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Question: what's the best Ski Shop in Seattle area

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
We're heavily leaned toward REI in Puget Sound, and just wondering whether anyone had any idea on really good shops? Looking for place staffed with people who know what they're talking about, goot at standing behind what they sell, good tuning, etc.
post #2 of 4
There are several, REI is not one of them. Check out Fiorini Sports in Universtiy Village, Pro Ski Services on Aurora, or Sturtevants over in Bellevue on Bellvue Way. You will be in good hands at any of the above.
post #3 of 4
In general, I tend to agree with fressen. I have found the REI folks to be, at least in general, clueless. These days, most of my business goes to Sturtevant's in Bellevue and Gerk's Alpine Hut in Redmond.

Sturtevant's in Bellevue is the local 800 pound gorilla. They are big and stock just about every major line & model of ski and boot. They have a couple of very excellent bootfitters. The folks on the sales floor range from "sort of OK" to excellent in terms of knowledge and judgement regarding skis. Sniff out the sales folks who have skied pretty much everything on the rack rather than just reciting sales info... With growing kids, I've probably purchased half a dozen sets of skis and boots there the last few years. I'm a happy customer.

Gerk's Alpine Hut (formerly just Alpine Hut) in Redmond changed hands this year. I really, really like the new owner & his crew. They are tiny. Stock is a bit limited, but well chosen. They are very on the ball about matching people to appropriate gear. I have not had any boot work done there, but I'd be very comfortable buying boots from them - they seem to have the right kind of knowledge base and mindset. Got the kids' M666's there this year. Excellent recommendation - the kids skied all over Jackson on them with smiles on their faces (due to low snow here, we were not in a position to demo & I did not want to spend vacation time in a demo/shopping cycle). I'm a happy customer here too. If you are near Redmond, Gerk's could be your place. The owner often works the floor himself.

I used to do a fair amount of business with Issaquah Ski and Cycle. They tend to have OK stock and know their stuff. My absolute favorite guy there is no longer at the shop, so I tend not to make the trek since I am closer to Gerk's and Sturtevants. If you live in or near Issaquah, check them out. Been under the same ownership for a zillion years and has a loyal following.

I've heard some good things about Fiorini's. Very inconvenient for me, so I've never been there.

Tuning is an issue all its own. The more I have learned about it, the twitchier I've gotten. No matter who you give your skis to, you need to know what you want. Otherwise you are likely to end up with 1/1, whether that is appropriate or not. I'd be willing to hand my skis to any of the shops mentioned above + World Cup Skier Services in Bellevue. At the suggestion of atomicman, I just had 4 sets of skis done by World Cup. They totally know what they are about. Overall, I was very happy - super nice base pattern, edges, etc. I think they could have been a bit cleaner on one bit of p-tex work they did (I tend to be a perfectionist & my issue is probably mostly esthetic). All-in I liked their work. Bottom line: if I knew what I wanted tune-wise, I'd hand my skis to any of the shops I mentioned (probably even a very clear specification of "factory bevel" for a higher end tune on their menu would work). If not, I'd probably give them to World Cup & let them do their thing. At this point, I would not ask for a "basic" tune at any of the ski shops & expect to be happy with the outcome. I get the impression that people who are real tuning mavens on the East Side congregate at World Cup.
post #4 of 4
As already said, not REI, at least not for ski equipment (though yes for general outdoor stuff and accessories, including clothes).

World Cup Skier Service
Greenwater Skis (okay, not exactly in Seattle ....)
O&U (wait! don't go trying to find that one)
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Question: what's the best Ski Shop in Seattle area