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Dumb question about demoing..

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here and have been asking for suggestions on skis. The prevailing opinion is to demo as much as I can. My question about demoing is this: What exactly is it??? I'm assuming it's just renting skis from shops on the mountains? If so, how much can I expect to pay for this? If I mess around demoing every ski I can find, I'll be spending a ton of money on rentals without ever making a solid investment in my own skis, won't I? I know it's a dumb question, but I'm from GA so all these skiing terms are pretty foreign to me right now. Thanks for your help.
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan9124 View Post
Hi, I'm new here and have been asking for suggestions on skis. The prevailing opinion is to demo as much as I can. My question about demoing is this: What exactly is it??? I'm assuming it's just renting skis from shops on the mountains? If so, how much can I expect to pay for this? If I mess around demoing every ski I can find, I'll be spending a ton of money on rentals without ever making a solid investment in my own skis, won't I? I know it's a dumb question, but I'm from GA so all these skiing terms are pretty foreign to me right now. Thanks for your help.
Demoing is like renting, only you are "renting" new equipment, this years models, and usually have a broad range of skis to choose from. Rental equipment is mass produced and very poor quality, so there is a big difference between "rental" skis and "demo" skis. Demo Centers "rent" this years new gear with the idea in mind that you are trying it because you may want to buy it. They will generally take your demo cost off from the price of the ski if you do indeed buy from them. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 16
Well, there are a couple of different ways to demo. The quickest, cheapest way is to find a demo day at the mountain you ski and hit that up. Often you'll have multiple brands available on the same day and you can pick a few different skis that appeal to you. Barring that, yes, there are shops that rent a demo level ski. Most will give you credit for a certain number of demos toward a purchase if you purchase from them. Don't demo every ski out there but pick a few that you are interested in based on reviews and what you need in a ski and your skier type. Welcome to the sport and to Epic!
post #4 of 16
Some on-mountain shops will also allow you to try out several different pairs within one day. Pick a slow day on the mountain so you can get to try your choices.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan9124 View Post
Hi, I'm new here and have been asking for suggestions on skis. The prevailing opinion is to demo as much as I can. My question about demoing is this: What exactly is it??? I'm assuming it's just renting skis from shops on the mountains? If so, how much can I expect to pay for this? If I mess around demoing every ski I can find, I'll be spending a ton of money on rentals without ever making a solid investment in my own skis, won't I? I know it's a dumb question, but I'm from GA so all these skiing terms are pretty foreign to me right now. Thanks for your help.
Yes, demoing is just renting, but, to put it as simply as possible, you're renting (presumably) good skis that you select as opposed to (most likely) crappy skis that the typical on-mountain rental shop employee is probably going to select for for you. When you demo, you typically have a couple of skis in mind based, say, on some reviews you've read online. Demo skis are almost always higher-end skis, so they cost most to rent than your basic generic rental ski; but most shops will let you try out several pairs of skis for the cost of a single demo: try one pair for a couple of runs, bring them back, try another pair, and so on. So in a single day you can try multiple pairs of skis. The last time I demoed (jan 2008) I think it was $35. And there was sort of an open-ended gentleman's agreement that I could try as many skis as I liked during the day....

Regarding the economics (part 1): I've never demoed when the shop didn't offer to take the cost off the demo off the purchase price of the ski if you end up buying the skis from them...not that I've ever taken them up on the offer.

Regarding the economics (part 2): Most decent ski areas will arrange one or more demo days during the season when manufacturers' reps or local ski shops will set up tents at the base area and let you try their skis for free for a couple of runs. The upside is obvious -- it's free. The downside of demo days is that sometimes a rep or a shop will drop out at the last minute, or even if they show up, they won't have the ski or the brand you are interested in. So if you are planning any kind of ski trip to coincide with a demo day, you may get hosed. But if you're in the right place at the right time, it's a great way to do some comparison shopping.

As you may have already figured out, most, if not all, ski shops -- not just the on-mountain ski shops -- will rent you a pair of demos. In fact, it's probably better to get your skis in town (assuming there's a ski town near where you are going skiing) rather than at the mountain since you can typically pick your skis up the night before, and doing so is a lot less hectic than showing up at an on-mountain shop and taking your chances on finding the ski you want at the last minute.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarlito View Post
In fact, it's probably better to get your skis in town (assuming there's a ski town near where you are going skiing) rather than at the mountain since you can typically pick your skis up the night before, and doing so is a lot less hectic than showing up at an on-mountain shop and taking your chances on finding the ski you want at the last minute.
the downside being that you can try only one pair of skis each day, as opposed to on-mountain shops that allow swapping during the day.
post #7 of 16
Don't waste your time and money demoing skis. You know what you've skied before and what you liked. Ask some questions, then buy some skis and ski them. Your relationship with a ski will never get more serious than dating because a better one will always come along. This is different than the relationship you have with your boots - you marry them.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
Don't waste your time and money demoing skis. You know what you've skied before and what you liked. Ask some questions, then buy some skis and ski them. Your relationship with a ski will never get more serious than dating because a better one will always come along. This is different than the relationship you have with your boots - you marry them.
Actually, I've never had a pair of my own skis before and have only been skiing 3 times in my life so I don't really know what I like in a ski. So demoing sounds like a good idea for me. Point well taken on the boots though.

Thanks for everybody's input. I'll be working at Big Sky this winter so hopefully I can get some good rates on demoing and I'll definitely take advantage of the demo days whenever they happen to be.

The sucky part is I skied Snowshoe, WV over spring break this past season and they had a demo week while I was there but I had no idea what it was at the time so I just had the crappy rentals that the resort gave me...suuuucks..
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry_Morgan View Post
the downside being that you can try only one pair of skis each day, as opposed to on-mountain shops that allow swapping during the day.
Good point...and I took advantage of that last time. (Do as I say, not as I do? )
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan9124 View Post
Thanks for everybody's input. I'll be working at Big Sky this winter so hopefully I can get some good rates on demoing and I'll definitely take advantage of the demo days whenever they happen to be.
.
That's different. Buddy up to the shop guys with some beer, good beer mind you, and you might even get them to try free.

Also, if you've only been skiing a few times, and you've got the whole winter - consider buying some good cheap entry level all-mountain skis to get you started...then look for what you want as you gain a little experience.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry_Morgan View Post
That's different. Buddy up to the shop guys with some beer, good beer mind you, and you might even get them to try free.

Also, if you've only been skiing a few times, and you've got the whole winter - consider buying some good cheap entry level all-mountain skis to get you started...then look for what you want as you gain a little experience.
Actually I think my brother will be working in the ski shop so that should be even easier lol

And I was actually thinking of just getting some cheaper all mountains to begin with. Because like I said, I really have no clue what to look for or anything when it comes to what I want in a ski. Now to just find some skis that fit that description. I've gotten a suggestion of K2 PE's and I was looking at some older Salomons with the "verse" system or tuning or whatever the heck it is...
post #12 of 16
Big sky

pe

sounds good to me and they are inexpensive too boot!
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
Don't waste your time and money demoing skis. You know what you've skied before and what you liked. Ask some questions, then buy some skis and ski them. Your relationship with a ski will never get more serious than dating because a better one will always come along. This is different than the relationship you have with your boots - you marry them.
I disagree totally. A few skiers are so good, such great natural athletes, that they can ski well on anything and have fun doing it.

For the rest of us, the difference in skis can make a huge difference in our skiing accomplishments and pleasure. Just considering my own quiver, I like them all a lot, some are more demanding to ski well and give more performance, some are less demanding but fun on more types of snow, and some really do best on certain types of snow.

Dan,
Do all the research you can to figure out a list of skis that suit your skiing ability, skiing style, and local availability. With help, figure out the ski length* that best suits your height, weight, and ability. I like Peter Keelty's ski reviews on Real Skiers the best. The $20 is money very well spent. As suggested above, try to find either a demo day or a shop that will let you exchange skis during the day. You will find that different makes and models of skis, all suited for your criteria listed above, will ski very differently. Some will be work. Some will be fun. One will put the biggest smile on your face. That's the one that is right for YOU!

*The fad is for long, fat, rather straight skis. Don't fall for the fad. I'm 6', 200#, very good medium speed skier, and I like high performance 170 cm skis with a 66mm waist width and 12 meter radius sidecut. (Longer and fatter in deep snow, though.) You will want lower performance skis that I like, do try some with lots of sidecut, and understand that as skis are made longer, they're proportionally stiffer--don't go too long/stiff nor too short/soft.
post #14 of 16
Whistler has on-mountain 'demoing' for FREE, almost all season long. Just show them ID and a credit card and you get a ski for an 1 - 1.5 hours. then return and demo another pair. do it all week if you like.
Otherwise most shops will let you 'demo' skis for a cheap price, which comes off the cost of some skis if you buy.

I don't know about other resorts, but the ski rentals in Whistler are great quality skis, and very rarely older than 1 season. In fact, I am pretty sure you can only rent this years and last years models.

I actually advise people who only ski once a year or so to rent instead of buy. It takes a few years to 'pay off' skis if you only do a week or so a year when compared to renting, and by renting, you get to use brand new skis every year, don't have to worry and waxing and edging or the hassles involved with transportation...
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry_Morgan View Post
That's different. Buddy up to the shop guys with some beer, good beer mind you, and you might even get them to try free.
Back when I was a regular retail customer at the shop on Hunter Mtn., he set up 4 models for me the night before, and the next day, he had them waiting and gave me another one when I brought one back. Of course, he knew I was serious about buying.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan9124 View Post
Actually, I've never had a pair of my own skis before and have only been skiing 3 times in my life so I don't really know what I like in a ski. So demoing sounds like a good idea for me. Point well taken on the boots though.

Thanks for everybody's input. I'll be working at Big Sky this winter so hopefully I can get some good rates on demoing and I'll definitely take advantage of the demo days whenever they happen to be.

The sucky part is I skied Snowshoe, WV over spring break this past season and they had a demo week while I was there but I had no idea what it was at the time so I just had the crappy rentals that the resort gave me...suuuucks..
Being new to skiing as well.
Trying all sorts of ski's all the time isn't a great thing.
Which is a horrible thing with renting. You will rarely be on the same ski. I'm told the best way to do any of this is to find a ski and stick with it, so you are not trying to adjust to a different ski every time you go skiing. I got hurt yesterday because I skied on a pair of skis that were probably out of my skill range. I did not know how they would act as well as the other skis I've been skiing on. So, I ended up going faster then my skill level, and got hurt. Poor knee. It will be alright.

My suggestion is to figure out what type of ski you want to have.
What are the normal skiing conditions where you ski? Groomed, ungroomed? Does the hill get really cruddy during a day of skiing?

Before you go out and demo every ski, you should have an idea of what you want to buy, just like buying a car/truck.

Like suggested before, you will probably want an all mountain type of ski. Ask for suggestions for an all mountain type of ski for a newer skier, and users here will give you some suggestions.
There will be all sorts of them, so then you'll have to go read some reviews, and either find a friend who has some, or look for some demo's. Sometimes you can buy demo ski's as well for a cheep price. My father got a nice set of all mountain volkl's for 450 with nice marker bindings on them. A steal for a 1000 dollar pair of ski's.

I'd give you a suggestion, but everyone will yell at me for suggesting hart ski's. ... Because I really like their product, I'm trying to push it a bit to get it out to people. They are a pretty expensive ski for somebody who might only ski 1 or 2 times a year.
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