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Begginer / Newbie Ski Question(s)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Alright, so I'm sure this is redundant and mundane by now, but just in case anyone is willing to lend some knowledge/advice...

I'm interested in purchasing my first pair of skis.

I ski solely at resort types (no wilderness, forest, off the beaten path adventures, etc.) in NY: Windham, Hunter, Bellayere (sp?). I have never been on a black diamond, I'm solid on the greens and I've tried a few blues (I just started skiing last year, have been roughly 4-5 times now). I'm 5'9" - 5'10" and weight roughly 165 lbs.

In case anyone is familiar with Windham, on my most recent trip I used Type I skis, 140-150 cm (Fischer??). I started looking at different places online that sell skis and am noticing that for someone my height/adult males in general, their lowest lengths are 150+, generally 155-160 and above, no? When I "google" 140cm skis, I get a lot of Jr. stuff, was I technically using "junior" (kid) skis when I went or do "adult" pairs come in 140 cm as well? At Windham, they didn't seem extremely short for me or obviously "out of place" for someone my height, so I'm a bit confused now with what I used at the resort vs what I'm seeing online.

Anyway, would be willing to spend a couple of hundred on my first pair, nothing too crazy obviously... I'm a bit fuzzy on what type of skis I should be looking for as well? All mountain? Carving? Downhill? I get the impression I should be looking at Carving? Please correct me if I'm wrong... Should I be looking to purchase locally (NYC), online?

Any suggestions on input on purchasing beginner ski(s)/gear (jacket) in general, would be greatly appreciated, thanks a lot.
post #2 of 4
NYCSully, we do get a lot of questions like this... however, a fairly well-phrased one with 1) sufficient background info and 2) without questionable assumptions/assertions is never that much of a bother.

For your height and weight, 140cm is incredibly short even as beginner skis.

My advice is to hold off buying skis for awhile until you progress to being an Intermediate, which will happen much sooner than you think.  I can assure you that by then, you will want something totally different (ski model, length), which will render your recently-purchased beginner model and beginner-sized skis an waste of money.

What you SHOULD spend your money on is to visit a well-regarded professional bootfitter (not just somebody who tells you he's a bootfitter, but rather somebody recommended by "Ask The Boot Guys" forum.  Trust me, I've made that mistake.)  Many beginners fail to see that the single most important piece of ski equipment is the link between you and the skis: the boots. Many beginners also make the mistake to think that the expensive services of a real bootfitter is a luxury that rich (and stupid) skiers use, but that they can do without, as they've been adept at sizing shoes, perhaps even with some inkling of foot biomechanics.  This is a complete underestimation of the both the complexities of a ski boot and the almost night-and-day difference a well-fit boot can make to your skiing.

(Athletic) people have gone from Beginners to Advanced skiers in only a few days with the right-fit boots.

In terms of a jacket, a quality waterproof-breathable (Gore-tex is generally reliable) shell jacket with 1) a hood, 2) zippered underarm venting, 3) drawstring hem, and 4) powder skirt (not essential, but nice to have) would work well for skiing as the outmost layer of your layering system.  There are many big brands that offer such a jacket, and you can't go too wrong with any of them.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Appreciate the comment and thank you for the quick reply.

I think that would be a wise choice as well...

Does it matter if the skis were "shaped"? Although, I'm not sure if my skis were shaped or not, I get the impression that they might have been and think I've read somewhere that shaped skis come smaller, relative to unshaped, I suppose? Would it matter anyway?

What length would you recommend for someone with my stats when I feel like I'm ready to use what is considered to be standard for someone like me?

Would anyone happen to have any recs for a good bootfitter in or around NYC?

Thanks again.
post #4 of 4
First: a note of agreement with DtEW's informative post.

Followed by: an answer to your follow-up question: While it does matter that the skis were "shaped," that's a bit of a red herring. Non-"shaped" skis have been essentially non-existent for about a decade or so. The advice DtEW game you assumed the skis were shaped.
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