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Whistler Ski and Shop Recommendation

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am an East coast Skier with a trip planned to Whistler this January. I am looking for a ski recommendation and good shops with good demo selections in WHistler. I have been looking online and most shops seem to have limited longer length skiis.

I currently ski on 176cm Elan Speedwaves that I love in the eastern hardpack conditions but I am thinking for Whistler in late January a more all around 50/50 groomer/powder ski would be better so I plan on renting some high end demo while there.

I am 230lbs advanced/expert skier who has been skiing for 25 years. My preference usually is towards solid GS style skiis but for this trip I need versatility and ease in the powder. I think I am going to need something in the 185-190 cm range.

DOes anyone have a ski recommendation and /or shop recommendation that has boards for big guys . Most shops seems to stop at 176-180cm. I guess they cater to the bulk of the crowd.

Thanks for any comments
post #2 of 17
Fanatyk Co - Whistler

http://www.fanatykco.com/itoolkit.asp?pg=SKIS_2009

They have an employee/ boot fitter called Bernie, who is 6'3"/ 250 lbs, very strong skier, so you can talk to someone with a similar body type which is always more re-assuring in my experience.
post #3 of 17
I did well at Summit Sport last winter - http://www.summitsport.com/main/ski_rentals.asp?Type=2

They have many models in the mid to high 180s.

But there are plenty of great rental shops in Whistler.

A good ski thatwill do everything is the Head Monster 88 in 186. It skis like a fat race ski, although it doesn't float as well as others due to its relatively narrow width and stiff flex.
post #4 of 17
If you're coming from the US, and you're planning on buying, buy at home unless you have money to burn. Canadian prices are usually higher and are much higher at Whistler. I looked at a pair of used demo skis with bindings for sale at a shop in Whistler for $1088. I went home the next day and found the very same ski (without bindings) for $300 US. The exchange discount doesn't help when they're that far apart.
post #5 of 17
Fanatyko is my favorite shop in Whistler - best boot fitting shop I've ever been to by a long shot, but I'm not sure what they have for rentals. If there as good with rentals as with boots, it would be the place to go.

I looked around at Summit last weekend to see what they had for rent and was really unimpressed. They used to have an excellent selection of good and high end skis, but it looked like all they had was (at best) mid level and lower. I'd be sure to have a specific model reserved, as they seemed to have a real dearth of good stuff.

Do Fanatyko - great people and products.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I will give Fanatyko a call to see what they have available to demo in late January.

Thanks
post #7 of 17

i realize this thread is old,  and with many ski shop employees leaving for other career choices, or stores etc.

 

but if I were to visit Fanatyko over the next little while and get custom footbeds done, or even their new fischer vaccum boot fitted,

are all staff equally skilled at boot fitting and such? (I have morton's neuroma in left foot: just diagnosed and got

my first orthodics...what a blessing in terms of relief).

 

i did have footbeds done by skis and bikes a few yrs back

but i need that metadarsal (whatever 'tis named) support built in now as when

i'm skiing my left foot is throbbing after a few hrs

with the neuroma (feels like you're walking on a golf ball)

 

just looking for updates are per recommended staff that are there currently who are great and highly skilled to deal with.

 

lastly in terms of custom footbeds, Surefoot at whistler offers some ''computerized'' version....is it any superior to what fanatyko or others do?

post #8 of 17
I think that Fanatyk Co do a great job and all their boot fitters are at least 'very good'. Certain staff members are stronger in some areas and tend to take those jobs as they come up ie Kev is pretty particular about foam liners so he tends to do them.

A testimony to their skill, style and management is that they do not have much in the way of staff turn over so you can be fairly sure that your boot fitter will still be there when you return next year (or in ten years time).
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post

i realize this thread is old,  and with many ski shop employees leaving for other career choices, or stores etc.

 

but if I were to visit Fanatyko over the next little while and get custom footbeds done, or even their new fischer vaccum boot fitted,

are all staff equally skilled at boot fitting and such? (I have morton's neuroma in left foot: just diagnosed and got

my first orthodics...what a blessing in terms of relief).

 

i did have footbeds done by skis and bikes a few yrs back

but i need that metadarsal (whatever 'tis named) support built in now as when

i'm skiing my left foot is throbbing after a few hrs

with the neuroma (feels like you're walking on a golf ball)

 

just looking for updates are per recommended staff that are there currently who are great and highly skilled to deal with.

 

lastly in terms of custom footbeds, Surefoot at whistler offers some ''computerized'' version....is it any superior to what fanatyko or others do?

 

Fanatyko is good as mentioned...but Topshelf also gets very high marks for boot fitting...pretty much next door to Fanatyko.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post

I think that Fanatyk Co do a great job and all their boot fitters are at least 'very good'. Certain staff members are stronger in some areas and tend to take those jobs as they come up ie Kev is pretty particular about foam liners so he tends to do them.

A testimony to their skill, style and management is that they do not have much in the way of staff turn over so you can be fairly sure that your boot fitter will still be there when you return next year (or in ten years time).

 

I like Fanatyk Co because of the lower turnover than some other shops. I had to get something done at Surefoot a few seasons ago and it felt like I was being helped by a kid who just stepped off the Greyhound (it was something simple and he did the work fine, just wasn't a confidence inspiring interaction), of course they have very experienced people there too.

post #11 of 17

This was taken from the Pique best of Whistler 2012:

 

Best Boot Fitter

In Whistler, boot fitters are revered and for good reason. Anyone who has ever suffered for months or years with uncomfortable ski boots, and then had a pair professionally fitted knows those reasons all too well.

Top of the list in this year's Best of Whistler was George McConkey from McCoo's, followed by Kevin Ahearn at FanatkykCo and Sam McDonald at Surefoot.

 

I personally have had good and bad experiences from Fanatkykco. I recently got new boots recommended and had the footbeds fitted by Brad at Fanatkykco and would not recommend or use him ever again. Too much heel lift in my new cochise boots which he told me to expect some  but I ended up having to go to surefoot for them to fix it.  I have dealt with Kevin in the past and was quite impressed so maybe it was just my bad luck. I have also heard other people recommend him by name.

 

Also, had a friend just buy a new pair boots from Sam at Surefoot and he has been quite happy with his fit. I have also purchased a previous pair of boots from Surefoot, unfortunately they were too soft for me, but I never had a boot fit so well.

 

So in the end, it's not the place you should go to, but who you go to.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by reefer View Post

This was taken from the Pique best of Whistler 2012:

 

Best Boot Fitter

In Whistler, boot fitters are revered and for good reason. Anyone who has ever suffered for months or years with uncomfortable ski boots, and then had a pair professionally fitted knows those reasons all too well.

Top of the list in this year's Best of Whistler was George McConkey from McCoo's, followed by Kevin Ahearn at FanatkykCo and Sam McDonald at Surefoot.

 

I personally have had good and bad experiences from Fanatkykco. I recently got new boots recommended and had the footbeds fitted by Brad at Fanatkykco and would not recommend or use him ever again. Too much heel lift in my new cochise boots which he told me to expect some  but I ended up having to go to surefoot for them to fix it.  I have dealt with Kevin in the past and was quite impressed so maybe it was just my bad luck. I have also heard other people recommend him by name.

 

Also, had a friend just buy a new pair boots from Sam at Surefoot and he has been quite happy with his fit. I have also purchased a previous pair of boots from Surefoot, unfortunately they were too soft for me, but I never had a boot fit so well.

 

So in the end, it's not the place you should go to, but who you go to.

 

George has and deseves his reputation but one has to be realistic about his availability. Are you willing to book (and keep) an appointment for the day before you ski? Are you sure that you will be able to get the boot he recommends (he does not carry stock but has an incredible eye for foot shape and current kowledge of what models suit what foot shape etc and a pretty good idea of who still has what in stock as well) somewhere else in the village? Are you willing to pay $500 for the fitting (over and above what you pay for the boot)? These are not criticisms of George - I personally have none to make and I have heard very few negatives over the past five years.

 

Top Shelf is getting good reports locally - no personal experience but a lot of happy instructor friends (but again you are talking about the type of client who skis 120 - 220 days per year, is technically sound to expert and knows exactly what they want and need) and a few good reports from clients (of all levels of ability).

 

Erin Keam (at Ski & Bike) is out standing and as a Level 4 Instructor and Trainer he has a strong understanding of what a techinical skier is trying to achieve with a boot. He is generally booked solid and I do not know if Ski & Bike take bookings for boot fittings.

 

I have to say that my experience, from clients and friends, is that Surefoot is running at about 50:50 ie one negative story for every postive story. But as one hears one is more likely to hear a negative story than a postive one so perhaps this is a bit skewed.

 

Did you go back to Fanatyk Co - who have a fit guarantee and discuss getting your set up changed if it wasn't working for you? They have only ever been very helpful in my experience (personally and anecdotally) as they do not want unhappy customers who are not enjoying their skiing due to a poor boot fit.
 

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post
 Surefoot at whistler offers some ''computerized'' version....is it any superior to what fanatyko or others do?

 

Nice part about dealing with Surefoot is they have places all over and they do provide a fairly consistent corporate quality control on the stores.  You can take your SureFoot stuff to any of the Surefoot stores for free lifetime service.  In my case, they replaced the boots and liners for free after a year when they weren't able to make the comfortable.  Bought them at Park City store, had them worked on for free at Whistler and Sun Valley stores and Park City store replaced the boots and liners.

post #14 of 17

That is true and very good of them - however one has to question why a bootfit was so 'off' that it took three different fitters and year, and a boot replacement to get it right? I am glad that they got you into a good boot - enjoy the skiing!
 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post

That is true and very good of them - however one has to question why a bootfit was so 'off' that it took three different fitters and year, and a boot replacement to get it right? I am glad that they got you into a good boot - enjoy the skiing!
 


I see many of the boot fitters making the comment to ski the boot and they'll make corrections as needed as their selling point.  SureFoot is no different. Lifetime service and guarantee and shops all over to back it up vs. going to single shop that is not in one's home town.

post #16 of 17

Hi Canali,

 

My experience with Fanatykco's Kevin Kobayashi is great. I would call to ensure Kevin's going to be working. The downside to Fanatykco is they don't have every single boot in all the time. Also, I find some of the guys in the shop have an attitude problem (bro brah). 

 

While I have no personal experience with Surefoot, I wouldn't trust a shop that only carries two brands of boots (given how many foot shapes there are). 

 

My friends have had good experiences with George McConkey. I'm interested in checking Top Shelf for my next boot someday. (Anyone know a good place where they'll fit a CSIA level 3 and give the pro deal without charging much extra?)

 

Once your liner packs out (and generally stock liners do within ~30-60 days), you can actually get a liner fitting at the Intuition warehouse here in Vancouver. It's a great way to both improve your control and extend your boot life by several (possibly many) seasons for around $200. They'll also ensure a good fit at the warehouse--you may not get the same guarantee on intuition liners elsewhere. 

post #17 of 17

A few more comments:

 

Surefoot is a crap shoot...50/50 chance is about right.  However their guarantee is solid, and they do honour it, so they are a pretty low risk option..provided you are not time sensitive.

 

George is great if you have wide or irregularily shaped feet...but if you have a narrow foot, George is not your man...he struggles....

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