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Is it insanity....

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
to buy a new set of skis without demoing them first? I made a mistake by not demoing any skis this year and now I am done for the year. I guess I didnt make up my mind to but some new skis until my most recent trip was over.

Anyway, I am thinking about either some Snoops Daddy's or the AC4. I am 6'3" 200lbs. I ski about 70% off piste, bumps, teees, etc. and 30% groomed. I dont want to have to drag 2 sets of skis out west with me so I am looking for something that I can use in powder, crud and bumbs....if it exists....or to get as close to it as possible.

I really regret not demoing these skis particularly since I would rather buy last years model in the off season rather than paying full price. Should I take a chance or wait until next season????
post #2 of 11
of my current 3 pairs i didnt demo any before buying them. I love all 3 of them, mantra, karma, rx8.
i used to have a pair of solly scream 10 xtra hots that i demoed and bought same day. I just did tons of research and spoke to my friends at the local shops about the skis before buying.

i think youll like the AC4, i havent been on them yet, but one of the guys i skied with in jackson in deep pow didnt have any complaints about them
post #3 of 11
Demoing is fantastic, you really learn a lot by doing it and if you're lucky find the perfect ski for you.

However..... buying without demoing is not insanity. Good research, reading reviews and talking to people will get you close and most skis are so good these days that even if you don't get the "perfect" ski for yourself, you will still end up with great skis.
post #4 of 11
The only ski in my quiver that I demo'd is the one I like and use the most.
post #5 of 11

Good enough

Buy a good ski with a name you like

Buy them CHEAP!

Then you have an excuse to get some others if you don't like them.

It's called the Consumer responsible Demo plan

post #6 of 11
Never demoed, read reviews liked the brand's technology and design and went with that. No regrets, love both my Head skis, I am currently looking for a deal on another set to buy, untested.
post #7 of 11
SkiMangoJazz hit it right on the head.

Demo'ing all the skis that are within your parameters of consideration is of course the only way to find that one pair of skis that suits you best. That said, such an undertaking involves opportunity, money, time, and a commitment to methodical testing that not everyone is willing or able to invest. It is also worth noting that the effort we must make to just even ski varies greatly between geographical locales, i.e. places with real winter vs. the Sunbelt.

There are fanatics (possibly a good bunch'o ya bears) who were involved in the sport at a young age, made their friends/connections within the industry, and who want and are willing to pay for the latest and greatest in-season gear. In that case, it would be downright unthinkable to not demo. This is actually the case with me and mountain biking, and I totally understand the impulse to cast an arched brow at other people who we might judge to make less-than-totally-informed decisions, at least per our standards.

For others, just getting to the slopes is difficult, not to mention finding a competent specialty shop that's also trustworthy. Personally, I know of exactly one shop in Los Angeles that I believe truly understands the nuances of bootfitting and tuning. There is no choice here, and that shop is an hour away in the absence of cross-LA traffic (fat chance). And word-of-mouth? Ha. Even the ubiquitous snowboard bros/brahs you might find in skate shops know about their own pursuit only in the shallowest of depth, which is unsurprising when you see how few actually know how to carve.

All this rant is just to say that although demo'ing is a good part of making the best-informed decision a consumer can make, situations (locale, lack of a ski culture, etc.) can make demo'ing less-than-accessible for some of us. In that case, buying skis without demo'ing is not nearly as insane or stupid as some people make it out to be.

There are skis that are more-or-less universally praised by the press and in forums like this for a given application and style. Does that make it the perfect pair of skis for you? No, but chances are that they will still be quite good. Buying those at a prior-season discount without a demo is probably a safe bet.

Consider that even in the course of demo'ing, you might narrow down your list of skis to try based on what you have heard about these skis (dimensions, flex, reputation, etc.) That is not at all unlike taking it a step further and narrowing it down to one pair of skis.
post #8 of 11
no...I think many skiers likey buy without demoing first. Do your research, find a good deal, and certainly demo if you can.

Personal example I went through:

I'm skiing a Volkl G30 mid fat years ago. I wanted a better powder ski and the Rossi bandits were the ski to get. Went and found a deal on 193 XXX and really enjoyed them in the pow, but still liked the G30 on hardpack. Demoed the G41/G4, but it didn't really do what I wanted off piste, too much sidecut for a powder ski and the sidecuts were now moving the other direction. Thankfully the carving madness was subsiding a bit and powder skis were getting better/wider. Waited another year or two and Rossi now had a wider B3 ski flying off the shelves, but I knew it was still a foam core and would not hold on hardpack. I liked the Volkl wood core ride for edging on hardpack. Made the choice to grab a closeout 190 Volkl Explosive over the 195 B3 and boy am I happy. So I never demoed the Explosive, but I did find my way to it. Glad I did, one of the best ski's I've ever ridden.

Enjoy your quest for a new ski...
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Great! Thanks for all the advice.

I passed up on a great deal on some Snoop Daddy's but Oh well I'm sure that deal will turn up again. As far as the AC4 goes, seems like it is damn near impossible to find the 06/07 ski in stock let alone a great deal on them.

My only concern with these 2 choices are using them in bumps. I have never ski'd anything that fat in bumps. How are skis that fat in bumps? Impossible, not much fun or are they ok?
post #10 of 11
It isn't insanity but it is obviously better to try before you buy. Even living in ski country it can be very hard to find the skis you want to demo. I just bought my latest skis (Volkl Gotamas) without demoing because the shop was down to their last pair and had marked them down significantly. They had made the decision early in the yeat to not want to sacrifice any of their skis to the demo pool (likely due in part to Volkl's limited production strategy). Alta usually has Gotamas in the demo pool but I had to make the decision before I had a chance to get to Alta. I'm picking them up tommorow so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Of the four skis I will have in my quiver, I only demoed one of the exact model and one in the similar model (bought Metron B5/demoed M11). My least favorite though still very enjoyable pair of skis (at least until I try my Gotamas) is the one I had demoed.

By the way, as of late last week the shop where I purchased my Gotamas still had a pair of AC-4s in 184. Can't remember the price but I think it was in the mid-600s. If you are interested, I can send you the contact information.
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by crocane View Post
Great! Thanks for all the advice.
As far as the AC4 goes, seems like it is damn near impossible to find the 06/07 ski in stock let alone a great deal on them.

My only concern with these 2 choices are using them in bumps. I have never ski'd anything that fat in bumps. How are skis that fat in bumps? Impossible, not much fun or are they ok?
AC4's sold out in late December. Unless you find a dealer with a pair in stock, you're out of luck. :-( They good news is that the gear junkies are starting to sell AC4's so that they can but AC40's !

As far as bumps, many of us AC4 users have the same opinion.....
a fantastic ski, but not your _first_ choice in the bumps. Can you ski them in the bumps and have fun ? Yes. (especially big, soft ones) But the ski's stiffness and performance sidecut _can_ be a handful (but still manageable) in big, hard, rutted bumps.

Try doing a search with "AC4 Bumps" or "Midfat Bumps". That should give you a few things to read on the subject.

Here's one on the AC4's http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=38873 and page two: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=38873&page=2

Good Luck,
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