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Thrift store skis

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So I'm at a thrift store in Utah today and I see some skis.  There are a pair of K2 and Olin.  And some others that I don't remember.

The price on the tag is $20 and the manager says he will let them go for less.

They are shaped skis; and they have bindings.

If the skis are as tall as my nose or chin, should I buy them?  I should check to make sure that the brakes work.  Is there anything else I should check for?

I live in West Valley City.  No, I'm not in a gang.  I was laid off from my job earlier this year, so I don't have a lot of money to spend.  But I would like to start skiing with my kids.  For the forseeable future, I would be using this equipment on Brighton's beginner areas.  Or maybe at another Utah resort that has cheap tickets.

REI has a clinic in early January.  Is there anywhere else where I could learn how to wax them & adjust them? 

post #2 of 9
The problem with thrift store skis is that one needs to know -which- bindings are on them.

The pictures in this thread:

can give you an idea of why most shops will refuse to adjust older bindings.
post #3 of 9
If you really know nothing about skis then buying from a thrift store or craigslist is a bad idea. levelnine sports is not too far from you and they can hook you up with a set for a very reasonable amount. If that is too much to swing then perhaps you have a friend who is into skiing who could help you find some decent used skis for not too much.
post #4 of 9
I understand your need to make good purchases on the cheap. Heck ,ski bums know this the most and they also know you can get good used modern equipment from other skiers. Bindings past certain dates are no longer trusted and shops will refuse to adjust them for you. this is in your own best interest and it's a smart move  to follow their lead  in this matter. You can find an indemnification list of current ski bindings online with a bit of searching.

Post a request in the classifieds here for what you seek . Entry skis are plenty but the boots are another question . You will need those as an even more important  purchase
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everybody!

What does everybody think about the Sports Authority?  They are close to where I work.  They had boots for $79 and some skis with bindings that were also pretty reasonable.
post #6 of 9
For a novice or a casual skier who wants to spend time with his kid on snow, I think Sports Authority is fine. In fact, they have some left over mid to upper middle range skis for very decent prices (at least at the ones I've been to). However, be warned that it's a big box store so do not expect anything more than basic service and knowledge from them. Good luck.
post #7 of 9
Before getting boots please read the stuff at the top of the page here in the Ask the Boot Guys section.  It may save you a lot of time, effort, and bucks in the long run.  $79 boots could be iffy.  However, if they fit you properly, they could be the deal of the century.  My screwy feet don't fit that sort of boot.

Skis are a secondary thing to boots.  Remember, you date skis, you marry boots.  I have many pairs of skis, I only have one pair of boots.  Thus I'm thinking the deal you get on the skis are probably worth it.  If you can learn to ski on them, and play with the kids, they've done their job.  After you figure out how to use them, you can step up to better and better skis so you can catch up with the kids.
post #8 of 9

You mentioned that you want to wax and tune your own skis - that's great and I highly recommend that people learn to wax and tune their own skis.   The REI clinic sounds like a good idea - it's great to see someone else do it and be able to ask questions.  There are also plenty of instructions and videos that you can find on google.  I just want you to be aware that buying waxing and tuning equipment is not inexpensive for someone on a tight budget right now.  The least expensive waxing iron, wax, scraper, brushes, edge stones and guides will probably run you $150 or so.  You can shop around.  I got a good deal on my stuff from  You can use discount code LYONSKI to get an extra 10% off. 

Good luck on the job hunt - I've been in the same position - I think it's great that you're still taking your kids skiing - they won't remember the 'budget skis' but the will remember the fun times.Jobs come and go, there will surely be another eventually.  Kids grow up fast, enjoy creating memories with them.
post #9 of 9
Olin skis are old.  They haven't been made for many years.  I have some that I'd send for the cost of postage--probably more than $20, anyway.  188 or 190 cm, probably too much ski for any beginner except one built like a football lineman.Quote:
I should check to make sure that the brakes work.  Is there anything else I should check for?
Any ski shop, at least any decent ski shop, can test the binding release.  That is a must-do when buying used skis.
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