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When is a used ski too used?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Are skis kind of like car shocks? Do they gradually get worse and worse and eventually just have horrible performance without actually failing?

I understand that when buying a used ski I should look for smooth bases, intact edges with enough to file, and it shouldn't crackle when flexed. Besides these easy-to-spot things, how much use does it take for a ski to be too used? Is it better to buy a slightly used ski because it's "broken in" a little bit or is it better to go with new equipment? Etc etc

Thanks,
Maxim
post #2 of 29
Lay the skis on a flat surface and check for camber. Any carving ski or midfat with zero camber is a major indicator of a "dead" ski. Check foam core skis for rebound- they should snap back after being flexed. Any lack of rebound is evidence of a dead core. Check the topsheets and sidewalls- the ski shouldn't show evidence of delam like epoxy fills or large missing sections.

If they come with bindings- make sure they're indemnified. Couldn't tell you how many folks come in with a deal they found at a ski swap only to hear the bad news that the bindings are no longer serviceable.
post #3 of 29
I think that skis are a lot like car shocks as you suggest. If you can talk to the person you are buying them from or they are demos from a shop try to find out how many days (roughly) the skis have been skied on. My experience has been that skis feel really snappy and fresh for the first 20 days, mellow out after that but are still good and start to feel dead after 80 to 100 days. This is of course purely subjective, but is a good place to start. IMO skis can have lots of camber and feel snappy in the shop (or at the swap) and feel dead on snow.
Have fun.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hmm, might you be able to give me a numerical analogy? For example, after 20 days, it feels like X% of the performance. I am just trying to get a sense as to what happens with skis over time.

Maxim
post #5 of 29
Superski, there is no rule of thumb. Skis are manufactured and used differently. A wood core Volkl will likely wear much differently from a foam core Salomon or Rossi. Different levels of skis within the same manufacturer's lineup will likely age differenty. The stresses put on a ski by a racer, beginner, powder skier or someone who bashes moguls all day are very different.

You can observe and feel when a ski has reached the end of its serviceable life, but there is no general rule that can be applied to all skis or skiers.
post #6 of 29
I'm sorry but I really can't quantify it like that. I'd just say that if you are buying used skis that if they have been skied a lot say more than 80 days then regardless of how good they look or feel when you flex them then you shouldn't pay very much for them.
Have fun.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you. This helps for sure!
post #8 of 29

how many days?

i cant imagine anyone----shop or private--------who could or would tell you how many days a ski had been used. thats why the car folks invented tamper resistant odometers. also check for torsional rigidity, but how?
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post
i cant imagine anyone----shop or private--------who could or would tell you how many days a ski had been used. thats why the car folks invented tamper resistant odometers. also check for torsional rigidity, but how?
: Nice generalization. There are plenty of folk on this forum that will be honest about how many days a ski has been used. IMAGINE THAT!!!!!!
post #10 of 29
Dude, the idea is that it is an estimate. It has worked pretty well for me over the years. I've used it as a shop employee and as a private seller and buyer of skis and snowboards. Asking about the number of days skis have been skied is a good way to get more aquainted with the seller even if they can't give you a good estimate.
Have fun.
post #11 of 29
When is a ski too used? Ha! Maybe some day I'll find out!

So far, I've never kept any for long enough to know. I guess that's one of the things that we incorrigible gear whores never learn.
post #12 of 29

Wood Core

I've bought used skis a number of times. I highly recommend only buying used skis with a wood core, not cork. Skis with a cork core tend to lose their flex and become unresponsive at a much quicker rate than skis with a solid wood core. Volkl and Head are two excellent companies that, as far as I know, use wood cores in almost their entire ski lineups.

I know there are a lot of Rossi fans out here, but both times I've bought new rossi's I've noticed that they lost their initial snap in an alarmingly short period of time.

Good luck with your quest.
post #13 of 29
I sold skis after one run. It is never too soon to unload a ski.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypeakskier View Post
I've bought used skis a number of times. I highly recommend only buying used skis with a wood core, not cork. Skis with a cork core tend to lose their flex and become unresponsive at a much quicker rate than skis with a solid wood core. Volkl and Head are two excellent companies that, as far as I know, use wood cores in almost their entire ski lineups.

I know there are a lot of Rossi fans out here, but both times I've bought new rossi's I've noticed that they lost their initial snap in an alarmingly short period of time.

Good luck with your quest.
um, cork? no.
post #15 of 29
Since cork comes from trees does that make it wood???
Have fun.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hmm, so how do recent Salomon Lab skis fare? Do they have a durable construction?
post #17 of 29
I've been really happy with the Lab skis. I believe that some people have had durability issues with last year's Gun Lab skis, but mine have been great. I've seen some of the Lab race skis bend and delam, but I've seen every brand's race skis bend and delam.
Have fun.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
I guess the context of this is specfically that I am evaluating last season's 2V Lab Race ski used by a racer (international). The ski has lots of surface makrs, in a way that almost makes me think a total noob was skiing it rather than a pro. So, is it a bad idea to get skis from a racer? Does it even make sense for GS skis to have so many surface marks at a high level of skiing?
post #19 of 29
It sounds like those 2V's have some miles on them. Usually race skis that are used by someone good shouldn't be all that scuffed up unless they have a lot of days on them. Unless they are a screaming deal you probobly don't want them.
Have fun.
post #20 of 29

Ski Life Expectancy

Hi,

I used to manage an area shop.
The rule of thumb was about 100 skier days for a new ski

This is an important number:

The folks at the Vt Ski area where I worked would easliy ski 100+ days per year. If the averae weekend Joe gets in 20 days per season a ski will last 5 years. So you have to take that into consideration when you buy new or used.

Then the variables over type of use, conditions encountered, care and maintenance, etc come into play.
A good post above re binding installer indemnification.
Like a car, bring it ( or the details) to a trusted ski professional shop person to assess the deal.

"area shop" folks or veterans can give you the best advice.

Arc til dark!
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
I sold skis after one run. It is never too soon to unload a ski.
my MAN!
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
About camber: is it measured with the bindings on or off? Some bindings (i.e. Salomon Lab 916) are very heavy, so shouldnt it press the ski almost all the way to the floor?
post #23 of 29
The weight of the binding shouldn't affect it that much, unless the ski is very long and very very soft.
post #24 of 29
Hmmmm, do you ski with the bindings on or off?
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by superski View Post
I guess the context of this is specfically that I am evaluating last season's 2V Lab Race ski used by a racer (international). The ski has lots of surface makrs, in a way that almost makes me think a total noob was skiing it rather than a pro. So, is it a bad idea to get skis from a racer? Does it even make sense for GS skis to have so many surface marks at a high level of skiing?
Question: "When is a ski too used?"
Answer: "When they have been used by a racer."

I would pass on these. (sorry racers, for making it hard to unload your worn-out skis)
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
So this camber bit is very interesting. I put a brand new pair of 186cm GS11m skis (w/o bindings) on the ground, and they went straight to the floor. My current pair of '03 168cm Salomon Equipe 10 3V (w/ bindings), however was perking off the ground in the center. Is it the length that's the factor here? Are GS skis supposed to stand curved when flat on the ground?
post #27 of 29
I would say it depends on the ski and the use.

Foam core, yeah probably stay away....but a big burly wood core fat ski (Stockli DP, iM103, Legend Pro, Explosiv, etc)...well those can come to life (especially with regards to soft snow) when they're nice and broken in :
post #28 of 29
Weight of the guy who skied them before you also plays a big role into how fast a ski will wear out. Many racing (laminate or real strctural cap) skis that were used by juniors who are 80-90 lbs can almost be reused over and over until the technology is obsolete (I still see kids skiing old Sallys from 2001 or 2002 and they still rip and the skis are still stiff enough for them).


When it comes to "real" race stock, I'd say that after 40 days, you do not want to buy that ski to race, especially if the guy or gal who was skiing them was an heavy fellow (ie. 180 man on 155 slaloms or 178 gs). Not a lot of edge will be left by that time anyway. A ski might still seem firm and stiff, but will bend all out of shape (too much tip bend or tail bend) in the turn or be softer in torsional than it used to making it less precise on ice.
post #29 of 29
Some of our best race skis have been purchased used from US Ski Team members.

Their techs tune and wax their skis religiously making them smooth and FAST! However, we go into the deal knowing that the skis have been used well and hard and may only last 1 to 2 seasons before delam/edge blow-out/base blow-out/bending issues occur. So far, though, the top skins have been in decent to great shape, so I'd look that scratched pair over VERY carefully before jumping in.
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