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How long do skis last?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello all, newbie here! Hope you don't mind a daft question from a daft European

I know it's a case of "how long is a piece of string" but roughly what is the service life of a pair of skis before they start to deteriorate or cease to perform optimally? I have heard something in the region of 120 days. If that's accurate, then our average 30 days a year gives a service life of about 4 seasons. Obviously it depends on how aggressive you are, your weight, gut feel, how many rocks you hit etc. but a general rule of thumb would be handy. This will be our 4th season on our Salomon Crossmax's (men's/unisex 8 for me, 10 for Mr Eng) so by the indication above, we would need to start thinking about changing for next season

post #2 of 12
Hi Eng Ch,

Welcome to Epic!

It is very difficult to determine how long a ski will last. It would be great if the ski industry provided a L10 life (the value where 10% of production has failed to pass a performance standard) but no standards exist.

I also assume that 120 days for most skis is the norm for most skiers. Considering that dedicated skiers will want something newer and more advanced every 3 or 4 years, a ski is usually replaced before it is beyond its service life.

I also think construction is key. Metal is strong, but can be bent. Foam provides consistency, but is not as durable as wood. Carbon fibre and fiberglass composites are both consistent, strong and durable; but other materials are also needed to meet performance objectives.

My personal preference is for a wood or composite core with carbonfibre and titanium. I will avoid cheaper foam core and cap construction, although there are many skis that use this construction that are durable and perform very well.

Hope that helps,

post #3 of 12
Metal/wood core sandwich construction skis are typically the most durable, as are wood/metal torsion box skis (like old volkls).
post #4 of 12
Skis last longer than I want to ski them.
post #5 of 12
Really it depends on how you are skiing, how the skis werd made, and what construction the skis use. My hand made race stock skis usually dont last more than two seasons (which is why I replace them after one). I find that consumer model skis tend to last longer than very high performance race skis, just because the consumer skis are put through less abuse, and are not built to such a high performance level. I think of it as older Formula 1 rules, that allowed engine to be rebuilt during the course of the race weekend... this allowed for engines to be built for hgiher performance, but they wouldn't last long at all... this holds true to race stock skis. Consumer skis - while they may be high performance they are built to last longer. I find this is usually about 100 days (2 seasons on snow).
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
So bearing in mind we're embarking on our 6th season total, obviously improving all the time, and benefiting from living 30 mins from the slopes, (the step up to the Crossmax improved our skiing enormously since our technique had evidently outstripped our old beginners' skis), then looking around now to see what's out there with a view to possibly changing either mid-season this year or beginning of next season - you don't think I'm barking up the wrong tree?
post #7 of 12
Hi Eng,

Beyond the mechanical durability of the ski is another, more important issue; performance.

Today's skis are both higher-performing and easier-to-use than models made 6 years ago. The shaped ski is now a mature and fully developed design for every type of skier.

Considering the investment required to ski, lift tickets, resort meals, transportation and other normal costs; it makes sense to have quality equipment.

I would consider new gear soon. A good place to start your search for new gear is to review the FAQ thread at the top of this forum.


post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Barrett, been there done that

Just to clarify, this is our 6th season total - but will be the Crossmax's 4th, they'll be 02-03 model if I remember rightly. Having been doing some reading the last few days, it does sound like there's been another technical step forward since then. It'll be an interesting exercise at least since a) I at any rate have thus far only skied on Salomons and b) (just to make some of you green with envy), our local ski shop is in fact a Stoeckli one as is the hire shop at our local resort. They may not be our cup of tea, of course, but it would be daft not to at least try them
post #9 of 12
I reckon they last until you start to feel that they aren't doing it for you and it's time for something with more go. My beloved old stockli midfats lasted for years, with 2 seasons of teaching each year. But this year, I felt that I needed something with more zap and life. Before that, I was content with them.
post #10 of 12
What I've read is an average of 110 days for typical wood core skis. Maybe half that for foam core skis? What about skis with two layers of stainless and a wood core? would they last 200? is 300 possible if you avoided tight turns and moguls?
post #11 of 12
I used to say 100 days, but that was back when I had a "real" job. Now that I am barely employed, I find skis last longer.
post #12 of 12
The more you read epic, the quicker you will find it necessary to replace skis, or add another pair to the quiver!
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