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Haven't been skiing since 1993 - Need equipment advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I used to go skiing every season for many years, but I haven't been since 1993. I own a pair of skis and boots from way back then, but during a recent shopping trip it quickly became obvious that ski equipment has changed dramatically since then. Obviously I have the vintage style skis, not the newer parabolic shaped ones. And since I know nothing about the new stuff, I need help figuring out what to get.

I'm 6'4" tall and weigh around 185 stripped down. I typically used skis that were around size 190-200. I've been told that skis are shorter now, so I don't know if those numbers are still relevant. I'd like to buy new skis, but I have no idea what to look for. I have a season pass for Keystone, Breck, A-Basin, Vail, and Beaver Creek, and I'll most likely stick to blues and the occasional black run. Nothing crazy like the bowls or back country skiing. My 8-year-old son is going to take lessons this season, so I'll be skiing with him much of the time. In other words, I don't need high performance equipment. Any ski recommendations? Can I use my old bindings and boots or do I need to upgrade those too?

One final question: If I show up at the slopes with my old skis and boots am I going to look like a dork or do some people still use that old stuff?
post #2 of 11
First and foremost...
Get new boots...

Use one the Boot-fitter’s  recommended here on this forum..

I can't tell you how much money my wife and i have wasted by not doing this until recently...
Use a Boot-fitter and get the RIGHT boot the first time...
It might initially sound like a lot of money, but in the long run it is not...
Too be honest we have most likely spent about double what we would have if we had used a boot-fitter first...instead of trying to find the bargain and fit ourselves...
Then RENT DEMO skis...
You will find that some of the skis people love ...YOU don't...and some you will...
You will end up finding out what you like and don't like within a few short ski days...
Then buy your new skis after you have figured out what you want...
I have ended up with 2 skis...one for when it has not snowed for several days and one when it has...
The new mid fat skis 80mm-90mm in width are wonderful out here in the west even when it has not snowed for over a week...
Then a fat ski 100mm+ for when its snowing...
I was in the same spot you are in now 4-5 years ago...
Had not skied for 15+ years...then jumped back in big time...
Technology is wonderful...
Edited by rspacher - 12/1/09 at 10:31am
post #3 of 11
Definitely don't use the old equipment.  For your size, a shaped ski about 170-175 would be about right.  You might consider leasing quipemnt this season until you get your skills back.  Then buy when the price drop in the spring.
post #4 of 11
Welcome to EpicSki!
You are following the track I took in late 2006.  I also took about 10 years off then returned when it became feasible to do so.  This forum is where you need to be to get back on track. I'll recommend getting some more recent equipment.  Start with new boots.  I believe you could probably demo skis at those resorts through the rental shop.  Also, get some more recent gear.  It doesn't have to be brand new, but post 2004 would be what I recommend.  You can bring your old gear along assuming it still works and the bindings are safe, however your boots will most likely crack after such a long sabbatical.  Start off taking a couple runs on your familiar skis (again as long as you can confirm the bindings are sound) then go back to the car and switch to the newer skis.  I doubt you will ride the old boards again with the exception of Retro Days.
Edited by crgildart - 12/1/09 at 10:36am
post #5 of 11
Please show us your old gear in More Retro Memories!

The advise already given is

Welcome to Epic!

MR
post #6 of 11

Most of the advice here has been great, especially starting with a new pair of boots fit by a well qualified bootfitter.  However, I somewhat disagree with a couple of comments made surrounding renting.

 

While renting may be a good option to save you some $$, it won't necessarily give you an idea of what ski is right for you.  I think that going to a reputable shop with knowledgeable staff will give you a better idea of what ski would be right for you.  Then you will have the option of demoing some of the new models roughly at the same price of renting.  Alot of the time a portion of what you have spent on demoing can be used as a credit toward your purchase of new skis from that shop.

 

I advise against renting simply because most rental shops seem to care very little about getting you on the right ski for your ability, and care more about pushing another customer though the queue.  I don't know about rental shops at the hills in CO but here in Alberta our rental shops are filled with Aussies who have been in the country for a few weeks at most and have been on skis maybe a couple of times in their lives. 

post #7 of 11
I stand corrected...
Demo skis to find out what you like...
Quite a few of the shops around here have some very nice rental equipment...use those for the first few time to get used to shaped skis...
THEN demo some skis, that way you can pin point what to buy...
post #8 of 11
As others have said get new boots, get them professionally fitted and modified by a certified pro.  It might seem like a waste of money after dropping a few hundred bucks on new boots, but trust me, from a guy whos had too many high end boots for the amount he skis, the best money spent will be on getting them professionally fitted, it will make all the difference in the world, especially if you hope to get better at skiing.

I do not think that you will notice much of a difference from one ski to another should you stay within the recreational ski range.   The nuances from one ski to another are only appreciated after a significant time on the snow.   That being said once you know what size you need, I think you will be happy with any well made ski that is made for cruising.   Get something made within the last 3 yrs and you ll be fine.  Left-over inventory can be had for hundreds less than the newest stuff, and often times the only difference are the colors.

Oh and yes people still ski on the old stuff.....sometimes its all they have, sometimes its what they like, sometimes its for shits and giggles.  But your skiing enjoyment will be exponentially increased with the newer gear.
post #9 of 11
I came back to skiing about 6-7 years ago after an 18-year layoff. For 5 years I used my skis and bindings from the mid-70's and some Frankenboots that I made by mixing an 80's vintage shell with a 70's liner.  The boots hurt like no other, but everything else was peachy. It was just a couple years ago that I could afford new gear. I still drag the old skis out once in a while for grins.

Everybody above is dead on about the boots. I was lucky. Mine managed to hang together without exploding, and I have exploded a brittle, old boot in the past.

It appears my 70's bindings were more serviceable than most stuff from the 80's and 90's. Bindings from that era are evidently (so I'm told, I wasn't there) made mostly from a plastic that turns brittle with age. When you click a boot into them, some of them fail rather spectacularly. Actually, I did manage to acquire a pair of Salomon 626's that I crumbled rather easily playing with them in my garage.

Buy boots. Get them fit properly. Be very wary of your bindings. Shops won't touch them if they're that old. Tell us what you've got. Someone here will know whether they will blow up or not.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrison Claystone View Post

I came back to skiing about 6-7 years ago after an 18-year layoff. For 5 years I used my skis and bindings from the mid-70's and some Frankenboots that I made by mixing an 80's vintage shell with a 70's liner.  The boots hurt like no other, but everything else was peachy. It was just a couple years ago that I could afford new gear. I still drag the old skis out once in a while for grins.

Everybody above is dead on about the boots. I was lucky. Mine managed to hang together without exploding, and I have exploded a brittle, old boot in the past.

It appears my 70's bindings were more serviceable than most stuff from the 80's and 90's. Bindings from that era are evidently (so I'm told, I wasn't there) made mostly from a plastic that turns brittle with age. When you click a boot into them, some of them fail rather spectacularly. Actually, I did manage to acquire a pair of Salomon 626's that I crumbled rather easily playing with them in my garage.

Buy boots. Get them fit properly. Be very wary of your bindings. Shops won't touch them if they're that old. Tell us what you've got. Someone here will know whether they will blow up or not.

or would fit in our collection!
post #11 of 11
I'm sorry to say, Yes. You will be "that guy" on the lift line with antiqated gear. Boots are crucial if you're interested in new gear. If you only had the means to buy either skis or boots. Boots are the way to go. If the feet are comfortable everything else becomes easier.

As for demoing. Richie-rich was in the right direction. But I think even though you've been out of the loop for a few years. It'll only take a day to get your legs back and wouldn't be difficult to feel differences in the skis. Just don't go the mountain and start trying every ski they have. Do some homework and narrow it down to 2-3 pair. If you try too many you'll forget what the first pair felt like.

My ski recomendations. Volkl AC30, Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous, Salomon XW Storm

Boots. Every manufactuer has a boot for your ability. But they all fit different. Even within thier model line up. Take your time with them. A good bootfitter will know right away which boots you should try just by looking at the shape of your foot.
Edited by Guru - 12/1/09 at 1:44pm
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