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Help a newbie adult male find good short, wide, beginner skis for cheap

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I went skiing for the first time this weekend, and I'm hooked. I tend to do this with a lot of things (bowling, golf, pool, etc.), so I know my MO. I'm going to spend some money on quality used gear with the goal of finding what I like through using it and then selling the rest.

 

Analogy - Rather than buying a new $1000 set of golf clubs, I will buy 5 used sets of clubs for $1500, find what I like the best without wasting money on rentals, and then be left with a good set of clubs for $300.

 

I'm trying to do the same thing with skis.

 

I've done some searching and have concluded that I want a relatively wide (90mm+), short (preferably around 150cm), rockered ski, preferably with a soft flex.

 

Basically, I want something that is as forgiving as possible, and I am willing to sacrifice performance for forgiveness. If I outgrow the skis, I'll move on. The goal is to outfit myself with something that will give me more control (I struggled to control the rental skis which were 160cm in length and 70mm wide), and hopefully won't go as fast. I understand that I'll probably quickly outgrow these, and I'm ok with that. I started riding motorcycles on a 250cc and that was the best decision I could have made for learning to ride properly. I want to do the same with skis.

 

It seems like many of the specs I want are found in junior skis...but is there going to be an issue with a me (6ft and 200lb) using junior skis?

 

I haven't done enough research on boots, but am gathering that a lower flex number is probably more friendly.

 

Anyway, I'm not in a huge rush to get skis, but would like to do so sooner rather than later to avoid rental fees. 

 

Any recommendations to older models of skis that would be budget and beginner friendly that might be easy to find on the used market would be great. Thanks!

 

-Neal

post #2 of 49

Welcome to Epic Ski.  Before anyone can make any suggestions we need to know more about you, like height, weight, fitness, athletic prowess.  We also need to know where you will ski most, not where you want to ski, but where you will actually ski.  And forget junior skis, they aren't made to survive being used by someone your size and 160cm is probably too short.  But, before even discussing ski, you need to get boots that actually fit your feet rather than someone else's feet and you don't want to buy used boots, trust me.  Boots are way more important than skis.

post #3 of 49

What he said.

post #4 of 49
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!

 

I used a pair of Nordica Grand Prix Boots that fit me well but are clearly outdated. I am definitely planning on buying newer boots and skis, from what I've read the technology has improved drastically in both.

 

I live in CT, and will be skiing basically exclusively in this area for now (so the smaller slopes in CT/MA, and maybe graduating to the larger slopes in VT/NH/ME when I gain experience)

 

I am 6'0", 200lbs (working on trimming that back down to 180ish which is my normal weight). I'm relatively fit, but not incredibly athletic. I'm generally a fairly quick learner when it comes to sports. I'm not an exercise freak, but will be planning on moderately paced full days/weekends of skiing.

 

I'll also gladly take recommendations on boots, but I haven't done as much searching on that as I was able to find a pair that at least fit well, even if they aren't the most appropriate boot. I will begin researching that (I don't want to be the guy who asks questions that are easily searchable). In general, I try to avoid purchasing things new, so it's a hard sell to pay for a pair of new boots if something used isn't a terrible tradeoff, but if that's the consensus then I will take my lumps and move on.

 

Much appreciated!

post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsherman2006 View Post
 

I'll also gladly take recommendations on boots, but I haven't done as much searching on that as I was able to find a pair that at least fit well, even if they aren't the most appropriate boot.

 

First - welcome to EpicSki!! Glad to see someone else getting the ski bug.

 

Second... Please read these articles : 

 

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

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me

 

Sometimes people get a little "boot pedantic" around here, but with good reason. You may not understand how ski boots really should fit. And they're not necessarily something you can find used and try out - at least not with pain, blisters, etc. if things don't fit right. You actually want to shoot for the MOST appropriate boot for your foot. With a good boot, many many skis will be good for you. In fact, unlike golf, you might like to use different skis at different times for fun, or different conditions or slopes. There isn't a "one perfect ski" for you the way there might be for other sports equipment.

 

I'd highly recommend you find a bootfitter - someone at a shop who specializes in fitting boots to your feet - and make an appointment. You could go find your own, and it might work out fine, but you're taking a risk that you'll have problems.

post #6 of 49

Do you buy used shoes?

post #7 of 49

Plan a trip to Loon Mtn in NH.

 

Go to Rodgers near the Rt 93 exit.  They have a huge selection of boots.

 

Ask, and wait for Pete.   He is very Patient and will get the fit right.  (went to 15 places with my bride, before Pete got it right)  There is a big difference between boot brands and models.  Matching a boot to you, can be difficult.

 

Then, rent the Demo ski's, Pete suggests.  These will be current models, mid and higher end models.   They credit rental $ towards purchase. 

 

Continue to rent demo's, as your skills advance. Once you find a ski that  works best for you, buy it new, or used at end of season.

 

In the long run, this will be cheaper than buying the wrong used stuff, possibly multiple times.

post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post

First - welcome to EpicSki!! Glad to see someone else getting the ski bug.

Second... Please read these articles : 

http://www.epicski.com/a/ski-boots-the-most-important-piece-of-gear-you-will-own
http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me

Sometimes people get a little "boot pedantic" around here, but with good reason. You may not understand how ski boots really should fit. And they're not necessarily something you can find used and try out - at least not with pain, blisters, etc. if things don't fit right. You actually want to shoot for the MOST appropriate boot for your foot. With a good boot, many many skis will be good for you. In fact, unlike golf, you might like to use different skis at different times for fun, or different conditions or slopes. There isn't a "one perfect ski" for you the way there might be for other sports equipment.

I'd highly recommend you find a bootfitter - someone at a shop who specializes in fitting boots to your feet - and make an appointment. You could go find your own, and it might work out fine, but you're taking a risk that you'll have problems.

Thanks for the info. I will read those links. I have done a bit more research and am leaning towards a boot like the rossignol evo 70, which seems beginner friendly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Do you buy used shoes?

I do. Pretty much exclusively. I think I've bought about 5 pairs of new shoes in the last 10 years, and probably close to 50 pairs of used shoes. To me, if I can buy a pair of new shoes with 100% of their life left for $100 or a used pair with 50% of their life left for $5, it's a no brainer.

I'm not trying to be confrontational, that's just my philosophy. I very rarely buy anything new (well, I try to avoid used groceries), because I feel like the value of high quality used equipment is greater than that of high quality (or low quality) new equipment. Especially because I'm looking at buying the stuff that most people outgrow (beginner equipment).

As far as boots, I will make that my first priority, but I think that if I can get 75% of the boot for 50% of the price buying used, it seems to make sense. Do bootfitters generally charge for services? I would rather pay a fitter a small fee to fit me for a boot then source it on my own than buy a new boot at an inflated price

As far as skis, from my reading, I'm gathering that 150cm does seem to be too short for me, especially if I go with a rockered ski that is effectively shorter. I'm still hoping that there are some recommendations as far as models that are a couple years old that I can start to look for.

Thanks!
post #9 of 49

This is where you are being penny wise and pound foolish.  Although you can certainly buy used boots cheap, it's much less about the boot itself and more about the fit.  When you go to a reputable shop, such as the suggestions above, what you are getting is the value of the fitting more than the value of the boot itself.  This is especially important for someone new to the sport, who (please don;t take this the wrong way...) doesn't have the first idea of how things should work.  

Most shops don't sell at full MSRP, and many times they may have a boot from the last year two that is a leftover and they have to sell at a discount because the graphics etc change.  But don't go to a shop just looking for that, look for something that fits properly and is appropriate for your height, weight, strength, and ability. You want a boot that is as close to an ideal fit as possible to start, and THEN you start with custom fitting. 

post #10 of 49

I agree that a good fitting boot is fairly critical, but also believe you can get a well fitting used pair. I think you don't need to go overboard with tight, stiff boots and that a lighter, more flexible boot is wiser, perhaps even an Alpine Touring boot. Anyway there is also some significant adjustment that can be done with a forgiving (used?) boot with just socks of varying thicknesses or combos of two socks. You do want to end up with a snug but comfortable fit. Boots ARE most critical!

 

On skis; shorter, wider nice for maneuverability on soft snow, but at resort typically there is hardpack / ice that narrower skis with proper tune (sharp edges) and torsional rigidity are best....Lots of choice out there! 

post #11 of 49

From my read, you are seriously set on doing it wrong. You will be hard pressed to find a person tighter than me when it comes to money and I have lived frugally for likely longer than you have been alive. There is a point where you cannot substitute cheap for cost effective.

 

Boots are going to cost you. Thats how it is. If you buy whatever you kinda fit in, you are asking for pain, and lack of control, which can result in real pain and lifetime damage. You dont have to buy top of the line, but buying a decent beginner boot from someone who knows what he is doing, (not a newbie reading the web) will let you progress and lessen the chance of getting hurt. That is cost effective.

 

Skis are a different thing. Boots would be like your golf stance, something you need to be right. Skis are like clubs. You can pick one for the conditions you will be using it on. A 9 iron isnt what you want with 300 yds to go, and a wood shouldnt be in your hand on the green. If you are sking right coast, you are 200#, and a begginner staying on the run, then the ski that a high intermediate in OR doing park runs is not the same deal.

post #12 of 49

Nsherman2006, here is something you said that goes to the heart of why a good fit is critical:

 

(I struggled to control the rental skis which were 160cm in length and 70mm wide)

 

At your size, the boots themselves where probably more the issue than the skis.  If you don;t have the correct choice of boot and one properly fitted, that's what you get, poor control. Typical rental situation, I'm afraid.  I've personally tried to ski on performance skis with rental boots...it's like trying to steer your car with a length of rope.  Good boots can make up for crappy skis much more than the opposite.

post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post
 

Nsherman2006, here is something you said that goes to the heart of why a good fit is critical:

 

(I struggled to control the rental skis which were 160cm in length and 70mm wide)

 

At your size, the boots themselves where probably more the issue than the skis.  If you don;t have the correct choice of boot and one properly fitted, that's what you get, poor control. Typical rental situation, I'm afraid.  I've personally tried to ski on performance skis with rental boots...it's like trying to steer your car with a length of rope.  Good boots can make up for crappy skis much more than the opposite.

 

 

Yes, I was thinking this throughout the thread.  In great boots, you probably wouldn't have ended up thinking you needed even shorter skis.

 

I'm a beginner, and I followed the advice here and went to a bootfitter and bought boots that I think are right.  Hard to get into, very snug, and hold my feet in their grasp without pinching or hurting.  I'm on rental skis that I can trade up throughout the season, and I'm progressing much faster than I thought I ever could. 

post #14 of 49

In choosing a boot, the first thing you do not want to buy is a too-soft-flexing boot. At 220 lbs, you should NOT buy a 70-flex boot, nor an 80-flex boot.  Just say no.  You can buy a boot that's too stiff for you and have it softened.  You cannot buy a boot that's too soft for you and have it stiffened.

 

Next thing you need to know is what makes a good boot good.  A "good boot" is not good because of high-quality materials and design, despite what the marketers say (they have to say something, right?)  You can assume all boots made in the last 5 years are of high-quality materials and design as long as they are not made super-cheap in the first place (such as boots whose original manufacturer's suggested retail price is lower than $400).  Plastic wears out, however, and designs have improved, so if you are buying used, don't go back to the 90s please.

 

A good boot that is one that is good for you (given your personal anatomy).  It must fit your foot right. That's all there is to it. Your foot is not like anyone else's foot, nor is it likely that it matches any ski boot exactly.  So, it's not easy figuring out when a boot fits just by trying one on; this is especially difficult for new skiers.  For some skiers it takes years of boots-that-don't-fit to finally get to one that does, despite the best of intentions (ask me how I know).  We can figure out whether a street shoe fits all by ourselves, but a new skier can't do that with ski boots.  Thus the admonition to get thee to a bootfitter.  A boot fitter is not the same as a boot seller, by the way.  A boot fitter knows feet, anatomy, and how to make custom adjustments to those stiff awkward plastic-foot-buckets we call ski boots so that they really really fit the shape of any foot

 

Ski boots cost so much for a reason; they are a precision tool.  They transfer the small movements of your feet to the skis.  To do this, they must provide a "snug" fit.  "Snug" is actually a technical term; it doesn't mean what you think it means.  A boot fitter knows.  If you have air in your boots, your feet will wobble front-to-back, and/or side-to-side, and/or up-and-down.  All this foot movement means your skis are doing whatever they want, being pushed around by the snow, while you are taking a wobble-holiday with your steering wheels.  Because that's what your boots are, your steering wheels.  Do not buy yourself wobbly steering wheels.

 

So a foot has three dimensions, height, width, and length.  A ski boot has height (volume), width, and length.  All three of these dimensions should match between your feet and your boots, to create a "snug" fit and to get that steering wheel tightly in control of your skis.  A boot fitter will know when you have your feet in a snug-fitting boot.  This may be an easy match, but sometimes it involves some custom work done on the boot while you wait in the shop.  If your feet have any oddities in their shape (such as bunions, or knobby upward protuberances on the top, or a narrow heel with a wide forefoot, or a wide heel with a narrow forefoot, or flat arches, or very high arches), those oddities are an opportunity for the boot fitter to work magic to get the boot to fit.  The boot fitter can push the plastic out permanently to re-form the plastic shell, so you get that snug fit.  The boot fitter can also alter the soft inner liner so it complements your foot's anatomy.  But you need a boot that seems to fit too small for the boot fitter to be able to do this.  Does this sound complicated?  Well, yes, it can be.  And guess what?  When you buy the boot in a shop where your boot fitter works, even if you bought it on sale, you have already paid for this custom work (this has been the case in every ski shop I've ever been to, but not internet suppliers and not big box stores).  So... if you need the custom work, it's "free."  Get thee to a boot fitter.  

 

There are of course after-market upgrades you can put in those boots.  The first is a custom-made footbed.  It works wonders for many skiers.  You could do that next year, after buying a snug-fitting boot from a boot-fitter and having any necessary alterations (for "free") made the first year.

 

Rent skis; get snug boots.  This bears repeating.  


Edited by LiquidFeet - 1/10/17 at 5:12pm
post #15 of 49

"wobble holiday"...I love this phrase!  :rotflmao:

post #16 of 49

Trying to send a newer skier who is hellbent on "saving money" to a bootfitter is wonderful advice... for the skier. It is terrible for the bootfitter.

 

Some people need to learn on their own, from their own mistakes. It's okay to let them buy the wrong size boot (probably a few different pairs) until they realize that getting it right takes some help and some expertise. Let nature take it's course.

post #17 of 49
Is there still a Piche s outlet about 5 miles off the route 93 factory exit in the Lake area?

If so score potential and you can sit there all day trying on everything..... there is usually a semi knowledgeable clerk there but def not a fitter. Most DIY fitting newbie 200# guys buy boots too soft - don't be that guy.
The product there is new past year product often top of the line.

As a golfer too I can tell you the golf club analogy is spot on.... Serious players should be fit for shaft and lie at the minimum just like ski boots should be fit.

DIY is fun tho I'll admit...
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Trying to send a newer skier who is hellbent on "saving money" to a bootfitter is wonderful advice... for the skier. It is terrible for the bootfitter.

 

Some people need to learn on their own, from their own mistakes. It's okay to let them buy the wrong size boot (probably a few different pairs) until they realize that getting it right takes some help and some expertise. Let nature take it's course.

I wasn't going to say anything else about this but I just want to echo what Whiteroom said.  I worked on a power plant construction project for a couple of years where the owner had dictated that it be built with used equipment, to save money.  And they did save money, at least until startup and everything started falling apart.  In the long run, they didn't save anything.

post #19 of 49
http://www.piches.com/

Yep looks like still on rt 3 is the outlet....last time I was in there had a huge selection of off year Tecnica product mostly top of the line.....

Good luck and welcome to Epic!
post #20 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! I will make finding a good fitting pair of boots my priority before looking for skis.

Are there generally any boot fitters who will sell/work on used boots, or a good place to go find older models?

I don't mean to be contrarian... But let's say my budget for a ski season is $1000. If I spend $600 on great boots, it doesn't leave much room for actual skiing.

I don't discount the experience of a bootfitter. I respect and understand the value of a craftsman. But I'm also a DIY guy to my core, so I'm slow to drop serious cash if there's a way to save.

To beat the golf analogy to death, if I met a beginning golfer, I wouldn't tell him to get a custom fit set of clubs to start.

So I guess my next question is, do you think that if I go get fit for boots now, would I out-learn those boots shortly? Or could I get fit for a boot that will work well for me as both a beginner and intermediate?
post #21 of 49

Decent mid-level boots will probably be in the $400 range, even for the newest models available. As an example, I have been skiing 40 years and my current boots are 15 years old.  I have started to try on boots to see what I like, and right now the leading contender is an Atomic Hawx Ultra.  I will probably get either the 100 or 110 flex.  These will be either $400 or $500, and they are a brand new design this year so discounts will be hard to find anyway.   I have replaced the original liners in my current boots with Intuition liner which are the type that are custom heat molded to your feet, so you can see the right boot can be a bargain in the long run.  If you tell the people at the shop you have budget constraints, they will keep that in mind when they start fitting you. 

 

Consider a well-fitted pair of boots an investment. And don't compare to other sports, because as others have mentioned, everything you will be trying to do with your skis is very dependent on your boots. The right ones can help you, the wrong ones will work against you.  Would you rather spend $500 on boots and $500 on QUALITY skiing, or $200 on boots and $800 on skiing that is less so?

 

I'm not a golfer, but I would have to believe that even if you are not getting custom clubs, you still have to have them fit properly. Too long or too short would make golfing quote difficult, would it not?

post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsherman2006 View Post

Thanks guys! I will make finding a good fitting pair of boots my priority before looking for skis.

Are there generally any boot fitters who will sell/work on used boots, or a good place to go find older models?

I don't mean to be contrarian... But let's say my budget for a ski season is $1000. If I spend $600 on great boots, it doesn't leave much room for actual skiing.

I don't discount the experience of a bootfitter. I respect and understand the value of a craftsman. But I'm also a DIY guy to my core, so I'm slow to drop serious cash if there's a way to save.

To beat the golf analogy to death, if I met a beginning golfer, I wouldn't tell him to get a custom fit set of clubs to start.

So I guess my next question is, do you think that if I go get fit for boots now, would I out-learn those boots shortly? Or could I get fit for a boot that will work well for me as both a beginner and intermediate?


Timing can make a difference in price too.  I bought my first pair of 4-buckle boots after a hiatus during early season sales in Dec . . . in North Carolina.  No exactly ski country.  After that I've upgraded a couple times during late season sales, which can start as early as late Feb.  All my boots were "new old stock."  After retirement, I could ski a lot more and improved from intermediate to advanced.

 

That first pair of boots from a boot fitter was about $250 plus $25 for a generic after-market footbed.  It's was essentially a beginner boot but worked well for me because of fit and appropriate design for my skiing level and size.  I could've used it longer but had the money and interest to upgrade after a few years.

post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsherman2006 View Post

Thanks guys! I will make finding a good fitting pair of boots my priority before looking for skis.

Are there generally any boot fitters who will sell/work on used boots, or a good place to go find older models?

I don't mean to be contrarian... But let's say my budget for a ski season is $1000. If I spend $600 on great boots, it doesn't leave much room for actual skiing.

I don't discount the experience of a bootfitter. I respect and understand the value of a craftsman. But I'm also a DIY guy to my core, so I'm slow to drop serious cash if there's a way to save.

To beat the golf analogy to death, if I met a beginning golfer, I wouldn't tell him to get a custom fit set of clubs to start.

So I guess my next question is, do you think that if I go get fit for boots now, would I out-learn those boots shortly? Or could I get fit for a boot that will work well for me as both a beginner and intermediate?

 

A couple of notes/thoughts :

 

-- If you're going to fit your own boots, definitely understand how to do a shell check, and also how a boot should hold your heel in place and be snug, what it should feel like around your toes, etc. Reading up on the bootfitter forum here and some Googling should help that

 

-- Also, you're a fairly big guy, and the boot and ski flex that are good for you are dependent on height and weight. Just because an 80 flex boot is a "beginner" boot doesn't mean you should ever be in it. I'm your size, an intermediate, bought my first pair of boots two seasons ago, and got a 100 flex. (Although the brands aren't completely consistent when it comes to flex... one brands 100 might equal another's 110 or 120). Still, given that, look for something stiffer than a beginner boot. 

 

-- I'd also suggest going up a level in equipment in general to intermediate stuff. "Beginner" equipment is usually crappier because people aren't expected to use it long or care about it. I'd think intermediate level equipment, even in worse condition, would be better than real "beginner" stuff

 

-- Boot fitters will work on any boots if you want them too usually, but they'll charge you if you didn't buy your boots from them

 

-- To continue to eviscerate that golf analogy - a beginning golfer won't likely get good faster with better clubs, but a beginning skier will probably get good faster with better fitting boots. Also, a beginning golfer probably won't have pain or comfort issues without better clubs, but a beginning skier might without better boots. 

post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsherman2006 View Post


Are there generally any boot fitters who will sell/work on used boots, or a good place to go find older models?(1)

I don't mean to be contrarian... But let's say my budget for a ski season is $1000. If I spend $600 on great boots, it doesn't leave much room for actual skiing.(2)

So I guess my next question is, do you think that if I go get fit for boots now, would I out-learn those boots shortly? Or could I get fit for a boot that will work well for me as both a beginner and intermediate?(3)

1. When you buy boots from a proper specialty shop, part of the premium is for the fit process.  General fitting, assessment, moderate shell manipulation is included when you buy from a retailer.  And that process STARTS WITH SELECTING THE CORRECT BOOTS.  It may sound painful to hear this, but having skied exactly once in your lifetime, it is not likely that you even know how ski boots should fit, what boots are most likely to fit your feet and which models are most appropriate for your general performance envelope (beginner, northeast, small hills, aspirational).  So, yes, you can pay a fitter to work on a set of boots after the fact, but the likelihood that a rank beginner will self-select an appropriate, well-fitting boot to start with is virtually nil.  You will select boots that are 1-2 sizes too large, the wrong flex pattern and probably a suboptimal last/foot match.

 

2. Once you get boots dialed in, all of the other money is way better spent.  Lift tickets are way more fun to utilize when your feet are well taken care of.  Skiing is much more fun when you can control your skis.  Lessons are much more effective when you have gear that allows you to do drills correctly and implement coaching with proper tactile feedback.

 

3.  If you get a solid boot from a reputable shop, it should scale up into your intermediate years.  Unless you are skiing 30+ days a season, that is going to be a while. 

 

But, the best advice I could possibly give you is to STOP doing internet research now.  I appreciate that you like to do it yourself, and you probably don't trust retailers (which is too bad because the good ones are awesome resources, focused on helping you choose suitable equipment to best enjoy your experience).  But the real reason to step away from the screen and into the real world is that your research is leading you to incorrect conclusions (perhaps because you are just seeking confirmation of pre-existing biases for which you have no rational basis).

 

Examples:

 

1. Ski length.  You concluded that your 160cm rentals were too long and you want 150s.  That is the exact wrong conclusion.  Even as a beginner, in an all mountain ski you probably want something that is no shorter than 10-15cms below head height.  For your height and weight, the sweet spot for this ski is probably around 170-175.  If a ski feels too long and hard to manage (say a Blizzard Bonafide in 180 or an Enforcer in 185 - just to name a few community favorites), it is probably the wrong ski and not the wrong length (those would correct lengths, in those skis, for someone your size).

 

2. Junior skis.  I can't think of any junior ski that is even remotely appropriate for a 6'0, 200# person.  Junior skis are generally built for kids under 160cm tall (at the tall end) and lighter than 120lbs.  Bigger than that, you move into women's skis and adult unisex models.

 

3.  Identifying boot brands/models.  Predetermining boot brands or models based on web copy or magazine reviews (or a chat board) is folly.  The only thing in boots that matters is (a) fit and (b) appropriateness of the model to the mission.  Even discussing flex ratings is silly - the ratings are not based on a unified, objective standard.  The ratings aren't always consistent throughout even a line.  The best you can do is use the ratings to situate the boot within model range (i.e., stiff, stiffer, stiffest) and then you compare similarly situated models among the manufacturers.  You shouldn't have preconceived notions about boot models.  Within a particular category all of the comparable boots work and are of similar quality.  Boot "features" or performance attributes in marketing copy and reviews are mostly baloney.  This is where DIY'ing is going to get expensive, painful and counter-productive.  

 

4. Ski widths, models.  You have identified a category of skis (all-mountain skis, ~90mm underfoot) that is a very popular and versatile category.  And can be appropriate for applications both east and west.  But given that the bulk of your skiing is going to be at smaller eastern hills (I am thinking Wachusett-like places), probably 100% groomers for the immediate future, I think something with a moderate flex pattern, 75mm to low 80s would hit the bull's-eye more squarely.  But the truth is that you shouldn't even worry about getting skis dead right at this point.  Just get something appropriate, used, on close out, etc. . .  your problem is that you don't really know what might be appropriate, and perceived preferences are irrelevant until you've got at last 30 ski days under your belt (you don't have enough data or experience to reach a logical conclusion) - so buying closeout on advice from a good shop will be a better choice than used.  But used skis in good condition can be a solid value play if you know what you are looking for.

 

Find a trusted shop, get boots sorted out and ski rental skis or whatever moderately priced, reasonably compliant ski you can find.  As long as the ski is turned and the correct length, you will probably be OK.  But most importantly, if you are at all serious about doing this correctly and efficiently, find a trusted shop to guide you and let someone with earned, validated expertise, who has actually met you in person, help you make the call.  At least the first time. 


Edited by LewyM - 1/11/17 at 9:27am
post #25 of 49
You could try searching these forums for "foot pain."  You might find it illuminating.
 
It's hard to get this crowd to agree on anything, by the way.  The fact that virtually every comment here is in agreement is telling.
post #26 of 49

What newboots said.

post #27 of 49

If you are going to buy some used boots, at least take a look at the Epicski gear swap forum first:

 

http://www.epicski.com/f/10/gear-swap-buy-sell-gear

 

 

As much as everyone here has said get new boots, several sets of lightly used high quality boots are always on sale there.  I'm not above cherry picking a pair in my size there from time to time.  If you have Paypal, the transactions usually go smooth as silk.

post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeHeelSkier View Post
 

I agree that a good fitting boot is fairly critical, but also believe you can get a well fitting used pair. I think you don't need to go overboard with tight, stiff boots and that a lighter, more flexible boot is wiser, perhaps even an Alpine Touring boot. Anyway there is also some significant adjustment that can be done with a forgiving (used?) boot with just socks of varying thicknesses or combos of two socks. You do want to end up with a snug but comfortable fit. Boots ARE most critical!

 

On skis; shorter, wider nice for maneuverability on soft snow, but at resort typically there is hardpack / ice that narrower skis with proper tune (sharp edges) and torsional rigidity are best....Lots of choice out there! 

 

FHS, welcome to Epicski, and thanks for chiming in, but frankly, this is horrible advice. A skier that weighs over 200lbs should not be looking at a lighter, more flexible boot. I know, I'm one of them. Adjustments using different thicknesses or multiple socks? No. Just no. You just gave him the exact thing every good skier and bootfitter says you should never, ever do. We do appreciate the attempt at giving advice, but it seems you may be in a better position to learn than to teach at the moment. 

post #29 of 49

OP, it seems like you are going to do what you are going to do, but you have been warned by many people with a great deal of experience that the path you are intending to take is a mistake, and will lead to poor results. You simply do not have anywhere near the knowledge needed to select a properly sized pair of boots on your own. You most certainly don't have the ability to fit a pair of boots on your own. Fitting boots isn't just picking the correct size. It includes stretching, molding, and grinding the shell of your boot to make it fit your foot. That requires an extensive knowledge of the anatomy of the foot and lower leg, an intimate knowledge of ski boot construction, and quite a few different specialized tools. None of which you have. 

 

Let's stop with the golf club analogy, because it gives the wrong impression of what a ski boot is. Do you know what a ski boot really is? In all literal senses, it is a prosthesis. It is an artificial body part which is mated to our body to allow the attachment of a piece of equipment. As someone who has a family member working for the VA as a prosthetist, I can assure you there is no such thing as buying used prosthetic limbs, and hoping it fits you. A prosthesis needs to be accurately and custom fit to the body part it is going to be attached to. Otherwise, it will not work properly. 

 

I understand the hard wired instinct and firmly held belief of going used, saving money, and doing it yourself. I have that same instinct. However, you've come to a place where that instinct just simply doesn't apply. Take it from a group of people in this thread who have spend thousands and thousands of days on skis, as opposed to your one. 

post #30 of 49

Get a used setup for a few hundred.  You can always resell for similar value.  If you are progessing and having fun you may or may not want to upgrade.

 

Never pay full price.

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