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Going to my first demo Sunday!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have absolutely no idea what goes on at demos, other other than its a day to help deside the next ski to buy.

Once there, just what is the procedure? Do you have to wait in line? Is there anything that I should know/do to insure that I get to test the skis that I want to test?

Shuold I test as many skis as I can, or concentrate only a few? Is there a best way to test the skis?

Any other hints, comments, etc. to help make this a productive day will be appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 17
Bring your credit card and license, they will hold them until you bring the skis back. Bring your glasses if you use them to read.

Try to focus on one catagory of ski, all mountain, SL, GS, SX.

GET THERE EARLY!!!!
post #3 of 17
Like Max Capacity says GET THERE EARLY to get your first choice. After that be prepared for a lot of hanging about waiting for skisto come back in if you are trying to get hold of the more popular models/lengths
post #4 of 17
Based on the demo skis I have seen, bring with you a pocket stone to remove the rock burrs put there by the last guy who tried the skis.
post #5 of 17
It helps to have a bit of an idea what kind of skis you're looking for (and what lengths). You don't mention where you're going, but the techs who run demo days are often quite busy running from one person to the next. They might not have time to give you a whole lot of advice about which skis you might want to try.

So, try to decide ahead of time what type of ski you're looking for and maybe do a bit of research (this thread is a great place) so that if the demo guy says, for example, "I've got some 162 B5's... you want 'em?", you'll have some idea whether that ski appeals to you or not.

Also, do you ski with your bindings at "normal" DIN settings? If you do, great. If you don't, you'll need to deal with whether they'll let you sign a release to increase your DIN's.

Once you get there, don't be shy about your place in line or what you want to try. Demo days can get pretty chaotic and the people who "assert" themselves a little often end up with the most in-demand skis. If there's a particular model you want and you don't see them, ask if they've got a pair. They might be out with someone else and returning in a few minutes. Be direct, decisive, and fast. You'll figure out the drill very quickly and the techs will appreciate it enormously if you walk up to them with your paperwork filled out, your model decision made, and you can step in and out of the bindings with a minimum of fumbling around.

Once you get on the skis, different people have different ways of demoing. Some like to spend quite a lot of time on each pair, getting "comfortable" with them, so to speak. Other people (this is me) will make one or two runs and move on. I'm fortunate (for many reasons) in that I ski at Jackson Hole. I can almost always go up the mountain and find wildly different conditions on the way down. I like to try out any pair of skis - regardless of whether they're fats, mid-fats, gs or slalom skis - on the widest range of snow I can. I'll ski groomers, bumps, powder, and crud all in one run. How easily the skis handle individual conditions and how well they transition from one kind of snow to the other is partly what I'm looking for.

I like demoing lots of skis if I'm demoing at all. I'm of the opinion that one or two models or lengths are just going to feel really good to you, and the more skis you try the better your odds are. I can't tell you how many times I've hopped on a model that I really hadn't heard much about and ended up just loving them. My Head I.C. 200's are a perfect example from a demo day last year. I went into the day intending to try every Volkl I could (which I did), and then tried the Heads just because one of the shop guys said I might enjoy them. I did - more than any of the Volkls - and ended up buying a pair.

So, have fun. The great thing about demoing a lot of skis is that you develop a database of what you like and what you don't. Then, when you're walking through a ski shop next summer and somebody has a smokin' deal on a pair of skis you've already tried and liked, you can just buy them with no worries.

Bob
post #6 of 17
As THE demo guy, I can speak with firsthand experience.

Know what ski you want to try. This site or others have usefull help and information tips to narrow your choices down.

Be courteous. Wait for your turn, and be polite. Demos are free.

Come early. There are only a certain number of skis to test. Once they are on cycle you must wait to try them. If one is polite, the tech can hold them, if asked politely, when they come back.

Do not assume that the tech can read your mind. Don't ask, "Have you got a ski for me" because I don't know anything about how and where you ski. Be concise, but not curt.

Generally, the available demo skis will be in a rack within the confines of the tented and flagged area. What is available is what's shown.

Look, but don't touch.

Don't get upset when someone ahead of you in line takes the ski you want to try. First come, first served. You should have gotten there earlier.

Don't ask to use skis which belong to the techs, or belong to those demoing skis.

If you come with attitude, the tech is entitled to give it back.

Bring ID. Driver's license, passport, creditcard. A season's pass is not valid ID.

If a patrol on duty, I require you to leave your radio so that you won't be called to an incident, and hold the skis without getting demoed.

Know your DIN setting. I can figure it out for you, but if you know what the setting is on your skis, I can get you skiing faster.

Know your boot sole length (in millimeters). This too helps get you skiing faster. Use a tape measure if it is not noted on the boot. 1 inch = 25.4mm
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Some further info:
I ski 174 cm Rossi Vipers. I want to compliment them not replace them. I ski entirely in the East. I'm a 6'1" 210lbs advanced skier that skis the front side almost exclusively. I like speed and short turns. I need a ski for days when the snow is chopped up --- to get through the crud and soft snow at the end of the season. But, I still would like a fast ski as quick as possible.

I am considering the following skis:
Atomic B5 and M:11 (162cm?)
Nordica SUV 12 &14 (?cm)
Elan 666 (176cm?)
Volkl 6* (not sure how good in crud, waist kind of narrow; maybe too similar to my Vipers?) (?cm)
K2 Apatche X and Crossfire (174cm)
Head Monster IM70 (?cm)
Fischer RX8 and maybe RX9 (like 6* not sure if this is a good crud ski, RX9 has a wider waist so may be better?) (?cm)

Any comments on this list, additions, subtractions. If you were in my position, and could demo only three or four skis (I don't know the typical number that a person can ski on a demo day), how would you prioritize your list (except for B5 and M:11 which are my top priority, my list is not in any special order --- mainly because I'm not sure what the order should be)?

A note concerninmg the Metrons: At a local ski shop I was told that they were mainly a fad, difficult to ski unless on edge all of the time --- cannot be skied flat. This concerns me because, even though I'm an aggresive skier, I want to have fun skiing and I don't want it to be a chore constantly.

Thanks for any recommendations! I'm hoping Sunsay will be successful for me.
post #8 of 17
werekong, I'd put the Elan S12 on your list, too, in fact maybe in place of the 666. The 6* and RX8 will work well in crud, I think. I'd move the Fischers up your list.

If you're interested, see this thread that includes many of the ones on your list that I skied during a 2-day demo.

What I do is to pick a "circuit" that I'll use for each ski. I try to get all the conditions I can, take the ski out, ski the circuit, write on the chair(s) my thoughts about the ski as well as the specifics (ski name, length, dimensions, etc.). That way I don't have to try to remember my impressions later; they are written down.

On the circuit, focus on what you like and don't like about the ski. Try different stances (forward/back/centered, wide/narrow), different styles (tipping/carving, checking/stepping), and generally a selection of approaches that represent the extend of what you care about. You may also want to specifically try them in conditions where you either love or hate your existing skis.

Hope this helps!
post #9 of 17
betaracer, brilliant advice about the radio and patrols, the grief i've had to put up with trying to explain to patrollers(especially vollys) that demos are for a limited amount of time and if go on call the skis come back first. plus the nordica tr12, while a great touring/at boot will not release in most bindings.

to avoid grumpy demo guys may i suggest just going to the local retailer you may buy skis from and demoin from them?
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, the shops in my area don't allow demoing.

I'm indebted to you ssh and everyone else on this board. If it wasn't for all of you I wouldn't have been able to come up with a list of possible suitable skis. Ssh, your thread originally turned me on to the Metrons and several of the other skis.

However, I wonder if the RX8, 6*, and S12 will be too similar to my Vipers (good on hardpack and groomed but not so great in crud). If I was going to replace my Vipers, these (along with the B5 and M:11) would be at the head of my list. However, I don't want to replace them. In the best scenario, I would like a ski that skis as close to them as possible but is much better able to handle ungroomed and crud conditions plus a little powder. That's the reason I included the Nordicas, Elan, K2's, and Head on my list. They are have wider waists and may handle crud better, but I'm not sure if I'll care for the way they ski.

I think the keys for a second pair of skis for me are fast, stable, quick, and crud. I know it seems that I'm looking for an ideal ski (aren't we all?). I also know that an ideal ski doesn't exist, but I'd like something as close as possible.

Am I making sense?
post #11 of 17
legend 8000, if you already have vipers and are keeping them
post #12 of 17
werekong, I haven't skied the Vipers, so it's not really possible for me to compare. I have skied the RX8s in Rocky Mountain "crud" conditions (it depends on what you really mean by "crud"--it covers a lot of possible conditions in my experience). Last season, I skied a pair of 170cm RX8s in my PSIA level II skiing exams. The "off-piste" portion of the exam was on a black-to-double-black section of Peak 8 at Breck (the Boundary Chutes/Debbies Alley). The conditions were 12-18" of cut-up day-old snow over bumps. As I skied past the examiner, I couldn't stop smiling. "Man, I love that!" I said. "I could tell," he replied. His comments on the evaluation: "Your best turns of the day."

So, in short, YMMV. I love them in those conditions. But, I admit that I picked up the b5s for playing around in deeper snow, and have enjoyed them in the little bit I've done. God willing, I'll get to give them a real test this week if the predicted snow actually comes! I think that you'll find the b5s (and M:11s) to be the ones that are most different from your current skis.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Wouldn't mind a little more input on my ski list (my crud is the chunks of hard snow mixed in with loose snow).

A few dumb questions when at the demo:
1. Buy my lift ticket first before doing anything about demo skis?
2. I assume that I should leave my skis in the car?
3. Leave my boots off or put them on if I have measured the sole in mm (as suggested by Betaracer)?

Also conditions don't look too good for tomorrow. Not very much snow here to start with and it's supposed to be above freezing today and tomorrow. I hope the demo's not cancelled.

thanks for the help!
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by werekong
Wouldn't mind a little more input on my ski list (my crud is the chunks of hard snow mixed in with loose snow).

A few dumb questions when at the demo:
1. Buy my lift ticket first before doing anything about demo skis?
2. I assume that I should leave my skis in the car?
3. Leave my boots off or put them on if I have measured the sole in mm (as suggested by Betaracer)?

Also conditions don't look too good for tomorrow. Not very much snow here to start with and it's supposed to be above freezing today and tomorrow. I hope the demo's not cancelled.

thanks for the help!
  1. If the demo price doesn't include the lift ticket, buy it before you go for skis.
  2. Yep.
  3. Put them on if you know their length.
post #15 of 17
Does anyone know of how to find upcoming demo days in Colorado and Utah?
post #16 of 17
RIP, usually I check with the resort web sites and with the local ski shops. I think most of the demo days have occured at this point. However, a number of resorts now have on-hill demo centers that are low- or no-cost options for demoing. I know that Vail, Copper, and Keystone have this, and I assume others do, as well. At those three areas, it's a no-cost benefit to skiers on the hill.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, I think (hope) I'm ready for tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for their help!
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