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Big guy trying to get into the sport

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I used to ski with the rents a lot when i was a kid and I'm trying to get back into it now that I can afford it independently.

First off, I would class my skill level at just above average.  I'm comfortable on black diamonds and i can make it through double black, though the first thing i'd like to work on is getting better on those.  I'm not really interested in going what i think from my reading is called "off-piste." Not yet anyways.

Secondly i weigh about 280 and am 6' 2".  Not as fat as it sounds. I'm a gym rat and i have a lot of muscle under the pudge and i do a crap load of cardio, so I have the strength and endurance to make up for the heavier weight. And that number is coming down. 

What i am looking for this year is a good all around ski that won't be going off any resort terrain.  Also, i'm going to need appropriate boots and bindings to go along with it. I'd like to have a little good advice before i go to purchase a ski. I live in texas and no matter how much an outdoor store guy may say he knows about skiing, I don't trust it as much from a guy who lives in a place where winter can be warmer than a real skier's summer.

Another thing that may be relevant is that for my height, i have shorter legs and a longer torso. 

Anyways, anybody that wouldn't mind giving me some advice about purchasing the right gear would be greatly appreciated.  Budget is not really an issue. 

All that jazz,
Scotch
post #2 of 13
Your strengths can work for you as much as your weaknesses work against you. Being a big guy with power is a good thing. You just need to make it work for you.

Get our boots sorted first and take your time . Skis come in so many shapes that there are many that will suit you.

You can find many skis online but boots is best to buy in person as the fit needs to be adjusted,usually ,to get a custom , personal fitting.  Do you ever travel to places more mountainous than Texas that you can drop into a good ski shop to get your boots purchased and fitted ?  East  Texas ,West ? Where are you  ?

Welcome to Epic.  We'll try to find some answers for you.
Edited by GarryZ - 8/19/09 at 6:30pm
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I will be in the DC area in the next couple of weeks, I'm not sure if that counts.  With my schedule i won't be getting to any areas with a lot of skiing until i actually go on a ski trip. I live in houston. Again, any tips would be appreciated.
post #4 of 13
There are shops I could recommend in DC, but, in my humble opinion those don't count in your context.

IMO, the absolutely best thing for you is would be to buy a boot when you get to the resort where you are going to ski, so that on day 2 or day 3 or day 4 adjustments can be made on the spot.

They will take into account your leg and torso length.

Pick your next ski trip to a place with a good fitter. 
post #5 of 13
Scotch, Ditto on what Comprex stated.  DON'T take advice on what to buy until you get up on the snow.  Go to a good shop on the hill (ask around or here when you decide on area). The advantage is you will be there and using the equipment recommended and this will enable you to accept/discard/ignore or take all this advice on Skis, boots etc.  You and you body will know what works and what you like.  You may initially spend a little more time deciphering what works for YOU but it will be worth the effort. 

Good luck, proceed slowly, the more you try the more correct you will be on your ski choice.  Welcome to Epic a great site and above all have fun.
post #6 of 13
Invest in a lesson while you're at it. You may as well learn how to use that new equipment properly while you're there.

Karl
post #7 of 13
I'm must going to echo what other people have already said:

Boots are more important than skis. There's good news and bad news here: it's not all that hard to identify a boot that'll be good for you, as there's not the candy-shop variety as there is with skis but you've got to do it in person, at a shop that has both the inventory and the expertise to do it right. Houston is a foreign territory to me, but it gives off a not-the-place-to-find-a-great-ski-shop vibe across the thousand-some miles between us. Tracing your foot on a piece of paper works pretty well for sandals ... not so great for ski boots. Actually having them on your feet before you lay down the credit card is almost essential; being able to walk back into the shop for tweaks with boots in hand, and feet on leg, after a day or two isn't exactly a bad idea either.

Of course, when you're on vacation you'll probably wind up arriving at night and want to walk out the door onto the slope at first light, but fitting in some shopping time up front could be a good strategy. If you can arrive mid-day and take some time in the afternoon for relaxed boot-shopping, that would be kind of ideal.

A good shop (people here will have specific recommendations, depending on where you're going) should do you right. Only minor thoughts: be honest and open to advice, and don't pick the boot that feels cushiest (or - necessarily - that looks coolest).

There may be some good shops in the DC area, but somehow the Houston - DC - Rockies (or wherever) triangle just strikes me as more complexity than you're going to want to deal with.

Skis - you could probably have more fun and wind up with something better in the long run if you just rent a few different demos at the resort. When it somes time to buy, skis are something you actually can buy long-distance, once you know what you want.
post #8 of 13
All that has been said is good.  Remember, "You date your skis, you marry your boots!"

Here's some of the skinny on boot fitting:


Get the boots, then play around and find the skis you like.  Once the boots fit, you'll find the skis will work with much less effort.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

 "You date your skis, you marry your boots!"
.
I've never heard that but it makes great sense . There's not a closer relationship than boots to feet.
post #10 of 13

I got boots fitted by Jeff Bergeron in Breckenridge and think he knows what he is doing.  He is the type of guy who will try to look at all factors including how your size may affect the optimal flex and is not tied into any specific brands.  As far as demo skis up here, Virgin Island (in Silverthrone) carried a pair of 184 cm Dynastar Contact 4x4s last year that probably didn't get skied much and might be what you are looking for. 

There are usually a few Texans floating around Summit, so you might even find someone to translate for you if that is an issue. 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

I got boots fitted by Jeff Bergeron in Breckenridge and think he knows what he is doing.  He is the type of guy who will try to look at all factors including how your size may affect the optimal flex and is not tied into any specific brands.  As far as demo skis up here, Virgin Island (in Silverthrone) carried a pair of 184 cm Dynastar Contact 4x4s last year that probably didn't get skied much and might be what you are looking for. 

There are usually a few Texans floating around Summit, so you might even find someone to translate for you if that is an issue. 


I had Jeff Bergeron work on my boots last month -- I bet he spent an hour and a half with me but he really didn't charge me too much!
post #12 of 13
Scotch, I'm not sure why you chose the beginner forum for this question but if I could offer an idea it would be to have this thread moved to a more appropriate forum. Mostly because the top boot pros here may not visit this forum as often as they do the gear and boot specific forums. You may also find the ASK THE BOOT GUYS forum already has the information you are seeking. Not to mention most of the boot guys have posted contact information there. Hope that helps...
post #13 of 13
I'm one of the boot fitter guys and definitely am only here because it is the beginning of the year and I'm checking out the new site.  But there is no question here for "Ask the Boot Guys" either.  But do go to the forum and read through all the Wikis on boot fit, alignment and balance.  Buying equipment that works well for you is really about setting up everything to work together.  If you are in an area where one of the Ask the Boot Guys works and they also sell skis I'd get everything from them so they can work with all alignment and binding position parameters.

Lou
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