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Do I really need new gear?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
It's been two years since I've been up to the hill and several years since I've hit it hard like I used to. As I revitalize myself this year to return to skiing with regularity, I'm confused as to whether or not I should buy new gear. Specifically, new skis. I'm skiing on a pair of 195 Elans. Thier first Kevlar Comp ski I purchased in '91. I have Geze bindings on them, original. I have upgraded my boots but have refused to give in to the many suggestions regarding 'parabolic' ski styles. I've looked at them and there are obvious changes to ski design in the last ten years. So, do I go shorter now with the new styles? If my old gear is all I know, should I really make a change? I guess I'm asking if the performance difference warrants a change. Any help would be appreciated since everyone I used to ski with snow boards now. Thanks.:
post #2 of 23
MtHoodnative, the primary concern I'd have about your current set-up is those bindings. Please make sure you test them before getting up on the mountain with them. Secondly, I'd suggest trying out some of the newer skis over the course of a season before you buy. The good news is that you may find something that you really like that you'll be able to buy at the end of the season (or early next year) for a very good price. It will likely cost you about the same to demo a bunch of skis and buy one at year-end than to buy a pair now without knowing that you'll like it!

But, please get those bindings tested before you ski on them!
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
That's awesome advice. My wife was worried about me skiing on those bindings also. Weird. Maybe I oughta take that as a sign!
post #4 of 23
Yes. Absolutely. I just went down this exact same road myself, discarding a pair of K2 KVC's for K2 Public Enemy's. I also modernized my boots and haven't been this happy in the bumps since the days when I skied Lange freestyles, Burt bindings and Scott boots! The new equipment is most definitely better, just demo alot of choices (and with an open mind, some of the graphics are a little out-there for a guy 50yrs old).
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtHoodnative
That's awesome advice. My wife was worried about me skiing on those bindings also. Weird. Maybe I oughta take that as a sign!
The good news is that any reputable ski shop can test them for you and then you'll know. They may be in perfect condition, but they may not be. They may need some maintenance, or who knows what else. But, if they pass, you'll have reasonable confidence that they are performing as expected.

I rode up with a lady yesterday who had broken her leg last year. When she bought new boots this fall, she learned that her bindings failed the test and she had to buy new ones. She's now pretty certain that binding failure caused her broken leg, but she hadn't had them checked in a number of years.

BTW, welcome to EpicSki!
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oooh. That's all the encouragement I need. I'll have those checked immediately. I couldn't imagine rehabbing a busted wheel! Thanks for welcoming me on board too!
post #7 of 23
I don't think any Geze bindings are indemnified any more -- i.e., no shop will touch them.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Chupacabra
I don't think any Geze bindings are indemnified any more -- i.e., no shop will touch them.
EXACTLY. You have some glorified paperweights on those skis that you won't want to ski either.

Start with boots. After you get your boot situation straightened out, it will be time to start demoing.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Copy that, Phil. I've never demoed before. Any good way to track down local shops that specialize? How does that work, anyway?
post #10 of 23
Where do you live MtHoodnative? There are a number of shops in Portland that demo, including Breeze (the ski rental place). I live in Raleigh Hills near Ski Chalet and they do a good job.

Mark
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtHoodnative
Copy that, Phil. I've never demoed before. Any good way to track down local shops that specialize? How does that work, anyway?
I would say there are really three ways to demo:

(1) Check out the mountain where you will be skiing, many of them have demo centers (at least they do in the east) where you can try several different skis in a day for a price (from $35 and up). Others rent high performance skis for the day, but you only get one pair.

(2) Call local shops where you may purchase. They may also have some kind of a demo program (i.e., $50 or $60 to demo 3 or 4 different skis w/ a portion of $$ off price w/ purchase). Different shops have different demo programs.

(3) Also, maybe there are still some demo days going on in your area. I think they are mostly over for this season in the east. However, if you can find a demo day, you just show up with boots and pay a small fee (or sometimes not), and you can demo as many pairs of skis as you have time for. The manufacturers set up tents at the base of the mountain and adjust the binding for you and you're on your way.

Whatever you do, make sure you demo first!
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtHoodnative
Copy that, Phil. I've never demoed before. Any good way to track down local shops that specialize? How does that work, anyway?
Most shops with high-end gear do demos, and most will credit your demo costs (up to a certain amount) towards a purchase later. If you let us know where you live, it's likely that the other Bears here can hook you up with some great shops (see the Shops thread, too!).
post #13 of 23
Oh, one more thing... If you do it at the base of the mountain, you can often swap skis out over the course of a day, letting you demo a number and narrow your style and choices more quickly.
post #14 of 23
If you ski at Mt Hood Meadows the rental shop at the base usually has a range you can demo for the rental fee and they will let you change over during the day.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys! This forum is awesome. Thank you so much for helping me out. I will definitely demo before I buy a new outfit. Like a couple of you have noted, I am skiing on Mt Hood in Oregon. I don't know if all the wet, heavy snow makes a difference with the ski model? I hate to ask another question, but if any of you Bears out there could recommend some specific brands that may cater to the conditions I speak of, that would be much appreciated. Long gone are the days when my buddies and I would follow Scott Schmidt around our ski areas, had no fear and knew it all!!! :
post #16 of 23
Take a trundle through this forum and the gear review one for a lot of recommendations. My thoughts are the Atomic Metron series (especially the b5 and 11), and perhaps the Volant Gold series. I'm sure you'll get others' thoughts, too.

Most important: get boots that fit well and match your ability and target skiing. Then, get out there and demo!
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ssh, you are the man! Much appreciated!!
post #18 of 23
reminder: your technique might feel strange on some modern equipment. if you're used to using a lot of rotary/steering to initiate your turns, you'll find it easier to ski ANY modern ski by leaving that conscious rotary effort out of the move, and just tip at the feet, leading with your desired "inside edge" little toe of your desired inside ski.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
reminder: your technique might feel strange on some modern equipment. if you're used to using a lot of rotary/steering to initiate your turns, you'll find it easier to ski ANY modern ski by leaving that conscious rotary effort out of the move, and just tip at the feet, leading with your desired "inside edge" little toe of your desired inside ski.
Absolutely agree. Here are a couple of posts to review for some insights:

This classic on the "Perfect Turn".

This one illustrating those turns.

And this one on skiing the "slow line" fast.

These ideas, together with quite a bit of time on-snow last season, have revolutionized my skiing.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Absolutely agree. Here are a couple of posts to review for some insights:

This classic on the "Perfect Turn".

This one illustrating those turns.

And this one on skiing the "slow line" fast.

These ideas, together with quite a bit of time on-snow last season, have revolutionized my skiing.
Thanks for these wonderful links, ssh. And thanks to Bob Barnes for writing them!
post #21 of 23

Without reading any of the details...

I can say absolutely! You can always count on this group to enable new gear purchases!
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtHoodnative
It's been two years since I've been up to the hill and several years since I've hit it hard like I used to. As I revitalize myself this year to return to skiing with regularity, I'm confused as to whether or not I should buy new gear. Specifically, new skis. I'm skiing on a pair of 195 Elans. Thier first Kevlar Comp ski I purchased in '91. I have Geze bindings on them, original. I have upgraded my boots but have refused to give in to the many suggestions regarding 'parabolic' ski styles. I've looked at them and there are obvious changes to ski design in the last ten years. So, do I go shorter now with the new styles? If my old gear is all I know, should I really make a change? I guess I'm asking if the performance difference warrants a change. Any help would be appreciated since everyone I used to ski with snow boards now. Thanks.:
A few years ago I switched from '93 vintage Blizzard skis 190cm (non parabolic) to 183cm shaped Fischer skis. I thought the downsize was fairly radical, since I'd been on up to 195cm before. But now you will be shocked now at how short the current model skis will be that they recommend you demo, probably between 160-170cm, maybe even less if you're smaller than average in height/weight.
Sounds like you may be able to keep your existing boots for the demo process folks recommend. There is nothing like getting new skis to "revitalize" your interest in skiing...except maybe a foot of powder! If you were quite capable on skinny skis, you should have a fun and fast learning curve picking up the joys of shaped skis.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am so much more excited to get back out there after speaking with all of you on this forum. It's obviously an extremely effective tool for exchanging quality information with people from so many vastly different regions and slopes. I am far more educated than I was 10 days ago and I have much more confidence to get out there to the shops.........and talk shop! The new ski styles sound like they will benefit my own style more than hurt it. Growing up skiing wet powder, I've always had a little edge on most folks whenever we would go east and hit dry powder. I suspect the improvements with the ski design will lend me a similar advantage. Every single one of you contributors to this post are Rock Stars. Much obliged. BTY, I thought those of you around the country and elsewhere might find this little fact interesting: The Portland (Mt Hood) area hit 66 degrees yesterday and just recorded the warmest day in January in 131 years. This on the heels of an ice storm at sea level 5 days ago. One which inverted the freezing level hardcore. End statement: ABSOLUTELY NO SNOW on our mountains. Pretty freaky. I guess I'll be ready when/if it does turn around. Alright, late ya'll.
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