or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Which brand/model ski to buy?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Which brand/model ski to buy?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
I've been reading through several of the posts regarding which skis to buy, Salomon, K2, Rossignol, etc, etc...but I'm more confused now than I was before I started reading, so I'm hoping someone can help me.

I went skiing last year on a family vacation for the first time since I was a kid (early teen, I'm now 34.) It was like falling in love all over again!! I enjoyed it so much I think my wife was jealous.
Anyway, the 3 days of skiing ended and I wasn't able to go again until this year. During the summer we moved from Florida to Atlanta (I know, no skiing, but at least it's a little closer to some snow). There's a little place in North Georgia to ski and I've been there 5 times so far this year. The skiing isn't very good, but it's a hill with snow and I can drive there in 2 hours. I've now planned a trip to Lake Tahoe for a week and want to take my own skis, but I don't know what to buy.
I'm 6'2" and 180lbs. According to the ski instructor in NH last year I was skiing at a solid intermediate level by the 3rd day. I plan to take lessons in Tahoe and hope to work up through my intermediate skills to an advanced intermediate or entry-level expert (maybe a pipe dream, but I'm going to work at it.)
Now that I've bored you with my life history, my point to all of this was that I have no clue what skis I should buy, but I'd like to buy a pair that will work for me through intermediate and into expert skiing so I don't have to buy a new pair next year (and hopefully the year after that.) The rest of this detail was to attempt to provide some background as to my skiing ability and the limited amount of skiing I am able to do in a given season. I plan to start making annual trips out west, but only 1 week each year isn't a whole lot of skiing. Several people have told me to just rent skis, but I checked at Heavenly and rentals are $32/day. If I can find a good ski, maybe on eBay, for less than $300 that will last me 2 or 3 years then it seems that I would be better off buying instead of renting.
Thanks in advance for any advice on this. As far as ski length, I'm assuming a 170-180 in a shaped ski would be appropriate from the other threads I've read??


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 30, 2002 08:44 AM: Message edited 1 time, by jsr ]</font>
post #2 of 45
If I missed how often you'd be skiing over the two-year life of these skis, I'm sorry, but if it's going to be 10 times a year or so, it might take a little longer than a couple years to reach "expert" status, a factor which might play a part in your buying decision.
As is pointed out here, it's more a matter of finding the correct kind of ski than it is the right brand; everyone's making great skis these days.
Read "demo" into rent. Don't rent blindly; get some more feedback - you will here - then try a few different pairs of skis, playing with size and shape and how you expect to be skiing. I think you should be able to find a suitable setup for yourself at close to the price you mentioned; might not be THIS year's skis, but that's hardly important.

edit: i WILL put in a plug for the Salomon X Scream 9, as it is a highly versatile ski with which I'm very familiar. Soft enough to forgive growing pains BUT solid and precise at the same time. (I don't think you'll be looking for monster turns at speed on ice, about the only area where this ski wants to pull back a little.) If you demo, hop on the 185; if you're unsure, try the next size down, a 178, something like that.
LOTS of skis out there that'll work for you.

Enjoy Tahoe, and good Lesson-ing.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 30, 2002 09:04 AM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #3 of 45
Here is what I recommend:

Focus on a good pair of boots. If you already have them, great. Otherwise get these first. The mag gear guides are helpful to get started, but a good shop will be more than helpful, as well. Don't worry so much about which brand, rather than how it is going to fit and perform for you.

This same mentality goes for skis, too. Demoing is the best way to go. Shops in So. Lake Tahoe (near Heavenly) should have great supplies of demo's for about the price of a resort's normal rental price. You would need to check on boot availability as well, if you haven't got a pair of your own.

If that still doesn't help, and you must go and get some gear, look at the intermediate/player sections of the ski magazine gear test archives from last year and find something that works for you. Good luck.
post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 
I didn't necessarily mean that I was going to achieve expert skiing status, but I would like to at least be working on the correct skills to move me in that direction over the next year or two. With the amount of skiing I'm able to do living in Atlanta, I'm not expecting miracles, I just don't want to go each year, continue with bad habits, and after years say, "Am I ever going to be able to ski the black diamond slopes?"
So you said brand doesn't much matter and that's good to know, but what about particular models within the different brands that will cover the intermediate skiing and extend into expert level skiing? Are there such skis or do I have to accept the fact that I will have to buy new skis when I get to that point? Obviously, if it takes me 5 years to get there it might be wise to invest in new skis just for the newer technology, but I'm hoping with lessons and practice I can get there quicker than that.

post #5 of 45
Also, for some more reading...

Some more ski reviews...

another note, JSR...

as you get (re-)sucked into this, you might very well decide - maybe not now but later - you want, even NEED more than one pair of skis. Which is why I'd say look for a ski now, if you must by right away, that seems a ski you'll STILL SKI ON even after you're ready for the next step up, something close to an "all-mountain"(think versatility) ski before you, say, get some fats or race carvers, etc.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 30, 2002 09:12 AM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
I just bought a pair of boot, Nordica 7.2's. I think they're pretty good, they are definitely comfortable. I was just thinking that it would be cheaper over the next couple years to buy instead of renting, but I guess the best idea is to demo and find what works best. Thanks for your advice. Any other advice for a first-timer to Lake Tahoe?
post #7 of 45
Re: X-Scream 9. My daughter has them in a 177. She is 5'6", 125-130 lbs. She says they are lots of fun, she dropped down from a 190ish older Salomon from about 6 years ago. She skis Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and sometimes get up to Montana. If you are larger and improving, like to get out West, go with the mid 180s size.
post #8 of 45
Well since you mentioned E-bay there are alot of Atomic 9.18 ski's there for sale at good prices. Thats an intermediate carving ski. Also there are usauly a few Rossingnol Bandit X ski's there for sale. The bandit ski has a wider waste which means its wider in the center of the ski which would work better out west than the Atomic beta carv 9.18 ski. And yes you will also see some Salomon X-scream ski's, i beleive there is an 8 and a 9 if i remember right, i dont think the X-Scream Series would be good for you too much ski for a new skier.

But of course demoing a ski and then buying new gets you the best ski for "you". But if you dont want to spend alot of money then those ski's i mentioned above would work ok for you. There are many others too but i think those will be easyer to find on E-bay for sale at a reasonable price.
post #9 of 45
if you are looking for a inexpensive ski on ebay that will let you learn & grow on look for a pair of k2-four,or a pair of k2-three.alot of people made the transition on these skis & you can get them fairly cheap they are now considered an intermidiate ski but they should do you fine.last but not least try to find some that were not rentals & ask alot of questions,make sure they don't have any major repairs tops or bottoms & that they have been taken care of.also that the bindings are currently serviceable call a shop & ask. you should find some good ones 200.00 or less then when you get better you will have a better chance to demo ect.ski these & throw in a demo a day here & a day there but you will be riding cheap.good luck on your search. bteddy
post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 
I guess that's where I'm stuck. I'm having a hard time figuring out which skis are the best all around skis that will last me for a while. Thanks for the link, I will go read those reviews and hopefully that will help. Looking on eBay some sellers seem to put whatever they think will sell the skis ie. "Performance at it's best for the advanced skier, but all around great ski for the beginner to intermediate." That sounds like a contradiction to me, so that's why I was asking.

post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the great information. I'm off to shop (may not buy until after the trip) and believe I will try at least a day, if not the whole trip, of demoing skis in Tahoe.

post #12 of 45

that move-the-skis speak IS hard to sort through; honestly, though, the annual magazine reviews aren't that much more helpful. qualified hyperbole and ambiguous adjectives, along with one ski being for experts in one review and great for advancing intermediates in another review. and, of course, people recommending a ski because THEY like it (like me and my 9's).
after awhile you learn the buzzwords and tendencies and are better able to separate wheat from chaff.
it's homework and, if you can't/won't demo, a shot in the dark.
post #13 of 45
Thread Starter 
Ok, I've been looking around at the skis on eBay and I'm seeing several of the Solomon Xscream 700's in different lengths. How do these compare to the Xscream 9's that several of you recommended? What's the difference between them? And then there's the Xscream 8's. Is there that much of a difference between these 3 skis for an intermediate skier? There is definitely a cost difference, but I don't mind spending the money, I just don't want to spend if foolishly or unnecessarily.

post #14 of 45
Greetings, JSR

If you're skiing Heavenly, then I suggest that you demo from House of Ski over on the Nevada side. They are located on the Kingbury Grade road just off of Hwy 50. They have a very nice selection of demos and they stock a huge number of skis for sale including some models that are 1-2 years old. These older models sell at blow-out prices; I'm sure you can find a great ski at a price you can handle should you choose to go there. In addition, many ski shops will apply the demo fee towards a purchase, so ask about this wherever you go.

One nice thing about Heavenly is that you can now stay at the cheap motels on the north side of Hwy 50 and walk to the new gondola in a few minutes.

Enjoy Dude!
post #15 of 45
The other Salomons you're mentioning are getting progressively "softer." I would not recommend them, given your size and that you will be more likely to outgrow them sooner as your skills improve and you explore more terrain and variable conditions. (However, as always, if you're curious, try 'em. I'd take the 9 out, make some different turns, see how they feel.)

As far as the demoing you do, I guess I'd try to zero in on a basic size/shape and try different makers' models along those lines. This will give you a better head-to-head feel for what different brands feel like. But take them into conditions that will give you feedback re how one ski compares with another.

I think you'd have a hard time going wrong here, once you move the search into three or four or five or more pairs of skis. Hell, it might just come down to graphics....

last: demo now, BUY LATER, when late-season, end-of-season, and after-season DEALS start popping up. And they will.

You're going to spend a few bucks and have 'em for awhile. Be patient. Second thoughts about the skis you bought SUCKS.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 30, 2002 12:53 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #16 of 45
I would put a plug for Bandit X. I have a pair from 3 years ago that I skied about 50 days on. In three seasons I have not felt a need to upgrade.

They have seen a couple of rough early seasons in Tahoe and will be my rock skis next season. Next year I will probably add Bandit XX as my primary ski. Still got a bunch of demos to do though.
post #17 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info on House of Ski. We are flying in to Reno and driving down, so we will definitely stop there on the way in. You're right about the motels! I've never been out there, so the first thing I did was request a package price from Moguls...forget that! The best they could do was $619/person for 4 nights/3 days lift tickets. I found a place called Royal Inn that had a package of 4 nights/3 days lift tickets, 3 breakfast/3 dinners for $199/person. I'm using my frequent flyer miles and flying for free in hopes I can keep this trip cheap enough to do it again before the end of the season.

Thanks for the info on the other Solomon models, I suspected that might be the answer (otherwise they probably wouldn't be so much cheaper, right?), but I figured I'd ask. I am going to demo before buying, there's just too many pieces of the equation to try to figure out which one is right without just skiing on them...and you're right, it might come down to the graphics! That helped me rule out the Bandit X's! I don't care if they'd make me ski like an expert tomorrow, they're still ugly as hell!

post #18 of 45
Thread Starter 
Great, I come here asking for help and proceed to insult....sorry!!!

Please don't take offense to my comments about the Bandit X as I now read that you have 3 pair...I just don't like the color choice or graphics that were used on them.

post #19 of 45
Thread Starter 
You're right on the second thought part!! Haven't had that problem with skis yet, but do know anyone who wants to buy a 2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R? Yea, big oops!
post #20 of 45
I second the motion on the House of Skis located in South Tahoe if for no other reason that the carry Fischer skis among other brands. [img]smile.gif[/img] They are also very helpful and have some very capable guys working there. The fact of the matter is that every company makes very good intermediate skis these days that will also allow you to progress.

IMHO go for the the pair of skis you think LOOK the coolest to you or has the best sales price. I don't think it matters much at this point which intermediate ski you choose until you begin to develop preferences for certain types of skiing eg. bumps, off piste, groomed, gates etc. Demoing can be kind of expensive and I would wait until you have actually spent some time on skis before you start trying to look for and discern performance differences.

There is more hype asssociated with selling skis than cars but the fact of the matter is Atomic, Dynastar, Fischer, K-2, Rossingnol, Salomon, Volkl etc. all make top quality intermediate skis. You can't go wrong with any of them. Just don't buy entry level rental type skis. I would buy from a shop rather than over the internet because warranty issues are easier to deal with if there are any problems and its good to establish a relationship with a quality shop in an area that you are likely to frequent.

Once you buy your new skis make sure that they are tuned properly from the start. Ask your instructor or other knowlegable skier about who does good work. A lot of new skis are slightly concave, convex or both out of the wrapper and need to have their bases flattened and the the edge bevels checked for consistancy.
Good luck. Buying ski gear can be almost half of the joy of skiing. [img]smile.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 30, 2002 01:27 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Lostboy ]</font>
post #21 of 45
Thread Starter 
I was thinking the same thing, that demoing was going to be pretty expensive, but most everyone else recommended I do that before I buy. Is there really that much difference between the different makes of intermediate skis? And do those differences make any difference to an intermediate skier? Now I'm back to square one:
To buy or not to buy (before my trip to Tahoe at the end of Feb.)???? Also, I've got a brand new pair of Marker M28 bindings sit here. Do these suck?
post #22 of 45
Hmm, are these bindings unused? (I've heard of this binding model but on some skis-for-the-street hybrid contraption. If they're unused bindings, I GUESS they're fine. But as they might be an older model, have a tech-type take a look at them. If they've been used, you wanna be sure they're fit for use.)


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 30, 2002 01:55 PM: Message edited 2 times, by ryan ]</font>
post #23 of 45
Thread Starter 
No, they are brand new, but they are an older model I believe. They look very similar to a pair of Tyrolia 480's I have on an older pair of Elan skis.
post #24 of 45
The little motels that I refered to go for around $35 a night. Have a look around when you're there so that you can plan for next time.
If you happen to be a coffee junkie, I highly recommend Hot Gossip on the corner of Hwy 50 and Ski Run Blvd/Rd(I think). In addition to great coffee they have killer baked goods (croissants!!). It's no more than a mile west from the Heavenly lift.
As far as skis to try, the Atomic BetaRide 8.20, 9.20 (9.20 is stiffer the 8.20), and 9.22 are solid choices as are the K2 ModX/Axis (same ski different year)and the Head Supercross Ti. I used to own the BetaRide 9.20 and loved it and currently ride the Supercross Ti.

Have a graet trip!
post #25 of 45
Breakfast: Fire Sign Cafe, Tahoe City.
post #26 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip on the coffee shop, I'm sure we will stop in there every morning on the way to Heavenly. I looked at the $35 motels, but when I started doing the math it was a wash between the cheap motels and this package deal, so we went with the package. We will definitely do some exploring on this trip in preparation for next year.
Thanks for the models to try out, that will help.
What about the K2 Escape 4500 skis?? Are they any good? They're rated for intermediate to advanced, and K2's website says they have "tremendous all-mountain versatility" (what else would they say, "these skis suck everywhere but medium steeps).

post #27 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks ryan, I'm writing down all of these places on my flight itinerary, so keep 'em coming if you know of other eating or entertainment spots in South Lake Tahoe!!
post #28 of 45
i know they have had a paddlewheel boat/ski squaw deal, if that appeals to you. i haven't done it, don't know the details, but i gather you can have breakfast on the big boat as it crosses the lake, then ski at squaw. i'm sure it's easy to find out more.
have only skied heavenly and sierra-at-tahoe. heavenly has loads of stuff for intermediate skiers.
you'll have a great time.

when i was there, staying south tahoe, one could (free) shuttle to both sierra-at-tahoe and kirkwood. ask about the bus stops.
just another idea in case you run out. but you won't.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 30, 2002 03:07 PM: Message edited 2 times, by ryan ]</font>
post #29 of 45
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jsr:
anyone who wants to buy a 2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R? Yea, big oops!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it is ugly and weights more than a small SUV...

jsr, no problem. I think after you demo some stuff you would find that it will come down to personal preference. Go with what makes you feel good both skiing and just looking at the skis. At the end of the day it is the part that is on top of bindings that make the difference.
post #30 of 45
Thread Starter 
Well, I went out this evening to a local ski shop here in Atlanta and the guy sold me on the K2 Escape 5500's and Salomon bindings. It wasn't necessarily high pressure sales, but he was convincing that these were the right skis for me. I was looking at the Salomon Xscream Series, but he said that unless I was a very aggressive skier that I wouldn't use the ski for what it was made for. Also, the K2 was a less expensive ski by a $150, so I bought. Are these skis as good as he says they are? He said these will last me through intermediate and into advanced with no problem, especially if I don't ski aggressively or at radically fast speeds. Is this true?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Which brand/model ski to buy?