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Buying Skis Myself for the First Time

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi there everyone!

I am thinking of buying skis on my own for the first time ever in my life!  I graduated from college a few years ago, and since I have a job and have been going to the slopes a lot within the past few years, I figured that it might be time for me to invest in a new pair of skis myself instead of letting mom foot the bill.  But my problem is that I've never bought my own pair of skis and have never actually thought about it.  I just go on the slopes and work with what I've got. 

I'm from the East Coast and have been skiing for the past 5 or 6 years with a pair of 150 length Atomic BetaCarv skis that are pretty skinny in the waist.  These skis have worked well for me and I really like them a lot.  The problem is that I am currently living in Hokkaido, Japan, and the conditions here are a bit more mixed than in the East Coast, so I am thinking that I could use a pair of mid-fat all-mountain skis.  The carving skis are great on the groomed trails, but I have had a bit of trouble at Niseko and Furano where many trails are ungroomed.  

I consider myself to be an advance skier; I can handle most conditions except for deep powder (but I have never really skied out West before and tried the back country only one time at Niseko) and I'm not interested in the terrain parks.  I am most comfortable with fast carving on groomed slopes, but I would like to get out of that comfort zone and challenge myself more.   

When I went to the store in Sapporo, the staff recommended some pretty long skis compared to what I have been using.  I am only 5'2" and 130 pounds but the staff showed me skis that were longer than 170 cm and 88mm at the waist.  I thought that seemed a bit long and wide, but I wasn't sure.   

Does anyone recommend  a pair of skis to buy or demo?  I'm not really sure what I should do and especially have trouble figuring out what ski size is best for my ability
post #2 of 6
 I guess length is really just a matter of preference.  At your height, it could be a bit long, but if you ski at higher speeds, then the stability is worth it.  Furthermore, if the ski has a twin tip, it will ski shorter than the indicated length (figure on 5 cm shorter for a twin tip due to the tail). The flex/stiffness of the ski will be an important consideration at your weight.  So, if the shop is suggesting an all mountain ski (and possibly a twin tip due to the ungroomed conditions), then the 170 length will likely be ok.  Something in the mid 160s might be more appropriate if you are not wanting a twin tip, but 150 seems very short to me.  

Just some thoughts to bump your thread; hopefully you'll get some more responses soon.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks Alberto!

I had not thought about the twin tip skiing shorter.  Before Japan, I have almost always skied on pretty firm snow and never had a problem with the 150 skis. 

Even though the staff member at the store spoke English, I had trouble getting explanations from her regarding why she thought different pairs of skis would be suitable for me.    
post #4 of 6
 My guess is that the staff member was responding to your thoughts about off-groomed skiing.  Generally, when conditions are more variable, having a longer ski adds stability at speed.  One rule of thumb has been that a very proficient skier should get a ski that is roughly the same as their height.  My preference is generally for longer skis (unless I want something really turny for  slalom-type skiing).  If you are a confident, advanced skier, then going a bit longer with a mid-fat twin shouldn't take long to get used to.

Why not name some of the skis you are considering?   Here's a bump for the morning  crowd.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, I am looking at last year's models because they fit my budget more.  Now that I am looking over my notes, I realize that I had forgotten to write down the ski lengths available for those models at the store along with various other important notes.  I really haven't been doing a good job with this so far...

So I looked at a pair of Stockli skis that were 88 mm in the center and were only slightly curved, and a pair of Rossignol Bandits.

I also liked a 2 pairs of K2 Apache Klassik & Maverick skis that were 80mm in the center 113mm at the top and 104mm at the tail.

All the names of the models were in katakana and I think that I slacked off when it came to writing it all down at the store.  I guess that I'll have to go back and look at everything again.
post #6 of 6
Try to find some Rossignol Phantoms. I feel like its a good ski for what you are describing. They come in several different widths depending on what you want to do with them. This year they start at 80 across the waist, then go up. Rossi tinkers with these measurements each year, so if you are shopping used the numbers might be slightly different. They are a really solid all-mountain ski: carve quite well, bust crud well, and float reasonably well depending on the width you get. If you are shopping for skis that are more than 2 years old, you might try looking for the Phantom's predecessor, it was called the Bandit. Some links just for reference:



Edit: I'm not suggesting this is the only ski for you, just something you might want to look into.
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