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Rental ski question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
At what point or ability level do you move from the beginner ski package to the sport or even the demo ski's. Do you need to be able to make parallel turns; do the better ski's make turning/carving easier or more difficult. I'm not very knowledgeable about equipment so please help. If it matters, we're talking about an adult male trying to simply get better.
post #2 of 12
May want to post this in the gear section? There are a lot of gear heads who really know their stuff bout gear. My own opinion is that once you can manage to get off the lift without falling you should be trying other gear (ok how about comfortable with the basics).

The sport pkg's are the next step you may want to take, helping build confidence in your turning.

The performance pkg's typically give you a great carving ski that is a little more responsive.

The demo packages are the "top of the line" (according to the ski shop you get it from) to really test out what works well with you when you're getting pretty sharp.

Hope that helps.
post #3 of 12
When you feel you have confidence on the rentals. Then it's time to move up. If your asking, it may be time. As more people read this you'll get all kinds of ideas on which ski to get. Just look in one of the ski magazines ski gear guides and find your basic level and look for one of the skis in that category. It's a good place to start. Ski Press out of Canada is a good mag. They are free in most of the bigger ski shops. Ski and Skiing also have the Sept. issues that cover skis, Skiing may be Oct. Do your homework and read the reviews in the magazines. It least they give you ideas and things to think about. When your ready try and hook up with Inspector Gadget on this site. He'll take care of you.
post #4 of 12
Villagenut,

I would highly recommend going to the demo skis to anyone who is actually trying to get better. The main reason is that they are trying to make sure you like the skis so that you'll want to buy them. Therefore they have a reason to keep them tuned well. The rentals get almost no love because they want to keep the skis for a couple of seasons and can't tune them often enough. Plus, rentals that get some damage will end up back on the rack, whereas the demos would get removed from the rack if they were damaged.

I had the unfortunate experience of having an airline trash a pair of skis on the way out to Utah many years ago. So I got the highest end rentals they had. They had skis that I had skied on as demos the prior year, so I knew how they *should* ski. However, they were trashed, and skied like they were trashed. Over 3 days of rentals, I went though three pair of skis, and they were all junk, even though they were top-end skis.

Then, a couple years ago, on a trip to Whistler, I decided to rent mid-fats for a couple of days, because all I had was narrower skis. After the first day, I took the skis back to the renatl shop and forced them to grind and tune them while I watched. It made a big difference.

All of that said, if you ski more than about 5 days a year, I would really recommend that you look into purchasing skis. Maybe look on ebay or something, for new skis that are from last year or the year before, that you can get cheap. It helps a lot to be familiar with the equipment you're skiing on, so that you don't spend a couple hours trying to figure out why things don't feel good, only to have it be that the skis are different than the last pair you were on (note that you probably would never realize that it was the skis, but just that you didn't feel like you were skiing well). With your own equipment, you will also know that they are in good condition, and not have to worry about trying to ski on someone else's sloppy seconds .
Also, I'm assuming you have your own boots already? If not, you should, at the very least, get your own boots, and rent high quality boards.
post #5 of 12
Agree with MAX, when you can start to be comfortable with skiing to the point where you have some confidence, then it's time to start playing around with some different kinds and brands of skis. You will find that you will ski better on some. Besides, it's fun!
post #6 of 12
Short answer: when you can effectively transfer weight from one ski to the other while skiing. At that point you should be moving towards paralleling your skis and linking turns. Sport skis will help you feel this sooner then some very beginner level sleds. DO NOT get a performance ski until you have improved your skiing. Over weighting a performance ski will cause it to want to turn- sometimes without your blessings.
post #7 of 12
Upgrade once you've gone from pizza to french fries.
post #8 of 12
Ok I rentend a pair of low end skis last day of spring skiing because my skis delaminated. Wow those low end rentals skis were bad real bad. Or should I say my skiing was bad real bad on those skis. Whatever!!! The high end ski with the big price tags will make you a better skier. Sorry end of story. As soon as you start skiing intermediate blue trails you must know those expensive skis will make a you a better skier. Can you have fun on low-medium end skis? sure you can. It all depends what you want out of your ski day.
post #9 of 12
Not being an expert, & having gone through many of the same questions about skis, I think I can help.
I started out two years ago upgrading to "sports package" during my second ski lesson. Early this year I opted for the performance, each time seeing a big difference in my progress, only to find that the major strides I was making in improvement start to fall off during my third day. The culprit was my boots( also rentals). They were comfortable, but too much room in the toe box, which allowed too much movement in the skis, & very little control. I found a better fit, took another lesson, and found the control I was lacking.
I say move up as fast as your ability allows, but either
buy a pair of boots now, or, if you rent, make sure your getting the best possible fit.
post #10 of 12
Yep, buy boots. People say it over and over, but its the one thing you gotta do if you are going to invest serious time in the sport.
post #11 of 12
ditto on the buying boots. great advice!
post #12 of 12
A tough question...results may vary...(insert other weasel words here).

First let me echo the advice that you should get a good fitting boot first.

What color of run you're on isn't the deciding factor. My first day on ski's I was able to snow plow (I think the pros call this a wedge) and make a snow-plow turn, so I had no reason not to go down every run on the mountain; I would shush until I had to turn, snow plow turn and then carry on. I could also stop sideways like a hockey player on skates, so out of control speed wasn't a problem either.

How long you've been skiing doesn't matter. I went skiing with my daughter when she was three, She though it quite funny when I told her not to make an x with her skis, and seemed to enjoy it, though she never learned to carve before we stopped skiing for a few years (poverty stricken). Midway through the first day back as a teenager, she was doing parallel turns.

What matters is what the rental skis are not doing for you that more advanced skis would, and what better skis might do that you wouldn't want them to. If you aren't catching edges that would cause you fall if your skis had a stronger grip, then you might be ready for a ski upgrade. If the ski's are letting go of the snow instead of holding on when you want them to hold on and are doing everything you're supposed to do to make them hold on, you might be ready for a ski upgrade. If you find that in spite of wanting the front of the ski to dig in and turn you, it digs in and flops over and releases, you might be ready for a ski upgrade. If when you edge your ski's over sideways at a large angle and they twist so that the tips do not have the same angle to the snow that the ski under your boots has, you might be ready for a ski upgrade. If you are travelling at what you figure should be a comfortable speed down the fall line making no turns and the skis are shaking all over the place, you might need a ski upgrade.

If you're still falling down, especially if it's because you seem to be tripping, expert ski's will not make your skiing more enjoyable.

The modern PAROBOLIC expert skis are so easy to turn, that it would be easier to learn to carve with them than the old straighter floppy rentals, provided your not catching edges, and have good body control. I haven't tried the modern floppy rental, so I don't know how they would compare.
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