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New to Ski Gear, not the sport, Looking for Help to Acquire Gear

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I've skied for a few years as a child with very different skis. Then started skiing in USA the last few years.

I've realized that it's kind of expensive to rent every time, and it will feel better and more comfortable to own your gear, not to mention the personal fit. I've skated in rental skates for like 10 sessions all within 3 week span, and I've gotten a bad huge blister because their skates were just crap fitting me, so I just bought $200 pair of skates for myself, and have been thrilled at how well they have performed for me the last 2+ years.

So, I've been doing some research for the last few days after deciding I'll need my own ski gear. I'm looking for some help in answering these questions, hope you guys can help.

My dimensions, I'm 6' 5.5" at 165lbs and shoe size 12 looks like my ski boot size might be around 29/29.5, I'll visit a local ski shop in Bay Area, "REI" and check out some boots to see what I like better. I ski at Mt. Rose in Tahoe Nevada, its a ski park (I assume that it means that the snow is between medium and hardpacked, with occasional fluff patches). I'm a relative beginner, but I can handle blue diamonds very well, and twice tried a black diamond so I guess I'm an intermediate to advanced (a few times I noticed that on big flex skis I had some chatter, enough for me to be uncomfortable).

I've just viewed a lot of videos from skis.com, gogles, shaped vs straight skis, ski size, boot size, boot fitting, etc.

Remember this is my first, and perhaps ONLY ski set, I just want to enjoy skiing, and dabble in mild extremeties of the sport here and there, nothing too extreme or professional.

1. What do these dimensions mean? taken from K2 RECON 119/78/105

2. I think an all mountain would be best for me, as such I think the width should be 78 or 84 mm, turn radius 15-18m, shaped ski length 176-184cm (mouth to eye level) (I rented 170cm skis, chin height, but I'm inexperienced with which length is more comfortable), price point ~$400, any recommendations? I like to ride fast rather than turns and twists, and looking for something that won't cause too much chatter.

3. How do K2 6 Speed poles sound? Can anyone recommend a 54" pole for less than $80 I can't seem to find good poles, theres K2 6 Speed 2008 for $50 but they don't have any 54" pole sizes <cry>? Not sure which size is mine, (the following measurements were taken just with a long stick) because 52" makes my hand @ 90 degrees but from experience it felt too short, made me miss hitting the snow sometimes when in upright position. Maybe I should take the 54" due to the fact that the ski boot and ski add some inches between me and the snow? 54" is more like 100 degrees (while standing barefoot on the carpet), not recommended from the video but felt more comfortable for me on the mountain, allowed for more reach, pull and thrust. What do you think?

4. Should I purchase a ski which has a binding on it already? Whats all this "integrated binding system" about?

I'll have more questions once I read up on the binding systems, and maybe some more ski questions...

Thanks for answering.
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
Could someone answer Questions 1-3?
BUMP, thx
post #3 of 18
Quote:

1. What do these dimensions mean? taken from K2 RECON 119/78/105

2. I think an all mountain would be best for me, as such I think the width should be 78 or 84 mm, turn radius 15-18m, shaped ski length 176-184cm (mouth to eye level) (I rented 170cm skis, chin height, but I'm inexperienced with which length is more comfortable), price point ~$400, any recommendations? I like to ride fast rather than turns and twists, and looking for something that won't cause too much chatter.

3. How do K2 6 Speed poles sound? Can anyone recommend a 54" pole for less than $80 I can't seem to find good poles, theres K2 6 Speed 2008 for $50 but they don't have any 54" pole sizes <cry>? Not sure which size is mine, (the following measurements were taken just with a long stick) because 52" makes my hand @ 90 degrees but from experience it felt too short, made me miss hitting the snow sometimes when in upright position. Maybe I should take the 54" due to the fact that the ski boot and ski add some inches between me and the snow? 54" is more like 100 degrees (while standing barefoot on the carpet), not recommended from the video but felt more comfortable for me on the mountain, allowed for more reach, pull and thrust. What do you think?

4. Should I purchase a ski which has a binding on it already? Whats all this "integrated binding system" about?

I'll have more questions once I read up on the binding systems, and maybe some more ski questions...

Thanks for answering.


sounds like you have not talked to a human at a ski shop yet.  Start with that to get basic info.  If you are asking the questions, odds are you will make some other mistake that we just assume that you know, and online stores will not care, they just sell/ship

1) measurements at the ski tip/wasit/tail, in mm.  

2) again, talk to a store?  if you can't/won't etc, just buy online from the cheapest place, and it will be a deal on older gear that might work just fine

3) poles:  buy them a bit longer and cut down after you ski them and see how they feel.   Too hard to tell what fits without seeing you and hte poles

4)  sure,  just simpler for you.   some skis can have bindings already attached, and can only be used with that binding
post #4 of 18
nvm.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks, no I have not talked to a sales person, nor do I want to. Talking to a sales person is like eating dirt, only thinking its sweet apple sauce. Once you are out of the store, the bullsh1t starts to show itself.

Best to do your own research.

1. I kinda figured that the middle number is the width, pretty obvious too, and the 1st and 3rd might be the head and tail, just wasn't sure, thanks.
2. I kinda know what I want, now I guess the question is to buy, or demo, or find a few good indepth reviews and buy, although I think I want to demo it first :( too bad I live 4 hours away from the mountain and don't drive then also where am I to find that specific demo model in some shop somewhere.
3. Thanks, I think I'll go with 54" since there's no 56" and as far as I remember 54" seemed to feel very good.

I don't know where to look for 08/09 gear, any suggestions?
I found a Nordica Grandsport 14 2009, any reviews, general suggestions on the brand, model, etc? something not already said.
post #6 of 18
Just a quick post.  Skis are very expensive and buying the wrong skis or boots  for yourself can make your skiing a lot less enjoyable.  I just want to reiterate the advice about speaking to ski shop personnel.  Not the chain stores, but ask for a reccomendation here or in your area of good stores.  Be very honest at the store and explain you don't want to purchase yet but are looking for information about skis and boots.  The small privately run ski shops have very knowledgeable staff who are interested in your enjoyment of the sport and the  years of sales they will get from your enjoyment, not just setting you up and out the door.  You could gain some invaluable knowledge and a great end of season sale or purchase of last years gear that will work great.
post #7 of 18
 I don't know if it helps any, but I am selling a new pair of skis here that would fit the bill, for under $400.  They might be a perfect match depending on your actual boot sole length:

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89503/fs-head-im82-183cm

When shopping, don't make the mistake of getting a boot that is too large -- that is a common issue.  A good bootfitter will help you get into the right size.  A not-so-good ski shop employee probably won't, as they have sort of fallen into the pattern of giving the customer what they want, and most customers want boots that feel roomy in the store.  So if you focus your expense on anything, it should be on the boots and a proper fit from a good ski shop with boot experts.  Until you develop more expertise with gear, you can't really shop for boots on your own.  Skis maybe, but not boots.

For reference, I wear an 11.5 shoe and ski in a 28/28.5 shell boot.  

Good luck!
post #8 of 18
OK, here we go.

Boots? Buy. Most important is that they FIT. Don't take the hard (race) ones. In the beginnig you will enjoy softer boots more than harder more racing oriented. Would be like learning to drive in a nascar-racer. It's not what you want. Harder boots carry higher numers. So a 110 is harder than a 90. Numbers of different brands are not the same.

Ski? Renting or buying hmmm. Is buying really cheaper? You have to wax them and keep edges sharp. That also does cost money. Renting can be cheaper. Depends on how much you use them.
Ski them before you buy them! Maybe you can get a deal on renting them first and then buying them (getting rental costs back).

Ski with bindings on? Not so important. I never used bindings of older ski's so it's not such a drawback when you buy an integrated system (which you likelly not can reuse on an other ski). Buy depends on the best deal you can get.

119/78/105: this means the ski is 119mm wide at the top, 78mm wide under your foot and 105mm wide at the end.
All-mountain oriented is a good start. Especially if you want to keep them longer. Most important; TRY THEM!

Poles; when you rent ski's they should be included. Otherwise buy cheap ones. It will take YEARS before you really start looking for a better (lighter) pole. Especially in moguls you will want a light (and shorter) pole. Just buy cheap ones. You will break some poles anyway. Keep the not broken one once that happens. There will come a moment that two different ones will make a set :-)

Clothing; buy. You can use it also besides the slopes.

Talk to a store? Hmmm, depends on the store. Read the thread from the ski patrol guys about what the most funniest things are they encountered during work. Lot of things which go wrong at the ski-(rental)-shops... People on the groomers laying next to there ski's which came off... inludings boots...
Be honest in the store about your experience.

Don't forget to buy a helmet, goggles and good gloves.

Welcome to skiing!

-Dirk
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
thanks guys

Thanks for suggestions, some of them I already planed to implement.

I also Ice Skate so I know how important the boot fit is. Thus saying that I know when the boot size is too big, but I'll keep a close eye out especially to make sure I don't get a larger boot size. I should be a 29.5mm, although I distinctly remember the rental shop giving me a 30.5mm boot and it felt fine (the leg hold was uniform and firm, although it did feel like the circulation was restricted 20% or maybe it was Boreal's stupid Lift Seats being too hard and pressing off my veins/arteries because my legs are long and dangling over the badly padded edge of the chair, and my toes did get a little cold but I kind of expect that since I'm so skinny by nature), so when I go to check out the boots, I haven't done it yet, I'll compare the 29.5mm vs 30.5mm, and yes, I'll probably have to do that with each model, cuz of different standards or etc etc. As for flex, I think I'm good for 80-90 flex boot, intermediate to advanced, I'll know more when I try the boot with certain flex sizes.

See, because I'm 4 hours away from any skiing, I will most likely not be able to find any privately owned ski shops, I'll probably have to go to REI and Sports Challet or whatever its called, and deal with their stock, in any case, the next deal of research is finding local ski shops and checking them out.


By the way, anyone has a recommendation on what they think the ski length that might be good for me? I rented 170cm only. I understand that experts tend to buy longer skis, forehead and above, while beginners grabs the chin height skis. I'm very tall and skinny, my nose-eye level is ~184cm, should I round down because I'm skinny to 177cm, keep it the same 184cm because I'm intermediate to advanced skier, or stay with 170cm?

^ This question I can't really test because of several reasons like I'm inexperienced and don't know what differences to look for that are determined by the length of the ski and because I can't really try out so many different skis to find out which one is right for me without demoing 2 or more skis at the same time and driving 4 hours to the mountain, well, 4 hours to Reno, then 1 hour to the Mountain :S I will of course try and demo the different model skis that I hope to purchase.

HELMET: Forgot, I don't think I do well with helmets, I know its a dangerous sport, and my reason for not wanting to get a helmet is 80% comfort in cold and otherwise and 20% looks, I don't do dangerous terrain or tricks anyway, so hopefully I won't need it.
GOGLES: I caught on this forum that Smith I/O(S?) Sensor Mirror provide a very good contrast and terrain differentiation, and are spherical, maybe I can find some older year models for <$80, unless I was wrong about how good they are.
GLOVES: I got some gloves this year that seem to do the job, still debating on whether they hurt my hands by making it hard to squeeze, or whether that was because the pole's handles were made of plastic, either way I don't see a need to spend extra money of gloves.
Edited by kandrey89 - 1/3/10 at 2:47pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kandrey89 View Post
GLOVES: I got some gloves this year that seem to do the job, still debating on whether they hurt my hands by making it hard to squeeze, or whether that was because the pole's handles were made of plastic, either way I don't see a need to spend extra money of gloves.
 

Why do you squeeze???? Hold them relaxed. Keep hands in sight.
Important is how you "leash" them. Stick your whole hand from beneath through the leash. Then take a grip. Let someone (who knows how to) show ya. Otherwise you could get a ski-thumb when falling.

Boots: your right with buying not to big. Standing straight your toes should touch the front of the boot. Standing in ski-possition you toes will not touch.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
I watched a bunch of videos 2 days ago, got a bunch of tips from gogles to skis, to boots, to socks, to poles.

They did mention how to hold the poles, and I'm not sure why but I guess its from childhood experience, for as long as I remember I've held the pole's rope the right way, having the feed loop above my wrist, and feed it from below my wrist into the handle, just as if you stuck your hand into the loop from below and grabbed the pole. I've also noticed that for a looser grip some people hold their poles by leaving 1 side of the loop with the handle, and making a sword type shape, just holding 1 side of the loop with the handle, and having the other loop around the glove, not sure what that's about :S
post #12 of 18
 Most people seem to think they are warmer in helmets, and I would agree.  Good helmets can be extremely comfortable, and give you a lot of control over ventilation.  As far as risk level, you don't need to be skiing gnar terrain or hitting jumps to benefit from a helmet.  In fact, I think beginners probably benefit from helmets as much, if not more, than experts.  So don't write them off without more thought.  IMHO, looks and comfort are not real factors when thinking about helmets here in 2010.  They are pretty well refined/comfortable at this point, and fairly common on the hill nowadays.

Smith sensor mirror goggles routinely come up for under $40 on www.tramdock.com/ , and all sorts of other good ski gear too (gloves, boots, helmets, skis, etc).  It's worth keeping an eye on that site if you are in need of stuff.  People pay way too much for ski accessories without really knowing about the deal sites.  They were selling $150 Marmot GoreTex pro gloves on there for about 70% off recently, which is far less than most people pay for lousy gloves at retail.

For ski length, if you are between intermediate and expert as I think you mentioned, I'd go chin to nose height, but the exact length depends on the type of ski.  Go for the short end of the range with carvers and groomer skis, and longer for all-mountain and freeride skis.  They each push you into a different part of the envelope as far as sizing.  There is no single, universal length that applies to all skis.
post #13 of 18
Start with a proper boot and fit; the rest will fall into place. To get the right boot, make an appointment to see two of the EpicSki member boot fitters that are in your path during your next visit to our part of the world: Sierra Jim at the Start Haus in Truckee and Bud Heishman at Snowind Sports in Reno. 
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post

Start with a proper boot and fit; the rest will fall into place. To get the right boot, make an appointment to see two of the EpicSki member boot fitters that are in your path during your next visit to our part of the world: Sierra Jim at the Start Haus in Truckee and Bud Heishman at Snowind Sports in Reno. 
Seconded.
post #15 of 18
Andrey, check out California Ski Company across the bridge in Berkeley.  Nice little shop, privately owned, very knowledgeable staff.  They're the best bootfitters in the Bay Area that I've found, and have even recommended boots to me that they didn't have in stock, so they aren't simply about selling you something.

http://www.californiaskicompany.com/
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AWilde View Post

Andrey, check out California Ski Company across the bridge in Berkeley.  Nice little shop, privately owned, very knowledgeable staff.  They're the best bootfitters in the Bay Area that I've found, and have even recommended boots to me that they didn't have in stock, so they aren't simply about selling you something.

http://www.californiaskicompany.com/

No idea about their bootfitting, but I once took a pair of skis to to them to have bindings remounted a couple centimeters back.  When I got the skis back, the bindings were not only obviously off-center, the toepiece and heel were off-axis to each other.  They had obviously been eyeballed and freehand-mounted badly.

When I took the skis back, I noted my concern and the old tech said something to the extent that he'd freehand-mounted hundreds of race skis in his life, and these will function just fine.  When I measured and showed exactly how off they were, they did offer to remount.  

Great, another set of holes to mount my bindings in a location that I didn't want.

Even though I'll still frequent them for parts (binding screws the last time) and supplies, I would not trust them for labor ever again.

*****

Addenum
:  during my last visit, I was in the tech shop as the old tech was searching for the right length binding screws.  I was eyeballing around the shop and noticed a great variety of Tyrolia jigs, some Salomon jigs, and no Look/Dynastar jigs, which explains that bad freehand-mount job.  So if you have to get your bindings mounted by them, have them actually show you the jig for it.
Edited by DtEW - 1/3/10 at 10:36pm
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
What's a jig?
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kandrey89 View Post

What's a jig?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jig_(tool)
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