or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help needed with buying skis for the first time!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help needed with buying skis for the first time!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Alright, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this won't be a hasty post made with the lack of searching for some good posts on the forum. I just registered with epicski today and tried searching for a few hours to find some good thread in which there was some good simple jargon for newbie skiers like me, but could not find any.

I am a 24 year old guy from southern wisconsin, looking for advice as what to get. The season is almost over but I was just introduced to skiing a couple weeks back and boy was I missing a bunch. I want to buy my own skies because it is costly to rent them each time. I am about 200lbs, and can do an ok job when sking on the green trails. Wisconsin from what I know does not have any high-end stuff when it comes to places for sking. If you want to know more about where I am sking, kindly check this out http://www.devilsheadresort.com/imag...ap2_800pix.jpg.

Here is what I am confused with:
(a) downhill sking: Whats the difference, All I know is there are two types of things, sking or snowboarding, I did not know of any sub-classes among sking?
(b) ski length: What significance does the length of a ski has?
(c) tip-waist-tail: Again, what all is this supposed to mean ? What significance does this have.

I do realize that I made the mistake of not noticing what skis I used when I went sking the last few times, I know I had the number 11 boot but for anything else, I dont even recall, I will pay more attention to other things when I go next. I am sorry if this is yet another newbie post, if anyone could answer, or provide help or even point me to some very basic readings, that would be help!

Thank you!
post #2 of 10
A book could be written about your question, and probably has (but it would be out of date in a couple of years).

(a) Downhill skiing, a.k.a. Alpine skiing, ain't cross country.
(b) Skis are made stiffer as they are made longer for the same ski model. More advanced ski models are stiffer and more demanding than beginner or intermediate level skis. Would you like to learn to drive in a race car or a family sedan? The sedan, then after you're an accomplished driver you drive more demanding cars until you're ready for the race car. Somewhat the same for skis.
(c) The width at the tip, waist, and tail give some indication of how tightly the ski will make turns. There is a design turn radius for each ski...12 meters is a slalom ski, turns very tight turns, might not be stable running straight at high speed.

Here is one of the best ski review sites I've seen...http://www.techsupportforskiers.com/ I think you'll find the subscription price to be money very well spent.

Here is a good source for very reasonably priced, lightly used skis
http://www.bristolmt.com/winter_demo...ment-sales.asp Talk to Larry Rourke there, and he'll suggest skis that will be appropriate for someone of your ability and size.

Now, the real deal...having your own boots is more important than having your own skis. Any good skier will do much better with his own boots and garage sale skis than vice versa. You need to find a good bootfitter who will sell you boots that are suitable for your ski abililty and give a good fit. Boots need to fit like a firm handshake...as tight a fit and as short as possible without discomfort. I like Head, Nordica, Dalbello, and Salomon boots, with the brand for each person subject to which make and model gives the best fit. I'd suggest stopping into a good ski shop, ask who is their best bootfitter for people with problem feet, and stop in when that person is working. Even if your feet have no problems at all, find that one bootfitter. If the shop says that all their sales people are bootfitters, ask again...which one is the best for problem feet.

post #3 of 10
Just to reiterate above - Boots are the most important thing when you're buying new equipment.

But on to the main event of skis.. I suggest Dawgcatching's deals on the ski buy/sell forum here. They're really good prices for good quality skis. In terms of length, the above sounds good, but you also have to consider the type of terrain you're usually on. Do you ski hard pack man-made snow all the time?.. or do you ski powder all the time? If you ski powder, you'd want a fat ski that's longer than if you were to ski on hard pack.

I'm also 200lbs..5'7".. but I ski on 156cm skis. I'm too tall and too heavy for them to survive powder (will sink in powder... not float) but hell, I turn REALLY easily on groomed man-made snow and that's all I really see... and for a beginner hitting green circles and blue squares.. you would probably rather turn easily than go fast (longer the ski, the faster).

Post your height and a quick budget... and see what the pros recommend... I don't think Epic Skiers would steer you wrong in model + length recommendations here.. and this way, you'll already have a basis of what you want by the time you get to a store (or buy it online)
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am 6'1'. Ok, if we keep the boots aside for now, and talk about the skis/bindings, what do u think is a good length and tip-waist-tail size ?

My budget is right around 200 and I do not mind used stuff either.
post #5 of 10
You sound like you have a bit of "fire in the belly" and you intend to go somewhere with this?

Do an honest assessment of where you think you will be in a year. If you are going to be building "miles on snow" (remember that term), you will want to put a few dollars above the "beginner" package, for two reasons. Short is good, but too short and too soft (beginner) skis will probably be "overpowered" by someone that is 200 pounds. I'd be looking at an upper end intermediate ski, with a slalom-ish' cut. More turns per mile in gentle terrain.

As one poster indicated, spend time on boots. Shop at several places and pay close attention to the way the boot is fit. If you walk in and the "floorwalker" hands you two boxes after you tell them you are a size ten and a half ..... you are in the wrong shop. If they sit with you and take a look at the shape/volume of your foot and then bring out a few & take the liners out to establish the proper fit ... things are lookin good. Keep in mind that if you get the right fit they will probably be with you for a few seasons to come. Start the fitting process with a thin (thinnest) sock possible and make sure you are not at the end (or mid), point of the buckle adjustment range. Micro adjusters on the buckles are a must (screw adjuster on the hasp) so you can fine tune the notches.
post #6 of 10
As mentioned above, boots are the most important. You can demo skis for the rest of the season and pick up skis on closeout at the end, or buy some now.

Do you think you will be progressing fast in your skiing? (depends on how many days you spend on the snow, how much you like it etc). If so, go for a slighrly higher end ski than your current skill level, so you don't outgrow it. Intermediate skis would be a better choice in that case.

For ski length, my advice is to go shorter when in doubt. As said above, they are easier to handle and you will not be reaching their limits soon. Get skis with a large sidecut which are not too wide at the waist (you don't want mid-fat or fatties unless you ski off the groomed). I don't know enough to recommend skis but have read really good things about Head skis.

New skis in that price range will be hard. Keep looking for ebay deals. I can recommend this ebay seller - http://stores.ebay.com/Level-Nine-Sp...QQftidZ2QQtZkm
post #7 of 10

Do your self a huge favor. Do not buy anything. If you feel you must buy something, buy boots that fit well...does not matter what brand...they just ahve to fit well and feel good.

Go to one of your local ski shops and lease a ski package (skis, bindings, poles, boots) for the season. Where I am, adult packages run about $120.00 per season used equipment and $200.00 per season new.

You may ask why rent at these prices when I can buy? The answer is easy....you have not developed a ski style or preference yet. Some skis, like cars, motorcycles, tennis rackets, etc... are better at carving (turning) while others are better in bumps, and others are jacks of all and masters of none.

Learn to ski first and determine what kind of skiing you like, then next season buy close outs or last years stock in what ever ski you like.

As a loose rule of thumb, the ski should reach somewhere between your chin and your nose. Beginer skis are damp (more flexible) compared to intermediate, which are more damp than experts. Comparing skis to cars, you can be a passenger on a beginer ski while an expert ski needs to be driven...hard, to perform.

Hope this helps,
post #8 of 10
PS ... we all noted that you wanted the boot issue put aside. Some of us have been down that road and seen many others and the endless mistakes.

You can turn off the light .... but still hear our voices ...

In a good intermediate ski (not a soft noodle), 168/170.
post #9 of 10
I agree with ALL the advice given above. Suggest mabye something like Fisher RX6.
post #10 of 10
The RX-6's are a good choice, but at 200 pounds, the RX'8s might be suitable. They are a little more demanding, but will help with guided discovery of good turn shape. The RX-8's will encourage rounder turns, and discourage Z's. I would like to add my voice to the chorus suggesting a good boot fit before worrying too much about skis.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help needed with buying skis for the first time!