EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › When buying used skis, what signs of wear and tear do you look for?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

When buying used skis, what signs of wear and tear do you look for?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
To everyone,

When buying used skis, what signs of wear and tear do you look for?
How do you determine how much life is left in a ski?

What are the signs of a heavily used ski?
What are the signs that say the skis were not used very much?

What is the worst kind of wear to see on a ski?

Thanks everyone,
Your help is greatly appreciated
post #2 of 16
Hey, froto25!

Look at the thickness of the edges (both directions) to see how much of them have been removed by filing or grinding. Look for patches in the base. Check to see if the base has been kept waxed or if it has dried out.

That primarily what I can think to check.
post #3 of 16
You should look for how much edge is left. Also, flex the ski to see if both skis flex in the same manner. Obviously, examine the ski for cracks in the edge and sidewall. Other than that, you cannot really determine much other than by how much the seller claims to have used the ski. Usually skis have a life of about 50 days...
post #4 of 16
Damage to the ptex and edges of course, how much edge is left as mentioned (was a lot of base and edge material removed to restore a smooth surface)? Check for bent ski by placing skis next to each other on a flat surface. Do they have the same camber? If one is flatter, something bad happened to it.
post #5 of 16
Checking the thickness of the edges seems like a good idea if you know what the original thickness was. Is it the same on all skis? If so how thick? The ptex base can only be ground so many times but how many? Is there a way to measure the base thickness and determine how much will come off on subsequent grinds?and how much is left.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkevenson
Checking the thickness of the edges seems like a good idea if you know what the original thickness was. Is it the same on all skis? If so how thick? The ptex base can only be ground so many times but how many? Is there a way to measure the base thickness and determine how much will come off on subsequent grinds?and how much is left.
It's really an eyeball thing...go check out new skis to give yourself a point of reference. If it's too thin, you'll know.

Also, I'm going to say that the condition of the ptex base is not that important. Just make sure all core shots have been patched or ptexed, but you will not notice it when you are skiing. If there is ptex damage next to the edge, that is a good place to examine the ski for edge and sidewall damage.

Keep in mind that rusty or burred edges, as well as minor scratches, will dissappear with a pass on the machine.

I would say that, other than the obvious, what is most important is who used it first, and for how long.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkevenson
Checking the thickness of the edges seems like a good idea if you know what the original thickness was. Is it the same on all skis? If so how thick? The ptex base can only be ground so many times but how many? Is there a way to measure the base thickness and determine how much will come off on subsequent grinds?and how much is left.
Check the edge up at the shovel where a grinder will never touch it. Compare that to the edge thickness in both directions under the foot.

Also take the skis bases together and press the camber out. Make sure contact remains all the way up the skis to the shovel.

You can press the ski between the bindings while you hold the tip with the tail pressed into the floor. Judge how much 'spring' there is in the ski when you release this pressure. This isn't much use unless you can compare it to something either compare it to a new ski or past experience.
post #8 of 16
I see lots of discussion about the ski, but what about the binding? Is there anything in particular we should be on the lookout for?
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colossus178
I see lots of discussion about the ski, but what about the binding? Is there anything in particular we should be on the lookout for?
Just the obvious...make sure friction pads are there, and that brakes all work, and that nothing is noticeably damaged. However, some binding parts can be replaced, and the deal may still be worth it.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
So far, everyone’s replies have been very informative and instructive, thank you.

Comparing the used ski to a new one seems the most ideal. Lacking a new ski to compare with, L7’s suggestion of, “Check the edge up at the shovel where a grinder will never touch it. Compare that to the edge thickness in both directions under the foot.”, has effectively revealed edge and base ware and tear. Thanks L7.

Ssh (or anyone else that knows), the texture pattern in the ptex looks like it is the factory's pattern, just dulled a bit when compared with the shovel’s ptex. Can grinding the base cause this dulling appearance or will grinding the base completely change the pattern in the base’s ptex?

D(C), where did you get that 50 day life span for a pair of skis? What is it based on? What happens to the ski after 50 days that makes them not longer fit for skiing?

Comparing the skis for similar camber, flex and proper shape seems even trickier than checking ptex and edge ware.. thanks for the pointers L7, telerod15 and d(c).

The skis were used by a racer, 160-170 lbs. They have a few large of scuff marks on the top and on one binding. He has about 10 skis every year so these were not his only pair.

My ski shop said they were a good deal, but they definitely look used. D(c)’s 50 day ski life really has me wondering if I should get them.
post #11 of 16
50 day life is a huge generalization. Some skis can go much longer, especially if they are not skied in bumps or by a large person. I can't imagine my wife wearing out a pair of skis as she skis slowly and cautiously. Some brands- I will make no claims for which- seem to hold up better. Years ago I was told that Volkl's wood cores were carved to the shape of the ski, so they held their shape/camber well. The same person told me brand K used wood cores with no camber and the camber was created in the mold. The implication was that the latter skis would return to their camberless shape with age, used or not. This person's advice correlated with my experience, but ski design and companies have changed much since the late 80's when I was given this information by an industry insider.

I will add that I have a pair of the original Volant PowerKarves with well over 50 days, and at least 8 years old. I have not noticed deteroriation in performance. (Early Volants didn't have any camber to start with, so that isn't an issue ).

Anyone else seen significant differences in the life of different brands? LewBob

PS My experience with worn out skis is that they lose life, edge grip, and stability. Fiberglass skis were especially susceptable to softening up, torsionally and longitudinally with use. Then they became powder skis or were used in soft bumps. The original Rossi Strato is an example. They were great on hard snow but too stiff for powder when new. As they broke down they became much better in soft snow.
post #12 of 16
Bent skis are the biggest rip-off when buying used skis. Detecting the bend is hard especially if the ski has been bent back but they will never function properly. Be sure to place both skis on the floor and step on them in the middle then check to see that they both have the same areas toucing the floor.
post #13 of 16

Overall Condition

All I buy are used skis from ski swaps and have rarely been disappointed. It's been well over ten years since I've bought new. If you look at the topskin and bases for general scratches and gouges you can get an idea of what kind of skier the owner was. I always check for camber. Never have conciously checked for a bent ski but my other checks would catch that, me thinks, or I've been dumb lucky...
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C)
Usually skis have a life of about 50 days...
: Please! Please! Say it ain't so!!
Maybe that's why my Kästles double-flop a bit more now when I hit a good bump at 60mph.
post #15 of 16
If it is possible the best way to buy used skis is to bring somebody along who knows the stuff and what to look after.

As probably most of us experienced skiers I also did such a service for some friends of mine and find it much more simple and effective than trying to explain them what, when, if, why, etc.

If the buyer knows exactly which ski he wants, okay.
If he does not and only decides according to what he sees and/or there is in stock the general advice (type, length, sidecut, radius, etc.) is essential.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmthmtskier
All I buy are used skis from ski swaps and have rarely been disappointed. It's been well over ten years since I've bought new. If you look at the topskin and bases for general scratches and gouges you can get an idea of what kind of skier the owner was. I always check for camber. Never have conciously checked for a bent ski but my other checks would catch that, me thinks, or I've been dumb lucky...
A man/woman after my own heart. It's been about 12 yrs since I've bought new and I outfit a family of six from swaps. May not apply to original poster since he's looking to buy a ski used by a racer, but for those shopping swaps and looking to buy recreational model skis - common sense applies. You probably have a winning ski if they look nearly new with no significant damage to edges, bottoms, and few if any scratches on top. Amazing how many "new-like" shaped skis I see at swaps in recent years for ~$100.
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 › When buying used skis, what signs of wear and tear do you look for?