ok, this is going to divulge some painful revelations about me, but... i'm super cheap when it comes to skis and ski eqmt (also, add occasionally guilty of typing too much). a lot of you folks may not be able to relate, but i'm the antithesis of a gear geek. give me anything, just so i can get on the slope and enjoy the freedom of the moment. more proof of that is that this is my first post in the gear section after fishing the epic msg boards for the last year or so. i've skied since the '60s and can count the sets of downhill skis i've owned on one hand and a finger. that includes a pair of wooden skis that cracked and were discarded after my very first season, that also includes my current pair of 4 yr old fischers that i bought in a swap for less than $100. don't ask me what model, they're 183cm and feel good though. in between, my all time durability champs were a pair of dynastars i had from about '78 to '93. back in those days i skied 25-50 days per year and those babys saw some places and racked up some miles. after 15 hard years they were still serviceable (although safety straps were getting tiresome), but i actually stopped using them because the boots that i paired with them for all the same years started to crack and fall to pieces (loved those kastinger boots too). at that point i got all new stuff, but this was just before shaped skis came in, so i went on skinnys until two yrs ago when i picked up the fischers i like now at a swap. i'm still using the boots i bought in the '93 timeframe, but they are cracking and held together with duck taped right now. must replace soon, not sure if i'll go for new or try the swap route once again. maybe the latter, as i'm a family guy with five other skiers/boarders to outfit. now that i think about it, i've only owned 3 pairs of ski boots over the years! this last pair (raichle) wore out kind of quick at the 11 yr point. my kastingers lasted 15 with a lot more slope time. anybody have a theory on that? i've seen other folks boots hit the wall around 10-15 yrs too, when they just start turning to dust.
i digress, to get back to your question: skis can last 10 to 15 years if given a modicum of maintenance and care (which i do) and if you don't ski that often and hard (which again fits me at this point), you don't change drastically in body size, and finally, if your requirements for keeping up with the latest evolutions in design are not high.