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First ski purchase...ever

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to make my very first ski purchase. I've been skiing since before I remember (my parents say they started me at three, so I'll have to take their word for it) but I've never actually purchased my own skis before. When I was a kid I just skiied on whatever my parents brought home from Snigrab, and for the past couple of years I've been renting. (There are a lot of lost years in there when I was too fat and lazy to ski, too. What was I thinking?). This season I'll get in about 10-12 days, and I've realized that I'm spending more on rentals than what it would cost to actually buy a pair of decent skis.

Are there any good FAQs out there on evaluating and purchasing skis? I understand the length measurements, but the sidecut numbers and core composition don't mean anything to me. My apologies if this is a common question, but I didn't have much luck with the forum search tool.

For those that are curious I'm 5'9", 155lbs. I ski aggressively (but not necessarily elegantly), and prefer to spend most of my time on the ungroomed blacks and double blacks, such as Catherine's and Wildcat Areas at Alta, and High Baldy and the Cirque at Snowbird. I'll even do some hiking if the snow is worth it.

Thanks in advance...
post #2 of 13
Core: helps determine stiffness.
Most people would council avoiding foam core.

sidecut: bigger sidecut= shorter turn radius.

Width: Look at the underfoot width measurement (middle number). Less width= greater edge to edge quickness but worse powder handling and vice versa. The trend these days is fat- especially if you are skiing in a place like alta. Under 75 is narrow (best for racing, carving, bumps), 75-85 is a midfat (compromise- also, many park skis fall in this category). 85-95 is getting in to the fat range. Skis like this will work all mountain, but have enough float to do pretty well in powder. Above 95 is usually a dedicated powder ski although many people ski widths like that on a daily basis.

I would advise looking at something like the volkl karma.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been demoing the Volkl 7/24 Pro most of the season, and I really like them. They're just waaay out of my price range. The only problem I had with them was they didn't have much float in shin deep powder, but that may have been more of an issue with my crappy powder techique.

I also demoed the Salomon Pocket Rocket, and I thought it was too wide. It was pretty unforgiving in the chopped up snow, and very difficult to turn through the bumps. I can see how it would have been fun in a lot of powder, but I just didn't have them on the right day. (There was some powder that day, but it was very skied out and not that deep).

Since I'm stuck down in San Jose there aren't may days left in the season, but I'll have to look for some Karmas to try to demo.
post #4 of 13
Wow you didn't like the PR's. They are awesome skis. I'm 50y/o 5'11" 190lbs and love plowing through the cut up pow in my sons 165cm PR's. I can blast throught the moguls when there is deep pow in them. They are fun in the trees. If they were mine I would have them in 175cm. My son has even trained in the GS course now them. The PR's are great skis.

Sounds to me like you may want to take a few lessons on a softer ski then the PRO. I would think the PR would be a good ski for you, based on where you like to ski.

The B3 may be another ski you should try. Or look at the Dynastar 8800 in 165cm.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Maybe I just had the PRs out on the wrong day...or maybe my technique was just that bad. (That's very likely). Taking a lesson isn't such a bad idea though, I'll have to check out if any are available next time I hit the slopes.
post #6 of 13
Hey Kriz, I am in like your exact same position. 5'9", 135lbs, skiing since childhood and 20 now. Never purchased a pair of skis in my life and hardly know any of the terms =), now I'm looking and plan to buy before this season ends. I'm currently sitting in a hotel room at Crested Butte (few inches of new snow Tueday, nothing today) after a day of demoing some Volkl Supersport 5 Stars. They seem to be very stiff skis (compared to my rental experiences), but it certainly helps on those groomed runs. Bumps and tree skiing is another animal, it's very easy to fall behind and they aren't very forgiving. I might come off sounding too hard as they rock on-piste and *can* handle off-piste, it's more a question of whether the skier can handle them off-piste!

I'm curious how the 724's (particularily the EXPs, but the model line in general too) fare in comparison to the Supersport 5 Stars. I, personally, am looking for one ski to handle all conditions... failing that, one ski to handle groomed/bumps/tree skiing, with less emphasis on powder (simply cause I never seem to be around for it!).

Boots: Lange Comp 100

PS- I have tried the Dynastar Trouble Makers and the Supersports thus far, considering the above, what else should I try? I have 2 days left (meaning 2-4 demos).
post #7 of 13
kris247, welcome to EpicSki!

BTW, do you have your own boots? If so, what do you have? Also, what do you want most from a ski? Have you been on the EXPs? What other skis have you liked or not liked?
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
No, I don't have my own boots - I'm going to have to start from scratch with all my equipment. (Well, I do have a decent Marker coat, but that's about it). I've been renting from two places, and they both gave me Nordica boots - I believe the Easy Move 8 -which I'm pretty neutral about. I've had some very bad luck with boots in the past, so I'm generally pretty happy with anything that doesn't cramp my toes and can be put on without assistance from the Army Core of Engineers.

Apart from what I've demo'ed this season (Volkl 724 PRO, the Pocket Rocket, and some unknown K2s) my last pair of skis were some old Kastles I picked up during my ski team days at Snowbird. They were waaaay too long (I wanna say 200s), but I really don't remember now.

I think I'm leaning more towards a mid-fat ski, as I want something that's good in off-piste conditions, but is still manueverable in the bumps and on groomers. I guess the long and short of it is I don't know what I want...I just want something.
post #9 of 13
kris, I'd like to encourage you to get to a good bootfitter first and foremost. In fact, send a PM to Bud Heishman and go visit him up in Reno. Let him get you into a pair of boots that fit you correctly and get them balanced for your body. From there, go to work on the skis.

I'd also encourage you to play with the range of "liveliness" in skis. For example, I find Fischer and Dynastar to be very lively and energetic. The Atomic Metrons I ski often are lively but solid on the snow ('cause they weigh about 100lbs a pair! : OK, really about 28, but it seems like 100 at the end of the day when I schlep them to the bus ). At the other end of the spectrum are the really damp skis like Volants (especially the older ones).

From my perspective, there is the liveliness, the sidecut, the preference for carving/edgehold, speed management, and so on. The more you can tell us what you like and don't like about the skis you've been on, the more we can help you. FWIW, I'm one that didn't particularly like the 7 24 Pro.
post #10 of 13

Look on ebay

Ebay has some good deals on Volkl skis right now. I don't know if they will have the length you are looking for, but they do have the 7/24 Pro.
post #11 of 13
I agree with SSH, get some good boots from someone who knows what they are doing. Bobo's mogul mouse in Reno is haveing a demo day at Mt. Rose, I think it is March 20th but not sure. You need to sign up ahead of time but would be a good opportunity to try lots of good gear.
Good Luck
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by gobig
I agree with SSH, get some good boots from someone who knows what they are doing. Bobo's mogul mouse in Reno is haveing a demo day at Mt. Rose, I think it is March 20th but not sure. You need to sign up ahead of time but would be a good opportunity to try lots of good gear.
Good Luck
Dang...I would love go up and check out demo day (and Mt. Rose), but I'm already running the Emerald Nuts Across the Bay 12K race that morning. That's what I love about spring: I can go from skiing, to a road race, to the beach, all in the same weekend. Just not on the same day.
post #13 of 13
Granite Chief also has a demo day usually first part of April, the have not set the date. So you might check with them in a week or two, call the shop at Squaw.

With better time mgt you might be able to do all three the same day, but would be a long day!!!
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