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Some help with ignorance reduction! [for return to northeast]

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi All-

 

I'm brand new to Epciski, but have been doing a bunch of reading tonight and could use some help.

 

Some brief background.  Early 40's guy in New England.  Skied heavily through high school, college and a few years beyond that.  Spent 10 years as a ski patroller, both in New England and Wyoming, instructor for a few years in high school, skied a ton both in the east and the rockies, etc.

 

But, "real life" hit in the early 2000's with an overwhelming tech career, marriage to a non-skier, kids, etc. and then we moved to Asia for the last ~6 years.  So, basically my skiing has been nonexistent in 10+ years, limited to 1-2 days every other year or so.   That said, we are back in New England, its getting colder, I can see mountains from my back yard, my kids are starting lessons this year, and I'm buying new skis and a season pass - I'm back....but, I'm essentially completely ignorant to what I should be buying.   My plan is to likely narrow down my choice and then demo, demo, demo before i buy.

 

I will be skiing all east coast for the next couple of seasons.  I tend to ski fairly fast, a mix of short and long turns and generally like a ski that is responsive and playful at both moderate and higher speeds.  I'm not a racer, nor a terrain park guy.  My typical is a run that is a mix of long GS turns, then onto the edge of the trail playing in the fluffier stuff with quick turns, maybe a detour into the bumps for a bit and then back to some speed.  I'm looking for something that is going to feel solid on groomed and hardpack, as well as the crud on the sides as it gets skied off, playful and alive, but I'm not going to be out racing on ice or skiing in the deep trees.

 

My initial thought was an all mountain ski, but I'm concerned that it will be ho-hum and moderately good at everything, but great at nothing  Am I off base here?   Also, I was leaning more to something in the carver realm as it sounded more like what I find to be fun.  But I also don't want something that is going to be pure work and no fun unless I'm at high speeds.  Keep in mind that my frame of reference is all pre-shaped ski revolution and my current technique would look perfect in a 1997 Warren Miller movie, but that will be aggressively modified this season.

 

Essentially, I'm looking for something that is going to be a joy to ski, not boring, yet not punishing either in a wide variety of applications.  As I read reviews, I seem to be gravitating to the Head Supershape Rally, but I could really use some opinions from you all on where I should be looking and what I should be thinking about.

 

Also, I could use some thoughts on length as well - I'm 5'11" and 185lbs.

 

Thanks!!

post #2 of 22
New boots first. From a good bootfitter.

It's late or I'd go on.

But here's a link. I know others will chime in. Someone will speak to your skis, but it's all about your boots.

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me
post #3 of 22

No such thing as a good boot fitter. Either the boot is comfortable from the get go or it never will be. Chose wisely.

post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post
 

No such thing as a good boot fitter. Either the boot is comfortable from the get go or it never will be. Chose wisely.

 

Ever hear about getting a boot punched or do you just do it yourself or maybe you don't have a foot that needs such modifications?

 

Or maybe you are just trolling.

post #5 of 22

@bostonpilot , expect a good deal of reasonable talk about boots in this what-ski-should-I-get thread.  You could get the boot thing out of the way first by telling people about your boot situation.  This would clear the slate for the ski talk.  

 

Welcome to EpicSki!

post #6 of 22

Yes, @bostonpilot, it's an Epic cliché that a new member asking for ski help gets plastered with questions about boots. Boots make a more dramatic difference in a person's skiing than any ski model, and many put off buying well-fitting ones — they can be expensive, and they're nowhere near as sexy as skis.

 

So you probably aren't going to get much ski advice until you've capitulated. :) Just say, "I just had a pair fitted from [well-known boot fitter X], so I'm all set," or "Wow, I didn't know that. Where can I find a good boot fitter in New England?"  (I can name a few. :D)

post #7 of 22
Hey Boston that rally in a 177 would be a great ski and perfect for a eastern front side ripper for you!
With that being said,when you take that ski into a foot of day old powder you will struggle and realize you need a wider ski , around 98 mm wide is pretty popular for those conditions.The good thing is they don't have to be as good as your frontside ripper and you can get one for around 300.00 bucks.( soft snow and fat skis is really fun and pretty easy for an advanced skier).
The boot thing when asking about skis around here is such A BORE!!!
If you have the BIG LEBOWSKI go to the diner scene with the dude and Walter replace the f'n toe with BOOTS, l bet you'll get a laugh!!
Good luck.
post #8 of 22

If you're skiing in the east I suggest getting a shorter turn carving ski (say 15 meter turn radius.)

 

A ski like that will happily make GS turns, but will make your short turns along the edge much easier than a longer radius or fatter ski.

 

Get a fairly narrow ski, 70mm or even a race oriented Slalom Ski.  As long as you don't get something too stiff (like an FIS ski) you'll be fine in all conditions.

 

Sure if you're in real powder a wider ski will help, and if you can afford it buy two pairs, then I'd go for something in the low 100's , say 105 or so.  As you said an all mountain ski, or even a 98mm waisted ski is like the General Practitioner who learns less and less about more and more until they know nothing about everything (as compared to a Specialist who learns more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.)  

 

There are a ton of great skis out there and with your skills you should be fine.

post #9 of 22

I have skied and owned  both the Rally ( just retired)  and Head Titan (currant) at Killington  . Both are great skis for typical Vermont conditions .  177cm length is what  I ski and would be perfect for you. I am 6.1 185lbs.

 

I suggest a 2 ski quiver.

 

I have a pair of Nordica Soul Riders 185cm for my powder day skis. Bought them used for about $250 .

 

Some years I have skied them 10 days.. Last year 1 day.  A lot of Used powder/tree  skis on Ebay cheap that would fit the bill.

 

Find  a good boot fitter at the mountain you regularly ski is my suggestion. Happy feet is  a good thing.

 

 

CJ

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post
 

No such thing as a good boot fitter. Either the boot is comfortable from the get go or it never will be. Chose wisely.

 

Just so shockingly wrong it's impressive. If this was the case, I would have had to have quit years ago due to my Frankenfeet, but due to new materials and fitting, I have a CHANCE, after MUCH work to get something that's not a plastic torture device. My latest completely custom boots have STILL been tweaked a number of time.

 

Anyway,. the "boots first" mantra unfortunately now comes up in all new ski request threads (although it's not wrong), and then comes the Mensa society saying what flex they should be (however tyhat's completely wrong - go for the red ones!).

 

So yes, IF your feet (and ankles and calves) are completely normal, then you have a chance to get an out-of-the-box boot. If not, then go to a good store and have them fit properly.

 

Skis for the least coast? Something narrow, and as you haven't skied for a long time, search out the ski swaps and local craigslist for something that's work until you get yourself back up and running.

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

 

So yes, IF your feet (and ankles and calves) are completely normal, then you have a chance to get an out-of-the-box boot. If not, then go to a good store and have them fit properly.

 

Skis for the least coast? Something narrow, and as you haven't skied for a long time, search out the ski swaps and local craigslist for something that's work until you get yourself back up and running.

 

And a fitting isn't likely to cost you anything extra, either — unless you get custom footbeds.

 

 

Speaking of Craigslist, I'm selling these, which might do the trick: http://nh.craigslist.org/spo/5738435011.html  Cheap enough to justify your spending real money on boots.  (And Papa needs to buy SL skis!)

 

Edit: No, I lie — probably too short for you.

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post
 

No such thing as a good boot fitter. Either the boot is comfortable from the get go or it never will be. Chose wisely.


Ah...It needs a pretty good fit, never too big, from the get go, but then the fitter will make it right for you.  I don't want comfy from the shop.  The fitter makes it comfy.  The boot out of the box is just something close to right for the fitter to work with. If it's comfy from the shop, likely it'll be sloppy in three days.

 

I really like my Head Supershape i.Rally.  Good ice hold, fun carver, very little chatter, fun in shallow new stuff.  Recommended highly.  170 is a good size for you.  The 177 is made for the biggest, strongest skier on the mountain.  That's not me (I'm about your size), and maybe not you.  Skis are made stiffer as they're made longer, and the stiffness of the 170 works great for me.  I don't put enough energy into the ski to put the 177 to work for me; if you're a very high energy skier, that might be right for you.  Mine needed a bottom grind when new; don't be surprised if many new skis continue to cure after they leave the factory and the shape isn't what they need to be.  The '16-'17 Rally has been updated with a sheet of graphene in it..."...empowered with centred Graphene, making the ski lighter with superior power, control and balance. GRAPHENE is the thinnest and lightest element ever discovered by mankind. GRAPHENE is also the strongest material on the planet, stronger than diamond and 300 times stronger than steel, all in the thickness of one atom."

post #13 of 22
I think with skis like the rally,because it's a few models away from Heads narrowest models, you can ski it in the 177 and it becomes even more versitile.
177 is still short enough for bumps and it will help in uneven terrain.
Boston is almost six feet tall and plenty heavy enough and he obviously knows how to ski.
177 in these types of skis works really really well for people who can make a turn!!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow....thanks for all the great commentary.  Keep it coming!!

 

RE: Boots - good point and will need to be addressed.  My boot are ancient, but there is a rationale behind that.  For years I had a terrible time finding boots that both fit comfortably and skied well.   Eons ago I found a pair of Rossi boots that were like an epiphany.   All of a sudden I know what boots could feel and ski like for me.  I'm not saying that they were the best boots out there, but they were perfect for my odd ball feet.   I skied years in those things, both fun days playing on the mountain, and endless hours of "work" as a patroller.   I skied them until they literally fell to pieces and I could no longer fix them up.  Since I was skiing so little in recent years, rather than buying new boots I found a new in the box pair in my size on eBay that some guy who had an out of business shop found stuffed in a corner somewhere - $15 (shipping included)! They worked great on my old school skis in recent years, but its time to do it right.

 

So, do I dare ask....boot recommendations as well?  Yeah, I know its going to be a lot more of a search to find the right fitting boot for me, boot fitter or not (and yes, I'll happily take some recommendations), but I'd love some insights on brands/models.

 

RE: multi-ski quiver.....ain't happening this year.  Remember from above - non-skier wife.   I'm a good negotiator, but new skis, boots and a pass is all I'm going to be able to pull off Im afraid.  So, it needs to be a solo-ski solution for this year.  

 

I really miss having a pro deal!!  

 

Thanks again for the help so far.  I look forward to more thoughts.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonpilot View Post They worked great on my old school skis in recent years, but its time to do it right.

 

So, do I dare ask....boot recommendations as well?  Yeah, I know its going to be a lot more of a search to find the right fitting boot for me, boot fitter or not (and yes, I'll happily take some recommendations), but I'd love some insights on brands/models.

http://www.epicski.com/a/ski-boots-the-most-important-piece-of-gear-you-will-own.

 

No one can give you good advice over the interweb on boots (as we've already seen in this thread).

 

Your feet and associated connecting parts are unique, and the best thing you can do for yourself is get yourself to a good boot shop and get some recommendations. The earlier you do it, the better chance you might be able to find something from last season that could be cheaper.

 

I have an extremely high volume forefoot, with narrow heel, protruding ankles and small calves - a bootfitter's nightmare, and I've had about EVERYTHING in boot types, and last year went to a set of Fischer Vacuums, which I got a decent (not great) fit out of, but they were so incredibly cold that I couldn't go on. Finally I bit the bullet for Superfeet (custom shell and foam liner) which get mixed love here (and they're over $1k) but they worked for me, so I now have 2 pairs, plus a third with the same shell, but with Intuition liners that I keep in FL if I'm not at WB or SL where the full custom ones are.

 

Bottom line - get to a bootfitter NOW, and get a feel for what'll work for you.

post #16 of 22

Boots? Can't help you. 

 

Boot fitters, though, that's a different story. I can recommend a couple up my way — first class fitters.

 

Generally, you go to the fitter, he analyzes your feet (stance, flexibility, conformation, size, shape, how straight your legs are, your calf-shape — all the arcane biomechanic details), asks you how you ski, what you ski on, and what kind of a fit you're looking for, maybe, then brings you some boots to try on. He'll take out the liner, have you stick your foot in and forward until your toes touch, and check the distance behind your heel. Then he'll make that boot livable. 

 

You may have a particular boot in mind, having read reviews or advertising, but it may not work with your feet; a good fitter won't recommend it.

post #17 of 22
@@lakespapa - who would you recommend?
post #18 of 22
Post up where you are located and someone will recommend a place for boots.

I ski like you, weigh the same and bought several top skis and they all were boring until I skied the GS cheater catorgoy. Bought the Head Rebel I speed and the smile is back. Makes any size turn shape. No work at all if you are a good skier. Even will take some crud. The Atomic D2 GS will do the same but too damp feeling for me as I like to feel the pop! Then you will want a second ski for a lot of crud and powder around 80 to 90 which will also ski west. A Volkl Kendo, Kastle Mx 84 or 88 and many others. Just my preference after a four year search to get my grin back. Same grin I had with my Volkl P9 GS racing skis backin the day Spend some money on boots and alignment first.
post #19 of 22

Where are you getting your season pass?

 

We can give you input on what shops to look at for boots?

 

Miss your pro deal?

 

It's right here on Epic Ski . Search and post in the Gear Swap  what you are looking for .

 

Bought my Titans ( Last years currant model )  skied 1/2 of 1 day for $450 shipped form a fellow member.

 

Ebay is another great source .

 

Bought my Soul Riders there for $250

 

Nothing wrong with quality gently used gear...

 

Makes my life tolerable with my non skiing wife...

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickieh View Post

@@lakespapa - who would you recommend?

 

Hey @vickieh

 

I used to go to Green Mountain Orthotics Lab. 

 

Next time I buy boots, I'll go to Mount Snow Bootworks at the Mount Snow base — Nick Blaylock, according to SKI, one of the top 15 in the country (FWIW), and former lead fitter for Green Mountain Orthotics. I took my son there for an evaluation once; they're clearly dialed in.

 

People like The Boot Pro in Ludlow (at the base of Okemo's access road). I've never used them for boots, but I bought my Kästles from them, and I know they're good people.

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by vickieh View Post

@@lakespapa - who would you recommend?

Hey @vickieh


I used to go to Green Mountain Orthotics Lab. 

Next time I buy boots, I'll go to Mount Snow Bootworks at the Mount Snow base — Nick Blaylock, according to SKI, one of the top 15 in the country (FWIW), and former lead fitter for Green Mountain Orthotics. I took my son there for an evaluation once; they're clearly dialed in.

People like The Boot Pro in Ludlow (at the base of Okemo's access road). I've never used them for boots, but I bought my Kästles from them, and I know they're good people.
Which one do you pick for alignment and canting in addition to boot fitting?
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickieh View Post

@@lakespapa - who would you recommend?

Hey @vickieh


I used to go to Green Mountain Orthotics Lab. 

Next time I buy boots, I'll go to Mount Snow Bootworks at the Mount Snow base — Nick Blaylock, according to SKI, one of the top 15 in the country (FWIW), and former lead fitter for Green Mountain Orthotics. I took my son there for an evaluation once; they're clearly dialed in.

People like The Boot Pro in Ludlow (at the base of Okemo's access road). I've never used them for boots, but I bought my Kästles from them, and I know they're good people.
Which one do you pick for alignment and canting in addition to boot fitting?


Either GMOL or Mount Snow Bootworks — both care about about alignment. 

 

I know nothing about The Boot Pro's boot fitting.

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