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would you buy a ski without trying it out first? - Page 3

post #61 of 104
i did i demo'd metron b5 and bought last yrs m11 due to big price difference
post #62 of 104
Every time I have, i've regretted it.
post #63 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidbump
i did i demo'd metron b5 and bought last yrs m11 due to big price difference
...and what was your conclusion afterwards? They are quite similar, though, so it's not like you went in without a personal impression...
post #64 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
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.
I think that folks underestimate this, and it's a great point. They really do change a lot from length to length in the same ski. If you're concerned, do all-day or even multi-day demos. IMO, it's worth the effort to find ones you really like.
post #65 of 104

Demo worked for me

I was ready to buy a month ago but was convinced by this forum to demo first.

It drove me crazy to wait and I was forced to use a set of my husband's skis for our first run....but then I demoed the Metron B5 in 162 and 152 yesterday and found a big difference.

The experience of the fellow forum members was worth a lot but the demo time was the clincher on the final choice.
post #66 of 104
So... which one did you get, t'chick?
post #67 of 104
It depends. I haven't because good demos were available, however at the end of the season when sports authority sells skis and boots for 60-70% off, i'd buy then without trying because I've discounted the risk with a lower price. And more than likely I'd be buying something for special conditions or for fun that my main skis aren't best suited for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stryder
Just curious if anyone has ever done this. Would you buy a ski just based on the description, reviews, what you know about the manufacturer, etc., without testing it out first? Or is that taking too much of a risk that there will be something about it you hate but then you're stuck with it?
post #68 of 104

Happy without demo

I'm a 54 year old second year skier, about 50 days last year. I bought a pair of K2 Patriot G5's from a friend and learned to ski on those. It worked out. Just love the sport.

A respected instructor friend here recommended the Fischer RX9 as my next ski. I read etc and finally went to a shop here. While we were discussing skis another instructor I've skied with several times came in while I was holding the RX9's and said that it would work well for me. Sooo I bought a new pair of last years model.

We just opened here in Telluride with only one run running. I've gotten in two hard days of instruction (I like to work with people who know what they're doing). I'm in love with this ski. My favorite type of skiing is carving, carving, and then just a bit more. I can skid it when I need to, hook it up when I can, and make it go where I want (heavy traffic with only one run open).

Is there a ski out there that might be better for me. Possibly, but I think the list would be very, very short. I don't know very much and feel confident with the advice of those who do.
post #69 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
So... which one did you get, t'chick?
It looks like I'm going with the Metron B5 in 162. It was a little heavy but I was on it 4 hours and never got a bit of fatigue.

MAN DO THEY TURN!!!! I'm not passing the guys but they aren't passing me either. What ski wax should I use?
post #70 of 104
Being stuck in no demo land(southeastern VA), I bought a pair of TopFuels based solely on reading and opinions here. I'll be in Summit County in 2 weeks and will let everyone know how my decision turned out. I really wish I lived somewhere that an easy demo was possible.
post #71 of 104
Pretty much have over the years without demoing and really no regrets. The ski mags and inputs on this board I believe can provide enough good input to allow you to make an informed decision. I would concede however the ability to demo a number of skis back to back would certainly provide even better inputs with the benefit of being able to make a ski to ski comparison. The wildcard as others have pointed out is the tunes on the demo skis. It's ridculous how bad some of the demo fleet skis ski due to terrible tunes.
post #72 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
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*?
Well, I suppose semantics play a role here. Style, or stance and movement on the skis, is probably a function of many factors: training, athleticism, preferences, and equipment.

However, I suspect it's also true that different people move their bodies in different ways. Observe how two good athletes may walk completely differently. Their gait, rhythm, and body position may differ markedly.

Therefore, isn't it reasonable to assume that similar differences in "bio-mechanics" (Atomic's word), may apply is skiing?

Gender is another area where design plays a role. Woman have different angulation from their hips to their skis than men do, due to their generally wider hip structure.

They can still ski like demons if they have the training and desire, but their mechanics will differ from men's. Hence: gender specific skis.

Due to these factors, I can suspect some people just "glom onto" skis that naturally fit their mechanics, style, and training.

However, I still agree with the point above stating that most of us can likely adapt to most skis out there. We are, after all, resourceful creatures.
post #73 of 104

Demo for sure

I've done it both ways and think it's hard to go wrong today with so many manufacturers making good skis. That said, ski preferences are very subjective so I tell my clients to invest in a demo day before buying. The first day should be time spent in choosing a manufacturer that makes skis you like.

Last year I took a day to try Dynastar, Nordica, Head, Elan, K2, Fischer and Stockli. All were mid-fats, tuned at the same shop and all were good skis. I preferred some more than others and chose one pair based on that. As it happens, the manufacturer I liked turned out to be one I had liked in the past.

I believe everyone should do this every few years -- finding a manufacturer you like and then, depending on how often you buy skis, getting various models from that manufacturer. Each company tends to build skis that perform similarly from year to year, so this method should work through several iterations of models, particularly if all they're doing (as is usual) is changing topsheets. It may be a little expensive, but shops will generally cut you a deal for this, especially if you buy from them.
post #74 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatland Skier
.....I believe everyone should do this every few years -- finding a manufacturer you like and then, depending on how often you buy skis, getting various models from that manufacturer. Each company tends to build skis that perform similarly from year to year, so this method should work through several iterations of models, particularly if all they're doing (as is usual) is changing topsheets. ........
Excellent point!

Cheers.
post #75 of 104
I buy w/out a demo run for practical reasons - most resorts within driving range of NJ might have one demo day a year. At Jackson Hole, I remember them having a demo tent at the top of the gondola with several skis available for a couple of $'s an hour - change whenever you want. If I lived in Jackson, I'd demo everything. As long as your buying from Ebay or some form of non-retail pricing (rant - I find the ski shops around here are horrible), the worst that'll happen is that you will resell them after a couple of uses and loose $50 - $200 (just a semi educated guess) depending on the popularity of the ski.
post #76 of 104
I bought my first pair of skis this season... got last season's Atomic M10, matching poles, and this season's lighter Neox 412 binding for $500 shipped. The way I see it, I been on shitty rental skis ever since I started skiing, I think I'll be fine with a recommanded and versatile ski like the M10.
post #77 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldsbar
I buy w/out a demo run for practical reasons - most resorts within driving range of NJ might have one demo day a year.
You see, this is why you need that annual trip out west. I remember going to Aspen one year with the Camelback group run by Marilyn Hertz. I spent the entire week demo'ing skis. I didn't have to carry my skis on the plane and by the end of the week I knew what I wanted.
post #78 of 104
I've done one demo in 38 years of skiing and have been lucky in that in all that time and on all those pairs of skies there was only one pair I never liked...one season and they were gone. In my case at least I tend to adapt and enjoy the ski no matter what it is. I do my homework and know which brands work for me so not concerned about a need to demo before buying.
post #79 of 104
I like to demo skis before I buy. There aren't always a lot of opportunities to demo, and yes it can be a pain to do it but I am glad that I demo before I buy. There are several occassions where I could have ended up with skis that were okay but then I probably would never have known there was a better ski for me out there if I hadn't demo'd. The K2 Recon comes to mind. Demo'd in CO and they were not bad, then demo'd a pair of Dynastar Legends in WA and they were much better than the Recons. It's not as if I would have been disappointed with the Recons if I had bought them. I just wouldn't have known what I was missing with the Legends. Besides, I think demoing gives a skier the chance to get a feel for what type of ski is better for their style of skiing.
post #80 of 104
Yes I buy skis without demo. I do not buy skis without extensive info about the ski.
post #81 of 104
I think I've become a demo junkie. Suprisingly, I've never had to wait in any line at all, and switching to new skis at mid day never has taken more than 10 minutes or so. Maybe its a litle obsession to find the absolutely perfect ski. I know the tune and conditions play a part - but who cares, I think its fun. When it gets boring, I'll buy something.

This season so far: 2 days skiing, and tried 4 different skis.
post #82 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobucks

This season so far: 2 days skiing, and tried 4 different skis.

Heh - okay that's pretty bad. But at least you didn't buy them all. In my first 5 days of skiing this year I was on 4 different pairs of skis. The bad thing is that I own them all and haven't even broken out the two new pairs I bought this fall yet because conditions are too bony. All pretty much the result of demoing - I have a continuously updating list of skis I want to buy. FREE demo day... yeah right.
post #83 of 104
Quote:
In my first 5 days of skiing this year I was on 4 different pairs of skis. The bad thing is that I own them all and haven't even broken out the two new pairs I bought this fall
Similar result, but quite a different budget
post #84 of 104
I was contemplating the idea but it looks like I've found somewhere within reach that has most of the skis we want to try. Yippee!!!!
post #85 of 104
I find it hard to understand the anti-demo arguments. The last several skis I've bought were the result of several demo sessions, and I was very pleased with the results. I don't feel a need to change skis every year and want to be sure that replacements are really better than what I already have. I read the reviews and the specs, winnow my list, and then make an effort to demo them. Longer, shorter, stiffer, wider, more sidecut: it all makes a difference in how skis feel. Buying a ski you've never tried is like an arranged marriage; it's more a case of accomodation than true love.
post #86 of 104
Is there a bit of a continental divide going on too? In my research so far, it seems most of the shops here maybe have a few skis available for testing but by no means the entire range they stock for sale. We're going to have to leave the country to be able to demo the skis we're interested in : (OK, granted in Switzerland 2 hours driving in any direction has a habit of taking you out of the country, but the dramatic effect's good ). Is demo-ing more of a North American habit?
post #87 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebough
I find it hard to understand the anti-demo arguments. The last several skis I've bought were the result of several demo sessions, and I was very pleased with the results. I don't feel a need to change skis every year and want to be sure that replacements are really better than what I already have. I read the reviews and the specs, winnow my list, and then make an effort to demo them. Longer, shorter, stiffer, wider, more sidecut: it all makes a difference in how skis feel. Buying a ski you've never tried is like an arranged marriage; it's more a case of accomodation than true love.
While I do tend to buy without demoing (2 of my last 3 ski purchases), I (and I think most people here) would say that there's definitely nothing wrong with demoing, just that it's possible to get skis that are very good for you even if you're unable to demo.

In my case, I'd love to be able to demo before I buy, but because I tend to buy my skis for next year direct from manufacturer sometime between the end of ski season and end of summer, I just don't have a chance to demo them (unless I get a model that's been around for a year already).
Also, for many people who ski high end/specialized skis, they aren't available to demo. I can't for example, demo the race dept. slaloms I've got this year, and my brother who does a lot of park and pipe skiing can't demo a lot of the park skis he gets (what store/rep wants their demos bashed on rails etc. ?).
post #88 of 104

Circumstances

Quote:
Originally Posted by eng_ch
Is there a bit of a continental divide going on too? In my research so far, it seems most of the shops here maybe have a few skis available for testing but by no means the entire range they stock for sale. We're going to have to leave the country to be able to demo the skis we're interested in : (OK, granted in Switzerland 2 hours driving in any direction has a habit of taking you out of the country, but the dramatic effect's good ). Is demo-ing more of a North American habit?
Most ski areas around here(northern Michigan) have a demo program. The place I ski charges $20.00/day to demo and you are able to switch the skis you try frequently during the day. They also offer a complete refund of the demo price if you buy from them.
post #89 of 104
I bought a pair of 184 Atomic R:Ex without demoing, and they've exceeded my expectations. I don't really have a problem not trying before buying. I might hate the skis on the first day, but I'll get used to them
post #90 of 104
Being another mid-atlantic skier and a mfgr's rep, I rarely get to demo skis before I buy them. I get all my equipment pre season, and the only way I get to demo them the prior season is if I happen to be on the hill on one of the two days per year that the demo vans come to our place. However, on my normal trip to Killington every December (will miss it this year), they usually have 5 or 6 vans there all week, and I get to demo lots of stuff I'll never buy. But at least I get to ski lots of other skis.

That said, since I am a rep, I'm always on the same brand, so I pretty much know the general characteristics of the brand. For example, general flex patterns and where the sweet spot is, is pretty consistant through the line. Only once have I been unhappy with the skis. That was when shaped skis were first making their appearance. Unfortunately, those were their top-end skis, so there was nothing better to go to, so I had to suffer with them for a season.
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