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Broken skis, whats your opinion?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

Hey there guys, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I was hoping to get some opinions on a situation I am dealing with. Last weekend was my very first time skiing, after spending years snowboarding I decided to cross over and rented a pair of skis from a local shop. My first run down the hill I did okay and started getting the hang of it, however my second run did not go to well. On my second run I was going down a cat track and was linking big slow S turns going maybe 5-10 miles an hour, not fast by any means. well as I was about to start another turn a little girl slightly cut me off and resulted in me running into a small bump maybe about the size of a small mogul. Anyways, to get to the point, as soon as I go up the bump I heard a loud snap and came to a slow stop. I looked down and both skis where snapped. What a way to start skiing right? Anyway, I was able to borrow a friends extra set of skis for the rest of the day and had a blast. After bringing the skis back to the rental shop that night and explaining what happened, they said that they would try to contact the manufacturer (atomic) and try to warranty the skis. I just heard back from them yesterday and they claim that atomic denied the warranty and are going to be charging me $250 to replace the skis. My question to you guys is should the skis have even broken. My friends that I was skiing with say that they feel the skis must have been defective, especially because I was going so slow and went over such a small bump. I don’t know too much about skis yet, but I know snowboards aren’t this fragile, and I certainly don’t believe skis are. What are your opinions?



post #2 of 55
Well if you end up paying for the rentals make sure you at least get the bindings. You paid for them. That shop sounds like crooks.
post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 

Yeah I asked about that, they claim that the $250 is just the cost of the skis.

post #4 of 55
Get the rental agreement at that shop. Read it. Sounds like their charging you full bore for used rental skis. Contact Atomic on your own and see what they say.
post #5 of 55
post #6 of 55

You have to do some serious sh*t to snap skis.  Any pics of them by chance? 

post #7 of 55


post #8 of 55
Thread Starter 

Oh yea, i took pictures in case the shop tried to claim damage to the tips or pull something over. Here ya go.


Here they are on the shops counter:


post #9 of 55
Thread Starter 

I was going so slow I didn't even fall over, just came to a slow stop.

post #10 of 55
Unless you paid the extra cash to cover equipment damage then full retail cost to replace.
post #11 of 55

Well, not enough info for me to give any real advice.  I'd at least need pictures, info on the skis ( make, model, size, binding model & actual setting, boot size), and info on you (height & weight).  A copy of the actual rental agreement is real important too.


I used to run a ski rental shop and, believe me, I saw just about everything - including skis simply fail due to no real fault of the skier.  But, sadly, if a skier did return broken skis it often was pretty clear they abused them somehow.  Most common was not lifting the skis up enough when on the lift when approaching the unloading platform - resulting in skis getting caught & bent backwards & breaking/delaminating.  Second most common: backing their vehicle over the pile of rental skis they forgot to load into the vehicle.  Third most common: not securing the rental skis on their rental ski rack correctly.  No, I'm not saying you damaged them, just sharing my experiences.


There's also another possibility: the skis were already damaged when you rented them.  Not all ski shops take the time to closely inspect & test their rental skis after they are returned.  In your case, the type of damage might support this - if you could prove you were not doing anything that would cause such breakage.


I remember a situation where one of our rental customers broke a ski on the slopes.  When one of the skis broke (actually, the ski delaminated from the tip to the toepiece) they flagged down a patroller and got a written report from them (which we later confirmed with the patroller).  The customer was literally "just skiing along" on a bunny hill and then the ski "just stopped working".  We confirmed it wasn't the fault of the customer.  This was back in the 70s and the skis we used then were basically wood laminates.  Really cheap construction and we had a number of them delam by season's end (no, I wasn't the lame brain that chose the skis for our rental fleet back then).  Anyway, in that case, we actually gave the customer credit for free rental.  I remember because the customer ended up being very loyal to our shop and he had a big family.  ;^)

post #12 of 55

Just saw the pics.  OMG.  Relatively clean break on both skis in same place.  Usually takes a lot of force to break 'em like that - especially the way the edges snapped so cleanly.  If the layup of the ski was weak, I'd expect to see more edge pullout.  I've seen skis break like this when they're on a roof rack & get hungup driving into (or backing out of) a low garage area.  Or when a really big guy gets on super undersized skis & plows into (or lands on) an abrupt obstacle.  Were you trying to do rails?  ;^)


Anyway, it's still possible the skis had hidden damage before you rented them, but probably impossible to prove at this point.


Tip: next time you rent from the same place (if you do), give the skis a really close inspection and flex each one a good amount before you leave the shop.

post #13 of 55

Assuming you paid by credit card you might dispute the charge. It will be your word that you were not skiing fast and that the skis were rented to you in damaged condition. An accompanying affidavit from your friend might help. I would say, though, that the odds of getting the charge cancelled are poor. I wouldn't waste your time with Atomic--the skis were abused, either by the person who had them before you or more likely the shop that mounted the bindings. Given that both skis broke in exactly the place, at the toe pieces, given that your bindings were set for a beginner I'm guessing and you didn't release, that seems likely. You might try pointing this out to the shop. I would also tell the shop you want the broken skis to have them examined to determine the cause of breakage. If you can get a statement from an independent shop that the mount was bad that would help a lot. I would make sure the credit card company here's all this--including the exact DIN setting--which the rental shop will have and which you should demand. When you do have the DIN setting look up in a chart to see if it does correlate with a beginner setting--if the DIN was correct for a beginner you should have released before the skis broke. A fair amount of indignation with the shop about renting you a pair of skis that could have injured you might help to. Good luck, but I think you're facing long odds.

post #14 of 55

Yeah, I was just thinking that there's a possibility the binding mount was funky.  Screws slightly too long for the screw holes can delam the layup.  Or, a shop error when mounting the bindings that resulted in extra holes drilled in the toe area.  Another shop might be able to confirm this.

post #15 of 55
Thread Starter 

Here's another photo of the skis immediately taken by my friend after i broke them, as you can see i am still clipped in and the area i was in is clear of any obsticals, as i stated before i was riding a very gradual cat track. The small bump i went over is just out of frame uphill from me.


post #16 of 55

I'm just a skier not someone familiar with ski engineering or someone whose worked in a rental shop and seen various damage.  But just as a skier would not believe your story from simple common sense.   The break is in front of the binding not where some screws may have been mounted poorly.   But maybe someone who mounts skis can chime in.  Otherwise your unlikely story is the real issue and probably why the manufacturer balked.   I can't imagine how skis might break like that by running into anything on a ski run much less a "bump".  Instead for both skis to break evenly in the same place I'd speculate the skis were laying side by side on the ground and run over by vehicle tires.  Am not saying you are relating BS but rather that it makes no sense if that is truly what happened and why they are not buying it.  If you can make them believe the place you took the picture is way up on some ski slope above any parking lot then it would have more credibility because you could not have simply walked up with broken skis to that location and staged a phony pic.

post #17 of 55
Thread Starter 

Well i suppose that's the problem isn't it? I think if they believed me i wouldn't have even created an account here to get your guy's opinions. And I see your side of it because i agree that if i heard it it might seem far fetched. But from the other side of common sense, how does a brand new skier break two skis at the same time while remaining clipped into the bindings with no apparent damage besides the obvious and zero injuries? And from the photo above you can see that the skis broke on the mountain, and they certainly were not ran over. Besides that, I didn't even fall over and remained in the bindings the whole time as evidenced by the picture above.

post #18 of 55

I disagree that it is a defective ski.

I snapped an atomic ski similarly (i posted a pic somewhere), but it was within 3months of buying new, so it was replaced more out of "good will" than warranty.  The pics match my damage where it's a clean break in front of the ski.  


Here's what happened to me and what i think happened to you.


These are beginners skis and they are soft.  If you go into a deep icy dip-such as if you're traversing a mogul rut instead of going down it,  where the ski goes down in the dip the ski hits the vertical solid wall of ice and tries to climb back up (sometimes hidden by a little soft stuff), This can easily snap the ski.  even if you're going slow, your body at 5mph running a ski straight into a wall is a huge amount of force of your body weight's momentum, especially when it hits an immovable wall of ice that isn't sloped but actually has a sharp angle.


It is the same as you propped the ski up in a triangle against a 90degree wall and basically jump on it with your full body weight.  It's going to break when one end of the ski is supposed to go 90degrees from the other end.   If you guys think it's impossible difficult to break a set of skis, I challenge you all to go just do this test outside against a wall with your unbreakable  skis (the more expensive the better). 


So my opinion is you're liable for the damage, especially if you didn't check the $3 damage box.


The part about not falling actually hurts your case.  If anything, NOT falling over means your body efficiently transferring all the momemtum into the skis and you directly hit the ice wall straight on.  IF you hit the mogul at an angle, you would've caused a torque for the bindings to break away, and allow your body's momentum to go somewhere else and not straight into bending the ski straight up.

You hit the ice wall head on and the ski took all the energy.

post #19 of 55
Thread Starter 
I did check the 3 dollar damage box but the rental agreement states that it only covers repairable damage, which in my case it is obviously not repairable. Also, I was not in any moguls, I used that as a reference for size. I see what your saying and it's clear that I'm not as educated or experienced as you but I have gone down that same cat track countless times on my snow board and I simply don't see any reasons that justify both skis breaking like that.
post #20 of 55

I used mogul as a reference as that's where you usually get dips, but running into any hidden ice wall or obstacle that's got a sharp angle can cause the same dmg

Edited by raytseng - 1/28/16 at 11:13pm
post #21 of 55

Anyway up to you to take from my opinions as you like.  I gave my opinion what happened, and obviously the skis are broken; and in a common way that skis break when they hit an object or forced to bend at a sharp angle

Anyway here's the old thread, with my ski picture in it along with others.  You are not the first to break a ski




Perhaps you are the first to break 2 skis at a time, if it's any consolation perhaps this means you have excellent technique to be able to hit the hidden obstacle straight on with both legs parallel and your weight forward on the tips rather than backseat.


(note: post editted to be nicer)

Edited by raytseng - 1/28/16 at 11:29pm
post #22 of 55
Originally Posted by frogman1 View Post

Here's another photo of the skis immediately taken by my friend after i broke them, as you can see i am still clipped in and the area i was in is clear of any obsticals, as i stated before i was riding a very gradual cat track. The small bump i went over is just out of frame uphill from me.

What's that under the left foot? Looks like something metal?
post #23 of 55
Thread Starter 
Great question, I do not know. I do know that there was not any metal there. It looks like a shadow to me but it kinda has a weird shape doesn't it?
post #24 of 55

Tell the shop you were just lucky you didn't get your neck broke because there skis were defected. If there is any more of a problem inform them you will be contacting your attorney. This should clear everything up for you. 


If you are being honest about this experience than the skis were already broken when you got on them. Let them know that you know this, be firm and take this stance. F- that shop. They should be kissing your butt not charging you for abuse on their gear.  


That's if your post is truly honest. 

post #25 of 55


Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

What's that under the left foot? Looks like something metal?



It looks like a divot.  If he twisted his left leg out and pulled it back a few inches, the break point would fit right in there.


I agree with dave_SSS...the problem is that true or not, it's just an unbelievable story.  What bike shop guys call JRA...Just Riding Along.   'I was just riding along and my frame broke in two and my wheel taco'd...can I get this warrantied'.

post #26 of 55

Your story sounds fishy to me.  


However at the shop that I am affiliated with if you checked the damage insurance box this would be covered.  I would suggest moving up the desicion chain a few levels.  If you can't go personally, a letter with pictures could be sent and CC ed to the rental shop manager, the retail manager, the guest services manager,,,,   Ect.  It's harder to ignore or stonewall someone when others including your boss and your bosses boss are in the loop.  Make the letter polite, but clearly state that you didn't do anything unusual with the skis and that you paid for the damage waiver.  If you go in person, also be polite but make it clear that you are unhappy and the current outcome is unaccaptable.  At my resort we really want the guests expereince to be positive and are looking to create happy customers who will come back and bring their friends.


We were all told at the early season meeting that as long as the skis come back and don't have obvious tire tracks or something truly ridiculous that the damage waiver gets the guest off the hook for any damage.  Always get the damage waiver!

Edited by tetonpwdrjunkie - 1/29/16 at 10:28am
post #27 of 55
Had sometime to think this over. I'm not buying the slow speed into a bump. Ive broken a few skis over the years and those rentals took alot of force to distort like that which is curious that the skier didn't ge5 hurt. IMHO.
post #28 of 55
Originally Posted by frogman1 View Post

Here's another photo of the skis immediately taken by my friend after i broke them, as you can see i am still clipped in and the area i was in is clear of any obsticals, as i stated before i was riding a very gradual cat track. The small bump i went over is just out of frame uphill from me.




A: Yours!


Sorry, kidding. Well, it looks like there are some mixed, valid opinions as to whether or not this should have happened. Water sufficiently muddied. You decide. That slope in the pic doesn't really look like a cat track; but I wasn't there. 


Some good advice above. Just a thought, if you feel strongly that its not your fault and you tell them that if they charge the CC, you'll dispute the charges, you might be able to negotiate a settlement on the spot or buy some time. $125? (In CO, this is an offer to settle, which usually can't be used against you to try to prove liability; you know: "would an innocent person offer to settle?" "Yes, yes one would.") They shouldn't have to eat it if its your fault, but you shouldn't have to if its not your fault. I know $250 aint chicken feed, but, at that cost, I predict this quickly becoming not with either party's time, right or wrong. Hiring a lawyer will cost more than the $250; or just as much in the best case. 



post #29 of 55

Another angle on making sense of the break is to find out how that ski model is actually structured with materials. Find out the manufacturer and exact model.  Although one could directly ask the actual ski manufacturer they might not be forthcoming with information if they thought someone was going to try using such in a legal lawsuit either against them or a ski shop that buys their skis.   Instead contact another company that makes skis or a known ski design engineer and ask for a casual short opinion.



post #30 of 55
Why would there be a bump on a cat track 2nd tun of the day. In the picture it looks like the shoulder of the cat track has a pretty good sharp crown on it and could've sloughed off an ice boulder with a 90degree angle to it. Especially if you got distracted by the maneuver you could've misremembered edsctly what bump you hit.

Since i broke a ski this way I can relate with the right situation, your body weight momentum even at 5mph diving into divot/wall is more thsn enough to destroy a ski. Leverage.

But yea as far as where to go from here. The 250 is not zero but they could've dinged you for worse and started your bill at 600. 250 is a reasonable cost for a shop to replace a rental fleet ski. But it is still open to negotiation. Is it 250plus a rental? Maybe you could get the rental taken off or another rental for free or something if you're still skiing there.
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