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buying demo skis--good idea or bad?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Seems there are lots of demo skis for sale right now. Is buying demos a bad idea? what have peoples experiences been?

Most have bindings mounted on demo rails. Is it best to ditch the rails and re-mount the bindings, or keep the rails in the interest of avoiding drilling new holes?

Finally, is it reasonable to expect the seller (nearly always a ski shop) to repair, fill and tune the bases on demos they are selling?


post #2 of 9
JW, I have bought demo skis in the past and have had no problems; however, the skis I bought the shop had switched out the demo bindings and put on new bindings (M48's - this was several years ago). Shops selling demo equipment usually have allready waxed and tuned the skis. Just be sure to inspect the bases carefully for major base and edge damage that has been repaired since the skis warranty will probably be void since they are demo skis. The only problem I have had with demo skis I have bought is when the airlines bagage handles deystroyed them. Oh well.
post #3 of 9
JW, I have purchased several pairs of demo skis and have had good luck with all of them. As noted, inspect the bases and edges very carefully to see what kind of damage has been done and how well the shop has repaired them. If the seller is a ski shop, it is not only reasonable but expected in my book that they will have already repaired, tuned, and waxed the skis before putting them on the sale rack. Watch the prices carefully as well. Some shops seem to think that their demo skis are worth a lot more than they really are. Varies by ski a lot. A popular brand/model such as the G31 which is nearly impossible to find now will still be expensive as a demo(used) ski. As for the demo bindings, the selling feature, as you noted, is the fact that you (and any future purchaser) don't have to drill new holes to adapt to your boots. I think that's a plus, others feel that the extra weight of the rails is more of a negative than not having to fill and re-drill holes.

Finally, remember that demo skis could have 30, 40, 50 or more ski days on them which for a 'typical' skier is the equivalent of several years of wear and tear.
post #4 of 9
It is also a good idea to check the thickness of the edges on the Demo. If they are thin, especially near the tails, you run the chance that the last tune the ski had was its last tune ever. I have seen demos for sale were the base was burned right threw on the ski. I would guess that the more the ski was taken out, the more it was tuned, A very popular ski, by this assumption would require a very close inspection on your part.
post #5 of 9
I have had a few pair of demos and have had no problems.

A high end demo is less likley to have seen as much use as a would a low end ski since they charge more for the premium demo.

Taking the demo binding off means that you will now have to spend between $125 and $150 on a decent binding. At that point you might as well just buy a new ski on sale.

I just bought skis at Langhorne Ski.... not too far from you. $329 for Volkl SL P-40 and $125 for the Look bindings. By comparison, last season I bought P-40 demos for $400 in Vermont. For the extra $50 am I happier with the new ones....... yep!
post #6 of 9
It all depends on how many days are on the demo ski and how much of a savings you get compared to buying new. Keep in mind that most skis are begining to wear out after about 100 days. So by buying new you get the best days on the skis. Some skis such as high end Volkls have been known to last 300 days or more without deteriorating.
post #7 of 9
This is probably a dumb question... but how does one go about inspecting the edge thickness of a ski? Is there an easy way to do it in store?

There are some demo sales going on right now, and if I can get a screaming deal, I'll be tempted to take it.
post #8 of 9

Thanks, I was going to do some name dropping (you and Rip), but I was just so darned happy to find the ski that I wanted in the size that I wanted, that I kicked into drooling overload/gotta have it meltdown.

It was about $100 over the factory end of the year price but they (Volkl) were out of the 170's.

Shawnee should still be open tomorrow and Sunday with a possibility of staying open longer if the business is there.
post #9 of 9
I would go easy if you're going to buy twins used... They are often pretty messed up inside, specially if they were rentals!!
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