #20 of 20

I've bought online before did tons and tons of researching and after narrowing it down to a couple of skis gone with what I feel suited me best and worked out great I love them.. that being said I also have thought a certain ski would never be for my type of skiing, I give it a demo and turns out Ive never had a better time on the mountain before! Demoing is deffinitley smart just too really see what kind of ski suits you best, you may be surprised! If they dont have what you want to demo try to find something similar dimensions and profile, that will give you and idea if thats what you want! (as mentioned before skiessentials.com is a good one to buy from Ive bought a pair their changed my mind and took them back no problem) 

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