Intent on never renting skis and boots again, I have spent a better part of the past three months digging through these forums looking for tips and pointers on what gear to buy and from where. I would like to thank everyone for the great posts and advice.
I am totally stoked to have picked up some Elan Magfire 8s from Dawg for a song ($319). I found some Goode graphite poles for cheap thanks to someone else on the list ($19). But buying boots from San Antonio, Texas was a chore
All in all, I bought 10 pairs of boots before finding the winners. I bought 2 pairs of Lange Fluid '80s (too soft in flex), 2 pairs of Technica Diablo Fires (pinched), 2 pairs of Salomon Falcon 9s (too small in the toe box), 2 pairs of Salomon Impact 8s (just not nice at all) and 2 pairs of Salomon X Wave 8.0s (YEAH!). The sizes I bought ranged from 26.5 to 28.5, not knowing my exact size and having rented both 27.5s and 28.5s in last couple of years.
After reading everyone's advice about checking shell size, toe's touching the front when standing and moving back slightly when leaned forward and the fact that most people buy boots that are too big, I figured out that I had been renting boots that were too big and that 26.5 was the perfect size. I wear a 9.5 to 10 in regular shoes, but 42 in Birkenstocks.
After trying on and wearing each and every boot, I decided that the X-Waves rule! I can't wait to get on the slopes!!!!!!! This forum has kept me sane while I wait for snow!!!! I paid around $200 for the boots.
Keep up the posts and the pictures!!!!! ~(-<-<//