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Need to buy skis and boots

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, this was my first posting…

Hello everyone, I’m a 35 year old guy that will try to ski for the first time in his life through a couple of lessons I will be taking next week. I will be taken these lessons at Spring Mountain (Pennsylvania) and they will charge me for $50 for the 1 ½ hour lessons plus the equipment rental. What should I expect of this? Will I learn to ski at 35 with this system or should I seek something else? Any suggestions/recommendations are appreciated.”

Well, after my first three days of my life skiing I’m hooked-up with this. This is sooooo nice, that I want more. I would like to buy Skis and boots that will last for a couple of years

A) What’s the best bang for the buck in both skis and boots for a beginner?
B) Is used equipment worth?
C) What about custom made boots, are they worth as well?

I’m planning on skiing10 times a year (at least that’s what I’m thinking now). I’m 5’8 and weight 200 pounds.

Thanks for your advice!
post #2 of 6

If you are going to be skiing a lot, any equipment you buy that is suitable for you as a beginner will not be suitable in one to two years. When you get better, buy something that will last. Also renting, you will have the opportunity to try many different makes and styles and will start to find what you like. Honestly, you really don't know what you will eventually most like to ski yet.

When you are more comfortable, get boots. Go to a good bootfitter and get boots that are good for you. You can still rent skis after this, or buy a cheap older pair of of e-bay or somewhere like here.

There's an old car racing adage I tell my students when teaching high performance driving; “Drive as fast as the car will go. When you can do that, THEN make the car go faster.” Same holds true to skiing.
post #3 of 6
Shame that you missed the Learn-to-Ski program in Penna. I understand that there was a great package available for just $30 that would have gotten you well on your way to intermediate level.


Maybe your local mountain has a similar package available.
post #4 of 6
Boots are the most important purchase!!!

Continue to rent for this season, but spend some time going to the bootfitters (not chain stores like REI, Sports Authority, etc) trying on boots. Tell them up front that your are just beginning to look and you don't expect to buy today - you don't want to get the guy who may be tweaking your boots mad because he was expecting to make a sale, they will still help you. Ask lots of questions and tell them of your expectations.

One bootfitter may not carry all the brands, so it is helpfull to goto a number of different places. Compare the advice each gives you and which boots they recommend. Just remember when trying on boots, the slightest preassure in the shop will be excruciating pain on the slopes.

Skis and poles can be purchased cheap online or at chain store closeouts, new and used.
post #5 of 6
BOOTS FIRST!After your get just the right boots properly fitted, get some skis off eBay or used demos or last year's model, or some other bargain. Bargain boots are NO bargain.

Boot info:

For excellent equipment info, spend $20 for a subscription to Peter Keelty's techsupportforskiers.com subscription web site. His info is the best I've found.

post #6 of 6
It's great to hear that you had such a great initial experience! The message from others about "boots first" is one that I echo. Take time to get good information and even more time to get a really good bootfitter. Given your enthusiasm, my guess is that you will progress quite quickly, so I'd caution against buying a bunch of gear that you'll outgrow quickly. My starting experience a number of years ago was to buy all new gear and then I was needing more advanced equipment within a year. That's not to say that the original skis and boots that I purchased were junk - they weren't - but I was so keen that I was able to develop quickly to a level that was aided by better equipment. I don't see anything particularly special about my progress, so that's the reason why I'd caution about buying skis too quickly.
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