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Family package for next season [family of three in LA wants first boots, skis, poles]

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I've been skiing since I was about 5 with some years on and some off, and it was primarily my uncle who taught me back in the early 80's in Sweden. The ultimate goal was always to keep the skis together, lol. I also have a background in skiing from the army service, but you can't really consider it technical downhill skiing, just real rigorous winter training. The last skis I bought was a pair of K2s in the early 90's, and since then I've skied on borrowed/rented skis/boots, but own the clothes, gloves, goggles etc., as does the rest of the family.

 

I now live in Los Angeles, and have skied a couple of times at Mammoth, and with my wife's sister's family that winters in Big Sky (Moonlight Basin), MT, where we've been a couple of times. We took our daughter who had just turned four skiing there for the first time earlier this year. I foresee any skiing done will primarily be done around California, and Big Sky/Moonlight Basin, unless some odd trip would happen for some reason.

 

To me it's important the our daughter learns to ski, it's right up there after swimming, bicycling etc., and I was really excited to have her up on the mountain earlier this year. I think she did really well for being so young and for the few days we were there. We did have her hooked up to a harness, and the tips were connected, but she had good speed/control/balance, and showed a great attitude in general, no whining, laying down etc., just seemed to enjoy it, it was great to see.

 

I don't think it's enough for her to do a long weekend in Montana every year, and think it would be fun for all of us to visit the local mountains around here, and to really help get her going with stopping/turning/technique etc. 

 

Here's the thing, we don't own any boots/skis/poles, but I think if we did, it could encourage us to do the weekend trips around here, and over time it would start to pay off. I don't expect us to go a lot, but a couple of times is better than once per season. Since we're off season, I've been searching Craigslist, Ebay, this site etc. to try and get a feel for what would make sense. We won't be skiing a lot, and we're probably not looking for max performance, just something that we can enjoy and that won't be a problem. I understand the gear has evolved quite a bit since I bought my last skis, and I've tried to rent/borrow different skis (hi-end if possible) every time just to try different things.

 

 

Here's where we're at:

 

Me - 39 / 6.1' - 180lbs / good solid confident skier

Wife - 39 / 5.4' - 125lbs / a bit hesitant/slow, but gets down the mountain

Daughter - 4 / 42" - 41lbs / just started out, can stand/balance well, but on harness, and no stop/turn training

 

 

I'm not looking at throwing thousands at this, just hoping to give us a better start for the next season with purchasing some gear in the off-season, with the idea of doing some family weekends.

 

 

Boots:

 

I've heard/understood that the boots are really important, and is something that should fit as good as possible. I've tried many different boots over the years, and all seemed to work, but I don't think I've ever had a horrible/exceptional experience. It also seems to go to the far end of the spectrum with personalized boots, fitting sessions, four figures etc., and we can't justify that. Would it be better to go and try some new stuff (might not be possible off-season?), or hi-end used on Craigslist, or any other ideas? Seems tough to buy boots online, when you can't test them properly. Any quick guide on how the boots should fit? What should we get for the kid? She'll probably outgrow them almost every year early on, so maybe rent?

 

 

Skis:

 

I don't mind if the skis are used, but they can't be abused, and how old is too old? Length/style etc? There's seems to be a lot of great skis around where some are very specialized, and hundreds of reviews. Price seems to wary greatly also between model year/ex-rental/used etc. Is Ebay an option, or just a hassle?

 

For me, I think something around 170-180cm, that can go all mountain, with a certain level of performance, but probably won't squeeze every last % out of them.

 

I found on Craigslist some Salomon X-Wing 6 for $100, and Some Nordica Hot Rod Modified for $75. Think I could get away with something like that, and put some more $ towards the boots instead?

 

For her, I'm not sure how much performance she can get out of them, probably something that is easy to ski would be good. She's borrowed her sister's Volkl Aura 170cm a couple of times, but are they too long? If we would buy something, should she go shorter to make it easier?
 

For the kid, does is really make any difference? Would almost any decent ski from a known brand do, as long as the length is ok? I think she'd go 90-100cm.

 

 

Bindings:

 

I'm just aiming for something that comes with the skis, or is there anything in particular to look out for? Known issues, or different styles?

 

 

Poles:

 

Poles are poles, right?

 

 

I know this seems low-end, but for the time we're using the equipment, and what we're looking for to get out of it, it's at least a start, and will be an incentive to go more often.

 

 

 

Sorry if it got a bit long, but this is my first post on this forum, so I thought I'd try to make it thorough.

 

Any help is greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by swedeskier View Post
 

Hi,

 

I've been skiing since I was about 5 with some years on and some off, and it was primarily my uncle who taught me back in the early 80's in Sweden. The ultimate goal was always to keep the skis together, lol. I also have a background in skiing from the army service, but you can't really consider it technical downhill skiing, just real rigorous winter training. The last skis I bought was a pair of K2s in the early 90's, and since then I've skied on borrowed/rented skis/boots, but own the clothes, gloves, goggles etc., as does the rest of the family.

 

I now live in Los Angeles, and have skied a couple of times at Mammoth, and with my wife's sister's family that winters in Big Sky (Moonlight Basin), MT, where we've been a couple of times. We took our daughter who had just turned four skiing there for the first time earlier this year. I foresee any skiing done will primarily be done around California, and Big Sky/Moonlight Basin, unless some odd trip would happen for some reason.

 

[snip]

 

Here's where we're at:

 

Me - 39 / 6.1' - 180lbs / good solid confident skier

Wife - 39 / 5.4' - 125lbs / a bit hesitant/slow, but gets down the mountain

Daughter - 4 / 42" - 41lbs / just started out, can stand/balance well, but on harness, and no stop/turn training

 

 

[snip]

 

Sorry if it got a bit long, but this is my first post on this forum, so I thought I'd try to make it thorough.

 

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Welcome to EpicSki!  Late season is a good time to start looking around for skis.  Have you checked out the Family Skiing section?  Might get some ideas for your 4yo.  Have you head of ski swaps?  Those are held in the fall, but I don't know if there are any around LA.  Maybe @mustski or @agreen will stop by.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/145858/budget-ski-tips-for-young-family-skiers

 

Always better to let folks know more about what you are thinking.  Hopefully people will read thru Post #1 for all the details before making suggestions.

 

Did your wife take any lessons at Big Sky?

post #3 of 13

I second marznc's suggestion to read through that other post.  I also live in LA and made some LA-related comments in that post.

 

Kids skis are kind of the same from brand to brand and I have had good success getting boots and skis for my kids on eBay.  If there were ski swaps around here I'd probably do that, but this is LA and we don't have ski swaps.

 

The local mountains are fun, especially for kids.  I like black-diamond runs so I get a little bored, but my kids (age 5,7,9) are better off on green and blue runs so Snow Summit has been good for us.

 

As much as I love Mammoth I have found that June Mountain is better for kids.  Less crowded, and FREE for kids 12 and under.  We went during Christmas Break last year and had a ball.  I have a Cali4nia pass which is good for Bear Mountain and Snow Summit here in SoCal, and also at June and Mammoth.  Might be a good pass for you too.  

post #4 of 13

There's one swap I know of in LA, at the Ski Dazzle ski show in the fall (typically early December).  Never been, so I don't know if it's worth it, plus there's an admission fee (for the show). For used equipment, Epic, Craig's List, or Ebay might be a better bet; you can also get some very cheap new gear during off-season sales.   In addition, some ski shops do sell used children's gear; don't know if any in LA do, but it's worth calling.    

 

I know Sport Chalet and Sports Authority are closing their stores; maybe they have some deep discounts on ski equipment, if anything is left.

 

If you buy used skis, make sure their bindings are on the indemnification list (that means that they're not so old that the manufacturers no longer indemnify the ski shops for adjusting them; you need to have release checks done on all the bindings, and very few shops are willing to do release checks on non-indemnified bindings) (you can call a shop or the manufacturer to determine this).  Also, unless the bindings are demo bindings, and thus adjustable to different boot sizes (or are non-demo  bindings with that functionality), you will need to have them re-mounted if the bindings were mounted for a boot size different from your own (sometimes even demo bindings need to be remounted, if the boots are especially small or large).

 

For ski clothing, you might want to check out the January REI used gear sale at your nearest REI.  They may also have some ski equipment there, but that's hit or miss (depends on customer returns).

 

Also, if you're on a budget and have a family, consider going to June instead of Mammoth.   Beautiful views, less crowded than Mammoth on weekends, and nearly empty on weekdays.  Doesn't have Mammoth's terrain variety or challenge, but I understand accommodations and tickets are less expensive.

 

Locally, if you want your daughter to get in lots of ski days, consider Baldy.  It's only an hour from downtown LA.   Just make sure they have enough snow -- that's their Achilles' heel.  You can easily turn a pair of skis into rock skis at Baldy.  Cheap tickets are available --- call the mountain to ask about promos.


Edited by chemist - 5/22/16 at 3:07pm
post #5 of 13

If your local ski shop has a season rental package for kids it might be the way to go for you.  In the programs I'm aware of you pay one fee for the season and keep the gear (skis, boots, poles) until the lifts quit turning in the spring.  It allows you to return gear as the child grows and get different stuff that fits better for no extra cost.  This is especially helpful with boots.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

 

[ some snipping to shorten quotes ]

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Have you checked out the Family Skiing section?  Might get some ideas for your 4yo.  

 

Have you head of ski swaps?@mustski@agreen

 

Did your wife take any lessons at Big Sky?

 

Thanks!

 

- I took a look at the family section, and there seems to be some great info in there on how to make it all work out.

 

- I've never heard of ski swaps, but will keep my eyes open.

 

- No lessons at Big Sky. For some reason lessons have never been on my mind until lately. I'd like to take one myself to look for weak spots and see where I can improve. I think it would help my wife also, but her sister has been helping her out, and she puts down quite a few days every season. It would be nice see her flow improve, so she could keep up better.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by river-z View Post
 

I second marznc's suggestion to read through that other post.  I also live in LA and made some LA-related comments in that post.

 

Kids skis are kind of the same from brand to brand and I have had good success getting boots and skis for my kids on eBay.

 

The local mountains are fun, especially for kids.

 

As much as I love Mammoth I have found that June Mountain is better for kids. I have a Cali4nia pass which is good for Bear Mountain and Snow Summit here in SoCal, and also at June and Mammoth.

 

- Took a look at that post, and any local input like that is great.

 

- The kid's skis seems to be the easiest, I'll look online/Craigslist.

 

- I'll look at all the options for mountains. I agree on the black diamonds are more fun, but if it works for the kid, I'm all for it.

 

- Yeah, June seems like a good option. Some people from work ended up there instead of at Mammoth. I've also heard that we might be able to get the California combination pass through work at a good discount and will look further into that.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 

There's one swap I know of in LA, at the Ski Dazzle ski show in the fall (typically early December).  Never been, so I don't know if it's worth it, plus there's an admission fee (for the show). For used equipment, Epic, Craig's List, or Ebay might be a better bet; you can also get some very cheap new gear during off-season sales.   In addition, some ski shops do sell used children's gear; don't know if any in LA do, but it's worth calling.    

 

I know Sport Chalet and Sports Authority are closing their stores; maybe they have some deep discounts on ski equipment, if anything is left.

 

If you buy used skis, make sure their bindings are on the indemnification list (that means that they're not so old that the manufacturers no longer indemnify the ski shops for adjusting them; you need to have release checks done on all the bindings, and very few shops are willing to do release checks on non-indemnified bindings) (you can call a shop or the manufacturer to determine this).  Also, unless the bindings are demo bindings, and thus adjustable to different boot sizes (or are non-demo  bindings with that functionality), you will need to have them re-mounted if the bindings were mounted for a boot size different from your own (sometimes even demo bindings need to be remounted, if the boots are especially small or large).

 

Locally, if you want your daughter to get in lots of ski days, consider Baldy.

 

- Thanks for the heads up on the different buying options.

 

- I thought all bindings moved a bit, and had release settings that could be somewhat adjusted. I'll look further into this, since I hadn't heard of this before, thanks! Back in the day, a kick with one boot on the one locked in was what determined if the binding was set hard enough, lol. 

 

- I'll take a look at Baldy, thanks!

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

If your local ski shop has a season rental package for kids it might be the way to go for you.  

 

This is especially helpful with boots.

 

- The boots seem to be the tough part here. I could see skis go for a season or three, but the boots have to work. Thanks!

 

 

 

Thanks for all the input! I'll keep digging around, and will try to get us sorted for next season.

post #7 of 13

Also, I'd recommend putting your money into boots this year.

 

-if you're skiing with your daughter rent whatever skis are cheapest.

-if you're skiing more on your own demo skis on-mountain and try lots of skis.  then look on eBay for the skis you liked best at the end of the season.

post #8 of 13

Welcome to the forum!  I have been skiing SoCal since 1978 and brought my son (and most of his friends) up in the local mountains.  For kids equipment, Ebay and craigslist are both your  best bets.  Try giving Goldsmith's a call in Big Bear (909-866-2728).  If anyone local is handling ski swap of kids' equipment, they'll be the ones ... or they will know who is.  As far as equipment for you and your wife, I can recommend 2 ski shows - Ski Dazzle in LA has new and used equipment and some good discounts.  Snow Jam in San Diego is a smaller scale dealeo with mostly new equipment from previous seasons.  I've found some great deals there and have picked up multiple pairs of skis.  If you prefer to buy without a boot fitting, you can try on a bunch of new boots and buy a discounted pair.  It depends on your feet.  I'm difficult to fit, so I go to a boot fitter now.  I did buy a pair at Snow Jam years ago and skied it for 2 seasons.  The price was cheap enough that I considered it money well spent. My son is easy to fit, and I've  bought all his ski boots at Snow Jam.  When he was a kid, we bought a bit big (comfort fit approx 2 fingers) to allow room to grow and a pair would usually last us 2 seasons.  

 

Read this on how to fit ski boots so you don't end up buying too big.  http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me.

 

As far as bindings go, I usually find great deals at evo.com.  When I've had questions, I give them a call and they are great over the phone.

 

Used skis are a good way to go if you want to save some dollars.  Look for some recent models on Ebay and you will be fine.  Buy a mid fat (80-90 something waste) and it will work well in all our SoCal conditions.  If your wife liked her sister's Auras, you should be able to pick up a pre-2015 model for a good price.  The newer models are more powder biased and may not be the best ski for local conditions.  A 163 would probably be better than the 170.  She also would probably love the Kenja.  They changed the Kenja this year so the 2014 and earlier models will be deeply discounted.  Here's a great deal on a brand new pair of Auras.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/272187119662?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true

 

Good luck and check back next season.  We try to do some meet ups at Snow Summit every year.  Hopefully, @agreen will chime in soon.  He has 2 girls and one of them is very close to your daughter's age.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by swedeskier View Post
 

- I thought all bindings moved a bit, and had release settings that could be somewhat adjusted. I'll look further into this, since I hadn't heard of this before, thanks! Back in the day, a kick with one boot on the one locked in was what determined if the binding was set hard enough, lol. 

 

 

Yes, all bindings move a bit in the heel, to adjust the forward pressure, but the toe is fixed (unless it's a demo or moveable binding).

 

I think you misunderstood me about the release settings -- all bindings have release settings that are fully adjustable.  You just need to make sure you are within the binding's DIN range (highly unlikely you wouldn't be with most recreational bindings).  Note also that, at your size and skill level, even if your DIN is, say, 8, you probably don't want a binding that has a max DIN of less than 12, since most bindings with DINs under that are a bit flimsy.  Something with a max DIN of 10 or 11 should be fine for your wife, but is probably not optimum for you.  It has nothing to do with the DIN range itself; rather, it's how manufacturers divide the market.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by river-z View Post
 

Also, I'd recommend putting your money into boots this year.

 

-if you're skiing with your daughter rent whatever skis are cheapest.

-if you're skiing more on your own demo skis on-mountain and try lots of skis.  then look on eBay for the skis you liked best at the end of the season.

 

True. The boots are important for comfort, and the skis won't really matter if it's with the kid. That's why I'm leaning towards used, and going cheap on the skis, but still aim for something that was good a couple of years ago, so I could still enjoy them if I get away for a couple runs. I found some Elan Magfire on CL for $120, but they're only 168. I've recently skied on skis that length (K2 Apache Recon), and didn't think anything was wrong with them, but it's at the shorter end of the spectrum.

 

These Lange boots came up after I plugged in a bunch of parameters, and seem like a good deal:

http://www.evo.com/outlet/alpine-ski-boots/lange-rx-100.aspx

 

I have been renting/borrowing skis for years, but if we have the gear I think we'll actually go. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustski View Post
 

Welcome to the forum!  I have been skiing SoCal since 1978 and brought my son (and most of his friends) up in the local mountains.  For kids equipment, Ebay and craigslist are both your  best bets.  Try giving Goldsmith's a call in Big Bear (909-866-2728).  If anyone local is handling ski swap of kids' equipment, they'll be the ones ... or they will know who is.  As far as equipment for you and your wife, I can recommend 2 ski shows - Ski Dazzle in LA has new and used equipment and some good discounts.  Snow Jam in San Diego is a smaller scale dealeo with mostly new equipment from previous seasons.  I've found some great deals there and have picked up multiple pairs of skis.  If you prefer to buy without a boot fitting, you can try on a bunch of new boots and buy a discounted pair.  It depends on your feet.  I'm difficult to fit, so I go to a boot fitter now.  I did buy a pair at Snow Jam years ago and skied it for 2 seasons.  The price was cheap enough that I considered it money well spent. My son is easy to fit, and I've  bought all his ski boots at Snow Jam.  When he was a kid, we bought a bit big (comfort fit approx 2 fingers) to allow room to grow and a pair would usually last us 2 seasons.  

 

Read this on how to fit ski boots so you don't end up buying too big.  http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me.

 

As far as bindings go, I usually find great deals at evo.com.  When I've had questions, I give them a call and they are great over the phone.

 

Used skis are a good way to go if you want to save some dollars.  Look for some recent models on Ebay and you will be fine.  Buy a mid fat (80-90 something waste) and it will work well in all our SoCal conditions.  If your wife liked her sister's Auras, you should be able to pick up a pre-2015 model for a good price.  The newer models are more powder biased and may not be the best ski for local conditions.  A 163 would probably be better than the 170.  She also would probably love the Kenja.  They changed the Kenja this year so the 2014 and earlier models will be deeply discounted.  Here's a great deal on a brand new pair of Auras.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/272187119662?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true

 

Good luck and check back next season.  We try to do some meet ups at Snow Summit every year.  Hopefully, @agreen will chime in soon.  He has 2 girls and one of them is very close to your daughter's age.

 

Thanks for all the local info, great to know! I'll try to keep the local ski show in mind for when it comes around.

 

I think my wife likes the Auras because it's her sister's skis, and that seals the deal. Her confidence level isn't where it should be for confident skiing, so anything that makes it easier for her I'm all for. Agree on the 163 instead of 170 at her height.

 

Funny how skiiing has come and gone over the years, and now I'm all excited about trying to set us up for next year. I think it has to do with seeing my daughter ski, and I want to make sure she's on it, lol. 

 

 

 

Thanks for all the input!

post #11 of 13
Quote:=swedeskier

- No lessons at Big Sky. For some reason lessons have never been on my mind until lately. I'd like to take one myself to look for weak spots and see where I can improve. I think it would help my wife also, but her sister has been helping her out, and she puts down quite a few days every season. It would be nice see her flow improve, so she could keep up better.

@swedeskier : early season can be a good time to take advantage of group lessons at a local ski area.  Obviously I don't know anything about your wife and her sister, but the standard suggestion for a SO is that paying for a few lessons is a worthwhile investment.  Might apply for siblings as well unless the sibling is an instructor.

 

If you haven't found them yet, there were a couple ongoing threads for the SoCal ski areas.  Would give you an idea of people who you might be able to meet up with next season.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142494/mammoth-mountain-for-2015-2016

http://www.epicski.com/t/142952/big-bear-2015-2016

post #12 of 13

One more reference thread, for when you want to talk to a boot fitter.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/117121/buy-ski-gear-boots-skis-in-los-angeles-or-mammoth-boot-fitter-recommendations

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

It's been a couple intense sessions at two different Sport Chalets that are going out of business with 70% off all ski gear, and we've sorted out boots, skis, bindings, and poles for all three of us, plus some random goggles, gloves, clothes, helmet, hand warmers etc. 

 

I'm going with Salomon Q105 (174), and wife has Rossignol Saffron7 (170), all new, and the kid has some ex-rental K2s (100) with three sets of boots to grow into, and also poles for the future.

 

If you want to hear the complete packages I can go through them, with the steep discounts we just went for it. It feels like a ridiculous amount of stuff laying on the living room floor.

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