EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ski equipment for a big guy
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ski equipment for a big guy

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Im 6'4'' and 290 Lbs. I have only been skiing about 5 times or so in the past 3 years so I am not that great. Ill be going up to Michigan Tech for college and they own Mont Ripley. So I will be skiing a lot. I am looking for new equipment but I have no idea what I should get. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
post #2 of 20

A couple suggestions

I skied a pair of Fischer RX 8s last year. They were great.

-Easy to turn
-Very forgiving

The shape skis available today will help you really learn to turn skis - and that's about 99% of skiing.

Do yourself a favor and demo skis at the resorts ski shop. It'll cost more than regular rentals but you can try several skis in the course of the day and they're better than the skis in the rental shop. As I recall the charge for demos was $35 at Stratton. They took that off the price of the skis (which are more expensive than they are at my local ski shop).

Try the RX 8s. There's a Rossi (Bandit I think) that's an equivalent. The staff at the ski shop can help you too. But do yourself a favor: don't get the cheapest- get what feels good to you. And make sure you get comfortable boots. Again, not the cheapest, but the ones that feel good to you (bad boots = sore feet = bad day on the slopes plus discomfort at the bar later).

Oh, and get yourself an instructor. Sometimes friends are good instructors but many would really rather be skiing for the price of a ticket. If you get a qualified instructor, you'll improve more quickly and they know the tricks to get you going.

You'll have more fun with the right skis and the right instruction.
post #3 of 20
Shoffman, as someone who has sometimes struggled with my weight (since quitting a 2-pack-a-day smoking habit), I felt it was important to "weigh in" a bit on my experience with this issue of equiping one's self to fit my weight. Personally, I feel that when my BMI puts me into the "obesity" range, the forces involved in skiing become so extreme, normal equipment simply does not function correctly. Losing the weight, rather than looking for bigger and beefier equipment, has for me been a better, happier, more healthful long-range prospect. I'm in skiing for the long-term, and I want to live long enough to enjoy it. Being overweight puts enormous pressure on the knees and back in skiing. Falls can be much more dangerous to one's bones, and collisions with others disastrous. While it is certainly physically possible to get skis that work for you at a high BMI (PhysicsMan, are you there?), and there are dozens of wise gear advisors here on Epic, I felt I should share another "take" on this question from the For What It's Worth Department. I'm certainly not suggesting that you have a problem, but I'm one who's learnt the hard way.
post #4 of 20
shoffman71, im 6' 3'' and weigh about 250. Being a fairly big guy myself and having ski'id since i was 7, the most important thing i can tell you is to buy the right boots. Although you are a beginner and new to skiing (relatively) you are going to want a pretty stiff boot with how much you weigh. if you are going to spend your money on gear, spend the most on boots, your entire body will never forgive you if you go cheap on boots. becuase you are big and new, its would be safe to say that you are going to be in the backseat alot, and with "beginner" boots, the softness is only going to make it worse. Your back will hurt, your quads, everything is going to ache if you get boots that cause you to fight to stay forward. I would personally recommend the Salomon X-Wave 10.0 or Nordica Beasts. These boots are going to run you like $600-$800, but good boots will make your time so much more enjoyable. Heopfully some other guys can lend you some good advice.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
Shoffman, as someone who has sometimes struggled with my weight (since quitting a 2-pack-a-day smoking habit), I felt it was important to "weigh in" a bit on my experience with this issue of equiping one's self to fit my weight. Personally, I feel that when my BMI puts me into the "obesity" range, the forces involved in skiing become so extreme, normal equipment simply does not function correctly. Losing the weight, rather than looking for bigger and beefier equipment, has for me been a better, happier, more healthful long-range prospect. I'm in skiing for the long-term, and I want to live long enough to enjoy it. Being overweight puts enormous pressure on the knees and back in skiing. Falls can be much more dangerous to one's bones, and collisions with others disastrous. While it is certainly physically possible to get skis that work for you at a high BMI (PhysicsMan, are you there?), and there are dozens of wise gear advisors here on Epic, I felt I should share another "take" on this question from the For What It's Worth Department. I'm certainly not suggesting that you have a problem, but I'm one who's learnt the hard way.
Not trying to hijack the thread but you're making a bit of an assumption. At 6'4" and 290# he may not be truly "obese" and in need of losing any weight. The guy could be a bodybuilder for all you know. Have you ever researched the BMI? Me thinks you'd be surprised to find many well known celebs in the "obese" category (e.g., Ahh-nold, Sly Stalone, hell, even Brad Pitt is considered "overweight" according to his BMI). Sorry, man, but the BMI is hogwash and can be misapplied. I'm 6' and 235#, easily obese according to the BMI, but no one looking at me would ever consider me as such.

Anyway... you do have a point that skis and behave differently for larger folks and he should be congnizant of that.

cheers,
dan
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, I am overweight but fairly muscular. Man, spending $600-$800 on just boots seems a little much for me, I was thinking of spending less than that on everything I need but maybe skiing is more expensive than I thought. Any tips on choosing what skis are right for me, like how long they should be, which brands to stick to etc.?
post #7 of 20
The simple version:

At your height and weight...

1) You will have no problem flexing a typical "expert" boot. Do not get talked into a "beginner" boot. The models mentioned above make sense to me. They may or may not be the right ones for you, but they are in the right category. As usual, getting your boots right should probably be priority one.

2) You will have no problem flexing a typical "advanced" or "expert" ski. You will almost certainly need the "torsional rigidity" of such a ski. In addition, at your weight you will likely sink any relatively thin ski in soft snow or slush. Consider skis with no less than 75mm underfoot and maybe up to 90mm underfoot. Your life may be easier if you go fatter and shorter vs thinner and longer. You could probably go as short as 175 on some skis or as long as 185 (maybe 190) on some). Avoid true big-mountain skis with big a big turn radius. Others may weigh in, but I'd stay under 20m. Do some demos. Your DIN setting will likely be fairly high. You'll want your initial DIN to be about 1/3 of the way up the range to allow resetting it up as you progress. I'm gonna make a wild guess that you'll want settings of 8-10 in the mid-range. This implies a higher end binding.

All of the major manufacturers (Atomic, Rossi, Salomon, Dynastar, Head, etc., etc.) make darn good stuff. If you want to save money, buy during the progressive sales about to start - or better yet, find some new 2003/2004 gear on way-closeout somewhere. Some of that stuff is pretty much the same as this year's except for color (I think the Salomon X-Wave 10 boot is one good example). Yeah the sport is expensive. Unfortunately, until you know what you are doing, buying the eBay route or big-box retailer can end up costing you more than you think. It may seem pricey, but a top-notch specialty shop may well save you money in the long run.

Be careful taking advice on boots or skis from a tiny 100 pound salesperson - as I made the mistake of doing with my first set of gear... :
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallen
Not trying to hijack the thread but you're making a bit of an assumption. Sorry, man, but the BMI is hogwash and can be misapplied. I'm 6' and 235#, easily obese according to the BMI, but no one looking at me would ever consider me as such.

Anyway... you do have a point that skis and behave differently for larger folks and he should be congnizant of that.

cheers,
dan
Never said he was obese, and never suggested BMI was the end-all and be-all, but it is a widely recognized guide. That's beside the point anyway. Surely you're not going to act like there are all kinds of "big boned" and muscular 300-pound skiers out there who simply need the right kit.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
The simple version:

At your height and weight...

1) You will have no problem flexing a typical "expert" boot. Do not get talked into a "beginner" boot. The models mentioned above make sense to me. They may or may not be the right ones for you, but they are in the right category. As usual, getting your boots right should probably be priority one.

2) You will have no problem flexing a typical "advanced" or "expert" ski. You will almost certainly need the "torsional rigidity" of such a ski. In addition, at your weight you will likely sink any relatively thin ski in soft snow or slush. Consider skis with no less than 75mm underfoot and maybe up to 90mm underfoot. Your life may be easier if you go fatter and shorter vs thinner and longer. You could probably go as short as 175 on some skis or as long as 185 (maybe 190) on some). Avoid true big-mountain skis with big a big turn radius. Others may weigh in, but I'd stay under 20m. Do some demos. Your DIN setting will likely be fairly high. You'll want your initial DIN to be about 1/3 of the way up the range to allow resetting it up as you progress. I'm gonna make a wild guess that you'll want settings of 8-10 in the mid-range. This implies a higher end binding.

All of the major manufacturers (Atomic, Rossi, Salomon, Dynastar, Head, etc., etc.) make darn good stuff. If you want to save money, buy during the progressive sales about to start - or better yet, find some new 2003/2004 gear on way-closeout somewhere. Some of that stuff is pretty much the same as this year's except for color (I think the Salomon X-Wave 10 boot is one good example). Yeah the sport is expensive. Unfortunately, until you know what you are doing, buying the eBay route or big-box retailer can end up costing you more than you think. It may seem pricey, but a top-notch specialty shop may well save you money in the long run.

Be careful taking advice on boots or skis from a tiny 100 pound salesperson - as I made the mistake of doing with my first set of gear... :
Spindrift, with all due respect, your post is bollocks. You're suggesting that some kind of sensible standard exists for a 300-pound skier and that's nonsense.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
Spindrift, with all due respect, your post is bollocks.
Whew! Good thing "respect" is still intact.
post #11 of 20
Getting back to the equip. request , don't let some body talk you into a soft intermediate or beginner ski . One ski that may work for you is Atomics R10 or maybe even the R11 , both of these are from the last couple years and there seems to be a few around (this will keep the price down) Also don't go any shorter than 170 cm and maybe even 180 cm will be what you need . The boot comments above are right from the bible of skiing and couldn't be stressed enough , look around some of the local shops , at your size I would imagine you have the feet to go with it and there may be a pair that they have been waiting for somebody to fit them.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
Spindrift, with all due respect, your post is bollocks. You're suggesting that some kind of sensible standard exists for a 300-pound skier and that's nonsense.
Well, I confess you raise a good point. I might be wrong, but I don't think we disagree here. I avoided making specific suggestions. Instead, I noted a few general things that come up with just about anyone in the "clydesdale" zone.

Anyone much over 200 pounds is out of the design center of almost any piece of gear. They *will* flex boots more readily than someone 50 or 100 pounds lighter. They will likely flex right "through" any "novice" or basic "intermediate" boot . As a novice, they will probably need a ski with much more torsional rigidity than a 150 pound advanced skier will need - otherwise tips and tails are likely to twist out under a variety of circumstances (icy traverses, carving in hardpack, etc). Likewise, at 300 pounds, you can make the average intermediate ski flex like a noodle. It is like sticking one average size skier on each of your skis! I also suspect someone well north of six feet and north of 250 pounds would not get much life out of a lower end binding since even for a Type I skier the initial DIN is likely to be around 6 or maybe a bit more.

There are likely many combinations of equipment that will probably work fine, but these are real issues for all heavier skiers. Part of why I suggested sticking with a good specialty shop is that they can work through these issues with a novice.

If I am off-base on any of this, I am more than happy to be corrected.

I know I did over-generalize about one thing in my initial post. There are in fact sales people of all sizes and shapes who are very knowledgeable about gear - and can steer just about anyone toward appropriate gear choices. However, I have noticed that many times small sales people don't "get it" when suggesting gear for bigger skiers (torsional rigidity, what's that?; floatation - I never sink!). Likewise, there is one larger sales guy, at one shop I actually like, who is just clueless about what it means to be a smaller skier. He'd do OK with me, but not someone 110 pounds. It pays to scope out your prospective sales person (and bootfitter) and make sure they understand the issues you face not just because of your skill level and budget, but also weight, height, build, etc.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
Well, I confess you raise a good point. I might be wrong, but I don't think we disagree here. I avoided making specific suggestions. Instead, I noted a few general things that come up with just about anyone in the "clydesdale" zone.
I realize in re-reading your post, I jumped to conclusions. "Bollocks" was meant in good humor and your points are entirely reasonable.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeroy
One ski that may work for you is Atomics R10 or maybe even the R11 , both of these are from the last couple years and there seems to be a few around (this will keep the price down) Also don't go any shorter than 170 cm and maybe even 180 cm will be what you need . .
Man, I'm just living on this thread tonight! I used the 11:20s (=R11) for a couple years. If you go that route, you probably should be at least 180cm or over. A great ski - you'd find them adequately stiff, but by today's standards they might be a bit narrow in the waist for you (70mm). Probably some great bargains available though as it is no longer in the Atomic catalog. One of my kids just moved off the R10 - I suspect you'd just crush that one.

Oh - my spouse just wandered in and suggested an R:EX. Not a bad thought either. The radius is a bit big, but it is a beefy ski with some width underfoot. And it too is discontinued - if you can find it, you can probably get it cheap. Or maybe you can buy your boots locally & get dawgcatching to sell you some M666s way, way cheap (see his posts). Some of the Head Monsters jump to mind as well. Just some random ideas... There are many skies worth considering. FWIW, you can find truckoads of ski specs over at techsupportforskiers.com. I don't remember what is free and what is subscription, but the review section there is very complete and goes back a number of years.
post #15 of 20
Here's what I'll tell you about my experience. It's just my experience though for you to factor into your decision. I'm 5'11 1/2" and 215 lbs. I'm just an intermediate skier doing the blue runs. The Atomic R10 is good for me at the 180 length, but I'm sure others can give you better direction on skis. On boots though, I feel really confident in my choice. I have Rossi Power 70s. They are an older model...03/04? But there is a replacement that I think is the EXP 1 or something like that (you can research this). The Power 70s are perfect for me. I have a high volume foot. I have to wear EEE in western boots, and extra half size to full size in some shoes like Asics for example and Rockport for another (my shoe normal size is 11D). I will just say this and you can make your own conclusion. I could wear my ski boots (11.5 ...I forget the mondo sizing) all day and even more. I did put green "Superfeet" in them, over the insoles that came with them. I had to lengthen the ankle buckles.I hope I never have to get new ski boots because these are perfect for my foot. Just sharing my experience.
post #16 of 20
It seems to me that this weight would overpower most quick-turning skis (RX8, 5-Star etc.) Wouldn't this fellow be better off with stiffer boards: RX9, 6-Star, Volkl Superspeed, Head ic300 or IM75/85, or even a race GS??
post #17 of 20
Welcome to epic ski. I'm going to tell you what most skiers who have been around will tell you. Spend your money on Boots! You can have the best skis in the world and they will ski like crap if your in poor fitting boots. Take your time and find boots that fit you and will hold up to your size. Ask around for a good shop and boot fitter in your area. Ski Sales will be coming up soon, so you might be able to find a great pair of boots for 1/2 price. At 1/2 Price you could get an excellent pair of boots for around $300-$400. that would also enclude a good footbed. Boots are an investment that will last you many many years.It does not matter what Brand they are. All Boot companies make diffrent levels of boots, from beginner to full on race boots. What matters is what boot fits your foot, and supports you. Nothing else matters in boots. One brand really isn't any better then any other brand of boot. What fits my foot my not work for you. As for skis at this point look for some good used skis. Make sure they have a binding that will be within your Din range. You should be able to find some good used Atomic R10 or R11 they would be fine for Michigan conditions. You should be able to find some good skis for about $150.00 to $200.00
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoffman71
Well, I am overweight but fairly muscular. Man, spending $600-$800 on just boots seems a little much for me, I was thinking of spending less than that on everything I need but maybe skiing is more expensive than I thought. Any tips on choosing what skis are right for me, like how long they should be, which brands to stick to etc.?
If you're going to limit yourself to that kind of money, consider just sticking with high-performance rentals or demoing every time you go to the hill. You'll spend less money but still ski better equipment.

That's good advice on the boots. Don't get beginner soft boots. They turn the skis no better for a beginner than they do for an expert. GOOD BOOTS ONLY!
post #19 of 20
shoffman71:

As has already been said here, boots should be your biggest priority. You'll need to have a boot that not only fits but is stiff-flexing enough to not be overpowered by your weight.

Do you *have* to have your ski gear before this season ends?

The reason I ask is that spring and summer shop sales (and ebay) are the way to go if you're trying to save money. I know this advice will absolutely enrage any shop owners or employees we have on the board, but if you can try on boots this winter and find a model and size that fits you, just wait a few months. Check with shops or ebay or overstock.com or whatever. Never-used ski gear can be bought for pennies on the dollar if you inform yourself about models/sizes and then buy last year's (or the year before) model.

This industry is*huge* on making tiny little changes in a product, slapping a new coat of paint on it, and then attempting to sell "this" year's model for an enormous retail price. Meanwhile, last year's perfectly excellent models sit gathering dust somewhere.

So my advice would be to figure out what you want to buy while the shops still have some selection and then buy the gear this summer (or on ebay).

Spindrift's suggestion of the Atomic R-EX ski is a good one, by the way. If you can find a near-new pair somewhere, it's a solid ski that will do most anything well. Here's a pair, for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=21243&item=7131892 742&rd=1

The skis might be one increment too long for you at your skill level and the bindings might be set for a smaller boot than you'll wear, but you get the picture.

Good luck both on skis and in the classroom.

Bob
post #20 of 20
This pair might be perfect if the price doesn't go up a whole lot more:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=21243&item=7132975 636&rd=1

Bob
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ski equipment for a big guy