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How many days do you think a ski is good for?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I used to say that after 100 days of skiing, you need new skis. Now that I am underpaid and broke since I quit my "real job" to ski, I'd like to know how valid this is since money is hard to come by. Any opinions on how many days a ski is good for?
post #2 of 32
Depends on the ski. Foam core with no metal will probably last a lot less than 100 days. Wood core with metal sheets should last more than 100. It depends on the build. For me a ski is finished when there's no camber left....
post #3 of 32
One of the evergreens in all ski forums of the world...

Sibhusky, as you know and can imagine yourself, it depends on so many factors that to answer such a question generally is almost impossible.

Just take an extreme example of a 250lbs. guy on cheap planks mostly in bumps vs. a 130lbs. woman on groomers using upper-level sandwich skis.

A timid intermediate vs. an aggressive expert.

Further, what is "a day"? A very vague unit.

On groomers a high-quality ski should stay good for more than 100 "days", its flex gradually becoming softer (which is not necessarily bad, might be even beneficial), and a bigger problem becoming the vanishing edge material.

You will probably hear some incredible stories of long-lasting veteran skis as well as about Pranger & Co. destroying several pairs/week, at least in slalom.

Btw, "underpaid... since I quit my "real job" to ski": welcome to the club!
With the current gas prices here ($ 5/gal), and still raising, I´m considering which bank would be the easiest to rob...
post #4 of 32
What checkracer said ^. I know kids who have gone through I pair of slaloms a week (esp volkls), delaming them at the tips. On the other hand, my uncle, who doesn't get to ski that much anymore, uses a pair of volkl p9 slaloms that he has had forever, and used everywhere, FAST.
post #5 of 32
I get bored with a ski before it runs out of life.
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
I know kids who have gone through I pair of slaloms a week (esp volkls), delaming them at the tips.
That´s eactly what a guy here told me. He needed skis for his son and somehow managed to get to a Volkl racing ski test. His still fairly small and light kid delamed three pairs on two days. It´s extreme because it´s slalom and gates but a non-sponsored racer can´t afford skis like that. Pranger & Co. accompanied by a truck full of skis is a different story.
I´m already off-topic now. Otoh, haven´t I foresaid such stories?
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
I'm not racing, they are K2 XP's and the usage is 2,386,722 vertical feet (for real). They are not delaminated.
post #8 of 32
Apply this equation to your current situation:

Life of ski =
(length of time owned + cost of acquisition + any bragging you did on how great the ski is) +
(any money acquired in the sale of old ski - hassle from spouse/parent significant other on the purchase of a new ski) -
(strength of lust for replacement ski + cost of acquisition + strength of social pressure to get off the old gear + any potential bragging rights on the hot new ski + every run you've turned away from on old skis because you doubted your ability/were tired/decided it was too late in the day)
post #9 of 32
This is not a bad question if it might be slightly rephrased. Because all of you are right that the number of ski days 'depends', it might be useful to ask:

"what do you look at in a pair of skis to determine if they are no longer useful?"

Is it when the edge material is less than... or when patches on the base no longer hold... or the camber, how do you tell if the camber is shot? Is it when you put the skis together there's no space between them at the bindings? I don't know the answer, but it might be helpful for some of us to gain ammunition for the purchase of a new pair ;-).
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Yeah, as I recall, these didn't have all that much camber when I got them. The edges are fine -- they've only been used in the West, so they don't need to be sharpened that much. And any base repairs have been in the minor irritation category, not the major repair category. Basically, I need to know when the "life" is shot. After all, I ski them every day so it kind of sneaks up on you.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
I'm not racing, they are K2 XP's and the usage is 2,386,722 vertical feet (for real). They are not delaminated.
Here's the only way I could give you an answer (and I'm really trying hard to resist asking how you know how many vertical are one them ):

2,386,722 vertical feet divided by 4,139 vertical feet (the vertical rise of the Jackson Hole tram) equals 577 rides on the tram.

577 rides divided by an average pretty hard day of 8 tram rides per day equals 72 "days". When I skied K2's a lot, admittedly many years ago, I felt they got *better* until they had about 100 "days" on them and then the guts gradually started to go and by 150 "days" they were pretty much shot.

I'd say they still have another million vertical feet in them unless you slam moguls or jump a lot.

How's that?
post #12 of 32

oooooouch! ..

Be careful regarding camber. I have had a few Stockli's come through (new) and almost flat. They have almost no visible camber and they ski just fine.

Foam Rossi SL's went flat after about 60 days.

Gonna bang gates? Get some of that foam Reliable Racing sells, there were a lot of Volkl guys with the "weather stripping" (foam), a few years back.
post #13 of 32
Very dependent on definition of gone. My Elan SLXs have ~100 days on them (I average 25,000 per day). Bottoms are in good shape, are sharp and always waxed. They don't grip like they use to, no good on ice, not enjoyable on eastern hardpack (where they use to be amazing), but my brother who prefers groomers loves them. With his technique he would have hated them when new, they are more forgiving now.

For me they work on certain days but my newer skis work better in a wider envelop of conditions so I don't use them much anymore.

I think eastern skis will notice a loss of torsion rigidity, while western skiers can get more days out of the ski and use it until its lost its longitudinal rigidity (og course this is just conjecture.
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
Here's the only way I could give you an answer (and I'm really trying hard to resist asking how you know how many vertical are one them ):

2,386,722 vertical feet divided by 4,139 vertical feet (the vertical rise of the Jackson Hole tram) equals 577 rides on the tram.

577 rides divided by an average pretty hard day of 8 tram rides per day equals 72 "days". When I skied K2's a lot, admittedly many years ago, I felt they got *better* until they had about 100 "days" on them and then the guts gradually started to go and by 150 "days" they were pretty much shot.

I'd say they still have another million vertical feet in them unless you slam moguls or jump a lot.

How's that?
I have a Vertech watch and when it's in for repair, I record which lifts I rode and how many and use the resort's info on vertical rise for the lift. I have stats going back about 15 years (okay, I'm nuts, but it's a goal each year). So, a million should get me to late season sales, that's good to know. Although I am bidding on some skis on Ebay, but I always wimp out as we get closer to $500....
post #15 of 32
Hummm........................

First off if you cant tell from skiing the ski, then most likely you dont need new skis, even if your ski was done. I.E. if your not a good enough of a skier to tell from the skis feal on snow why waist the $$ on new skis if you cant tell anyways.

Secondly buying new skis soley based upon the number of days on a ski has to be one of the dumbest things that I have ever heard. There are just way to many factors invovled, I.E. Ski construction, Skier weight, Skier style, Skier ability, Ski type, Snow condiitons, and how hard you ski on any given day. The ski is done when it nolonger feals lively, and when the flex patern has significantly changed. Camber can be a sign, but in some skis, I.E. any fat ski, a lack of camber is actual an plus for skiing powder.
post #16 of 32
For me, skis mellow as they get used. A lively ski will slowly get duller with mileage. Stiff skis become softer. And cap skis seem to fade the quickest.

You have K2 skis, which are usually damp to start with. If you prefer that kind of a mellow ride, keep skiing with them until you are dissatisfied. If you haven't tried other skis in some time, you might be amazed how lively skis can be. So, it all comes down what kind of a ski experience you want.
post #17 of 32
It's kind of like taking a new car for a test drive; you don't realize how sloppy your old bomb has become until you compare it with something new.
I would say if when you compare it to a suitable demo, you don't find that it is letting go when you want it to hold, unable to deliver the kind of force to the ends that you want it to or flopping up and down at the tips at speed over bumps, then it's probably still good. My old antique Kästles with two steel layers and wood core still have lots of rigidity, and are just now starting to get a little floppier (it's all relative) at the very front when abused (they still withstand those dynamic forces better than I do).
post #18 of 32
Assume the "typical skier" skis 7-10 days a season. Assume also that the "typical skier" sticks mostly to groomed runs and once in a while ventures down aa mogul run. Finally, assume that the skis have suffered no permanent damage due to encounters with large rocks, trees or other skiers and have otherwise been reasonably maintained. Under these conditions I suspect that even a injected foam core ski will likely last at 3-5 seasons. By that time, it's likely due to be replaced anyway owing to improvements in the skier or ski technology.

Beyond those factors, a whole lot of other variables come into play as others have pointed out. It's sort of like "depending on driving conditions your actual milage may vary." And as with cars, some ski constructions are more durable than others.
post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
I plan to demo at the beginning of the season, but was hoping to pick up some of the 04/05 leftover Recons on Ebay, negating the point of a demo. If I can't do this, I will demo the Recons and a couple of others. I guess if I "fall in love" then it must mean my XP's are shot.

But in reference to mtbakerskier's comments, I think if you ski on a ski day after day you are adjusting your style a bit as the ski ages, so of course you aren't going to notice it unless someone slaps an unused pair of the identical ski in your way half way down a trail. Between snow, weather, and condition changes and my own advancing fitness throughout the season or mood changes, I don't see how I could suddenly decide one day WHAM these skis have had it. Especially if they are just on the VERGE of being shot, which I suspect is the case just based on how much I've skied on them. I mean if you suddenly have this sense that WOW, are these skis shot, I think it would mean they've been shot for sometime it just took you a while to realize it.
post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
Assume the "typical skier" skis 7-10 days a season. Assume also that the "typical skier" sticks mostly to groomed runs and once in a while ventures down aa mogul run. Finally, assume that the skis have suffered no permanent damage due to encounters with large rocks, trees or other skiers and have otherwise been reasonably maintained. Under these conditions I suspect that even a injected foam core ski will likely last at 3-5 seasons. By that time, it's likely due to be replaced anyway owing to improvements in the skier or ski technology.
Given the above assumptions, which is at BEST 50 (10 times 5) days, I would have had to ditch these before the end of their first season. The typical skier also only gets in 15,000 feet a day (750,000 over 50 days). Which means I would be on at least my third set of new skis by now. Hence, the reason I brought this all up.

Now, before all the hotshots on the board tell me they get in more than 15k a day, let's remember that Lostboy is talking about "typical" skiers, not the people who participate on this board. I think 15k may even be overstating it.
post #21 of 32
Treat your skis like women - love them, have fun with them, but as soon as something better comes along, dump them...
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
Given the above assumptions, which is at BEST 50 (10 times 5) days, I would have had to ditch these before the end of their first season. The typical skier also only gets in 15,000 feet a day (750,000 over 50 days). Which means I would be on at least my third set of new skis by now. Hence, the reason I brought this all up.

Now, before all the hotshots on the board tell me they get in more than 15k a day, let's remember that Lostboy is talking about "typical" skiers, not the people who participate on this board. I think 15k may even be overstating it.
That's why its so difficult to provide a good answer. Injected foam core skis are, I believe, the least durable construction usually reserved for the low end of a ski line as opposed to milled blanks or wood cores. However, if you huck cliffs a lot or are a mogul fanatic even a wood core ski like your K2's will not last long relative to what they would if used mainly on groomed runs.

100+ days is a figure often cited as an average for wood core skis but again its highly dependent on their use. Others here may be able to refine the answer better. However, I would suggest that one measure would be that if a ski with otherwise sharp edges and a flat base can no longer hold an edge well on hardpack where it could easily before, it is time for new skis. The existing pair may still work well in softer snow though.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of quatum changes between last season and this one in a lot of ski manufacturers lines. So, if you think your skis are near the end of their useful life, it may be a good time to buy a pair of last season's skis at 40-60% off as you are considering doing. Just swap out your bindings, if you can find a flat as opposed to "system" ski.
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well, I just picked up (I hope) a pair of 2006 Recons on Ebay for $450 plus shipping. Will move some bindings from another pair onto them and hope I love them as much as my XP's.
post #24 of 32
nice choice, get some new bindings too huh? enjoy.
post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
The "old" bindings aren't that old and if I wanted new ones I'd have bid on the integrated skis instead of the flat ones. Broke person here.
post #26 of 32
Congatulations.
It just occured to me that another formula for determining the useful life of a ski is that they are shot when you want/can afford to buy new ones.
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 
I'm strong-arming my husband into paying for these as a Christmas present. Otherwise, it would be 2007 and another 3 million vertical feet on the current ones.
post #28 of 32
I log about 40-50 days a year @ 6K/hr.: Skis usually last 3-4 seasons before retirement. A wide stance helps to keep that new ski look.
post #29 of 32
It's sort of the same question as how long does a car last. For some people it lasts until something else catches their fancy (hopefully around the time the lease on the first is up) and for others it lasts until it falls apart. For me the equation was based on how much per skiing day I'm willing to spend on the skis (sort of like the depreciation of an asset). I figured I was willing to allow myself $15-20/ski day for the ski cost (approx 33% of the lift ticket) so based on last year we were able to ski 20 days so In my mind I've accumulated $400 in cost towards new skis in terms of use. This means I could buy a new pair at the end of one season at 50-60% off or wait until the accumulated amount equals a new pair a normal cost. The more I'm willing to allow per day for the cost of the skis, the sooner they can be replaced.
post #30 of 32
I think most skis loosen up after only a few days, therefore losing their "wow" factor. For most skiers, this makes them better.

I can think of very few skis I've "worn out" so to speak. Most of those ran out of edge to tune before I stopped enjoying skiing on them. Lots of other skis have been replaced by something far better with only a couple dozen days of use. The rest have met untimely deaths due to rock, user error, or "material defect."
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