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Buying skis - Need all your expert advice!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm new on here, but am soon going to buy my first pair of skis so would love all your expert advice. First a few important details about me:

Weight: 65kgs roughly/ approx.143 pounds.
Height: 5'10" (178cms)
Skiing level: 5ish
Sex: Male

Anyway, I have just been skiing for the first time in my life this winter, when i went for a week to Big White ski resort in Canada. I absolutely loved it, and consequently am considering buying a pair of skis. I intend to go perhaps 3 times next season and many more times in the future, and having paid £140 to rent equipment for a week, I thought it might be worth simply buying a pair of skis.

I hesitate to put myself as level 5 having only skied for a week, but i took 5 lessons and was parallel skiing, if not always perfectly, by the end of the week. The runs went green-blue-black obviously, and i skied all greens and a good number of blues very comfortably by the end, and was beginning to let my skis run and feel the speed! So I've been doing some research and have come up with a number of options as skis to buy. These are: the Head c260i, the Head xrc 800, the Atomic izor 7.5, perhaps a Rossignol ski from the Zenith or Actys range, or anything else suitable (there are always new ones i see and think might work). I would ideally like something forgiving, but with good 'lastibility', so that i can continue to use them for some years. I see myself also wanting venture off piste as i progress, though probably only to the side of groomed pistes firsat of all, so something with some tolerance for a few inches of powder would be good, so that i could at some point try to learn this skill too. I am worried that the izor 7.5 isn't going to last me that long as i progress, and on the other hand that something like the head xrc 800 will be a bit beyond me. I don't mind a challenge and would like something to grow in to, but I don't want to ruin my ski experience by having unmanageable skis.

I know many of you would advise demoing, but I don't really have that opportunity in the UK, and when i go somewhere else to ski the idea is that owning my own skis will save me money so that i don't have to pay to rent a whole load to test out. Besides, I'm sure at my level that the difference between different skis will pass me by to some extent.

Thank you very much for any help, and sorry the question is so long, but I really need expert advice!!
post #2 of 25
K2 Axis X or Apache X. Either one is a forgiving ski that should allow you to grow a bit on it. These are not hypercarvers and will allow some skidding or feather edging as you learn to carve and not punish you in the process.
post #3 of 25
Any of those skis would work fine for now. Spend most of your time and money getting fit for a decent pair of boots.
post #4 of 25
Good boots done by a highly qualified bootfitter first!!! Then skis!
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys so far. I should say that I have actually been informed that boots are most important and was going to act on this advice. I will probably start a new thread asking about this. I'm not sure how much I need to spend to get decent boots/ whether the ones where you heat them and mould them yourself are any good/ etcetc.

As for the skis, I'm not sure the K2 apache Xs will work for me. They sound like they orientated a bit too much towards off piste - I'm not there yet, and would prefer something a bit more piste orientated. Apart from that, you seemed to suggest that all the skis I mentioned are fine, but there were quite a lot, so they must have differences and be variably suitable. I tend naturally towards the head xrc 800, having been advised about it already, but the guy who advised me was working for a store and they only have a few of the ones i mentioned and not generally a huge selection, so I don't know whether this ski will suit me. Its dimensions are really surprising - it has a comparatively huge sidecut, with its 117 for the front of the ski higher than just about any other piste specialised ski I've seen. Is this going to make them awkward for me? Are they going to have too much bite at lower speeds? Are they going to be very fast/ require me to be going very fast for them to perform really well?

Keep the feedback coming! Thanks!
post #6 of 25
If your about a 5ish lever of skiing I would say to go with either of the rossignal skiis unless you are going to be doing alot of skiing; go with the Atomic Izor.
post #7 of 25
I think you have a good list.

For where you are now, I would suggest either of the Heads you mentioned as real good choices. I believe the K2 Omni 5.5 (or Escape 5500 from prior years) would be a better choice than the Apache X.
post #8 of 25

why the 5.5 not not the apache X

Hi,

I am in a similar position and am interested on your thinking about this. What about the Volkl S2?

post #9 of 25
The K2 Axis X is not a current ski (not in shops). Nevertheless, it can be had new (I just bought a pair on EBay), and it is a great all-mountain ski.

However, I would instead recommend the Rossignol B1 or B2, probably the latter. It is much like the Axis X, easy to turn, great in bumps, and not too stiff.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys this is all great! Keep it coming! I see the Rossginol B2 has been suggested - now i hear that this is a great ski, but it hasn't been suggested to me before; is this not because it is more off piste orientated? I know they will also perform well on piste, as it is now the trend to have skis which perform all functions, but it's obviously a very different ski, being short and fat, so would it not be adviseable for someone of my level just to stick to a more piste orientated ski, like the head xrc 800, which has again been recommended to me. Would this not challenge me at the same time as accomodating my need for a mainly piste orientated, forgiving ski?

There are really too many skis out there! The K2 omni 5.5 looks nice too, though again it seems more suitable for someone who is going to be doing some significant off piste skiing. K2 skis also seem to get less media coverage so it's harder to know how suitable they will be for me.
post #11 of 25
How much are you willing to spend??
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well as little as possible I guess! But i want to get the right skis really. We have a sale on here at the moment, so i can get some really good deals. The head xrc 800s i can get for UK£250 at the moment. Some which i am considering are a bit more and some a bit less.
post #13 of 25
All those skis are probably good suggestions. (But I guess most of the posters here have no first hand experience wiith neither of them). From what I've heard a Rossi Z5 may foot the bill. Really easy to carve, tolerant, can be skidded, does have a speed limit but will let you progress, not too expensive. A Dynastar Legend 4800 would also suits you fine, especialy if you intend to 'venture off piste'. More conservative side cut, very light and easy to drive.
But, as others already said : Invest in boots first ! And do not bother to ask for advices here. Find a good shop, took the necessary couple of hours, tell the bootfitter what your needs are, listen to his advices, and try boots. A lot. Buy the ones that fit you best, go ski, then return to the shop for the fine tuning (that should be free of charge, but for a major, and unlikely, shell work). Do this in a resort : Prices wont be discounted (but not outragous) and you'll be able to test and adjust the boots on the spot. You're probably not experienced enough to buy boots 'on your own' or through the internet. And be assured that a respectable boot seller should take one or two hours of his time to adjust your boots for free.
post #14 of 25
Read the thread, "Ski Gear Questions, frequently asked questions" at the beginning. I have learned a lot from this thread.

I recommend the Head skis, since I have a pair of Head Mpulse (last year's model), and I am biased!

Think boots first! Think about how much money you'll spend on your boots, then spend the rest on your skis. I have bought Head Edge boots. They have the inners that you heat and form to your feet, that you've mentioned. I am extremely happy with them. They cost me around $300. I am a level 7 skier.

The key is the Frequently asked question thread I mentioned above (IMHO).

Good Luck!! Most importantly, have great fun learning about gear, and getting something that's right for you!!
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by philippeR
All those skis are probably good suggestions. (But I guess most of the posters here have no first hand experience wiith neither of them). From what I've heard a Rossi Z5 may foot the bill. Really easy to carve, tolerant, can be skidded, does have a speed limit but will let you progress, not too expensive. A Dynastar Legend 4800 would also suits you fine, especialy if you intend to 'venture off piste'. More conservative side cut, very light and easy to drive.
But, as others already said : Invest in boots first ! And do not bother to ask for advices here. Find a good shop, took the necessary couple of hours, tell the bootfitter what your needs are, listen to his advices, and try boots. A lot. Buy the ones that fit you best, go ski, then return to the shop for the fine tuning (that should be free of charge, but for a major, and unlikely, shell work). Do this in a resort : Prices wont be discounted (but not outragous) and you'll be able to test and adjust the boots on the spot. You're probably not experienced enough to buy boots 'on your own' or through the internet. And be assured that a respectable boot seller should take one or two hours of his time to adjust your boots for free.

???
actually, very, VERY few shops sell all brands of ski boot, or even most brands of ski boot, for that matter.
a shop will do their best to get you on the BOOT WHICH THEY CARRY, as opposed to the best boot for you.
technically, there are some bears here whom have experience in a wide range of brands and fits.
inquiring here, on Epic, is a much more balanced start in one's quest for great boots.
The shop wants to sell the boots that they carry (ie "SELL").
aks around, on sites such as this, first, then try several shops before making a decision.
I tend to advise people to go for fit and comfort, first, as performance features are easily modified, later.
contact Jeff Bergeron on this site, his e-dress and ph. # are still listed, i believe, in the "sticky" about bootfitting with his name.
prepare to give him a full description of your foot shape, skiing style, etc.
post #16 of 25
Ooops, sorry. The thread you must read is called "Sticky: READ FIRST: Ski Gear Advice Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)". It's 4th thread down from the top.

BTW, you are 5'10 and 65Kg. I am 5'4 and 64Kg. Please take some of my weight.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
???
actually, very, VERY few shops sell all brands of ski boot, or even most brands of ski boot, for that matter.
a shop will do their best to get you on the BOOT WHICH THEY CARRY, as opposed to the best boot for you.
technically, there are some bears here whom have experience in a wide range of brands and fits.
inquiring here, on Epic, is a much more balanced start in one's quest for great boots.
The shop wants to sell the boots that they carry (ie "SELL").
aks around, on sites such as this, first, then try several shops before making a decision.
I tend to advise people to go for fit and comfort, first, as performance features are easily modified, later.
contact Jeff Bergeron on this site, his e-dress and ph. # are still listed, i believe, in the "sticky" about bootfitting with his name.
prepare to give him a full description of your foot shape, skiing style, etc.
I beg to desagree
Wellington Boot (what a cool screen name) is a beginer. I know they are highly knowledgable bears. And I wouldn't hesitate seeking advices for myself. But I know what I want and I know how a boot is supposed to fit me. What WB needs IMO are pratical, in person, in real life advices. He needs to try boots and to feel boots at the right size (not falsely comfortable, one size too big, rented boots). He needs someone to see and size his foot, someone that will take the time and will have the knowledge.
A good shop will carry 3 or 4 brands at least. That's far enough ! Who cares if a Lange may fit him sligthly better than a Salomon ! As long as the Salomon is at the right size and properly fitted. That's not a quest for The Great Boot, but for an adequate boot. Tricky enough wfhen you're clueless.
By shopping over the internet or from an incompetent salesman in a UK sport oulet he may find a bargain price... and useless boot.
Just my 0.2$...
post #18 of 25
Some boot fitters are more honest. Larry's Boot Fitter in Boulder is one such bootfitter. He will examine your foot and asks question re; ability, preferences, skis etc and if he doesn't have the boot he thinks is best for you, he will send you elsewhere to purchase it and have you return for the fitting. He thought the boots he had would not fit my wife's feet well, so he told her where to go in town and buy it for the least money. Larry will get all my business - he's honest and talented and very nice as well.

Try deoming a number of diff skis with diff side cuts, lenghts and some with at leat 76-80mm under foot. They still carve quite well on groomers. I would try the Rossi B2 as it is a very forgiving ski and will be good on groomers, bumps and off piste when you get there. It wont punish you for skiing on the backside as the 724 EXP and PRO do. The Dynastars are good but I didn't like them as much as the B2 when I tried them all last year. The 4800 prob better for you then the 8000. I think of the Apache X as a groomer, piste, bump ski although it will go off piste as well.

I would buy a ski that can do more then you want it to now, but is easy to ski even with not-the-best technique. As you improve you will be happy that you have a ski that go off piste etc. As you seen from this site - Demo, Demo, Demo. take notes so you can remember why you liked or didn't like a ski. I like to demo at least 2 if not 3-4 skis per day and on the same runs/conditions to compare. Have fun.
post #19 of 25
I second the idea that you should get a good boot first. Then you can demo skis in a boot that turns the ski well.

The Rossi B2 is considered 50% on and 50% off-piste. It is a fine choice, as it carves well and turn initiation is a piece of cake, which is important for non-expert skiers. The Rossi Zenith ski should also be checked out. The Dynastar 4200 was mentioned above. A friend has that ski and I demoed it too. In my opinion, a better skier gets more out of that ski and the B2 is simply more fun cuz it is less demanding. The 4200 is not still demanding ski, it's just has a higher top end that shines when you push it harder.

BTW, I love Salomons as an everyday ski because the sweet spot is so big. You can jump on most of their skis and start having fun without worrying so much about getting too far back or forward.

If can demo, do it, but if you want to jump on skis that are a great price, these days, there are so many great skis that it is hard to go wrong. However, don't let anyone sell you a stiff ski because "you will grow into them and you won't have to buy new ones for a while." You want a medium flexing ski that is good in all conditions; you are not going to race in the near future or ski the worst crud in 55 degree chutes.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by philippeR
I beg to desagree
Wellington Boot (what a cool screen name) is a beginer. I know they are highly knowledgable bears. And I wouldn't hesitate seeking advices for myself. But I know what I want and I know how a boot is supposed to fit me. What WB needs IMO are pratical, in person, in real life advices. He needs to try boots and to feel boots at the right size (not falsely comfortable, one size too big, rented boots). He needs someone to see and size his foot, someone that will take the time and will have the knowledge.
A good shop will carry 3 or 4 brands at least. That's far enough ! Who cares if a Lange may fit him sligthly better than a Salomon ! As long as the Salomon is at the right size and properly fitted. That's not a quest for The Great Boot, but for an adequate boot. Tricky enough wfhen you're clueless.
By shopping over the internet or from an incompetent salesman in a UK sport oulet he may find a bargain price... and useless boot.
Just my 0.2$...
if mere adequacy is what one seeks, then yours is the advice to follow.
ummm..I neve rsuggested anyone shop over the internet or with incompetent british sport outlets, so ya lost me on how this bolsters your disagreement.
I suggested visiting several shops in order to try many boots on, for fit.
Great fit is key, and a great fit is NOT too much to ask for, even a beginner.
Boots being the expensive purchase they are, I like the idea of folks getting a great fit for their money.
....but that's just me
post #21 of 25

Buy boots. Don't buy skis.

Proper-fitting boots will be absolutely essential to your continued enjoyment and progress.

As for skis, I really wouldn't at your stage: renting will be much better, both financially and in terms of skiing pleasure.

1. After only one week, you are (likely) still improving fast. The skis that will help you improve fastest now are not the skis you will want in two seasons' time, or even by the end of next season. For instance, the skis that will help you learn to really carve will likely be much narrower than the skis you will eventually want off-piste.

2. You will not ski any more this season, and perhaps 3 weeks next season. The cost of owning skis per skiing day, in terms of both maintenance and obsolescence, will be very high.

3. Living in the UK, you will be flying to go skiing. Figure a reasonable chance that your skis will be damaged or delayed.

Overall, I would really suggest waiting until your progress rate is somewhat slower. Say, until you are a SOLID 6, and have had 2-3 more weeks of skiing and intensive lessons.
post #22 of 25
My advice: Go spend your major bucks on lessons and boots. Former is self-explanatory, and know that instructors also are smart about gear. Latter:

Just go to a well-regarded shop (check on these threads for recs) and try several versatile competitors like Nordica or Salomon or Rossignol that fit a wide range of feet. But less difference then Vlad indicates in intermediate lasts anyway; just worry about a snug fit at the ankle/heel and don't get sucked into a plush street-shoe feel that'll pack out quickly on the slope. Go for a intermediate-advanced boot, which is better than you now, but will not fail you in two years when you're better.

Buy a lightly used pair of skis off eBay. Don't bid more than $150. Check the seller's rating to see if they have a good rep. Think about good, versatile intermediate skis that wear well: two year old Rossi B-1's, last year's Dynastar 4800's, last couple of year's Volkl 4-stars. (Past year's Rossi Z-5's are perfect, but unlikely to see them used.) Pay by credit card, have the edges, bases, and bindings inspected at a shop, be prepared to stop credit and return the skis if they're wasted. (Probably will be fine.) In a year or two, when you know more, go buy a new pair online of last year's (preceeded of course by endless, agonizing discussions here).

And did I say, TAKE LESSONS?!
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, thanks for all your help; it's really useful to have knowledgeable people advising me on what i should do. I think what I'm going to do is concentrate on buying boots. It seems that everyone i ask, and everything i read, suggests that boots are an important investment even for novices, and I plan to take my skiing as seriously as possible in terms of improving and going as often as possible.

As for skis, while i'm tempted to buy - I like the idea of having my own and can understand that having one pair which i would always ski on would help my development -I think that it will probably be better to leave that for the moment. It will save me money in the short term, and once I am skiing at a slightly more advanced level, I think that i could buy skis which would last me better and which i would get more enjoyment and value out of, in one or two years. I would ideally like to get a kind of freeride ski, like the rossi B2 or B3 (can't remember which) or perhaps something out of the atomic metron series.

Obviously I will continue to take lots of lessons, and these will hopefully get me skiing increasingly well. For now though, boots will be a priority.

Cheers again
post #24 of 25
Have you tried http://www.filarinskis.com or beans online. Filarinskis have the izor with binding for £175 or the head for £260. What about the rossignol x-fight 600. You shouldnt have to spend much more than £200. Prices may yet still go down. Wait until next month to get a real bargain.
post #25 of 25
They have the m9 metron also which may be suitable if you want more of an all-mountain feel, Pretty cheap too.
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