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Saying hello and asking some questions

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I recently found this forum and wanted to introduce my self and ask some questions.

I live in norther new jersey. I have been skiing on and off for about 12 years. I would describe my ability as slightly above average. Recently, I have been taken intermittent lessons to try to improve my skiing and that has been paying some dividend.

My other "hobby" is scuba diving. I put it in quotes because its not really a hobby. Its more of an all consumming addiction that consumes most of my time and money. Except in the winter ( I still go ice diving, but only ones or twice during the winter). Winter is for skiing.

I mention diving because it has some interesting parallels to skiing. They are both equipment intensive and heated debates arise about which equipment is better . In both activities there are people who argue (and in my opinion correctly) that a good diver/skier can overcome deficiencies in the gear and that the latest does not mean greatest There is also a training component to both activities that people often overlook (in some cases in diving with dire consequences). And finally, both have internet forums where if one has the ability to filter BS, they can get a ton of valuable info.

So with that, I ask my two (series of) questions.

First, I would like to buy a better set of boots. I have already gleamed from this site that I need a good boot fitter. Where do I get one of those in my "area". I am of course willing to drive, but hopefully not up to Vermont. Also, I was wondering (and I know this question might not have an answer) what is the order of magnitude of the price that I can expect to pay for an quallaty all mountain boot expertly fitted?

Second, do there exist private instructors (in my area) that offer some kind of an individual training program? If some, can someone give me some info on them.
Thats all for now.
Thanks, Stas
post #2 of 16
North Jersey, head over to Heino's on Rt. 23 in Wayne, call ahead and ask for Greg. No, I don't work there or get a "piece of the action" but he is one of the best fitters and patient.

Avoid the box shops ...... I'm constantly amazed at the BS that's slung by these yo yo's .... there should be laws .... these guys will sell anything that need to be off the shelves and will adjust .... oh man .... there is only so much you can adjust in a boot.

Take a look at footbeds, most stock footbeds ... are made for ... as they should be ... the average foot.

Balanced and properly fitted in boots is half the battle.

Instructors .... are not allowed to teach out of uniform. It is possible to develop a relationship with an instructor through a series of privates and then head over to some other hill off the books I guess. You may be better served by one of the adult race programs that will combine instruction and fun along with challenge. I used to give lots of lessons off the books .... strictly for free ... guys I work with ... I don't consider that an ethical problem. But an instructor will be canned if they are caught moonlighting.
post #3 of 16
Heino's is the place to go, stas. The techs there are pretty good, but Greg Pier is the best. Do call ahead to make sure he's there. Tell him Yuki and Baja of the Barking Bears sent you.

(Like he's gonna know us by those names. Sounds like the latest panda bear twins born at the zoo. LOL.)


http://www.heinosskiandcycle.com/
post #4 of 16

Instructor

Stas, another possibility. Check with ski shops (good one) and see if they know of any free lancing instructors. I know of some real good ones in Tahoe but obviously that won't help you. Some plusses are a much better price and real individual instruction and more time for you.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recomndation. Made an apointment for wensday for a fitting.

Yuki, any advice/recommendations on the local race programs?
Thanks, stas
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Avoid the box shops ...... I'm constantly amazed at the BS that's slung by these yo yo's .... there should be laws .... these guys will sell anything that need to be off the shelves and will adjust .... oh man .... there is only so much you can adjust in a boot.
True story:
I was selling a pair of skis to a friend. (yes, I sell my gear from time to time)
She decided to do some shopping before she agreed to buy my skis. Fine, I had no problem with that. But, she insisted we go to a "box store" , and she wanted me to go with her and ask the right questions.
So I noticed that most of the skis were system skis and that most were beg/intermediate skis. My friend was high intermediate and, IMO really was at a point of needing something more advanced to allow her to advance.
After some "skirting my questions" game with the sales man, I asked him what, among the skis he was selling, did HE ski on. His answer..........."Oh, I don't ski on any of this crap! I buy my skis at Sun and Snow Ski Shop"
post #7 of 16
...An honest answer...
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks for the replies. Some questions:
What's a "box shop".
Is Heino's a "box shop". I plan on going there, getting recommendations and then doing some independent research (if the recommendation is good, I will buy from them, not the internet). Is this an aproach that should safeguard me from being sold crap wrapped up prettily.
Thanks, Stas
post #9 of 16
A box shop would be like MC Sports.
Good Comparison is Walmart compared to the local merchants.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by stas View Post
Hi, thanks for the replies. Some questions:
What's a "box shop".
Is Heino's a "box shop". I plan on going there, getting recommendations and then doing some independent research (if the recommendation is good, I will buy from them, not the internet). Is this an aproach that should safeguard me from being sold crap wrapped up prettily.
Thanks, Stas

An example of a "box shop" here in NJ would be Sports Authority. Like Trekchick says, it's a big, non-specialty store that's like a Walmart or K-mart.

Heino's is definitely not a box shop. They carry only high quality ski equipment, and specialize in bootfitting and race-level tuning, repairs, and service.

You've got the right idea about shopping around and getting recommendations, then doing your own research, before committing to buy anything. At Heino's, you won't have to worry about getting stuck with equipment that is wrong for you, especially if you get an appointment with Greg.

Good luck!
post #11 of 16
Actually, here in NJ, we are blessed with some others that qualify as poorly as the box shops.

One sounds like the name of a bird, another like an institute of higher learning, another like a farm structure ...

Most shops here in NJ are pretty bad .... like real bad ... some are even expensive .... and still bad.

Sometimes it can be funny in a sad way. I walk in cause my buddy needs mittens. I'm just looking around. I am wearing a rep jacket for another brand ... with a PSIA pin .... and the idiot starts telling me how hot, hot, hot, these skis are .... low end stuff ... all junk ... and you just nod and go wow ... gee ... no kiddin ...

But ... just remember ... when you think you know so much ... keep your ears open cause there is so much to learn.

So much ....
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Sometimes it can be funny in a sad way. I walk in cause my buddy needs mittens. I'm just looking around. I am wearing a rep jacket for another brand ... with a PSIA pin .... and the idiot starts telling me how hot, hot, hot, these skis are .... low end stuff ... all junk ... and you just nod and go wow ... gee ... no kiddin ...
Yuki, I do that sort of thing when I'm bored and need to be cheered up. I should record it next time I head in.

Stas,

Sounds like you are good to go. I'm glad to hear that you are going to buy from the shop after verifying the recommendations. The customer service will definitely pay off in the long run
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi,
So I went for a fitting today.

After trying several boots which all had several levels of initial discomfort which went away to some extent (but not all) after some time, I tried the nordica supercharger blower boot. There was an order of magnitude in the difference in the initial comfort of this boot with the previous ones.

What are the opinions of this boot.

Also, I have read on this board things which roughly imply that a boot that fits well in a shop will be to loose after several days of skiing. Will this be an issue with this boot? The liner in it was made (or appeared to be made) out of a different type of material then the other boots. That could be causing the difference in the comfort level, or they might be the wrong size. Any opinions on this?

Thanks, Stas
post #14 of 16
Did you wear a light sock for the fitting.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
I wore a light/medium ski sock that I normally ski in.
Stas
post #16 of 16
I don't know where you are in terms of your skiing. That said, you need to think of performance and comfort ..... and the fine line in between.

The boot should be snug and firm and it has to transmit all of the motion/input from the ankles directly to the ski .... NOW!

Any slop or loose action and your performance will suffer.

Will the liner "pack out" or compress over time .... yep .. unless this boot has some miracle material. So, with a light sock or at least a lighter sock, judge the initial fit .... heel lift or overall ..... if it's snug, at what point are the buckles fastened? Make sure that you have them with at least a few full notches to go .... and that they have micro adjusters. After a few seasons when the liner does start to pack out ... sometimes a heavy sock will get you by for a season.

Second .... adjust your buckles twice ... when you put them on and then make a "nature call" ... and then before you head out. Be patient; it takes a few weeks to find the "sweet spot" between the micro adjustment and buckle.

Footbeds .... a whole other issue.

Race ..... from Jersey City, you are a bit limited for any evening stuff and I have been out of the race loop in this area for two years now.

Camelback had some program but I think it may have gone by the wayside. Call the race department and leave a message for "Gus" and check. NASTAR is available on weekends.

Shawnee ... nah .... they had a bit of NASTAR but no adult race.

Blue .... not sure but they had a huge race program .... they gotta have something.

Mt. Creek ...... send a PM to BillA .... he works there .... active race department and it's probably closest to you.

Check out a site called PAskiandride.com they have a lot of chatter there on the "beer league" and they associate with a group of fun race types called ASRA Recreational Ski Racing (also have a web site). ASRA runs fun races in PA, NY and a few other places.
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