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New skier (opinions)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am a first time poster and I have just found this site a couple of days ago and have found it very useful. Let me tell you a little about myself that way you can help me with some suggestions. I read the FAQ about recomendations and I am going to give you as much information as I can about myself and ability. O.k. here goes, My height is 6'1 and weight is around 220 pds. I have only skied for one season, last year, and only skied aprox. 9 days out of last season. The slopes I went to were Wintergreen resort, in Wintergreen VA, and Wolf Laurel in N.C. I made good progress at the resorts though. At wintergreen I stayed just on the greens because I wasn't confident enough yet to try the blues. While at Wintergreen I skied at a slow to medium pace, and mostly used the wedge turn although I could ski parralel at times. By the end of my wintergreen trip I could ski down all the greens without falling. My trips to wolf laurel were where I really felt like I growed. I could go down the greens at a descent pace (medium) and I finally challenged the blues and could go down them at a slow pace with a occasional fall. I stayed mostly with the wedge turn though going down the blues. Since I am a eastern skier this will probably be where I do most of my skiing (north carolina) although I will be making a return trip to Wintergreen in January. I have been thinking about purchasing head skis and boots due to the fact that is what wintergreen uses and I really enjoyed them. I have been doing some studying about what head product would be the best. The boots I came up with were the Edge + 8 with a 60 flex index and the Edge +9 heatfit with I believe a 70 flex index. I was thinking of these two boots because of the soft flex due to my inexperience. The question I have about the flex issue is if it is a softer flex does that mean it is easier to turn the skis? I see where the advanced skiers usually have a higher flex so I was just curious. The skis I have come up with are the Xenon XI 3.0 and 5.0. I really don't have any idea about length and width and sidecut that are involved with the skis though. Any help in this would be greatly appreciated. I know it is a long post but I have developed a great passion for skiing in just the past year and never knew how great it could be. Once again thanks for taking the time to read the post.

Chris
post #2 of 12
Chris,
I can't really talk much about Head skis because I don't have too much experience with them. I know a little bit more of the Head boots though. If you wanted one of those two boots that you mentioned, I would recommend the Edge+ 9. With your weight, you would need the stiffer boot of the two to support you.

Here is the reality of things. You need to visit a ski shop a good reputation as an outfitter. Have the sales staff get an idea on what you need. This is really more important when it comes to the bootfit. One thing I know is the Head Edge series of boots are built for a medium to higher volume foot. If you have the wrong footshape for the boot, the bootfitter will offer you another option.

Keep your mind open for suggestions when visiting a shop. I know Head makes quality products, but other brands offer gear just as good, if not better. A trained outfitter will be able to take care of you in regards to your needs of fit, performance, and budget.

And welcome to the sport.

Dennis
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Dennis, thanks for your advice, I am also bumping this thread to get some more feedback I really need the forums help in this area.

Chris
post #4 of 12
demo some skis first, dont buy. Make sure you get a boot fitter who knows what they are doing. If you are really hooked and put the time in, your skiing will progress fairly quickly over the next 2-3 seasons so i would wait on the skis. TAKE LESSONS!
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny1969 View Post
Here is the reality of things. You need to visit a ski shop a good reputation as an outfitter. Have the sales staff get an idea on what you need.
This is great advice. The only problem that I see with your situation is that it doesn't sound like you are getting the skis on edge and actually carving your turns. I don't mean this as an insult. I have helped friends find new skis when I have never skied with them and although they have been skiing most of their lives, they still aren't getting their skis on edge and carving their turns. Since the skis today are meant to be put on edge, I would suggest that you first get boots. Second, take some lessons. Once you get the hang of carving (it won't take long), demo a few different skis. After 3 or 4 different skis (hopefully different brands), if you find a pair that you like and a pair that you don't like, head to a few shops and share your experiences. If you can find a shop that can determine a good match based on your ability and preferences, go with them.
If you want to post your feedback on the skis you liked and disliked do that here. I can walk into a couple of local shops and say that I heard ski x was wonderful and since they have skied it, they can say that they agree or that they don't think it is for me. A shop you can trust will save you more in the long run than taking your chances online.
Keep us updated and post any questions that you have. There's a lot of good advice and experience here.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
The boots I came up with were the Edge + 8 with a 60 flex index and the Edge +9 heatfit with I believe a 70 flex index. I was thinking of these two boots because of the soft flex due to my inexperience. The question I have about the flex issue is if it is a softer flex does that mean it is easier to turn the skis? I see where the advanced skiers usually have a higher flex so I was just curious.
First, the flex index isn't comparable across boot brands; i.e., a flex index of 70 on a Head boot isn't comparable to a flex index of 70 on a Lange. But, as a general rule, the higher the number, the stiffer the boot. Most manufacturers max the "flex index" number at 150, which is basically like putting your foot in concrete.

What it means to you though, is that the softer the flex (i.e., the lower the number), the less "reactive" the boot will be. That is, it will take a more deliberate movement of your foot and leg to actually cause the ski to react and start turning. Stiffer boots react to more subtle movements -- and, the important part -- they will cause the ski to react in response to moves that you don't even know you're making.

Note that stiff boots can be softened. However, soft boots can't really be stiffened. So if you're in a boot that you think is just way too stiff -- your local bootfitter can adjust it to a surprising degree.

As others have said -- a properly fitting boot is way, way, way more important then getting the right "flex index". If the boot doesn't fit your foot correctly (and not all boots fit all feet) -- then the flex index number becomes largely irrelevant.
post #7 of 12
South Carolina Skier, Welcome to Epic and welcome to Skiing. Advice: Go to Forums page, scroll down the Beginners Zone and read everything. Some very good advice for new skiers especially for buying skis and boots. This way you will save yourself some money and time and frustration when and if you get the wrong gear.
post #8 of 12
I echo what Pete said (nice 1000th post by the way!). Be sure to read through that stuff and consider what you really need. Bottom line: boots first, lessons for sure and then demo skis if you can.
post #9 of 12
No need for me to add anything else it all been said.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Guys, I appreciate all the advice and help you have offered. I have read some of the begginer stuff and I will revisit. One question I do have is you have said that a soft flex doesn't respond to foot movement as easy so does that mean a stiffer boot will react quicker and make it easier to start my turns. I know there is a lot more to it but I was just curious if the boot flex would make a difference. Please don't get frustrated with my newbie questions, I just want the most advice before I start the ski season. Thanks once again.

Chris
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Guys, one more quick question. As a new skier do I want a more reactive boot or not?
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by south carolina skier View Post
Guys, one more quick question. As a new skier do I want a more reactive boot or not?
Easy to ask, hard to answer. Read this: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=7605
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