EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Skiing out West for First Time- Bring Skis or Rent?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Skiing out West for First Time- Bring Skis or Rent?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

This spring break will me my first time skiing anything but eastern hills (think Tremblant). I will be going to Sun Peaks for one week.

I am currently trying to decide whether to rent or bring skis. Having never skid out west before, I have no idea what I should be bringing.

My current skis are Atomic SL:9's, an 11m radius ski with a 65mm waist.

It looks like the skis I would be renting are very different, likely the Rossignol Z3- 72mm waist and a 16m radius. More of an all-mountain ski by the looks of things.

Any insight or information would be really appreciated. I'd hate to waste time with the wrong skis, but I also wouldn't like to spend $300 if i don't need to. I'm also not sure how hard the conditions are on skis- i don't want to scratch up a $700 pair of skis for the sake of $300.

Thanks!
Mike
post #2 of 17
funny how this question comes up alot. i have a similar issue but I am going to France for the 1st time. ultimately, it all boils down to familiarity, hassles and economics. i mean the airlines do a pretty decent job handling your skis in the US and it;s not really too much of a problem traveling w/ skis. having travelled w/ skis on countless trips, I am less apprehensive about it than my first one. i recently invested in a wheeled ski bag to make the journey a little less cumbersome.

as for your skis, you probably wouldn;t notice too much of a difference as the waist is only about 7 mm difference.
Bring your skis out there and save the money. Even though they seem like east coast skis, you could probably ski them out there. you might have to adjust your technique and get acclimated though. they do have groomed runs as well. the trails are going to be wider too so you may want to make longer radius turns whether your equipment helps or inhibits your or not.

however, if you feel you don;t have the right tools for the job or are blessed with a powder day, then go ahead and rent a fatter pair of skis for a day.

whatever you do, bring your boots and take them on the plane. searching for boots that fit is definitely something that could ruin your trip.

goodluck!
post #3 of 17
I think people make to much out of the waist. Just rent a wider ski get on them and ski.

The only slight difference you will notice is the wider skis may be a bit slower to want to turn. I doubt most average skiers could feel that much difference to make them have a bad day. Remember your there to ski not pick apart what you don't like about a pair of skis.

Just the fact that your asking this question, means you don't ski enough to really be that effected by different skis. In this case, that's a good thing. Me on the other hand would be pretty picky about what I was going to rent. Not a good thing in your case.

The bigger difference will be the way the skis are tuned and the way the ski gives you feed back.

Just bring your boots on the plane. I carry ski clothing for at least one day also.

Most of all enjoy your trip.
post #4 of 17
What kind of terrain do you plan on skiing? I would say just bring what you have and enjoy.

Skiing out West is definately hyped to the max. Brochures and magazines display images of skiers leaving silky white trails in waist deep powder; the truth is, powder days as depicted in print are the exception rather than the rule. For the average skier, such depictions are about as far away from reality as you can get.

The vast majority of skiers who travel out West don't ski anything but the groomed green and blue terrain to begin with. First-time destination skiers envision heavenly fields of wasit-deep powder spanning the entire complex. What they usually get are the same hard, packed-out, and over-skied runs they see at home. What powder did exist has long been torn to shreds and turned into unsighlty crud piles.

It is not uncommon for first-timers to depart with the look of - 'I shaved my legs for this?'

Just bring your skis and have fun. If you need something else, rent it.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies everyone.

A few points that i figure I should add/ address:

First of all, my skill level. I raced for three years with my high school, so I am definitely not an average skill level skier. I get about 10-20 days a year in skiing, so just because I have never out west, it doesn't really mean that I am not competent.

I should probably say that I have not been completely truthful about having never skid powder. A few years ago, on a school trip to Europe, we diverted from the group for the afternoon and skid in the swiss alps- in a full foot of fresh powder. I didn't mention that fact because it was awhile ago and I really don't remember anything. I don't know what skis I had or what the mountain was.

As for the terrian I plan on skiing, I will be gong with a family of skiiers who have spent 2 weeks out west every year as long as I can remember, so I figure we will be skiing nearly everything that is out there. I also am not ruling out the possibility of cat skiing.

Do these added facts change anything? If not I will probably just use the skis I have. If they are unfit, i can always rent something at the last minute.

Also, thanks for the sobering comments on what to expect.The are really appreciated, and they are giving me a better idea of what to expect.

Thanks!
Mike
post #6 of 17
Bring your boots and rent skis.

Don't get a Z3 though...

a) it's not a great ski

b) get something wider... think mid to high 80's under foot. The Z3 will ski similar to (yet less responsive than) the ski you have, you should use the opportunity to demo something new. Something with a wider, but not crazy wide waist will still hold an edge on the hardpack, but will also allow you to explore some of the terrain and snow that you wont necessarily find back east.

Oh yea, look into "Demo Centers" instead of "Rental Shops." You will find higher quality skis that are most likely in better condition, and if you decide at the end of your trip that you want to buy something they will usually take what you have already paid off the sale price.
post #7 of 17
was going to ask the same question.

I wonder what is the cheapest solution to bring ski on plane without damaging it.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedbeamish View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone.

A few points that i figure I should add/ address:

First of all, my skill level. I raced for three years with my high school, so I am definitely not an average skill level skier. I get about 10-20 days a year in skiing, so just because I have never out west, it doesn't really mean that I am not competent.

I should probably say that I have not been completely truthful about having never skid powder. A few years ago, on a school trip to Europe, we diverted from the group for the afternoon and skid in the swiss alps- in a full foot of fresh powder. I didn't mention that fact because it was awhile ago and I really don't remember anything. I don't know what skis I had or what the mountain was.

As for the terrian I plan on skiing, I will be gong with a family of skiiers who have spent 2 weeks out west every year as long as I can remember, so I figure we will be skiing nearly everything that is out there. I also am not ruling out the possibility of cat skiing.

Do these added facts change anything? If not I will probably just use the skis I have. If they are unfit, i can always rent something at the last minute.

Also, thanks for the sobering comments on what to expect.The are really appreciated, and they are giving me a better idea of what to expect.

Thanks!
Mike
If by everything, you mean ungroomed, steeps, chutes ect., then yes, you will definately need a wider ski, preferaby in a long length.

As far as the comments, I didn't mean to be negatve - you may in fact get lucky and hit a powder day. It's more than likely, however, that most skiers on a one-week trip will end up getting conditions like they see back at home; the runs will just be longer, sometimes less crowded, and there will be more of them.

Most skiers who travel out West for a trip never step off groomed terrain, so I would say powder days and wide skis are a moot point anyways.

The key to a successful first-time trip is to just have fun and don't make any high expecations about what conditions will be like.
post #9 of 17
Since you're going to Sun Peaks you may not get much of anything in the way of new snow while you're there. Why not bring your skis and then rent as needed? If they don't have a bunch of powder (which is most of the time) then just ski on your own boards.
post #10 of 17
I would bring your skis and rent if/when you want something different.
I skied Utah last year and it was frozen groomed in the morning and slush by mid-day. There were large piles of slushy snow that had me begging for a fatter wasted ski with less sidecut. I was on my Fischer WC SC. The tips and tails kept wanting to hook up when I wanted to skid and they set up weighs a ton.
Get yourself a padded ski bag. Wrap your skis in old sheets or towels, duct tape the ends and middle and put them in the bag. You skis should arrive in one piece.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishEH View Post
I would bring your skis and rent if/when you want something different.
I skied Utah last year and it was frozen groomed in the morning and slush by mid-day. There were large piles of slushy snow that had me begging for a fatter wasted ski with less sidecut. I was on my Fischer WC SC. The tips and tails kept wanting to hook up when I wanted to skid and they set up weighs a ton.
Get yourself a padded ski bag. Wrap your skis in old sheets or towels, duct tape the ends and middle and put them in the bag. You skis should arrive in one piece.
the funny thing is that on the frozen groomed in the morning, a wide, fat waisted ski would feel like the wrong tool and you'd be wanting your skinny racing boards at that moment. so bringing 2 pairs of skis is not out of the question if the conditions vary that much.

if you do manage to do some cat skiing or get massive powder, you;ll definitely want something fatter and wide. your better off renting them as needed though.

I agree with the guy who said that for most 1st time out west skiers, they will end up skiing the groomed runs to start. with the group of less committed skiers i go with, it;s a challenge to convince them to ski on anything that;s a little chopped up and less pristine.
post #12 of 17
Mikedbeamish, I just got back from my first trip out west and let me tell you from experience... DEMO! Leave your carving skis at home, bro you'll be doing yourself a huge favor. I went out there with my roommate and we both brought skis we used for maybe two hours before giving up on them. Nevermind lugging that huge ski bag through the airport, think of when you're 5 miles from base lodge and you are in the woods, sinking like it's quicksand. If you went all the way out there to hit groomers, then bring them. If you want to hit bowls, backside anything or like to ski trees, just rent man it's worth the money if you have it to spend. I'd look for something in a mid-to-high 80's waist, just for versatility. Some reccomendations on good demos to try:
K2 Public Enemy
Fischer Watea 84
Rossi Scratch
Dynastar Mythic Riders
Head Mojo 90

Have fun bro and be safe! You're in for a pleasant suprise to say the least!
post #13 of 17
FYI: If you're following people who know the mountains, they're probably not going to show you frontside stuff, save for lift-to-lift traverses to get backside. Or ask them what to expect terrain-wise. Besides, the first time you see a huge open bowl you're going to be all "Oh my God, I can't wait to hit that!" and if you've got the skinnies on, it will make waaaaay more work for you.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses everyone!

I think everyone basically has come to roughly the same consensus, that I should bring my carvers, and demo if needed.

This does seem like the best solution, as I really don't think I would enjoy being stuck on a >20m ski if conditions are crap, but I also wouldn't like being stuck on my carving skis through conditions they are unfit for.

The store we will be renting through is www.jardinesworld.com , they also appear to be a demo center. One thing I am worried about is that the weekend I am going up is supposed to be a bust one, so availability my be tight.

Anyways, I now feel much better about my equipment for this trip, a big thanks to everyone.

Mike
post #15 of 17
Mike:

Thanks for posting this thread. My 14 yr old son and I ski Trembant weekly. We,ve skied Killington, Stowe, Sugarbush, Jay, Lake Placid without any problems and had great times. Although we've skied some powder in East, I fully appreciate that it is nothing like what they see out west. Just a little intimidating for a Eastern Hardpack skier.

We are off to Whistler (March Break) and are having the same concerns regarding equipment. I have a three year old pair of Volkl Allstars (70 underfoot) and my son has a pair of Volkl Supersport Jr's (67 underfoot). I figure we'll bring our skis with us and start slow with the groomers and progress from there. We'll see how things go and obviously rent if necessary . My son will need new skis next year therefore wants to take this opportunity to rent or demo something in the range of the the AC20. His problem right now is that he's only 5'4 and about 115 lbs soaking wet so it may be too much ski.

My other concern is the upper bowls. The young lad is stoked and ready to tackle anything and believe me he is fully capable of doing it. I on the other hand am a gamer, however I'm not getting any younger. Also my knees are not what they used to be. Truth be known I'm a little nervous and intimidated. I don't want to hold him back, yet as a responsible parent I don't want him going off on his own either. What to do ... what to do ?

Anyhow ... Enjoy your trip and I hope all goes well. Let us know how it turns out.

RMP
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMP View Post
Mike:

Thanks for posting this thread. My 14 yr old son and I ski Trembant weekly. We,ve skied Killington, Stowe, Sugarbush, Jay, Lake Placid without any problems and had great times. Although we've skied some powder in East, I fully appreciate that it is nothing like what they see out west. Just a little intimidating for a Eastern Hardpack skier.

We are off to Whistler (March Break) and are having the same concerns regarding equipment. I have a three year old pair of Volkl Allstars (70 underfoot) and my son has a pair of Volkl Supersport Jr's (67 underfoot). I figure we'll bring our skis with us and start slow with the groomers and progress from there. We'll see how things go and obviously rent if necessary . My son will need new skis next year therefore wants to take this opportunity to rent or demo something in the range of the the AC20. His problem right now is that he's only 5'4 and about 115 lbs soaking wet so it may be too much ski.

My other concern is the upper bowls. The young lad is stoked and ready to tackle anything and believe me he is fully capable of doing it. I on the other hand am a gamer, however I'm not getting any younger. Also my knees are not what they used to be. Truth be known I'm a little nervous and intimidated. I don't want to hold him back, yet as a responsible parent I don't want him going off on his own either. What to do ... what to do ?

Anyhow ... Enjoy your trip and I hope all goes well. Let us know how it turns out.

RMP
you can join a free mountain tour that will give you an introduction the terrain and a guide. you start of skiing with a group of similar level skiers and as the day or week goes by, you can go off on your own.

actually, the trip i went to a few years ago to whistler, we had a guide who skied with our group for the entire week. he gave us tips and lessons as we needed as well. at the end of the week, we gave him a big tip. he loved americans for that.
post #17 of 17
I had the same dilemma last year when I was going to Utah. 2 main considerations shaped my decision to rent:

1) This was (at least in part) a business trip and I needed to bring a laptop:
suitcase + ski bag + laptop was enough stuff to schlep through two airports already (also one less bag for the airline to lose)
2) The skis I own are similar to yours - the 03/04 Atomic SX-9. While I love them, I was (and still am) in the market for something wider to use in the Spring and on those rare Eastern powder days. Maybe it's just my bad timing, but until this year, it hasn't been that easy to demo this type of ski in East under the conditions they're designed for.

As it turned out, conditions while I was there were more suited to the race carver type ski that I own, and that's what I ended up on most of the time. Still, it's always fun to try different skis and it was tough enough battling my way out of the airport through all the absolutely clueless people with skis crosswise on their baggage carts without having to manage skis of my own.

I have a rerun of the same trip in another week and will once again leave my skis at home.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Skiing out West for First Time- Bring Skis or Rent?