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First-time skier here

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Setup: Skied only twice... Was looking forward to my third time before the second was over.
Background: 6'1" - 185 lbs, decent but not superb athlete, some past experience with cross-country and skating. By the end of my second skiing session I was able to make paraller turns on green rides (it wasn't that pretty, but it was parallel).
Dedication: I think I'll be able to ski 15-20 times a year. I will take lessons.
Goals: To become a decent skier.

Question#1 Does it make any sense to buy own equipment at this stage?
Question # 2: If the answer to above is "yes", what is the downside of bypassing a beginner's gear and going for something more advanced? I am not talking a World cup skis here, but something that's considered stable and relatively forgiving by good skiers.
Thank you in advance.
post #2 of 10
Welcome to Epicski and Welcome to Downhill skiing.

Spend some time at a good shop and try on boots. (search the site for boot fitting) and get yourself some good boots and maybe even some footbeds.

It might be worth renting for another year or so on skis. You might check with your local shops and see if any have a "season lease" that might even allow you to switch mid season if you begin to "out grow" the skis. your progress will be at it's highest during your first full season at skiing so have fun and enjoy..

Intermediate equipment would be fine. It's probably not worth purchasing beginner equipment.
post #3 of 10
what he said.
post #4 of 10
Right, it's the BOOTS you want to own, and spend time and money on getting them to fit right. Unless the boots are right, the other stuff will not matter. Rent or lease the skis. Skip beginners skis when you do buy, go to intermediate skis. And since you are a mature newbie, you're great for our continuing observation of skiing - please keep in touch and report in often. Great to have you here!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your prompt responses.

From what I've read, both skis and boots are made for different ability levels. I will be able to sort out the skis by demoing/ renting, but I understand I don't have an option of demoing boots (or do I?). So,
Questions # 3 and 4 : How do I avoid buying boots that are too advanced? Are manufacturer's descriptions accurate or I need an expert help when buying?
post #6 of 10
By advanced boots, what they mean is a stiffer boot. You can still use them and they work exceptionally well, they just aren't as comfortable for the skiing you will be doing.

Spend some time trying on every boot you can find at any store, writing down what brands/models seem to fit best. A lot of salespeople at ski stores really don't know much about boots and rely completely on what you tell them for feedback. Sometimes a boot fits great in the store but feels lousy on the slopes once it packs out. Take your list of boots to a good bootfitter and see what they have to offer. A good bootfitter can guide you to a good boot for your needs with a minimum of hassle and a lot less pain/ wasted days on the slopes. If a qualified bootfitter isn't close or available to you, try to look at specialty ski stores or places like REI that at least try to train their salespeople.

Wait on the skis. Develop your skills on rentals for a solid season (with some instruction) before you buy. Read the reviews, demo a lot, and catch the sales on the skis you like.

End of the season is the time to buy- everyone is looking to get rid of this year's stuff to make room for next year's.
post #7 of 10
call around. There are some shops that have demo boots. Mammoth in CA does and I suspect there are a few others.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
post #9 of 10
If you seek out "high end" rental gear you will be way ahead of the game. At many of the ski areas you will find junk ..... period!

Stop in town and check out what they have to offer. I have rented everything from high end Stockli and Lacroix and IMHO it's worth the small premium. Check the bottoms of the skis ..... they should be waxed and the edges in good condition. Many areas and shops that handle volume NEVER wax or tune and that makes a world of difference. A $6 to $10 investment in a can of paste rub on like Swix F-4 or Burton board wax will get you through most of the morning (renew at lunch) .... if the ski's wax was questionable.

You sound like a realist ...... not a searcher ..... looking for a good end-O'-season deal on some intermediate skis might be the way to go since the economy is slightly depressed. Just don't be talked into a long pair by a shop that is too eager to unload. Foremost consideration in the selection process is where you will be skiing.
post #10 of 10
boots boots boots.. especially now since its near the end of the season and most shops are having their huge sales. it'd be great to grab boots now so you'd have them ready for your full season of skiing next year and not have to worry about that part. boots take the most time cuz of the trying on part and waiting to see if your feet are happy.

skis are the easy part.. just demo and then wait for a good deal or end of season sales..
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