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A beginner/intermediate skier NEEDS YOUR HELP!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am looking to purchase a used pair of skis, new boots, bindings, polls and don't want to spend too much. I REALLY need some advice as to what some of the best set ups would be and understand there are many variables to take into account. I may also do a couple demo days this winter but would LOVE any feedback I can receive. Here are my stats: woman skier, beginner advancing to intermediate - I can do the greens easily and blues I'm getting there. I am now connecting turns (no more snow plow for me) and really want a ski to advance me to the next level but I am a mellow skier and prefer mostly groomed alpine trails in the west (California) so capable of working well in fresh powder too. I am 5 feet 71/2 inches and weigh 128 lbs. My brother says buy something made in Austria and I'm interested in Rossignol, Volkl, Atomic, Salomon. I've been told an all-mountain ski, 155cm would be good but don't know about the width?? Also I'm a size 10 women shoe so think 27 is the right size. I'll go try on boots and figure that one out but help with the ski brand, style, size!!? THANK YOU and happy skiing!!

post #2 of 10

Best prices and great service I have bought I believe 3 pairs of skis now from them.

Start looking at skies and dont get too overwhelmed get and "EASY TO SKI USER FRIENDLY SKI AND HAVE FUN."

 

 

 

http://www.skiessentials.com/

 

Low cost skies and boots poles

 

If you get custom boots as many will say you need, I dont,  they can cost 600 or more for boots alone

If you ski 10 times a year for fun go cheap with the package deal until you know more on what you want.

 

Nice sale going on now just got my friend into some Volkl Ones which I love for the powder.


Edited by mikeo56 - 9/2/16 at 7:29pm
post #3 of 10
I'm a size 9.5-10 woman's shoe and in a 25.0-25.5 boot. So, you're not a 27. They may feel just dandy in the shop but will be packed out in no time. You cannot belatedly shrink a boot. They can be eased to be larger. You want the boot super snug, yes almost too snug. Remember, the sole of the boot does not have to curve around the sole of your foot as you walk like a shoe does. The boot is what is going to provide your control of the ski.
post #4 of 10

Welcome to Epic.  I'll start off by agreeing with @sibhusky.  Boots are by far, IMHO the most important piece of equipment you will buy.  It doesn't necessarily mean that you will have to spend a ton of money to find the right boot, but having a custom fit pair of boots is a giant step in the right direction.  I'll embed a video from a boot fitter in my part of the country that helps explain why it's so important.

 

 

As far as the rest of your equipment is concerned, a ski swap may be a good place to start looking for inexpensive used equipment.  Based on the information you provided, and based on ski sizing charts, you should be looking for a ski in the 154-160 cm length.  The "All Mountain" category would probably be a good first choice.  As your skill level progresses, a longer ski may be desired as they tend to offer more stability at higher speeds.  I wouldn't get too hung up on a particular brand.  All ski manufacturers tend to have the same "Gee Whiz" technology built into them referred to by different technological names.  I will say this... ski's will not make you a better skier.  Spending time developing your skill set, through practice and doing drills is what will ultimately develop you into a better, more advanced skier.  I'm far from being an expert skier, btw.

 

Other equipment considerations.  Ski apparel:  cotton is the enemy.  Cotton traps moisture leaving you feeling wet and eventually cold.  Look for man made materials that wick moisture away from your skin.

I tend to use a layering system so I can add or remove layers based on the ambient temperature.  Also, keep in mind ski apparel tends to run a bit small.  So, if you're ever in doubt when using a sizing chart, it may not be a bad idea to go one size up.  

 

Socks:  Buy ones that are specifically made for skiing.  There are several brands and some use material like "Smartwool."  There are 3 different weights.  Thin, mid and heavy.  This just refers to their thickness and one may be more comfortable than the other depending on the temperature.  Although ski socks can be expensive ranging from about $15 to $35 per pair, they are well worth the investment.  As with all things I will mention, there are sales going on at different times of the year, and by shopping online, you could save as much as 50-70 percent off.  I think REI is having a big Labor Day sale to name one retailer, but there are many others.

 

A base layer is a garment worn next to the skin.  This too should be man made material that provides a degree of warmth and wicks moisture away from your skin.  My favorite base layer is made by Patagonia, and contains a technology called Polygenie.  Sweat does not stink.  It's the bacteria that grows in it that causes odor.  Polygenie kills the odor causing bacteria so you don't have to launder your garments as often.

 

Mid layer:  This is a jacket or type of sweatshirt worn under your outer jacket that provides warmth and also wicks moisture away from skin.  Patagonia Nano Puff or Northface Thermoball are a couple examples, although there are several different options you could go with as a mid layer.  The two I mentioned are incredibly light weight and warm.

 

Jacket and ski pants:  There are two types.  Shell and insulated.  A shell is just what it says, essentially a thin jacket.  Insulated jackets are typically thicker and warmer, but not so great when spring skiing rolls around and temperatures are warmer.  Three important qualities to look for when selecting your jacket or ski pants/bibs.  Waterproffness, Windproffness and Breathabily.  Each have their own rating.  A higher number means it has more of the quality.  30k is better than 10k.  Some ski jackets and pants are now designed to offer extra roominess in areas where skiers flex and extend while skiing, making them more comfortable.  As a matter of fact, I just received my new jacket today.  I bought an Atomic Ridgeline 3L jacket, (last year's model).  This is normally a $400 jacket at full retail price.  I picked it up online at Sturtevants Sports for $175.

 

Helmets:  IMO you get what you pay for, but as long as you wear one, that's the important thing.  I happen to have one that is audio compatible.  I bought some "chips" from Outdoor Technology that zip into the ear flaps on my helmet so I can listen to my tunes while skiing and make and receive phone calls all at the touch of a button without having to stop skiing.  Although I always stop when using the phone.  Otherwise it'd be like talking on the phone while driving.  Not a good idea.

 

Goggles:  many different brands.  I use a pair that enables me to swap out lenses for different lighting conditions.  Yellow or clear for night, blue tint for flat light, a dark lens for really sunny days.

 

Gloves or Mits:  Personal preference

 

Poles:  They should fit comfortably in your hand and touch the ground when your arm is bent at the elbow at a 90 degree angle.  There are different materials uses to make poles, some are lighter than others.  There are also different size baskets on the bottom of the pole.  Larger baskets may be more appropriate if you're going to ski in a lot of powder.  Anyone who's ever "eaten it" in pow knows that the size basket you have on the end of your pole could be the difference between easily getting back up or flailing around in the snow while trying to get back up.  I have small baskets on my poles, so when I fell, I stuck my pole into the snow to assist me in getting back to my feet, but the snow was deep enough that the pole just went deeper into the snow and was useless in assisting me.

 

I think that about covers it.  If I missed something, or if there are dissenting opinions, I'm sure someone else will chime in.  Best of luck to you in your endeavors.   

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwest View Post
 

I am looking to purchase a used pair of skis, new boots, bindings, polls and don't want to spend too much. I REALLY need some advice as to what some of the best set ups would be and understand there are many variables to take into account. I may also do a couple demo days this winter but would LOVE any feedback I can receive. Here are my stats: woman skier, beginner advancing to intermediate - I can do the greens easily and blues I'm getting there. I am now connecting turns (no more snow plow for me) and really want a ski to advance me to the next level but I am a mellow skier and prefer mostly groomed alpine trails in the west (California) so capable of working well in fresh powder too. I am 5 feet 71/2 inches and weigh 128 lbs. My brother says buy something made in Austria and I'm interested in Rossignol, Volkl, Atomic, Salomon. I've been told an all-mountain ski, 155cm would be good but don't know about the width?? Also I'm a size 10 women shoe so think 27 is the right size. I'll go try on boots and figure that one out but help with the ski brand, style, size!!? THANK YOU and happy skiing!!


Welcome to EpicSki!  Have you had a chance to read the EpicSki Articles under First Run?  Covers the basics for buying gear the first time.

 

http://www.epicski.com/atype/9/First_Run

 

Find an experienced boot fitter is a high priority.  Are you in southern or northern California.

 

As for the length, even though you are just getting started, 155cm is short for someone who is 5'7.5" (171cm) who plans to ski more and wants to improve.  Measure to your nose and see what that comes out.

 

Probably worth asking for advice on TheSkiDiva.com.

post #6 of 10
Welcome!!! Boots are the most important - I concur with the above! I'm a women's size 11 and I wear 26.5 boots, so 27 is way too big. But seeing a boot fitter is the best way to solve that. As for beyond that, most ski manufacturers make at least one decent intermediate ski that will allow you to progress. I'd encourage you to go more toward the 160 side of things. I'm your height and ski a 170 ski. Look at the Rossi Temptation series, Atomic Affinity series and the Nordica belle to belle and wild belle. Something that is 75-85 underfoot, has some tip rocker (makes turn initiation easier), maybe not too stiff, with a shorter turning radius would be good. Like @marznc I would suggest visiting skidiva.com - it's a great resource for women's ski advice. There are also a ton of ski reviews!
post #7 of 10

You should start by going to a ski shop and trying on a few brands of boots. Different brands work best for different foot shapes. Then you can figure out what brand and size you need. After that you can look for used skis that won't need to be remounted to fit your boots. I usually recommend a ski that can do everything - not a conventional all mountain ski which is really just a front of the mountain ski. If you think you might ever get into skiing powder or trees, anything other than groomed blues you'll want something a little different. Look into directional twin tips or something like the volkl pearl. They are springy and good in moguls and give you room to grow into more types of skiing and ski well whether you're tentative or want to go harder. Don't go more than ~85mm waist or it will be slow to turn. You can often get previous years models (old graphics but usually same technology) online often with free shipping. Over all though, make sure you get women's gear, mens skis are too heavy and their boots are shaped differently. Enjoy :)

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwest View Post

I am looking to purchase a used pair of skis, new boots, bindings, polls and don't want to spend too much. I REALLY need some advice as to what some of the best set ups would be and understand there are many variables to take into account. I may also do a couple demo days this winter but would LOVE any feedback I can receive. Here are my stats: woman skier, beginner advancing to intermediate - I can do the greens easily and blues I'm getting there. I am now connecting turns (no more snow plow for me) and really want a ski to advance me to the next level but I am a mellow skier and prefer mostly groomed alpine trails in the west (California) so capable of working well in fresh powder too. I am 5 feet 71/2 inches and weigh 128 lbs. My brother says buy something made in Austria and I'm interested in Rossignol, Volkl, Atomic, Salomon. I've been told an all-mountain ski, 155cm would be good but don't know about the width?? Also I'm a size 10 women shoe so think 27 is the right size. I'll go try on boots and figure that one out but help with the ski brand, style, size!!? THANK YOU and happy skiing!!

I definitely concur with the prevailing wisdom of boots first. Let me also clarify on thing. You've heard a number of people refer to a bootfitter. Not every guy in a shop putting boots on your feet is a bootfitter. There is a very short list of actual bootfitters in the world. If you give us an idea of your location, we can tell you who is in your area. Bootfitters will stretch, grind and adjust you boots specifically to your feet.

Second, ignore what your brother said about skis made in Austria. Are they good skis? Sure. But quality skis are found all over. I have a pair of Icelantics built in the USA. Great skis. And a pair of RMUs built in Canada. I love them. Don't limit your search based on some arbitrary rule.
post #9 of 10

What freeski919 said about boot fitters ^^^, and I'd add that if there's one piece of equipment that will improve your skiing, it's boots.

 

Boots are like bolts that attach your feet directly to the skis.  A precise fit makes sure the bolts are tight. When you ski in well-fitting boots, what you do with your feet and knees (your control-mechanisms) gets transmitted to your skis. Instant response.

 

If the fit isn't a close, precise one, it's as if the bolts are loose. Your skis won't react quickly or well. They won't do what you want, which can be terrifying at times and anxiety-producing often.

My own skiing improved instantly when I bought a pair of boots from a certified boot fitter. My feet had been rattling around in boots that felt great in the store but were two sizes too big to control my skis.

 

When you buy the boots from a certified boot fitter, he or she will make sure the boot fits closely and comfortably. If they pinch your feet somewhere, the boot fitter will punch or grind the plastic until they don't. As the video above points out, the boot fitter will make sure your skis will run flat, too, which can also do wonders for your confidence and control.

 

The boot fitting service is almost always free, which, considering the labor that's sometimes involved, is pretty remarkable.  After you buy your boots, you can usually get fit corrections done free, too.  A custom footbed will cost extra, but it's absolutely worth it for the extra control it provides. My footbeds cost around $200 — some cost less, some more.

 

Again, as freeski919 says above, the list of good boot fitters isn't long. Let us know where you ski or where you live, and we can perhaps recommend somebody. And I agree, worry a lot less about your skis at this point. That's where you can go cheap for a season or so.

 

A note on socks: Get the thinnest possible pair of wool or polypro socks (e.g., Smartwool PhD Ultra-light). Thin socks are actually warmer in a ski boot, and they give your feet the most direct connection to the boot. Your boot fitter will thank you. (If you don't get the thinnest pair, the boot fitter may ask you to buy some. He's not trying to jack up the price; he's trying to get you the best fit.)

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo56 View Post

Best prices and great service I have bought I believe 3 pairs of skis now from them.
Start looking at skies and dont get too overwhelmed get and "EASY TO SKI USER FRIENDLY SKI AND HAVE FUN."



http://www.skiessentials.com/

Low cost skies and boots poles

If you get custom boots as many will say you need, I dont,  they can cost 600 or more for boots alone
If you ski 10 times a year for fun go cheap with the package deal until you know more on what you want.

Nice sale going on now just got my friend into some Volkl Ones which I love for the powder.
Use every dime you have for a great boot fit first Even if that means you have to rent for another year.
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