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HELP! Need advice to choose between these skis! And boots!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I need some help and advice in buying my first pair of skis and boots. I want something that's not too much for me now and will and will still be good for me 20 skiing days from now.

I'm a guy 6 ft, 155 lbs, fairly athletic. I'm originally from Miami and had skied maybe total of 10 days (and was an unschooled intermediate) and then didn't go skiing for 5 years. I now live in Los Angeles and am getting back into skiing and this time want to do it right. So no more crappy rental stuff for me. This year (ok, in the last 2 months) I've been skiing 3 days in the local LA mountains and have taken 2 lessons. I'm going a couple more days this week then probably heading to Mammoth at least twice before the season ends.

I want to progress rapidly and want to buy equipment that will go with me. Did I mention I'm on a budget? And here's where it gets interesting: Our local mega-sports store had previous season's skis on super-clearance about 2 months ago. So since I needed to buy them right then, and I didn't know what to buy (not even the size) I ended up buying 4 pairs of skis. So now I need HELP in figuring out which pair to keep and which 3 pairs to return.

Here's what I bought:
Atomic R:9 ('02-03) 170cm (106-70-97) The '02 R:9 seems stiffer to me than the '03.
Atomic R:9 ('03-04) 160cm (102-70-94) AND 170cm (106-72-96)
Atomic R:11 ('02-03) 160cm (106-70-97)
(By the way, they were all really cheap -- around $100 each)

So I know you're going to want to know what type of skiing I do? You know, I don't know, I'm not experienced enough to know what I like. Obviously at this point, I'm on the "groomers." I do know when I skied before, I kinda liked ice, but I'm not sure how much of that I'm going to get in California. So basically I want the dreaded one ski that can do it all. I want something that is decent enough at everything to not hold me back while I progress and figure out what I like.

So what do you guys think of these skis? Which one is a good choice? (If any?) And size? 160? 170? (I could probably get the others in the 170cm size if I needed to).

About boots: I know fit is all-important. I tried on this years Salomon X-Wave 8 and it fits great. It's expensive, tho. Two other boots I can get much cheaper are the '05 Nordica GTS-6 and the '03 Atomic R:9. What do you think?
Thanks for the help!
post #2 of 3
I'm about 5'8" and 165lbs and I've owned the R:9 and the R:11 in a 170. I initially bought the R:9 ('02-'03) at the same time a friend bought the 11.16 (Atomic Carve series). The R:9 was a second pair of skis to compliment my Race 9.20 (memory is struggling here). After a few runs, it became clear that my friend was not an aggressive skier and was not able to carve, as he skied the "old way." He hated the 11.16. Meanwhile, I found the 9.20 too soft for me. We swapped skis and he was happy and I was happy. I later picked up a pair of R:11's in a 170 and that was a much better ski for harder charging than the R:9.
So I'm not sure exactly what to suggest here. Everything that you've listed is better than rental. Since you don't have an R:11 in a 170, I guess that I would suggest the R:9 at 170. I would think that the '03-'04 would be better, but I don't know if it is not as stiff. I think that a 160 at your height is short. Either R:9 would be my suggestion.
I have the X-wave 8.0 boots and I find them very comfortable, but that doesn't mean anything. A good boot fitter would be best here as would the support of a knowledgeable dealer.
Welcome back!
post #3 of 3
I would definitely consider the 170cm R9 as the best of the group, but even that ski is not ideal for your size & potential ability. However, a $100 R9 is better than a rental and there are more important priorities.

I would sell the other models on eBay, you should be able recover a good portion of your purchase price and might even make a little.

Then I would buy the best-fitting, best-quality boots for the long term. The Salomon X-Wave 8 is a very good boot. They tend to fit wider feet very well and should be avoided by people with narrow feet. Read http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=28745 . Be sure you shell fit as recommended. Shell fit is always required to achieve a good fit, and is especially critical on today's wider boots. Summer is a good time to shop for boots, ski shops have the time to fit you, and off-season sales and a little negations can save some serious money.

At some point you will feel that the skis no longer meet your needs. You might begin to notice a lack of edge grip or a lack of stability as your speed increases. At that time you should upgrade your skis.


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