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What to check when buying used ski?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi again! First of all, I want to thank the community for the help I have received so far as well as for the forum archives you have created over years. You guys are just priceless.

I found a used 06/07 testing Metron B5 (the real deal this time!) for price I was about to lay down for a Metron 10. They say it has quite a scratch on the bottom, but I think it's possible to have that fixed, or maybe shouldn't even bother me much. Do you think it could be a problem?

Is there anything else I should check, apart from visible physical damage? What tends to be the problem most often when buying used ski?

I am going to take a look at those skis tomorrow or the day after, so excited!
post #2 of 21
Hi Gwinnie,

The amount of use and any damage will keep me from buying a used ski, no matter how good the deal.

First avoid any ski that has more than 20 days on it. The best used bargains are skis owned by someone who skis less than 10 days a year or has several skis and each ski is used less than 10 days a year.

A ski with more than 20 days on it has no value IMO. Also a ski that has been drilled 3 times is worthless, even if its new. Atomics have plates, so no worry there.

Avoid a ski with the kind of damage that would cause it to fail. Core shots on the base can be repaired by a pro, so this alone is acceptable if any and all repairs were successful.

I also avoid a ski with edge or sidewall damage that is deeper than cosmetic as this can cause failure of the ski and ruin a ski vacation.

Michael
post #3 of 21
All of what barrettscv says but I'll add to it....Check the camber. If there is no camber left in the ski, it will be dead under you.
post #4 of 21
20 times and it's worthless?

My entire quiver is therefore worthless.

I find that funny, since the skis still work quite well.

barretscv must own a ski shop!
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
20 times and it's worthless?

My entire quiver is therefore worthless.

I find that funny, since the skis still work quite well.

barretscv must own a ski shop!
It's not a ski shop, it's a museum!

But no, I'm an avid buyer of used gear & bargains, but I'm not in the industry or a ski shop owner or manager.

Michael
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
It's not a ski shop, it's a museum!

But no, I'm an avid buyer of used gear & bargains, but I'm not in the industry or a ski shop owner or manager.

Michael
This reminds me.........I have some skis I'd like to sell you for your daughter.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwinnie View Post
I found a used 06/07 testing Metron B5 (the real deal this time!) for price I was about to lay down for a Metron 10.

What tends to be the problem most often when buying used ski?
Check to make sure there is a second, matching ski, with the same serial number, for the other foot. Unless you're a 3-tracker! :
post #8 of 21
Look at the thickness of the edge by eyeballing the sidewall of the ski. Even a flawless ski base might have been ground way too far and should be thrown out. I would rather have to repair a fresh, thick base than buy an over-tuned pristine looking ski!
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
Look at the thickness of the edge by eyeballing the sidewall of the ski. Even a flawless ski base might have been ground way too far and should be thrown out. I would rather have to repair a fresh, thick base than buy an over-tuned pristine looking ski!
This is a good tip in all cases, but especially if you're buying a twin tip, or a race stock ski.

Twin tips can spend time on rails and boxes.
Race Skis tend to get tuned a lot!!
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ah, interesting. I didn't know that skis age so quickly. Do you think that a new Metron 10 will be a better choice, than a testing B5 from last season? I have no clue how much the ski was used, unfortunately, and I want it to last for at least (!) 60 more skiing days.

Also, what exactly is the camber and how do I check it? (Not a native speaker, sorry.)
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwinnie View Post
Ah, interesting. I didn't know that skis age so quickly.
HI GW,

Its not that skis age so quickly, a ski that has been used 20 days is not used up, its just low in value.

The supply of "lightly used" gear is vast for many reasons. Most skiers are on the snow less than 10 days a year. Many skiers like the latest gear. Combine those two factors and a strong supply of good gear is available, and the price reflect this over-supply.

Michael
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, for me, the value of skis depends mostly on how they perform. No offense meant to anyone, but I am not willing to pay more than necessary just for the recent graphics.

And unless the people have been extremely careless with their equipement, it's hard to believe that it could be ruined after a season... or am I wrong here? Noteworthy here is, though, that the ski is a testing model, so I don't know who used it and how much. :-( So maybe I should just go with a lower model...

What you say is different in Europe, though. All the people I know only buy one pair of ski and use it until they stop liking how it skis. I can't imagine anyone buying the top of the line for a lot of money and then sell it next year, although it's in good condition.
post #13 of 21
Hi GW,

We are not in disagreement.

But skis are not just skis to a certain type of customer, and are replaced for reasons other than utility.

The supply of used gear is vast, mostly do to ebay. Whenever supply out-strips demand you have a buyers market. In such a market it pays to be very selective and keep high standards.

Michael
post #14 of 21
Michael is right. There are enough used skis on the market that you don't need to settle for something that has so much time on them. I buy mostly used skis that have just a few days on them. Check out the Dynastar demo skis being sold right now for some good deals. (right here)
post #15 of 21
Don't buy these, a definate lemon!


On the serious side, I wouldn't hesitate to buy used equipment. After all, you can have the best that two years ago had to offer with low miles for often under a hundred and fifty bucks on Craigslist and you can usually inspect them first hand since it is local. Add 25 bucks shipping for eBay and a small chance of getting something freight damang or misrepresented-look at sellers feedback before buying on eBay. I've found the best deals are usually between July and late October.

I haven't bought anything brand spankin' new since 1981. I've never had anything bought used fail due to it being broken when I bought it either. On th other hand, I have seen quite a few new skis fail within a few days of being purchased because you just don't know if they are solid until tested on the snow under real skiing conditions regardless of the manufacturers' QC efforts. Only then will a loose edge seperate or poorly glued tips delaminate, seen both happen on "new" skis.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, all of you. It's much more complicated with lightly used high-end gear over here, than in the US, so not often someone gets many opportunities.

The skis I was interested in have obviously seen some heavy use. The scratch on the bottom is pretty nasty and one of the little brakes is torn. As if that wasn't enough, they told me with a smile that someone else will be using them for the two weeks to come and that I will have to wait.

No, sir. I don't care about them anymore, and will just get what I can afford without all this hassle. :-(
post #17 of 21
Hi GW,

Sorry it didn't work out.

The U.S. market is oversupplied with ski gear and most skiers ski only a few days a year. With all the new shapes and technology available, consumers tend to replace gear long before its heavily used.

I genuinely think that European markets are more rational and consumers are more value oriented.

Do ski shops offer year end or summer sales?

Michael
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
They do, but generally it's just 10 % down, 20 at the very most. No huge deals. Here they even often sell equipment from last season or the one before, without any warning and for a standard price. Average consumer won't be able to tell, and probably won't care either.

Also, the level of supplies and customer service (and prices!) is much better in the USA. I've spent quite some time over there recently and have a hard time readjusting for shops back home.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwinnie View Post
They do, but generally it's just 10 % down, 20 at the very most. No huge deals. Here they even often sell equipment from last season or the one before, without any warning and for a standard price. Average consumer won't be able to tell, and probably won't care either.

Also, the level of supplies and customer service (and prices!) is much better in the USA. I've spent quite some time over there recently and have a hard time readjusting for shops back home.
Perhaps on your next trip you could pick up skis here assuming you can inspect them? With enough of a price difference it might even be worth the travel headaches/hoping the luggage handlers don't take them out and use them as swords for dueling.
post #20 of 21
I haven't been overwhelmed by the amount of good used gear on the market on Ebay on this side of the Atlantic (East), but did get a good deal on some of last year's model for my wife before the start of the season and have occationally seen well priced stuff in certain models come up recently...Matt
post #21 of 21

Buying used skis

In Vancouver there are several sports consignment stores that have a huge selection of used skis. You need to be careful what you buy though. Many of the skis are heavily used, over-priced, or both. Some of these stores sell brand new 'old stock' skis are good prices. I buy almost all of my gear on Craig's list. Come up with a list of skis that you think you would like and then just keep checking until a good pair shows up. I once bought pair of SL skis that seemed in good condition. When I took them in for a base-grind they pointed out that the edges were starting to de-laminate from the bases and were basically junk.
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