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New to ski gear and the forums, be prepared for depressingly simple questions ;)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello there all, I am 16, been skiing on family holidays for 8 years and would like to buy some ski gear Only problem is, I live in Nottingham, england which is not the most mountiness areas, but never mind.

I have read through the ski gear guide, but have some questions of my own. I have bolded my answers below

Tell them enough about yourself:
  • Gender, height, weight, age Male, about 6 foot, and weigh 10 stone, 16 years old, size 11 boots
  • Skiing ability, including the type of terrain that you enjoy skiing, how you tend to ski it, the turn shapes that you tend to use, the speed you ski, and any particular areas of focus in your skiing (if you'd like to use skier levels as they are often used on EpicSki, look at this thread that defines them, especially posts 8 and 9) I enjoy skiing on any type of terrain really, I like to ski fast and carve down the mountain. I am probably at "Level 8 Make parallel turns on black terrain and moguls with ease. Exploring extremes." level, and I am just starting to go in snow parks where I can do the very basic stunts (a few grabs, 180's) which I would love to improve in. I also like off piste but this year I didn't venture into it much because we had very poor snow.
  • Where you ski. Name the general geographic regions, the resorts you frequent, the slopes, pistes, and regions of the resorts you enjoy, talk about the conditions you most enjoy and those that you tend to avoid. I tend to ski wherever I get taken, this year I skied in les des alpes, but the snow was poor. Last year I went to vail, which was by far my favourite and I am going there next year. Also, my dad has got a new job which takes him to china alot and I have read that they are really developing ski resorts at the moment which would be great. My favourite confitions are nice powder, it just feels so nice wizzing down, but I don't mind ice or (this year) mud...
Talk about other skis
  • Mention skis you've enjoyed This is really where I do not know a thing about, I have only used rental ski's and have never owned a pair or payed to much account to what I was skiing on.
  • Skis that you own that you will keep in your quiver
  • Skis that you own that you will be replacing with the new ones
  • Skis that you have enjoyed in the past
  • Mention skis you have not enjoyed
The things that I would want to purchase are Ski's, boots, bindings (unless they come pre-fitted? I really don't know...) poles and a bag to carry it in on the plane etc.

Now, due to the location that I live in, there are simply no skiing shops (or none that I know of...anyone know of any in the Nottingham rejion) and no where to demo the skiis apart from, say, snowdome...so I would probably have to purchase online.

Now, for some general questions, how long to ski's and boots tend to stay up to date? Should I wait until next season to buy some or would there be sales soon to start as the season has just about finished? Also, budget whise, what would be the norm to spend at my level to be worthwile? I could save for a while and shall get some money for birthday/gcse's in the june area, when is the best time to order some nice cheap ski's? And what websites or shops or something can I get it all from?

Also, is it actually worth it to buy ski's or should I simply stick to rentals?

Thanks in advance, it looks like a nice forum
post #2 of 18
I'm going to say it first but probably not best - Boots first.

If you get a good boot/boot fit, you will have one of the best investments into your ski experience.

Your question about renting vs buying:
Depending on the quality of rental you are using, you will be better off buying.
When you ski on your own equipment that is specific to you and your liking, you will improve much. Improvement means enjoyment

Your description of ski terrain/style leads me to say K2 PE, Atomic Snoop Daddy, or Elan 888.

Something in a mid fat range, to make edge to edge sweet when you're in the carving mood, and yet a playful ski for the park and bumps.

Others will be sure to chime in and show you that there are a tremendous amount of options out there for you that will make you Grin
post #3 of 18
I'll hop in and give some idea of budget.... This is where it gets tough...

Boots: Some people (such as myself) get lucky and find a nice set of used boots that fit perfectly for cheap ($100), others have to buy high end boots new and get them custom fitted which can cost up to $1000. I'd say $400-500 is a good round number you can expect, but don't be surprised if it is a lot more.

I'll also second the PEs, I've never skied them, but have read tons of reviews because I'm considering a pair myself. You can get them for around $300 new for just the skis, or used for about $200 with skis and bindings. Be careful of the condition they are in if you buy them used... skis, especially twin tips, seem to get abused highly. You want to make sure the bases have no core shots (just ask, most people will be honest), the edges are in tact (again, just ask), and ind out if the bindings will fit your boots, otherwise the bindings will need to be remounted which cost anywhere from $25 - $50, depending on where you get it done.

If you choose to get them New, and they don't come with bindings, you will need a set of bindings for them. You need bindings that will accomodate wide brakes (if you ask here, someone will tell you). If you are going to be really aggressive, you need a binding that can handle it... they will generally cost more. Bindings will cost anywhere from $100 (for the lightweight, less durable bindings.. which are perfectly fine if you aren't hucking 50 foot cliffs or stomping landings from huge air) to upwards of $300 for more durable, feature filled bindings. The more expensive ones generally have mroe release directions as well, so if you take a nasty crash and put strange force on the binding it will release.. cheaper bindings won't release in some situations.

Poles... any poles will work, just make sure you find the right size.. someone can chime in on how to properly size poles... I don't use my poles much... I'm 5'9" and use, i believe, 48" poles? I could be wrong... They cost anywhere from $25-75... $50 is pretty normal.

Also, I would like to recommend a helmet... You may not fall on your own and may trust your own skiing, but what about that noob schussing down the black diamond at mach infinity with no control whatsoever... when he hits you, you'll know it... and a helmet could save your life. They are cheap too... about $50 for a sufficient helmet.

So, for all this, you are looking at anywhere from $600 to $2000, I'd say a good estimate of cost would be about $1000 - $1200 If you want equipment that you won't outrow, will offer awesome performance, etc...
post #4 of 18
Oh, a few more things... buying online works for everything but boots... get to a good boot fitter to get boots... Otherwise you risk being in pain all the time... also, search for the thread on how to fit boots... It'll help you get the best performance.

And about renting vs. buying, Buying is expensive, but you will have skis that you can get used to, that you know will be taken care of, and that will help you progress to the next level. If you don't decide to buy skis, at least get a set of boots that fit you... even if you have to pay $500... You won't regret it... boots that are too big, don't fit, etc... severely decrease your ability to control the skis.... Believe me.. I went from rental boots to good fitting boots and my skiing improved dramatically over the next couple days... In rental boots, to get a size that are comfortable, they are usually a size or two too big... when your skis try giving you feedback, it's all lost in the boot shaking around around your foot.
post #5 of 18
If you are going to buy new skis online I'd suggest buying from a brick and mortar operation that also sells on line rather than E-Bay and the like. That way if there are any problems with the skis you will be covered by the manufacturer's warranty (just save the sales receipt.)

There are several members here from the UK. Spyderjon who posts here has a ski tuning shop in Nottingham where you live. http://www.skituning.co.uk/ You might contact him. He can likely recommend a good boot fitter in your area. As others have written, properly fitted boots are the most important skiing equipment you can own.
Good luck.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy View Post
If you are going to buy new skis online I'd suggest buying from a brick and mortar operation that also sells on line rather than E-Bay and the like. That way if there are any problems with the skis you will be covered by the manufacturer's warranty (just save the sales receipt.)

There are several members here from the UK. Spyderjon who posts here has a ski tuning shop in Nottingham where you live. http://www.skituning.co.uk/ You might contact him. He can likely recommend a good boot fitter in your area. As others have written, properly fitted boots are the most important skiing equipment you can own.
Good luck.
I'd second this suggestion! Spyderjon is a very good guy!
post #7 of 18
I'm thinking track down Greg Hoffman and buy boots from him on the first day of your Vail trip. Then demo skis while you are there.
post #8 of 18
To try to answer a few more of your questions:

Ski Boots really haven't changed all that much for a long time. It's mainly about getting a good fit. Anything you buy now will probably be good for years.

There is a trend toward buying wider skis, but there are plenty of such models currently around. In terms of new technology, things seem to have settled out in that area for awhile. Anything you buy now will not likely become dated for several seasons, at least.

Spring is always a good time to look for good deals on ski equipment, especially because many places in Europe and the USA had such a poor snow season this year. There should be a lot of excess inventory around and good deals to be had. The next best time to buy is usually shortly before the new season starts.

As far as costs, it is hard for me to estimate. I think you need to research the skis out there that you are interested in, then check around on the prices. For boots, again it depends on what you are looking for. Its best to see a bootfitter first and determine what kind of foot you have eg. instep, width at mid-foot, length of toes, heel size, calves etc. Then what kind of skiing you expect to do. A good bootfitter can recommend models that will best work for you.

Half the fun is in the hunt.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all the help guys. Looking at budgets and stuff it looks like I will have to take it steady, so I shall give Jon a ring eventually and see if he knows any good bootfitters and stuff around my area. Then, one my next holiday demo a load of skiis and see which I prefer, then wait for a bit longer and try and get that ski cheaply in some sales somewhere...cheap skate for the win

The fact that boots don't change much makes me feel good aswell...I just hope my feet have indeed stopped growing.

Helmet wise, I usually rent one but I may look into buying one aswell seeign as they are not expencive, and poles, so probably the order I will buy things in are:
Helmet-Boots-Poles-Ski's.

One more thing, what uk websites are good which sell ski's brand new? Just so I have something to look for
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by niko-time View Post
One more thing, what uk websites are good which sell ski's brand new? Just so I have something to look for
UK websites are not normally cheap unless it is sale time at the end of the season.

German websites are cheap e.g
http://www.sport-conrad.com/Index.asp?lang_id=ENG

However, I would not recommend buying via the net if at all possible. Skis would need bindings set to your boots after all. Definitely do not buy US gear, via eBay, as you will get caned for tax and import duty when the goods arrive in the UK.

Helmets you also need to try on before you buy them.

As regards weight, Americans mostly look blankly when you give a weight in stones. They only do pounds.
post #11 of 18
: ... like this?

post #12 of 18
niko-time, welcome to Epicski.

I'm based in Lambley, just on the east side of Nottingham between Lowdham & Woodborough.

My main trade is in ski/board tuning & tuning products so let me know when you get skis I'll show you how to maintain them. However I always seem to have a few pairs of skis for sale so call me or keep an eye on my website.

You're right re the lack of local stores. Ellis Brigham's at Castleford is the nearest with the benefit of being able to demo in the snowdome, although they don't stock all makes. EB's do have some great offers on ex-demo skis that have only ever been skied in the snowdome, which usually include a selection of twin tips which is what I presume you'll be after.

For boots I'd stay clear of EB's and Snow & Rock as their fitting is a bit hit & miss. The best bootfitters in the UK are either Lockwoods at Leamington Spa or Profeet in London so Lockwoods would be the easiest for you. If you have problem feet there's a specialist ski podriatist called CEM who works closely with Lockwoods.

For on-line buying stay within Europe (no import charges) & I can personally recommend both Sport Conrad & Telemark Pyrennes. If you buy on-line I can set the bindings up for your boots at no charge.

I'd also recommend checking out http://www.snowheads.com which is the main skiing forum on this side of the pond.
post #13 of 18
spyderjon, this it truly one of the nicest posts by a merchant that I have ever seen.
post #14 of 18
That's how you keep people coming back.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by niko-time View Post
Wow, thanks for all the help guys. Looking at budgets and stuff it looks like I will have to take it steady, so I shall give Jon a ring eventually and see if he knows any good bootfitters and stuff around my area. Then, one my next holiday demo a load of skiis and see which I prefer, then wait for a bit longer and try and get that ski cheaply in some sales somewhere...cheap skate for the win

The fact that boots don't change much makes me feel good aswell...I just hope my feet have indeed stopped growing.

Helmet wise, I usually rent one but I may look into buying one aswell seeign as they are not expencive, and poles, so probably the order I will buy things in are:
Helmet-Boots-Poles-Ski's.

One more thing, what uk websites are good which sell ski's brand new? Just so I have something to look for
Hi I am also based in Nottingham.

My advice please realise I am a noob skier, LOL

I bought my boots from Lockwoods that was the first job. very good boot fitters my advice is do not make them too comfortable at the first fitting as I did, I subsequently found that I over did the shell stretch and after 2 weeks skiing they started to feel to loose.

I have now bought 2 sets of skis, Fishcer rc4 race £215.00 and Fischer AMC 76 £180.00 and another pair of boots Salomon Falcon race £130.00 from Ebay.

All packed as new I even fitted my bindings.

I can highly recommend Ski Bilik in Germany.

PM me for more info

Hope this helps.

Sean
post #16 of 18
I'm not from Nottingham, but do spend most weekends in the UK.

I can vouch for Spyderjon, and I'd recommend Lockwoods as well. Get your boots sorted first, and then join the rest of us UK gear whores...
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latchigo View Post
As regards weight, Americans mostly look blankly when you give a weight in stones. They only do pounds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
: ... like this?
c'mon Yuki... he said 10 stone. Do the math. That would be....

x2 or roughly 140 pounds, on your bathroom scale.
post #18 of 18
Get your boots from a shop and you'll get help with fitting and adjustments.

There are usually some to be done. If you buy online you might be looking at some sad ,painful feet or be visiting a shop for modification. Ski you can buy anywhere. Online works but first go visit Spyderjon and you might be surprised what he is willing to part with skis for.
It's good to support a local shop if they are reasonable and chances are you'll get some great service.
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