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Looking for first skis. Total beginner

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So last week my friends took me out skiing at Holliday Valley. It was my first ever time on skis. All i can say is i'm hooked, despite a horrible burning in my quads next morning. Basically i got rentals (157cm i believe), fell down like 30 seconds later on the flat ground because i crossed my skis.... Went down the green slopes a couple times, turning felt really natural, maybe playing hockey helps? So i went on a couple of blue ones, faster speeds, even more awesome, did lose my pole once when i was i going too fast and hit a bump, kept on my feet though. So i got some courage to go down the black diamond and it was even better Didn't really use the poles at all that day, except when i was on the flat surface. Left turns are really easy and sharp, had a couple problems with right ones (blame on the right rolled ankle the day before)

So i'm definitely going again tomorrow. I'm looking to get a pair of skis.
I'm 22, 5'8, ~142lbs. Not sure what length i need.
Also, my roommate found some old Rossignol Snowbird 2 (185cm) straight skis a couple days ago for like 10 bucks at the salvation army (kid from a ski team said they are pretty old, but not too heavily scratched on the bottom, just need waxing if i want to use them temporarily), and said i can try them on instead of rentals i want

Someone told me to take a look at Salomon X-Wing Hurricane. Any ideas?

P.S. also i'm a little color blind, does goggles lens color matter at all?

post #2 of 15
Well, X-Wing HUrricane aren't bad skis at all, but do you really need to closse to 1 grand for a new pair of skis? (maybe 3-5 hundreds used) Personally i'd pay nomore than a 100 bucks for the first pair of skis you buy since high performance skis might give you more trouble than anything.
post #3 of 15
holiday valley has a pretty good demo shop, i would say try as many as you can to see what you like. you could also usually pick up a pair of the same skis they use for rentals for about $50 from ebay. they are not bad skis for your first season. the 185 cm straight skis are not going to help you out. 158 cm is really short, try some skis in the 165-175 range. also, bristol mountain is not too far from holiday valley and they have a demo shop with an outstanding selection. more important than skis, you should visit a competent boot shop for your own boots as soon as possible. mud sweat and gears in in ellicottville is a good bet.

as for goggles, color does make a difference, you want something dark and preferably polarized for bright sun, for flat light (overcast skies, snowing) a lighter tint that increases contrast like rose, hi viz yellow, persimmon, and for night skiing you want a clear lens. the various goggle manufactures provide descriptions of what their lenses are supposed to do.
post #4 of 15
Leave the Salvation skis down at the Sal .... that's their problem; don't make it yours. The bindings are probably too old for a shop to touch them.

Boots. You need to spend some time trying to get into a half way decent boot. Rental boots are usually a nightmare. Take some time and go play shopping and try some boots on and blind yourself to price for the moment, just try on a few different brands.

Try to find an "intermediate" ski in the 165 range and for out eastern conditions .... a narrow waist (67) .... is better.

Lessons ...... take a freakin lesson will ya'? Your friends may seem like "Gods of The Snows" at this point ..... but .... they know squat about teaching and basic techniques and you are a train wreck looking for a place to happen. Ground yourself in good fundamental mechanics .... you will learn those from an instructor ... and ... look for an older guy/gal who has been around .... not one of those college brat new hires.

Congratulations ... you hacked your way through the first day on skis. Sounds like a guy I knew over forty years ago.
post #5 of 15
Yuki, he sounds like a guy I knew 4 years ago, too.

The hockey experience gives you a huge boost, as a beginner - it helped me out too. Once you get the feel for the balance on a slope the edges are similar aren't they? Just have to remember you can't crossover like on skates! haha.

You will get a lot of recommendations here but the most important is to get your own boots first. I spent a long time trying on boots at various places. Comfort is #1 priority . I'd rent and ski a bit before even worrying about what skis to buy. I waited a few seasons.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Bought a pair of Salomon boots, way better than rentals, feet dont ache, not a single blister, i can probably sleep in those, and still be fine.
Took 2 lessons so far, learning my turns, did take a longer turn and ended up in the mogul area, banged my head pretty good, but i guess it's a part of the learning experience. Instead of regular rentals i tried Elan Exim or something that sounds like that (Ex something), they were red. 160cm. Sliped a couple times turning on frozen powder patches
What do you guys think of Volkl AC3 or Fischer RX8? Also should i look 165-170 or 160-165 range?
post #7 of 15
Stick with renting and the lessons for the remainder of this season. It will pay off in the long run. Jumping to a longer ski prematurely can only hurt you fundamentally by causing you to form bad habits in your technique. It would be best to continue to try a variety of skis so you can better determine the type and length of ski that suits you. Waiting just a few months will keep you from making the wrong decision on a ski, and make you a better all around skier, without wasting money on a pair of skis that may not suit you or your improved ability next season .

Just my input
post #8 of 15
I would say probably the best do-everything ski that I have been on was the K2 Public Enemy. It will allow you to get to know what your riding style is like and give you room for your balls to grow as a skier. No matter how you find you like to ride the PE will let you do it and it's cheap as hell- check Ebay. Fine on hardpack, good for those pow days, and when you get better you have the option to ride switch and hit jumps too. For your size, I'd say go with the 164cm model. Not too much ski to keep track of, cheap and a blast to ride. But that's just my humble opinion. Definately leave those big ass straight skis for someone who thinks their ACL's are overrated.
post #9 of 15
I played hockey up untill about 17 then I got smart and started skiing. I went with a pair of bilzzards 156s as a first ski. With a shorter ski its easier to work on your form and get your turns down. Get a few lessons and don't jump into black runs so quickly your bound to get hurt wthout your fundmentals down. I'd wait for the summer 50% off sales to get your first pair.
post #10 of 15
skip the longer skis! why make it difficult for youself? if you skied a diamond on your first day and have been doing well ever since and can find an rx 8....THEN BUY IT!!!! 160~165 will be fine for you. many old dogs here still insist on longer skis, a bit of machismo bravado i suspect, totally lame. the rx 8 is an awesome ski that has a unique ability to be easy to ski and go slow on and at the same time it's a high performance rip down the hill when your ready ski w/an edge the could shave a freekin' rock. as a beginner don't mess yourself up with the " i'm a man. i ski long skis" crap as they are not necessary. i'm 6'0" 200lbs and i ski 160 rx8's. they're great i love em. fast, stable at speed and yet oh so easy to saunter downhill. with short rx8's you'll lose NOTHING and be able to start enjoying skiing quicker. also look up a pair of fischer soma tech boots. i believe you could get a pair of mx 9's on ebay in your size now for a couple hundred or less. click my name to read more on this. don't be afraid to move the rx8's bindings back to the rear position until the tail is broken in.
post #11 of 15
Go for the RX8 in a 165.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Got 2006 RX8 165 for $340, barely used. Had them waxed and bindings checked, dude at the shop said they are sharp, and dont need sharpening yet. Awesome skis..... I tried like 5 different skis before that, and all can say is, these babies turn on the dime... and are so forgiving.

One question. what is the -15, 0, +15 position on the skis?

P.S. stil doing lessons
post #13 of 15
Definitely hold off on the skis. If you really feel the need to get some gear, get boots! Having well fitting boots will make skiing vastly easier compared to the crappy rental boots, even more so if you take some lessons to go along with it.

Get boots now, save the skis for later. I strongly encourage a few lessons as well - the best way to get good quickly is to take some lessons with a good instructor early, that way you don't pick up too many bad habits that you have to unlearn down the road.
post #14 of 15

Loved your description of the first day on skis....we've all been there...the only difference is how long ago. Made me chuckle b/c it was funny AND you came away loving it which makes me happy as well. Its a fantastic sport and only gets better as you improve.

Agree with most folks who recommend investing in boots first. I strongly believe this is the ONLY place to spend your first ski dollars. If those boots fit well it will create a great platform from which to learn good turning techniques. Get a decent intermediate boot on the middle of the stiffness spectrum. IMHO it makes no sense to spend money on skis mid season unless you run into some fabulous deal. If you do, I think I'd stick to something narrower (65-75) before hopping on wider skis...I just think it will be easier to learn that way.
post #15 of 15
just wanna share the path I took. My first skiing was last year in the near end of season, I was hooked immediately. I did it another 5 times before there was no snow left. Still never taken a lesson, because they looks expensive, so I bought books/vdo, and learn skiing from them. This season I bought my own boots, ski, my initial intention was just to save cost of the rental, however, I ended up spent almost $800 for a boot that seems to fit me and a supershape. I was afraid that the supershape would be too much for beginner, however if I went with a 3-digit XRC models, I will have to buy another supershape next season. I feel like the SS is growing on me. I ski every week, so I believe my investment has already paid off.

For your equipment question, you might want to spend more time on the snow with the rental for a couple more days to know exactly what you want, do more research, be patient waiting for the best deal to come.

The latest model of equipment is kinda over price, if you buy new of the last year model, the price is cut by half which might be much worth than little less expensive used ones.
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