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Beginner needs ski recommendations

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
How's it going everyone? This is my first post and would appreciate some opinions.

I've just began to take up skiing last year. Unfortunately, I've been only 3 different times, including a recent 3 day ski trip to snowshoe mountain WV. After the recent ski trip, I had a great time and decided that I should invest in a pair of skis rather than pay the obscene amount for equipment rentals.

Anyways, what ski model would you reccommend and what length? I'm male, 5'8" 145-150#. The ski resorts I will be regularly frequenting will be around the DC metropolitan area (ie. WV, Penn, etc). I really would prefer not to break the bank (prefer less than $350) considering that I am still learning. I've been checking ebay for package deals (skis and bindings) and it's been a bit overwhelming. I would like a ski that I can quickly negotiate turns while retaining a lot stability. I also do not want to be held back by my skis considering I tend to pick things up rather quickly. I found a package with Dynastar Legend 8800 158cm for a decent price. Do you think a wider ski would be to my benefit? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 19
Forget about the skis until you have propper fitting boots. Go to a good bootfitter, NOT a chain store(REI, Sports Authority, etc). Let the bootfitter decide the best boot for your feet. Spend your money on your boots. Custom footbeds are also a strong recomendation. Do NOT skimp on the boots. When the boots fit properly and are comfortable, then worry about the skis.

Wider skis are better for skiing powder, crud & slush. The narrower waist tends to do better on the ice and hardpack.

BOOTS, BOOTS, BOOTS!!!!
post #3 of 19
What BSM said.

GO to the best shop in your area and get the boot that fits best. Don't look at prices, follow the advice of a good bootfitter. Don't look at the price, just hand over your CreditCard for whatever they cost.

If you don't know what is a good shop in your area, post where you are and ask for a recommendation.

For skis, get them next if you don't want the hassle of a rental shop. You might ask at the shop if they have anything lying around used that's about right. It doesn't make much difference at your level what you are on as long as it's the appropriate level ski and about the right length. Most beginner skis you will outgrow in maybe ten days or so of skiing if you progress well which it sounds like from your enthusiasm, you will. So, get something really really cheap now (to avoid the rental shop)_ and trade up at the end of this or next season when the sales hit.
post #4 of 19
boots first.

if you're intent on getting skis, you might consider how often you'll be skiing. as you "pick things up rather quickly," consider some intermediate-level skis that you can both grow into and still use as your skill level progresses. a ski of this sort can be had pretty cheaply come the spring sales. after a couple seasons, take a look at your skiing, whether or not you'll take some western trips, THEN think about a ski you want to invest in.

try very hard to avoid pining for a "name" ski that's too much for you; it'll likely be waste of money and your progress may in fact suffer. i drag my noodly salomon "intermediate" skis out from time to time; they're still very fine, extremely fun sticks.

my take is that given where you ski, the wider ski you mention will not be to your benefit; further, i don't know the "deal" you can get - heck, if it's a steal, i guess it's a steal - but those skis don't seem easily stealable. i'm guessing you may in fact be able to get a ski that's better for you at a much lower price.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. Yeah, I was planning on going to Willey's for a pair of boots rather soon. We have one that opened up in the area. I believe they are actually having a rather nice sale going on. What do you consider as a "cheap" pair of boots btw?
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vtsuckah View Post
"cheap" pair of boots
oxymoron.

don't take the boot purchase lightly. and don't get suckered into getting the wrong pair for you. haste will indeed make waste in this situation. deals are great; but if the boot doesn't fit, you might just quit.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vtsuckah View Post
Thanks guys. Yeah, I was planning on going to Willey's for a pair of boots rather soon. We have one that opened up in the area. I believe they are actually having a rather nice sale going on. What do you consider as a "cheap" pair of boots btw?
Willis is a good place. There are others. Be aware that a lot of things are already sold out (Just TRY to get a set of chick Kryptons anywhere in the area), so be patient and don't expect a one-stop shopping experience.

Cheap = less than $450 total AND not having to go back a fourth time.

IMHO and YMMV.
post #8 of 19
your search terms may vary, too, but here're a few quick reads:

http://skiing.about.com/od/skigear/bb/skiboot.htm

http://www.spadout.com/wiki/index.php/Picking_Ski_Boots

http://www.ehow.com/how_9616_buy-ski-boots.html

you might also consider posting a BOOT question in this forum.

as comprex said, be patient.
post #9 of 19
BTW,

skis that would fit your current need can be found for very little, with the understanding that you will upgrade them when you feel you can or wish to.

When you have your boots in hand, give a shout again, with the budget.
post #10 of 19
The words "cheap" and "boots" should never, ever, ever be used in the same sentence together!!! Get thee to a reputable boot fitter and buy whatever they recommend. Your boots will be the most important investment you make in your skiing endeavor (even more important than lessons!). As stated above, DO NOT go to a box store. Go to a ski specialty store and make an appointment with their boot fitter. If they don't measure your feet (both) and look at your feet and legs in various positions, run, don't walk to another store.
post #11 of 19
When i bought my first skis/boots 4 years ago, the guy who sold them to me gave what i think is great advice: don't buy equipment for the level you are now; buy equipment for where you want to be- he said that everyone outgrows beginner skis quickly. i would buy intermediate or if you're really serious, some of the more forgiving intermediate/advanced skis. i would also seriously look at the salomon performa 7or 8's.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Great. Thanks for all the info.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklgirl View Post
The words "cheap" and "boots" should never, ever, ever be used in the same sentence together!!! Get thee to a reputable boot fitter and buy whatever they recommend. Your boots will be the most important investment you make in your skiing endeavor (even more important than lessons!). As stated above, DO NOT go to a box store. Go to a ski specialty store and make an appointment with their boot fitter. If they don't measure your feet (both) and look at your feet and legs in various positions, run, don't walk to another store.
Years ago my wife got cheap boots at the local Big 5. Top end skis and cheapo boots-go figure. Skiing was a literal pain for her. She would have tears in her eyes, but she loved sking and put up with the pain.

Then I got into skiing and learned a thing or two about boots. I insisted that she get some real brand name boots, because it hurt me to see her in pain when she walked in the ski boots. So two years ago we went to the local ski shop and she got a pair of Salomon Performa 8s (she really wanted a comfortable boot) and had custom foot beds made. No more tears and her skiing improved.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNPete View Post
I insisted that she get some real brand name boots, because it hurt me to see her in pain when she walked in the ski boots. So two years ago we went to the local ski shop and she got a pair of Salomon Performa 8s (she really wanted a comfortable boot) and had custom foot beds made. No more tears and her skiing improved.
It wasn't the "brand name" that made them comfortable, it was the person doing the fitting. I had Salomon X-Waves until this year, and they hurt, my first day out this season was so painful, I was near tears. The problem was that the boots were 1 size too big, the liners were packed out, plus I have really wide forefeet and a high instep. I was finally fitted with a boot shaped for my feet and custom footbeds and WOW what a difference. Big 5 sells the brand names, they just have no idea how to really fit a ski boot, they ask you your shoe size, UGH. Good for you for taking your wife to a qualified speciallist.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
I plan to go to the local Willey's in Fairfax, VA. I'm not sure if they have an actual boot fitter there. They had a few people that were telling people about boots who sounded like they knew what they were talking about, but who knows. I was eve's dropping while looking at some ski pants.

Anyways, does anyone know of any bootfitters in Northern VA? My experiences with ski boot rentals differ. The very first time i went, my shins were killing me. The last few times, the boots they gave me felt really good. No fatigue what so ever.
post #16 of 19
Luke at Willi's (though for custom liners I'd go to the 7Springs location)
Brian at Pro-Fit
Brian Eardley or Brian Beaumont at Ski Center

But any of the boot staff at any of the locations should have far more knowledge, patience and means to solve your problems than the ski boot rental clerks. Tell them your budget up front and they will work to stay within it.

Do it sooner than later, there's a warm spell here already.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Pro-fit is actually relatively close to me. I'll be sure to check them out.

I'm probably goin up to liberty this weekend. I'll manage with the ol rentals one more time.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Dynastar Legend 8800 158cm
Way too much ski for your size and present ability level. It'll likely make you ski poorly. You need a ski that is very forgiving and does not respond immediately and fully to every input you give it, the right inputs and the wrong inputs.

Buy the right boots first. Then check eBay, Craig's list (careful, lots of junk offered there at high prices), and internet and local ski sales of used demos, etc. At your ability level the brand of ski doesn't much matter. What matters greatly is that the ski be in the lower ability level and not too long for you. Be sure you have the bindings release-checked by a shop.

Look at this product advisor from Head, and look at similar tools from other ski makers' web sites. http://head.com/ski/advisor.php?region=us This gives you an idea of the ski for you to choose. A $20 subscription to Peter Keelty's techsupportforskiers.com gives you info on skis and other skiing stuff worth far more than the cost IMHO.


Ken
post #19 of 19
Quote:
I'm probably goin up to liberty this weekend. I'll manage with the ol rentals one more time.
You could also demo some nice skis instead too. They are a little more expensive, but will help you decide on what skis to pick when the time comes.
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