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should I buy demo skis?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking of buying a pair of demo skis via ebay. My concern is that they might be a bit played out. I was wondering what sort of experiences people have had with demo skis they have purchased. What is the expected life of a ski these days? I am looking at higher end skis, ideally Volkl 5 stars, so I would imagine they have been skied somewhat aggresively.
post #2 of 26
last I new, skis were designed for about 100 days on snow, however with proper maintenance a ski can last much longer. To the average skier 100 days is about 10 years (most skiers get about 10 days per year), but something else to keep in mind is that the 5 Star does have metal in it, and I have known a few people that have bent 5 Stars and AX3's (one guy in particular that has bent 3 pairs of 5 stars in 2 years). Talk to the shop (via email) and find out what shape they are in and if they are bent or have major damage if they will take them back.

Remember a good shop should take very good care of their skis, even though they most likely have been skied more than your average Joe selling their skis, they will have been better maintained.
post #3 of 26
[quote=Manus]last I new, skis were designed for about 100 days on snow, however with proper maintenance a ski can last much longer. To the average skier 100 days is about 10 years (most skiers get about 10 days per year),


Anyone else know about this?
post #4 of 26
Depends on the shop really... Ask the ebay seller what shop they are coming from. If it is a shop at a large ski area - forget it, they never take good care fo their skis. However, if it is a shop that is not based at a ski area the demos are most likely is great shape. They will tune and wax their skis weekly as they come in and out from being used by prospective buyers. They will keep them in top condition so they will more than likely make a sale to the customer. Demo shops at mountains are a profit center for the resort so they dont really have to take care of the equipement as well. Essentially resorts use demo centers as a high end rental center that they update each season (unless graphics dont change). The best demo skis to buy will come from a good shop that is looking to make a sale to consomers and use the demo fleet as a way to influence a buying decision, or from a rep that works directly for a ski company. Reps have to buy the skis (at a very discounted rate - but still pay for them) from their respective company and often use skis from this fleet as their own, so they are also in good shape. My Salomon rep tunes all of his skis weekly on a top of the line wintersteiger (sp?) machine and hand tunes them during the week if they need it. Check out the latter two options, but forget the mountain demo centers.
post #5 of 26
I don't really care how much the shop works on and tunes demo skis. The people skiing on them have the, "Hell, they ain't mine", syndrome. People will ski over and down things they normally wouldn't on their own gear! They get way more use than most individually owned skis. For instance a popular pair like the Volkl 5 star could have been out every single day last season! If they were tuned and repaired daily do you really want to own them? I'd rather have a pair a guy never touched that only had a few days on them. I could tune & wax 'em & they would be fine.

Could they be that much cheaper than a new pair that you can probably find online or at a shop still in the wrapper?

Buyer Beware! is a good frame of mind in this case!
post #6 of 26
I got mine through a rossi rep and both of my pairs were in very good condition. In my case I bought a pair of next seasons SL and GS skis for the price I would normally spend on 1 pair. On ebay I have seen a couple of shops that sells demos skis that show damage so make sure that skis look clean.

If you are looking at the 5 stars you can probally find some equal rossi ski for much less. For some reason rossi's don't hold their value so they are great demo skis to buy. I have seen the rpm 100/ 9X oversize (i have them) with axial bindings for under $300. Here is an example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=3684847 856
post #7 of 26
IMO buying demo ski's is like gambling, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. My advice would be to ask the shop to send you a couple of extra pics of the ski's and to try and make a good decision. And Atomicman makes a very good point with the "hell they aren't mine syndrome", years ago when I worked at another shop, we sent out a brand new pair of Atomic 9:18's for demo, and when they where returned they where destroyed after one day of skiing...

post #8 of 26
Or you could mabe work out a deal with cupolo. I bought a pair of new Tecnica Icons for CHEAP!!
post #9 of 26
I do know of a certain shop in Niagra Falls Canada (see above) that has a very strict demo policy - only allowing their demo skis out at one particular resort and ever then depending on snow quality they let them out at their discression... As was mentioned above, watch out for popular models... my advice is to find a comparable model that is less popular. Volkl's are highly demoed skis and highly purchased... im not sure if it because they are good skis or if they are just riding the "german quality" wave. Regardless you will probably pay more for less of a ski than if you were to look at something like a Rossi, Dynastar, Elan, Fischer, or Head.

Matt, PM me back with the hours that you and/or Andy are going to be at the shop this summer usually. I'm looking to go on a shopping spree (not team related). I'll give you guys a call and pay a visit one day this summer (probably before August, but definitely by mid August).


post #10 of 26
Skis aren't designed for any specific number of ski days. There are simply too many variables in the equation. Some skiers will never, ever, get 100 days out of a pair. They're simply too aggressive and/or lack the consistency of technique to have the skis last that long. Others may have skis that look great after the same amount of use. It's all about aggressiveness, technique and maintenance.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a demo ski sight unseen. The poster above who mentioned the "it ain't mine" syndrome is right on. Demo skis, on average, get far more abuse than a personal pair of skis used for the same amount of time.

It is possible to purchase quality demos, but only after a visual inspection confirms that the bases/edges are in good shape and the skis have uniform camber. It's tough to evaluate these things through photographs.

A note on warranties. Some manufacturers don't warranty demos at all. Other's warranties are non-transferrable,so you are not inheriting any remaining warranty coverage when you purchase a demo.
post #11 of 26
Don't forget about the rental binding. Do you really want to ski with a rental binding? If you are going to buy the rental ski with bindings, see what kind of deal you can get with a new regular binding.
post #12 of 26
Demo Program is over at 3pm,Sir.
post #13 of 26
I agree with the comments about condition generally -- i.e. it's a crapshoot, and there's a not-insignificant chance you'll lose. If you can inspect the skis, or get some reliable information about how many times they were rented out, the odds might be justified by the price.

What's wrong with rental bindings? I don't myself have any, but I know of people who like them; even install them on other skis. The only disadvantages I see are: (i) they're heavy, which you may not care about, at least if you're not going alpine touring, and (ii) theoretically the additional moving parts are more things to break, though that more be more theoretical than real.
post #14 of 26
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
What's wrong with rental bindings?
The Look demo binding toepiece is not entirely secure -- it tilts a bit when you try to edge. Feels kind of sloppy to me.

The Look heel bearing, if well used, may have had it. Even more slop.

Dunno if this slop can cause a problem with failing to release or not.
post #15 of 26
That's my concern, the safety and reliablility of a binding that has been used and abused by people I don't know. For the dollars, I would opt for a safer bet , that's all.
post #16 of 26
Last demo pair I bought was back in the summer of 2000'. I picked up a pair of Atomic 10.20 in 170cm with demo bindings I had demoed them in Dec 1999 and liked them better then the VolklG30 that I bought. I had yellow marker bindings off my son's race skis, so I didn't need to buy the Atomic binding that had to be on the 10.20's. So to save money at the time I bought the Volkls. I had planned to search the demo racks in the off season for the 10.20's. In the years since those have been skied by many people. From friends who were not sure about shaped skis, to a race coach who's skis were stolen, she coaches at one of the Mt schools and skied them everyday for a month or so. Let alone the other race coaches who said they enjoyed them. These skis have been through a lot and still have the pop and edge hold Atomic is known for. Even with the demo binding.

I bought them from Basin Ski Shop at Killington. The one ski that sat in the sun that summer is faded more then the other one. You can still see where the shop sticker was. I got to see the skis before I bought them. If your buying off E-Bay. Beware.
post #17 of 26
Jeez, I don't know.

I don't see why a manufacturer would build a rental binding to a lower standard than a consumer one. If anything, there are various reasons to build it to a higher standard (e.g. you're selling to a more-informed-than-usual and more-repeat-business buyer). Maybe they're not any sturdier, but I can't see why they'd be less sturdy.

While someone with a "who cares...it's a rental" attitude might abuse a ski in various ways, it's a lot harder to abuse a binding. Sure, I guess you could take a hammer to it. Why? Incidentally, some shops do look at the skis when they come back, and occasionally even charge people for repairs in appropriate situations.

I ski on bindings (some, anyway) that are older and have likely seen more ski days than a one-season-old demo ski.

If Look builds bad bindings (I don't know that to be the case), I'd stay away from Look generally ... and not just their rental bindings.
post #18 of 26
If you are looking for a great deal on high-end skis look at the Dynastar Advent's Cupolo is putting up for auction on eBay. The Advent was a high-end 2002 ski that became the 2003 SkiCross 10 (Pete Keelty's favorite skicross ski for 2003). You can get them for $200 with Look bindings. They have both 170 & 177 lengths available. This is a steal of a deal.

PS - You better hurry. The auction is up in 2 days.
post #19 of 26
I would not normally buy a demo or used ski unless I could at least inspect it closely, or preferably ski it. The exception to this would be if I was buying from a trusted source who is willing to take them back if they are not as advertised. I'd pass if sales are final and skis cannot be returned for a refund.
As Greg said, if the demos came from a big resort, they are likely to be beaters.

Take a look at the ebay seller's feedback from other buyers. This will at least give you some feel for how satisfied other buyers have been. If you can contact the seller for additional information before bidding, that would be a plus. Check out the classifieds on Epic if you have not already done so. You may find some deals that you'll feel more comfortable about than what you've found on ebay.

post #20 of 26
OK, I stand corrected on the bindings, its just a mental thing I guess (you can read that any way you want)
post #21 of 26
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
Jeez, I don't know.

If Look builds bad bindings (I don't know that to be the case), I'd stay away from Look generally ... and not just their rental bindings.
They don't build BAD bindings. Just that IMO, the retail bindings have a much better feel than the demo's do. And I own both types -- IMO one of, if not, the best available. Look also happens to be what I prefer to use....

And yeah, Cupolo's avant auction gives you a great ski at a great price. It's that sort of temptation that forces me to give my head a shake before I buy them.... I mean bid on them...

post #22 of 26
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
If it is a shop at a large ski area - forget it, they never take good care fo their skis.
Not necessarily true. It can depend on which which rental shop if there are more than one at the mountain. I bought a pair of K2 Axis XT's at Mountain Creek and they were in excellent condition, the shop could tell they had been skied less than a dozen times since the skis came from the demo center at South. And they included a free tune to the specs I asked for, plus a binding adjust/check.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 

re Dynastar advents

Thanks for all the useful advice. Very helpful.

The Cupolo Dynastar Advents were up for auction previously and I was thinking seriously about bidding on them. They seem like pretty nice skis and I like Cupolo's reputation. However, I weigh 225, and I read a review somewhere that said they don't perform that well for heavier skiers.
post #24 of 26
How agressive a skier are you and where do you normally ski? Do you power a ski or do you finesse a ski? I'm about 240, PSIA level III and know what its like to read reviews on skis that the heaviest reviewer was 180 lbs. Skis do perform different being a heavier skier. Also, do you know if you like a ski that is tip driven, tail driven, or central foot driven (driven meaning where you can feel the power through the turn).

While a demo ski may not be the answer, if your budget doesn't allow for new equiptment your best bet might be a 1-3 year old ski that is left over at a store. If you can answer the questions I asked, I (and others on here) can probably give you some good suggestions.
post #25 of 26
Good point Manus, I have noticed lots of longer shaped skis left over in the shops in VT. It should be easy to find say something like Volkls G3 in 188 and I have seen them in 191's for the real big people. I'm sure there are other great finds hiding out there too.
Robtjm if you go up to Killington some day during the summer stop by Basin ski or the Shop's at the Shack on the axcess road. You may find a deal Northern Ski Works may also be open. I know there Ludlow story is close for the summer. Northern also dumps all there old stuff at there store in Bridgwater and Rt4 east of Rt100. PM me for more info. I know some of the guy's at Northern.

Another shop to check out is Competitive Edge in E. Longmeadow MA, they are about 6 miles from my house. Gary the owner or Peter will take care of you. Let me know and I'll give you my name.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, I'd say I'm a reasonably aggresive skier when I'm on-- though I'm not as on as I used to be. From what I've read about the five stars, they fairly closely match my skiing needs. I like to turn. and I like to feel confident on ice. I'd say my skiing is mainly tip driven, or central foot driven. Hardly ever tail driven.

I ski VT, NH and ME exclusively. Lately I've been favoring Ascutney-- not too crowded, pretty challenging.

I appreciate the ski shop info, Max. I'll be in VT later in the month and I'll try to take a look.
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