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Help a Floridian

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I live in Florida, many miles from any snow. I'm an athletic and solid intermediate to advanced level skier. I probably ski 75% groomed at sometimes high speeds (is there really any other way?)/25% powder. Not living near a mountain, there are no ski shops near here. I've always rented my skis at the mountain (meaning I've learned to ski on well worn/used skis), and now I want to buy my first pair.

My problem is probably obvious: no ski shops or mountains means I have to buy long-distance, without really being able to test ride a bunch of different skis.

Now I'm smart enough not to ask "what's the best ski for me?" What I am asking is how do you suggest I go about it?

I'm considering buying a set of skis/bindings on eBay and bringing them with me on my next trip (unplanned, but probably late March or early April) to get them set and adjusted at the mountain. I realize that's not an ideal plan as I won't be able to test ride the skis before buying. I also realize that showing up and buying a pair of skis at the mountain is not going to result in a very wide selection and I'll likely be forced to pay top dollar for year-old models.

Any thoughts/suggestions (other than "move to the mountains")?

post #2 of 14
Hi Jim;

For Starters. What is your height and weight? What have you liked the best so far of what you've used? include legnth..
post #3 of 14
Where do you normally ski?
post #4 of 14
Do u have boots???
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm 6'3 225. I normally ski in Colorado. I've recently skied Flagstaff (Ariz. Snowbowl), Durango Mtn Resort, Wolfcreek, Big Sky and Moonlight Basin (Montana) with a trip to NC mixed in. Since I must travel no matter where I ski, I ski a lot of different places. I do have boots - Lange Fluid size 31.5. I usually rent skis that are a little too short.

I'm hesitant to favor a brand or model based on what I've rented because I've been told that often, rented skis are beyond their useful life (or what most people would consider useful). As a result, if the brand I rented last time didn't impress (or did), that's no reason to lean away from (or favor) that brand.

On the groomed stuff, I usually carve up the blues pretty aggressively, and tackle most blacks (with a little trepidation and exhilaration sometimes). I don't go out and purposely look for moguls or jumps. When I find powder, it's fun to play in it, but I'm not a frequent enough skier to rely on finding it.

From all that, here are some of the skis I'm considering:
Rossignol Zenith Z5 or Z9
Rossignol Actys 300
Salomon X-Wing Tornado
K2 Crossfire
Atomic Metron 7 or 9
Volkl AC20

Again, thanks for any suggestions!
post #6 of 14


First, assuming you have your own boots (if you don't thats your lst purchase) See Beginer Zone.

Skis. Demo at Ski Area, if you can try at least 4 or 5 different pairs on the same day. Most large ski areas have this type of demo program.

Simple. Next (after you find the right ski) either buy where you are or wait till you get home and search Net for ski with better price.

Don't know what to demo. Ask around at ski area (more than 2 sources, i.e. shops, ski school etc.) or do search here on Forum page, do some reading and you should have a heck of a list to demo.

Good luck, have fun and demo at least 4 different skis so you can make an informed decision.
post #7 of 14
Boots must be made to fit and you need a good boot fitter for that. Maybe get fitted during a ski vacation.

Skis: Lot's of good candidates, I think you should move up -level a little from the AC20. Salomons aren't know to be too good for heavy weights. Rosi Z9 maybe. If you were skiing in mainly hard snow I could make a few suggestions. Maybe head SS magnums, but I'm sure the guys from Colorado would have a better handle on it.

How to go about it:
1. Subscribe to (or, I think they are one and the same) reviews by Peter Kelty. Make a list of skis that are good at carving, have high-speed stability, have a black skier icon and other qualities you may desire (forgiveness? blue skier icon? soft edge? range of speeds including slow? whatever floats your boat).

2. Keep an eye on e-bay and reputable e-bay stores for a bargain.
post #8 of 14
I would also consider a wider ski, maybe 85mm under foot. They will give you more float in Western conditions and also rip on the icy southeast slopes. The Atomic Snoop Daddy (85) is a great ski for ice that can handle all mountain. Also look at the Salomon Fury (85). It has a wood core and is very very easy to ski on hard groomers. Also as I have recommended in several forums, the K2 Public Enemy (85). You can pick them up cheap, and they handle every condition you can throw at them. They aren't as big of a fan of ice as the previous two.

You can also check places like They will stick some bindings on and then ship them to you. That is worth a lot if you don't live near a shop.
post #9 of 14

Florida Ski Store

I assume from your username that you are in Jacksonville? If so, there is a Peter Glen store in Jacksonville. I bought ski equipment from them in south FL and was very happy withthem. Here is a url with Florida locations for Peter Glen. Carey
post #10 of 14

Well, DUH!

Here is the url that I forgot to include for Peter Glen. They do have ski techs and can mount your bindings. You will need boots first. Go in and try some on. Walk around in the store with them on (boots not skis)to make sure of the fit.
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by JaxJim View Post
I I do have boots - Lange Fluid size 31.5.

I think that he has boots guys

Rentals are often old and tired and untuned.

demo skis when you get the the resort with the logic of try to buy. Whne you find a pair that you love, buy em. Otherwise just keep demoing stuff.

Ya a demo/rental is money lost, but a ski/binding set up is a PITA to cart around on a holiday, you have to tune them, fix them, and a spring holiday on a crust cruising will need a different ski then powder in jackson. so get the ski, at the local location, that you like.

demos/rentals are $40/day

new skis are $600 but are wroth 1/2 that in year one. ($300) so that is like 7 or 8 days of rentals (but again no tuning, traveling, etc)
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions!

There is a store here in Jacksonville, but it's pretty weak. It has lots and lots of coats, and even more coats, and a lot of other clothing, and a handful of dusty old skis in one corner of the place. If that's what the other Peter Glens look like, then I can't imagine how they've stayed in business! It's basically a clothing store.

Since initially posting, based on some of your posts and some other reading, I'm leaning to a more all-mountain ski. Something that'll handle all the groomers and yet allow for some other stuff too.
post #13 of 14
Jim: Bummer. The stores down here (west palm beach area and Ft. Lauderdale) Have a good assortment of skis,boots and snowboards. And a tech department. There is a huge Peter Glen ski show/sale in the fall every year in the Broward County Convention Center (Ft. Lauderdale). All of the ski reps are there with their new wares. Most of the resort reps are there and the likes of Tommy Moe and Johnny Mosely have been there to do the show.
That being said, I haven't been in any of the stores or hit the show in several years. I hurt my knee and have missed 4-5 seasons.
post #14 of 14
JaxJim - I also live in Jacksonville, though I lived in Colorado as a child, and was transplanted to Florida as an adult. I'm not going to suggest any skis for you, because you've already gotten some good reccomendations, but I can comment on buying ski-related gear in Jacksonville. First of all, the Peter Glenn in Altamonte Springs, has a much stronger selection of skis and boots, as well as clothing. It's less than two hours from Jacksonville (off of I-4 east of Orlando) so a trip can be justified for a signifigant purchase. Once when I was there I asked if they ever considered opening a store in Jacksonville. The manager told me that they did a yearly equipment "show" for the Jacksonville Ski Club, and, that when the interest was deemed adequate, they would open a store in Jacksonville. Of course, last year they opened the store at the Avenues Mall. Prior to this the only sources, locally that is, of ski equipment was Black Creek, which carried only ridiculously expensive clothing, Aqua East, which carried some low-end equipment, or the chain sporting goods stores. While the Peter Glenn doesn't have a great selection of skis and boots, I do try and support them, whenever reasonable, because they do have a tech who can mount bindings and tune skis. Before Peter Glenn, this service was not available in Jacksonville. I've also been told by my friends who board, that their selection of boarding gear is pretty good. I think as the city grows (more transplants like me) there will be a greater demand, and they will expand their selection. I've been to the Peter Glenn stores in Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach; they have a better selection too. Of course there a more northern tranplants in that area.
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