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would you buy a ski without trying it out first? - Page 2

post #31 of 104
I am a great believer in demo'ing skis. I've spent a whole week doing that once in Aspen because demo'ing wasn't a real option where I used to live. I naturally also had to spend a lot of time looking for "east coast" conditions while I was doing that, because Colorado powder is not a good way to simulate Camelback hard pack.

After that, my next skis were the result of skiing with a shop owner. (Always the cheapest way to demo.) He'd bring me skis to buy and when I liked a pair...well, frankly he gave them to me.

Then I moved out west, discovered my Rossi Vipers weren't the right ski for any day where there was powder on the slopes and hit the demo days at the bottom of the mountain in the early season pretty hard. Wound up with the best pair of skis I've ever owned -- the K2 Axis XP's.

But just last month I bought skis on Ebay -- not sure if this counts as demo'd or not as I bought the K2 Apache Recons based on my love of the XP's. Maybe it just means I spent two years demo'ing them?
post #32 of 104
The last time I did the demo route I rented skis for two years because I couldn't make up my mind. Yesterday I bought the most expensive setup of my life without demoing. I picked up a pair of Stockli DP's with Salomon ti 912s. They cost more than my first three cars combined. I bought them from a trusted source here at Squaw - someone who knows how I ski and who has never steered me in the wrong direction. There are only two pairs of these in 174, so demoing wasn't an option. Guess I'll find out soon.

By the way, as of late today it finally started to spit some snow out here. Nearly a millimeter of the fine stuff in the last hour. O to be transported back to the 04-05 season.
post #33 of 104
I didn't read any of the posts here, but plan to go back and read them all.

I have yet to demo a pair of skis....EVER !

I go entirely on specs.
post #34 of 104
Interesting how everytime when a newby asks for a ski advise everybody screams: "Demo it first! It is a must".

Just an observation.....

Cheers.
post #35 of 104
I've never bought a pair of skis I've demoed. I've never demoed any of my skis before I bought them.

I've bought boots without trying on the exact model on several occasions. I've skied boots without having any fitting done to them.



I'm a terrible gear geek.
post #36 of 104
Dynastar Carve 63
Dynastar Course 64
Dynastar Omeglass 64
Dynastar Omeglass 63
Dynastar WC SL

All were purchased sight unseen, much less me having tried them. Nary a regret, either.
post #37 of 104
The 3 pair before the last ones, I bought without demoing. The volkl P50 platinum, Rossi 9s oversize, Rossi B1 Bandit. Love-um all. I find that unless the demo skis are brand new (never been used) the tune job is so bad that they are either dangerous or don't perform properly, so demoing doesn't always give me a good feel for the ski.

RW
post #38 of 104
Yes.
post #39 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfr
Interesting how everytime when a newby asks for a ski advise everybody screams: "Demo it first! It is a must".

Just an observation.....

Cheers.
Listen to what we say, not what we do
post #40 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Listen to what we say, not what we do
I listened to what a bunch of people here said (as well as Keelty's reviews) and bought some Atomic SL9's last fall with no prior demo. Had a great season with them, absolutely zero regrets, tons o' fun.
post #41 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierra
O to be transported back to the 04-05 season.
Aaaaakkkk!!!!!! NOoooooo! Don't even THINK it!
post #42 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by stryder
Just curious if anyone has ever done this.
It sounds weird saying it but I've never once demoed a ski before buying it. I've been on virtually the same ski now for about 7 years (Volkl G30, G31, G3). I've had multiple pairs of each since I move to a new pair each spring. But this year I'm down to my last pair of G3s so I'll be moving on this spring to something new. And I will be demoing this time around, maybe.

Steve
post #43 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune
Aaaaakkkk!!!!!! NOoooooo! Don't even THINK it!
Oops - sorry, I was being Tahoe-centric. I hope the Northwest gets buried in the good stuff this year.
post #44 of 104
I demo a lot of skis, but have still occasionally bought a ski I haven't tried based on friends recommendations, etc. If you've both tried enough skis to know what you like and you know how the person giving the review skis and what they like, you can often get a decent picture.

I didn't get to try my Phat Luvs before buying them 2 years ago and I just bought a second pair for touring. And I didn't try my Big Stix 106, but at the time they were one of the fattest skis you could find and I got a great deal on them, so I bought them. And honestly the problems I've had with them were not with how they ski, but with durability, which I likey wouldn't have discovered by demoing anyway.

My general rule is that I'll buy something without trying it if it's a good enough deal and I think I can resell it if it doesn't work out for me. Plus I'm generally just adding to the quiver of skis, so if it doesn't work for it's intended purpose, I have other skis that can fill in until I find something better. I think I'd be a lot more cautious if I had a one ski quiver.
post #45 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Listen to what we say, not what we do
Heh. That's true. If you just took the reviews of people you don't know as guidance, how would you compare that to what you like or how you ski? (See all the threads on "what is an expert?")

But if you're comparing notes with people you actually ski with... it makes a lot more sense. So for a newbie to take the recommendations of people they've never met wouldn't really be adviseable. But for someone to take the recommendations of people who know them and their skiing style isn't such a risk.
post #46 of 104
I've had opposite experiences with some friends... They have limited experience, base recommendations for mutual friends on what they've heard about skis, and manage to "sell" folks into those skis.

With so many skis getting better all the time, it'd be difficult to go wrong. But, I have to believe that trying a number of skis has to give you a better idea of the better options for you.

But, as a guy who's demoed 30-something different skis over the past 3 years, what would you expect me to say?
post #47 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
I don't think I have demoed a ski that I have purchased in several years.
Yeah...I do what he does, too.
post #48 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
I guess I'm wondering what you mean by 'bio-mechanics' in this context?
When you look around the hill, or race course, you'll see a lot of good skiers. But, they all look different over their skis (ie. Bode vs. Herman Maier).

Some people (usually not racers) ski with a traditional "stand-up" style, others, like me, tend to be hunched over their skis with arms forward.

I ski Metron B:5's, which I consider the most remarkable ski I've clicked into. But, others on this forum have concluded that the B:5's, while noteworthy, aren't for them.

Everyone has preferences based upon what integrates best with their style and technique (angulation, fore-aft position, crouch, etc.).

That's what I was referrring to by "bio-mechanics".
post #49 of 104
If you watch the really good instructors and racers out on the slopes, they can ski any ski well. I've found the same thing in my buying experience. If you pick up a ski that ,acording to the reviews, is a good ski, you can learn to ski it well in an hour or so. It may not be your favorite, but you'll do fine.

Many hundreds of hour go into the development of new high end skis. All of the folks testing and demoing the beta samples are just like us. All have favorite skiing styles and flex rate on skis.

I've bought most of my skis with out demoing. I've only had one that turned out not to my likeing. Reading the reviews I should have known. I do trust the reviews now.s

Buy a pair a year and you'll eventually find some skis you like.

Matt
post #50 of 104

Sure I would and I have.

In my long life I have demo'd at least a hundred skiis and owned about 50 including x-c. I still have the only one I demo'd and bought on pro form 18 years ago. If you are a versatile skier, no ski will disappoint you.
post #51 of 104
I've demo'd skis, but I've never bought a ski that I've tried.

I trust my salesman, and he knows how I like to ski and what I'm looking for in a ski. I've been happy with everything he's given me so far... When the local resort has demo days, whatever the rep tells me I want is never as good as whatever the guy at my shop told me I'd like.

After I move away, I might rely more on demo's to pick a ski.
post #52 of 104
Although I usually demo skis before buying I have bought a number of skis over the years without a demo. Only one or two have been disappointments and they were not that bad.

Made buying decisions after talking to reps, others who have skied them, and chose a manufacturer whose skis I generally like.

Always had 2-5 pair of skis so if I made a mistake it was no big deal and I got rid of them but that rarely happened.

The last ski I bought without demoing was a Volkl G31. Had the Crossrangers and skied them longer and sold the G31s.
post #53 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
Some people (usually not racers) ski with a traditional "stand-up" style, others, like me, tend to be hunched over their skis with arms forward.
Yeah, that's me too, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
Some Everyone has preferences based upon what integrates best with their style and technique (angulation, fore-aft position, crouch, etc.).
Interesting, I always thought fo that as truly a style preference, not a mechanics issue per se, but that does make sense - e.g. a given skier might be happier w/ a wider or skinnier ski based on angulation. But would you say that for a given *style* of ski that this would or wouldn't apply? e.g. take SL skis of roughly similar geometry and flex and mounting point. Would you expect those to behave differently *bio-mechanically*?
post #54 of 104
I would demo. I've learned more about skis I didn't particularly like than the ones I loved while demo-ing, but it has definitely saved me som $$.

Back in 1999 I went to Snowbird with my Lacroix Mach SL (207cm) in hand. No powder that week. I decided to see if those new-fangled parabolic skis were worth it. I had rented a pair of K2 Merlin 5's at Taos the previous spring and liked them OK, but the rental boots kept me from getting a decent opinion. I thought for sure I wanted the Atomics that the Herman-ator was skiing. They had them at the mid-mtn demo shop and I tried them. Holy crap! They were awesome for racing. Unfortunately, I hadn't raced in 19 years. I tried several other skis and fell in love with the Merlin VI. Bought em that spring and loved em for a couple of years.

Then, I was going to Europe in 2002 and decided to get in on the mid-fat rage. No demo. Bought the Atomic B-Ride 11.20 based on ski mag reviews. I liked them OK, but never loved them. I still skied on my Merlin 6's off and on. Still have the BR 11.20's but they just don't have it for the usual central NY ski conditions.

Last January, we had a demo day. I was thinking GS Race Carvers, but had an open mind. I had heard lots about those Metron things and was sure that they were it. Hated them . Fell in love with the RC4 GS RC and bought them .

Bottom line is demo. Saves you from buying a pair of skis that don't fit your style. Although some have stated that a decent skier can adapt (I agree), my question is why would you? I once had a car dealer ask me why I cared about the color of the car I was buying (they didn't have my choice on the lot)...my comment was if I'm plunking down a significant chunk of change, I'm going to get exactly what I want.
post #55 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Listen to what we say, not what we do
Dont know, dont know.... In my opinion, demo is a marketing trick (even though I would demo on ocasion for a right price or even better for free ).

Beginner thru intermediate skier won't be able to tell anything about a ski, demoing it for a day, except may be how cool graphics and look are. These folks just do not have enough experience for an educated judjement. "I like it" or "I do not like it" will be based on indescribeable feeling of a particular run performance - most of the skiers know what I'm talking about, it is when you say to yourself "It was my best (or worst) performance!" even thought it was your average run for a third party observer.

Experts are able to process a lot of information from reviews, forums, friends, manufacturing suggestions and general manufacturer reputation to nail down a pair or two from an offered pool of models to pick a pair for themselves without demoing.

Also, experts will be able to enjoy any ski from certain level of ski performance - all will come to a little personal preferrences, which in my opinion is very difficult to assess using a pair in particular conditions for a day - again it will be "general feeling". Note that I'm talking about "high performance" skis here.

I think an average expert (and who knows what the hell it is ) needs at least a week in various conditions to build a skis resume.

And not to forget personal favoritism skew - we all know how certain individuals here will tend to tell us how Metrons or Volants are the best ever things produced (nothing personal, nothing personal.... ).

Bottom line, my strategy is: "Demo is luxury and not a must. Do it if you have an opportunity, time and money."

Cheers.
post #56 of 104
I was attracted to the Metron series after reading all the reviews on this site last year -- from reading, it "looked" as if the Metron 10 would be the ski for me, and the comments about the B5 scared me. Turns out that I loved the B5, hated the M10 and was not too crazy about the M:EX. I also demoed the Apache recon based on someone elses suggestion. I liked the Recon nearly as much as the B5, but I could buy the Recon for $300 less. I started watching my friends when they tried different skis -- I found that I could tell within 2-3 turns whether they liked the ski or not. Another benefit for my friends and I when we demo is that we are similar sizes body-wise with identical size shell -- so we can each demo a ski and swap back and forth over the course of a run.
post #57 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfr
Experts are able to process a lot of information from reviews, forums, friends, manufacturing suggestions and general manufacturer reputation to nail down a pair or two from an offered pool of models to pick a pair for themselves without demoing.

Also, experts will be able to enjoy any ski from certain level of ski performance - all will come to a little personal preferrences, which in my opinion is very difficult to assess using a pair in particular conditions for a day - again it will be "general feeling". Note that I'm talking about "high performance" skis here.

I think an average expert (and who knows what the hell it is ) needs at least a week in various conditions to build a skis resume.
Well, I have hated skis that I thought I'd really like based on information from reviews, forums, friends, etc.

I have been able to pick favorite skis from a raft of demos within a couple of runs over the past two seasons, and proven the choice over the course of the seasons after having bought them.

I do agree that demo conditions can limit what one can discover, but some days (like the 19th of November, 2005 at Loveland) offer fantastic conditions for finding out how skis perform in virtually any situation. The only remaining variables are the tune and the demo bindings. While I can't tell you everything about the various skis that I tried, I can certainly give you an overall personality profile for any of them.
post #58 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbinder
.......I started watching my friends when they tried different skis -- I found that I could tell within 2-3 turns whether they liked the ski or not. ......
Not to forget that we all need to "adjust to a ski". It's like a car. Also, people tend to like the ski that is "forgiving", or in other words masks the flaws in their technique.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
.......Well, I have hated skis that I thought I'd really like based on information from reviews, forums, friends, etc.

I have been able to pick favorite skis from a raft of demos within a couple of runs over the past two seasons, and proven the choice over the course of the seasons after having bough them.
......
No doubt - it can happen and happens. The question, maybe rather phylosophical - would've you liked skis in a long range when you did not like them demoing? Again, I'm talking about high performance, same type of skis.

Last season I had great opportunity to demo a lot of boards. Within the same type - ALL were good. With their own personality though, which is manageable once you know it and use to your advantage.

Of coarse, one can say: "Why to adjust? This is why you demo to find the one that is closed to your style etc, ect.... " . And will be right .

I'd still stuck with: "Demo is luxury and not a must. Do it if you have an opportunity, time and money."

Cheers.

PS. On the second thought demo is probably needed when in doubt about the lenght.
post #59 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfr
No doubt - it can happen and happens. The question, maybe rather phylosophical - would've you liked skis in a long range when you did not like them demoing? Again, I'm talking about high performance, same type of skis.

...

PS. On the second thought demo is probably needed when in doubt about the lenght.
In my case, I would have really disliked them, although I would also not have known how good some of the skis out there could be. The ski I'm thinking about was a Head with the chip, which I found to make the ski completely dead at the speeds that I typically ski. It took all the joy out of it for me. I would definitely have enjoyed skiing less as a result. That was a contrast to the Fischer RX8 which I skied during the same demos and which were a revelation. I bought a pair.

The same experience of the skis not living up to what I expected is true of other skis I've tried, even skis that I think are really great skis--they are just not the skis for me. The Nordica Top Fuel is a perfect example of this type of ski. I was very excited to try it. It is a great ski. But for me, right now, with my technique and preferences, it is not my ski of the year. I almost bought it before I skied it. Now I'm glad I waited.
post #60 of 104
I still think demo'ing is the way to go. I remember getting on the 6 star's and expecting a lot and was very disappointed in the first pair. Asked for a longer length than what the demo guy put me on and liked them better, BUT they felt like the pair of skis I already owned and I was looking for something different. Went to another tent, once again trying a ski that was "too short" for me, liked it, tried another cousin of that one, and LOVED it. I hadn't read up on either of those skis, it was just the next tent. So, the ski I would have bought based on reviews was the one I liked the least when I got on it. This was not an isolated instance by any means.

I think that I found less differences between skis and ski lengths back when we were on straight skis. Ever since shaped skis have arrived, tho, they all perform so differently from each other, even one length to another, that unless you are just trading up to a pair similar to ones you already own, I think you need to try them out. Certainly try them out on a variety of slopes with different surfaces and over a number of days if you are not finding sufficient variety in one day. Sure, a good skier can adapt to anything, but any more we're talking "real money" not pocket change, so you should spend some time on the decision.
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