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Longtime skier, first time buyer

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello all! Considering a first time purchase of gear and was hoping to get some advice from those who know more than I. :)

 

I’ve always skied on with rented gear but am hoping to ski more in the coming months (and years, seeing as ski season is coming to a close in my region). For someone who is a pretty decent skier I know embarrassingly little about gear, though.

 

I saw a pair of Rossingol Sassy 7’s (160) with Rossignol Axiom bindings advertised in a local group – they are described as 119/92/110 mm , powder turn rocker (60% powder, 30% groomed). They are selling for $300 and are said to be in great condition.

 

Considering buying them and pairing with a pair of boots from REI. (below I've listed boots I’m considering and planning on having someone at the store help me find a good fit – I am usually a 27 when I rent, so I assume I’ll be a 26.5 or 27.5 and get a medium stiffness boot). Hoping to not spend more than $300.

 

-Dalbello Luna 80

-Full Tilt Mary Jane Ski Boot

-Dalbello Kyra 85

-Salomon x Pro X80

-Atomic Hawx 2.0 90

-Nordica Belle h3 w

 

I am 5”7, weigh 160 lbs., and am a pretty solid intermediate skier. I’ve been skiing for about sixteen years, although I’ve never spent more than 10 days on the slopes per season and mostly stay on groomed blue (and some black) runs. I am looking to improve as a skier and become more confident with my abilities in the next few years, and plan on purchasing a season pass next year to a local mountain.

 

A couple of questions:

-Should I wait to invest in a pair of skis, or does it make sense to purchase a good quality pair of used skis w/ new boots?

-Could these bindings (which I assume were mounted for someone else’s boots) be adjusted easily to fit a new pair of boots? Do I have to go with something of the same brand?

-Are there any questions I should be asking the owner when purchasing new skis?

-Are all-mountain skis the way to go?

 

Thanks so much for your help and advice, here!

post #2 of 8
Don't buy boots online OR in a box store. There's about a gazillion threads saying that. It's totally a false economy. Boots are your most important piece of equipment. They should be SNUG!!!! Not painful, but way, way tighter than you think could possibly be right. Why? Because these are not hiking boots, they are the main connection between your feet and the ski, transmitting your commands. Also, the soles do not need to flex around your foot as you use them, unlike shoes, so you're going to want a shorter size than you would use for other footwear. Third, the lining is going to pack. Almost all skiers end up with boots that are too big the first time around. The boots feel perfect in the shop, then the lining starts conforming, packing down, and suddenly they are ratcheting the buckles tighter and tighter and having pain and cold feet. Ask around either WINNING race team kids (not the kids who have been shoved in class for babysitting while their parents ski) or higher level instructors to see who they all go to to get their boots fit. If they tell you some box store or online, write them off and keep asking. At some point, you will find a consensus on a name. That's the person you want fitting your boots. There's almost no point in reading up on boots, because the best boot is the one that FITS YOUR FOOT. Better to spend more money on the boots and continue to rent than not to get the right boot.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwskigal View Post
 

Hello all! Considering a first time purchase of gear and was hoping to get some advice from those who know more than I. :)

 

I’ve always skied on with rented gear but am hoping to ski more in the coming months (and years, seeing as ski season is coming to a close in my region). For someone who is a pretty decent skier I know embarrassingly little about gear, though.

 

I saw a pair of Rossingol Sassy 7’s (160) with Rossignol Axiom bindings advertised in a local group – they are described as 119/92/110 mm , powder turn rocker (60% powder, 30% groomed). They are selling for $300 and are said to be in great condition.

 

Considering buying them and pairing with a pair of boots from REI. (below I've listed boots I’m considering and planning on having someone at the store help me find a good fit – I am usually a 27 when I rent, so I assume I’ll be a 26.5 or 27.5 and get a medium stiffness boot). Hoping to not spend more than $300.

 

-Dalbello Luna 80

-Full Tilt Mary Jane Ski Boot

-Dalbello Kyra 85

-Salomon x Pro X80

-Atomic Hawx 2.0 90

-Nordica Belle h3 w

 

I am 5”7, weigh 160 lbs., and am a pretty solid intermediate skier. I’ve been skiing for about sixteen years, although I’ve never spent more than 10 days on the slopes per season and mostly stay on groomed blue (and some black) runs. I am looking to improve as a skier and become more confident with my abilities in the next few years, and plan on purchasing a season pass next year to a local mountain.

 

A couple of questions:

-Should I wait to invest in a pair of skis, or does it make sense to purchase a good quality pair of used skis w/ new boots?

-Could these bindings (which I assume were mounted for someone else’s boots) be adjusted easily to fit a new pair of boots? Do I have to go with something of the same brand?

-Are there any questions I should be asking the owner when purchasing new skis?

-Are all-mountain skis the way to go?

 

Thanks so much for your help and advice, here!


Welcome to EpicSki!  Have you read any of the Articles under First Run (click on Articles in the menu bar) about buying gear?  It could be that considering a season lease might make sense before you invest money in good boots and some skis.  Do you have friends who have bought their own gear?  You might also take a look at related thread over on TheSkiDiva.com .

 

Have you heard the term "boot fitter"?  In general, REI is not considered a place where you would find a very experienced boot fitter.  Buying ski boots is not like buying a pair of hiking boots or running shoes.

 

As for brand, you can mix and match brands for boots, skis, and bindings.  There are some skis that have "system bindings" that go with the skis so you don't have to buy anything else.  Also means the bindings can be set for a wide range of boot lengths so can make the skis easier to sell when you are ready for something different.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
 

-Should I wait to invest in a pair of skis, or does it make sense to purchase a good quality pair of used skis w/ new boots?

-Could these bindings (which I assume were mounted for someone else’s boots) be adjusted easily to fit a new pair of boots? Do I have to go with something of the same brand?

-Are there any questions I should be asking the owner when purchasing new skis?

-Are all-mountain skis the way to go?

 

The fit of your boots is of utmost importance. If you aren't buying from a professional fitter then definitely take the time to stand in the boots for 15-20 minutes. Look for a snug fit that is equal throughout your foot and ankle. Areas of strong pressure on your foot or calves are going to be the most noticeable at first and could lead to pain and loss of circulation. Areas that are void of pressure are harder to notice at first, but make a huge difference in the control you have over your skis. If the Salomon x Pros feel good I'd go with them. They can be heat molded at a boot fitter down the road if you need.

Some bindings can be adjusted forward and back a couple CM to accommodate different boot sizes. Demo bindings are totally adjustable. You will need the mm length of the bottom of your boot to match to the binding.

 

I'd recommend getting your boots sorted out, then taking a few days at the end of the season to demo a bunch of skis. Try a full spectrum of widths and styles to see what you really like.

It is always possible to find good deals on good used skis so I wouldn't worry about grabbing some too quickly until you know they are the ones you really want.

 

Look for deep gouges in the bases or defects in the edges. Top-sheet damage isn't an issue unless it is major.

post #5 of 8

I would suggest you focus first on boots.  This is the #1 most important thing you will buy, and you really should consider increasing your budget significantly.  Even if that leaves you unable to buy skis/bindings, spend the money on the boots.  Go to a proper boot fitter, someone with a reputation (you may have to travel to a place with more skiing to find one).  Get properly fitted.  Yes, I'm sure you can find those who are perfectly happy with the boots they bought off the rack in their local sporting goods store, but if you talk to anyone who skis a lot and has experience with fitted boots they will tell you they would never consider buying boots that weren't custom fit (at least I have yet to meet that rare exception).

 

Then, once you have boots, I would get up early and head to a shop that rents demo skis.  Spend some time talking to them about how you ski and what you want, and try out at least 2-3 different skis.  Best is if you go toward the end of season and they are willing to sell you the skis you demo if you like them (and knock the demo rental price off).  Buying used skis when you don't know what you're doing can be hit-and-miss, and misses can get pricy.  The exception in my experience is if you have a knowledgeable friend who can ski with you for a few days and give you an idea of what types of skis you might want to try, but those with expertise to do this can be few and far between.

post #6 of 8

OP, I hope you understand what the posters above are telling you.

 

Get to a great boot fitter and have him fit you in the proper boot.

 

Wear old shoes so he can look at the heel wear and get an idea how you walk, he'll inspect the bones in your feet, check you leg and knee alignment, watch you walk, talk to you about your sikking and where you want to go with it.

 

The process takes about 2 hours. Also get foot beds, they do make a difference.

post #7 of 8
Everything people have said about boots being most important is absolutely true. Rental shops notoriously give people boots that are 1-2 sizes too big, so the fact that you usually get a size 27 is meaningless. BTW, a 26.5 boot is nominally a men's size 9-1/2. Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about fitting and terminology, then check the "Who's Who" to see if there is a boot fitter listed near where you live or where you normally ski. If there is, call and make an appointment. If there isn't one listed, tell us where you live and where you ski and someone will be able to recommend a fitter.
post #8 of 8

Everyone who is steering you toward a good boot fitter it spot on.  If you are in 27.x rentals I assume your foot is at least a size womans size 10 or 10.5.  If not, expect a much more snug fit when you visit your fitter.  Boots that are a little too small can be modified to give you more room if needed, but too large of boots can't be made smaller.
 

As for skis, do you like to stay on the groomed or venture off piste?

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