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Just bought first pair of skis & boots..info needed

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi, I just bought my first pair of skis and boots (Volkl Energy gamma 220 163cm) and (Solomon Ellipse 8.0 Womens Boot) I have done quite abit of reading up on different skis and boots and decided on these. I am a beginner skier, I am 5'11 and weigh 140-145 lbs. Question#1 Do I need to wax and tune the skis before I go sking? Question#2 They have marker motion 10 bindings, are these good bindings? Question #3 Has anyone skied on these skis? Reviews? I got a really good deal on these skis at Cupolos sports on ebay....Been searching a long time.....I can't wait to check them out.....I hope I did Good...Thanks for any info regarding these skis and boots........Sincerely, Leisa
post #2 of 25

I think you did fine on both the skis and the boots, assuming you got a good fit for the boots. Cupolos is a great shop as I'm sure you've seen here on other threads. The bindings should be good as well. Many people have brand favorites re: bindings, but most people I know who use Marker bindings are satisfied.

I assume the skis are new and I usually have my new skis hot-waxed before use and ski the tune right out of the box. Some shops recommend that new skis be de-tuned before skiing, especially for less experienced skiers. Again, I think it's personal preference. The one piece of advice I would give you regarding your new equipment would be to have custom footbeds made for your boots. This would aid you in your efforts to improve by increasing the responsiveness of your boot, as well as increasing your foot's support and comfort.
post #3 of 25
Congratulations on taking this big step toward becoming a "serious" skier, Loveski. Owning your own equipment helps in a lot of ways. The boots should fit you better than any rented boot ever could (and you should keep visiting the bootfitter at the shop until they do), and that will help your skiing a lot. The skis are less important than the boots at first, but even here, if you keep them tuned well, you will benefit from the consistency that only skiing on familiar equipment can give you. When you're trying to adjust to a different pair of rented skis, some tuned better than others, each time you hit the slopes, it is harder to improve as a skier.

Which brings me to your question about tuning and waxing. Yes! You should have a competent ski technician check the ski bases to make sure they are flat (not concave, convex, or "railed," where the edges protrude beyond the bases). They should clean the bases of the storage/shipping wax that comes on most new skis, and give them a good coat of ironed-in hot wax. And they should tune the edges according to the manufacturer's recommendations (skis usually perform best when the edges are slightly beveled on the bottom and sides), and make sure they are sharp and smooth, without "burrs." This preparation may well have been done already when you bought the skis--many good shops do it when you buy skis and bindings from them. If not, it's worth the money.

At the same time, it is a very good idea to learn how to do some of these things yourself, so you can maintain that freshly-tuned performance (consistency is important). You don't need to go far, or invest in a lot of tools, but a diamond stone and some wipe-on wax will do wonders. Check your edges--run your finger (carefully) along them to feel for rough spots and burrs--and touch up as needed, often. Wipe on a quick coat of wax, and go skiing. It shouldn't take you more than five minutes each time, and your skis, and your skiing, will both benefit. Depending on the conditions--how many rocks you hit, and how sharp you need your skis to be--you should be able to maintain your "shop tune" pretty well, but it is a good idea to get another hot wax and edge tune at least every couple weeks. And, of course, get them repaired and tuned immediately if you do any real damage--gouges in the base, major edge damage from rocks, or whatever.

Ski tuning is an art, overlooked by many skiers. But the minimal knowledge, expense, and time needed to follow my suggestions will keep that expensive, high-performance equipment in good shape.

Finally, I highly recommend a few lessons from a good instructor to make sure you're using that equipment as well as you can, and to make sure you're on the road to continued improvement, instead of just practicing and improving on bad habits. Your instructor can also help you adjust your equipment, and show you how to check its tune as I described above.

Unfortunately, summer is here, in the northern hemisphere, so you'll probably have to wait for a while before you get a chance to go play with the new toys. Keep in touch here at EpicSki, and get ready for the coming season!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the imput Coach and Bob....I received my skis last week and the boots should be here around June 3rd, I was leary purchashing boots I hadn't tried on but I did try on the Mens solomon ellipse 9.0 and they felt great, they didn't have the womens 8.0 in my size. The only real concern about the womens boots is every thing I've read suggests they are for women with lower and bigger calve muscles, I have long legs and calves aren't real muscular,just lean. So I hope the boots work out good. If not I will have to return them I guess, but no big deal...Also, Do the rental ski shops have techs to do the tuning and waxing? How long does it take? I would like to learn to do this myself. Thanks for your help. Leisa
post #5 of 25
Most ski shops do have techs to wax and tune. Most shops can provide same day or next day service if they're not busy.

I'll echo Bob again and my original comment on the importance of how the boots fit. A proper fitting boot will feel as snug as a firm handshake on your foot, with no pressure points (pain). The most common mistake people make is getting their boots too big. Remember, the first day you ski on the boots is the tightest that boot will ever be. They all pack out to some extent. And...a good bootfitter can give you more room in your boot by stretching the shell, but they can't make it smaller.

As a reference point, what size are your street shoes vs the size of your boots? Most shops start out with a rule of thumb of placing skiers in a boot that is at least 1 full size smaller than their street shoes. My ski boots are 2 full sizes smaller than my street shoes and after some boot work fit like my feet are poured in. Real snug, but with no pain.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hmmmm...coach...I hope I got the right size.I wear a womens size 9-91/2 The boots are a womens 26.5....which is the size of boots I rented when I went skiing and they felt fine, Although, the last time I went I got a New pair to try, and after about 3 hours my left ankle was killing me..Probably because they weren't broke in? Or I was doing something wrong? Anyway, Should my toes be touching the end or should there be room to wiggle my toes when they are brand new? I hope they fit right, but I will definately see a boot fitter anyway. Thanks.......
post #7 of 25
When you put your boots on fully buckled and stand upright, your toes should be lightly touching the liner. When you flex forward you should feel your toes pull slightly away from the liner.

The heel area is important as well, as it should be firmly held in place through out your movements.

Your ankle pain could have been caused by any number of reasons, but most likely the boot fit you poorly in the ankle area (too tight or too loose).
post #8 of 25
Good advice from Coach13 regarding boot fit. My boots are two sizes smaller than my street shoes as well. Professional bootfitters will tell you that the number one fitting problem is boots that are too big. If they feel good in the shop, chances are you should go down a size. I have long toes relative to my foot size, and for boots to work well for me, my toes are curled into the toe box. I hate to say this, but I wear a men's size 10 shoe, and my ski boots are size 26.5--same as yours. It is possible your boots are too big, but don't despair until you've given them a good test. On the other hand, many shops will let you exchange the unused boots if you've only walked on carpet.

Coach recommended custom foot beds and again, I agree. But boots that fit well without foot beds may be too big. I have high arches but flexible feet, and my feet are a good half inch shorter when supported on my foot beds. You might think that a tight boot would not have room for a substantial foot bed, but the truth is often the opposite!

Top boot fitters will "shell fit" your boot. That is, they will pull the inner boots out and have you put your bare foot into the boot shell, with your toes touching the fronts. If you have foot beds, they'll put those inside the boots first. Then they'll measure the space behind your heel. A "2-finger fit" is a pretty comfortable boot for recreational skiing. A "1-finger fit" is higher performance, but you'd better get used to having your toes a little cramped.

Of course, there are other things besides length that go into the ideal fit. Width, volume, shape, instep height, and so on are all important too. A really good boot fitter (like Jeff Bergeron, who posts here regularly, although he is pretty busy right now putting the finishing touches on the much-anticipated book he's writing) can look at your foot and recommend a particular brand and model or two that should fit your foot best. Then there are the other set up issues as well--canting, cuff alignment, fore-aft.... Again, a good ski instructor can assess your needs quickly.

You're right that typical "women's boots" are built around the typically lower, heavier calves of many women. If you can't buckle the cuffs snugly around your lower leg, see a boot fitter. They can do several things, including moving the buckles and inserting shims to snug up the fit.

I know it's a little late for these suggestions, since you've already bought the boots. With any luck, your boots are the right size, and a good boot fitter should be able to customize them with foot beds and minor tweaking to make them just right. If not, well, you'll probably be fine with them for a while anyway, if they're comfortable, and you'll know a lot more next time you decide to buy boots.

If they DO work perfectly for you, take good care of those boots! Don't walk on anything but snow, any more than you absolutely have to (the soles wear quickly, and their shape is critical for performance and safety). Buy a set of "Cat Tracks"--inexpensive rubber covers that stretch over the soles--and use them religiously if you have to walk on pavement very much.

As Coach13 says, most shops can give your skis a very quickly. Most are set up to tune skis overnight--drop them off at the end of a ski day and pick them up in the morning (solves the problem of storing them overnight, or slogging them around to and from the parking lot and condo, too!). Learning to tune your own skis can be fun, and you can do it at many levels. The next step beyond the "maintenance tune" with the stone and rub-on wax that I described above might be to learn to hot wax them yourself. Any old iron will work (don't expect to iron clothes with it again), and you'll need a plastic scraper (available at any decent ski shop) and some wax. It's very easy, although it can get a little messy if you don't have a good workshop with a tuning bench. Even so, you should have someone show you the first time, because you can do a lot of damage to a ski with a hot iron, if you aren't careful.

There have also been some good discussions about ski tuning here at EpicSki in the past. There's some good information here, along with a link to a great discussion in the TGR forums, with pictures. Search the EpicSki archives, and you'll find many more.

Don't worry--it's easy to find someone who can show you the ropes. Skiers, in general, are a pretty friendly lot. Your ski instructor can help a lot. And chances are pretty good that you can find a helpful friend on the ski slopes--practice this word, and use it often in the lift line: "SINGLE!?"

The best idea of all: come to our own EpicSki Academy where, in addition to skiing some of the greatest resorts with other passionate EpicSki skiers and some of the world's most dedicated and talented instructors, we've always offered an evening ski tuning and boot fitting seminar. You'll get your questions answered, have a great time, learn more than you thought possible, and meet some great people!

Have fun!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #9 of 25
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
The best idea of all: come to our own EpicSki Academy where, in addition to skiing some of the greatest resorts with other passionate EpicSki skiers and some of the world's most dedicated and talented instructors, we've always offered an evening ski tuning and boot fitting seminar. You'll get your questions answered, have a great time, learn more than you thought possible, and meet some great people!

Have fun!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

This is definitely the best piece of advice of advice you've gotten in this thread in terms of advancing your skiing. You can also help yourself advance by doing a search on Bob's threads in the Instructional forum. I've never even met him and he's helped my skiing a ton just by reading his posts. I can only imagine how much he would help me with some real instruction as he's forgotten more about good skiing than I will ever learn.

If you get to this years ESA, you can meet both me and my wife as we both plan to attend.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 


Hey, Thanks guys, I have learned a lot just from reading on this message board, I tried several things last time I skied, and can't wait to try more. I think I have a problem though, I just now took apart my skis to look at bases and edges and found a cut across bottom of one of the skis that goes almost all the way across the width of one ski and even into the metal edge and has a small nick in the metal edge? I can't really tell how deep it is but it is noticeable and I can feel it . I can't believe my New skis would have this??? Should I call Cupolos about this or just see if I can get it taken out? Bummer
post #11 of 25
If you have a decent shop nearby I'd take them by and get their opinion as the severity of the issue. If it's not easily correctable, I'd send them back. Either way I'd make Cupolos aware of the issue before I did anything to the skis.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Coach, I just emailed cupolos about the problem, I hope they respond to it, sometimes they aren't real good about answering emails. What is usually done for a cut in the base, do they sand them down and rewax or what? It looks like they were cut with a razor blade maybe or exacto knife??? Anyway, We have a ski shop in a nearby town but I don't know if they have ski techs or not? I'll try to call them tommorrow. I hope it can be fixed with no major hassles to go through.....any ideas on how much something like this will cost to repair? Surely, Cupolos will make good on it! They seem like a pretty reputable shop. I hope so..anyway. I don't know what the base is made of but I assume there should be no problem fixing it. Also, I am hoping this next ski season to go to the ESA, It would be great....Where is it going to be? I would like to get my husband on skis too but he has no desire to ski, but, He has fun just watching everone else I guess. Take care and Thanks again......Leisa
post #13 of 25
There's no way to tell how much it will cost w/o knowing the severity of the problem. Small repairs=small $$ and I'm sure you can guess what the flip side of this equation is. BTW, if Cupolos doesn't respond quickly via email, call them directly. Don't let this drag out.

The ESA is in Big Sky, MT for 2005. It's in late Jan.
post #14 of 25
If you have access to a digital camera, I would email a close-up picture of the damage to cupolo's. Minor scratches should not be a problem; I would be particularly concerned, however, if the core of the ski is showing through the base (would be a different color from the base p-tex material). That would be reason for an exchange.

Definitely check the shell fit of the boots as Bob recommended. One of those little AA minimag-light flash lights are very helpful- the narrow end is the right width for a performance fit, and the wider end is the width for a recreational fit (space between the heel of your foot and the heel of the boot with your toes just pushed up against the front of the boot).
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
I got a email back from Cupolos and they wanted to know how deep cut was and where it was at on ski so I emailed them back and told them it didn't appear to be too deep, the core is not showing. He told me it shouldn't affect the ski and will come out with first tune up,waxing, sharpening, so that is good news. I haven't had a chance yet to take them to the ski shop to be looked at but will do that soon. Thanks for all the info.....Anybody had any experience skiing on this model of Volkl? Leisa
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 


WooooHooooo.....I got boots today, they arrived right on time. (Not bad shipping from Canada to Texas)( 6 days). I think they will be perfect, my toes are real snug at the front and about maybe 1/8th to 1/4 from heel when I lean into them...Overall, Pretty tight. Calves fit perfect, I'm surprised...........I'm wearing them around the house now, Maybe it'll help the break in period. I called the ski shop and they do tune, sharpen, hot wax, and do storage wax. But their (edging machine?) is being repaired and said it will take a couple of months to get back. I am taking the ski over Saturday though to have him look at the cut. Where is a good site to purchase waxing and tuning supplies? Thanks everyone.......Leisa
post #17 of 25

Make sure that gouge is superficial!

Or send them back. The bases of new skis should be VERY smooth. You've been sold damaged goods. On the other hand, if the gouge is shallow enough to be removed with one base grind, then it's probably OK to keep them. If it is that shallow, it will not affect the ride. Do not grind it out untill you have more gouges or need to make the base flat again. The number of base grinds you can do to a ski is finite, wait 'till you need it. Good tuning stuff at tognar.com.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

Skis are o.k.

Telerod, Thanks for info on site for supplies. I took the skis to the shop and they said it was fine and hot waxed them for me, I can't wait to check them out.......How do you check bindings? They fit my boots but I want to make sure everythings o.k., ski shop said they should be fine if they fit my boot, I just want to check and make sure everythings good and tight. How do I check the DIN setting, there are numbers at toe and at heel...they are set on a little over 5 ? Thanks for replying.......Leisa
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 


By the way Cupolos told me if I had any more problems or concerns to let them know. The are very nice and I have no doubt if they needed replacing they would have replaced them...no problem.....I'll definately shop with them when I go for upgrades on skis and boots and whatever....Like they say " Best prices on the planet" I'll have to agree on that, Best I've found, and trust me I searched everywhere.........
post #20 of 25
Loveski- if you sent your height, weight, and skiing ability to Cupolo when you bought the skis, and they mounted the bindings based on the boots that you also bought from them, they should be all set by their shop mechanic; don't fiddle with the binding settings unless you really know what you are doing.
post #21 of 25
another good site for tuning supplies is reliable racing (http://www.reliableracing.com) and there is a lot of good info about tuning all over, toko used to have a pretty comprehensive guide on their website. However I would not recomend getting into more detailed tuning until you have read up and understand it (talk to shop techs, and ask what they are doing, heck, some might even let you watch and you can ask questions as they go - but keep in mind that machine tuning is different from hand tuning). If you are interested in tuning, I would not use any old iron as mentioned above, but invest in a cheap tuning iron (they have no holes), using an old iron, there can be rust in the holes from the steam (which you do not want going into your bases), and often times the temperature control on clothing irons is terrible, often running way too hot for skis.

As far as the boots go, sounds like they are a pretty good fit, and personally, I believe in walking around the house in ski boots. It can definately help break in the boot, and get your foot familiar with the flex. Something to keep in mind though, in the summer, you should fit your boots, and wear your boots, barefoot. Everyones body shrinks a little in the winter due to the temperature change (its a natural body reaction to cold to pull the blood away from the extremities and in towards the core, causing the extremities to shrink a little).

And your concern about the DIN setting, you can tell what it is set at by looking at those numbers on the toe and heel peices, however I would recomend you not move them since the shop has to go by DIN charts that cross reference your height, weight, ability and boot sole. Make sure that they are all the same and if they're not, bring em in to a shop (its a 5 minute fix).

And just a little on storing your equiptment, make sure you always buckle the boots so the plastic does not get out of shape. You might also want to store your skis flat and separated (helps to preserve the camber) and make note of what your DIN setting is as a good way to maintain the integrity of the binding (spring) is to unwind it when the skis are being stored, that way you can either put it back where it should be or have the bindings readjusted and tested in the begining of every year.

Hope this helps, and enjoy your new equiptment, the best thing about no longer having to rent is that you now have a constant, which should help you learn a lot faster.

Congrats on your first equiptment purchase, hopefully there will be many more (trust me the joy of new equiptment never goes away).
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks dp...Thanks manus.....I definately won't try to adjust anything until I understand how it works. I just want to understand what each part is for and where the spring is, how it works, etc.? Where do I find the DIN sizing charts and the relation to height and weight? I think I would rather have them hand tuned if possible. I'll learn all this some day........Leisa
post #23 of 25
Hi Loveski--boy, you're really into this, aren't you? That's great! Watch out--next thing you know, you'll be packing up and moving to the mountains....

I'm glad to hear that those boots sound like they'll fit. Do wear them around the house a bit, but try to keep them on carpet to minimize wear. Even better, get a set of Cat Tracks, and break those in too.

I'll echo the advice of others above regarding your bindings. I'm not familiar with the shop (Cupolos), but it sounds like a reputable place. So I would assume that they have mounted your bindings properly, set them according to your recommended DIN setting, and tested them on their equipment to make sure that they are functioning properly. These settings are generally not something you should fiddle with, and there is no way to test them precisely by yourself anyway. It is a good idea to have your bindings tested and maintained at the start of every season, to make sure they still perform correctly. As Manus suggested, it is wise to back the binding settings down for the summer, relaxing the springs to prevent fatigue. If you know the settings, you can simply dial them back up in the fall, but it is still best to have a shop check them out on their testing equipment.

As you become a more advanced skier, you MAY, POSSIBLY, want to consider setting your release settings higher than the recommended DIN number. But you should never do this without understanding and accepting the risks. I don't recommend it (although I do do it myself).

For tuning knowledge, tools, and supplies, check out the Tognar Tools website, and order their paper catalog. They are a great, friendly source for all sorts of tuning and boot fitting tools and supplies, and both the web site and the catalog are packed with tips and information for tuners of all levels of experience. They have books and videos to get you started, and they offer basic tuning kits, as well as a full selection of individual tools.

Even if you acquire the knowledge, skill, and the tools needed to do a thorough hand tuning, you'll still probably want to have a good shop do the first tune on your new skis. They will run them over a diamond stone grinder, which will smooth and even the bases and impart a "structure" that you cannot duplicate with hand tools. (Structure is a fine texture pattern in the bases, which actually makes your skis slide better than if they were mirror smooth.) Then you can modify and maintain this basic tune as your mood--and skill, and patience--allow.

Keep up that enthusiasm. It's bound to be a long, hot summer down there in Texas--especially with those boots on!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi Bob, Thank you for the knowledge, I appreciate your expertise and have read many things you've written and between you and several others I think I have learned and will continue to learn things on here. Thanks Everyone! Can you tell me where to get "Cat Tracks"? What are they? Just booties for the boots? I haven't seen any I guess....? I've been looking on the web for Big Sky Montana, always wanted to go there and yellowstone....When is more info coming out, I looked on the announcements and they said a few days? Thats been a few days ago..........Do I ask to many questions? Sorry........... I think its the hot Texas Sun.....100* today. Thinking of Snow! Leisa
post #25 of 25
Hi Loveski:

Hope you enjoy all that new equipment ...and don't wear it out before you can ski on it Cattracks protect the bottom of your boots from wear while you are walking, sometimes they help with traction too. Click the link below for SnowShack and search their site for the word: cat ... they'll come right up with a picture for ya!

Check out Nolo's post in the EpicSki Academy Planning forum: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=17663. It has a link to the latest newsletter and to the online registration. You'll get the best response if you post your questions over in that forum.
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