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New to the modern day of sking

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
It's been about 28 years since I skied. The last time was in Lake Tahoe when I was using 190cm Atomic AL 7's. I would have to rate myself as an intermediate skier, at least I was back then. Does anyone have any tips on the new Equipment vs. my Atomics? What about comfort boots? I am currently 280# and 6'2".
post #2 of 3
Welcome to Epic pradman,

And welcome back to skiing! Even the lowest end gear today is better than the top of the line gear was 28 years ago. Your Atomics are probably better used becoming furniture or sitting in a musuem, but you might be able to get a few bucks for them on Ebay.  For new gear, you're better of renting and demoing to start with. Rental prices may seem high, but you'll get sticker shock if you start shopping for new gear right away. Lots of ski resorts have demo days where the ski companies let you try gear out for free. You should plan your calendar accordingly. There are so many choices for skis, you're better off trying different kinds and performance levels so you can at least narrow your search to a type and performance level when you are ready to buy,

After a good tune up your Atomics are probably skiable, but you should definitely scrap your bindings. Older bindings have parts like springs that wear down with age so much that the system is unreliable for use. You could put new bindings on your old skis, but getting on modern skis is definitely going to make skiing a lot more fun and worth the expense. Modern skis have more "shape" to them and turn a lot easier than old skis did. You'll need to learn to turn your feet less and tip your feet onto edge more, but after that you'll be kicking yourself for not skiing for so long.

Oh - about those boots... You're probably going to need new boots too. Plastic boots of "advanced age" may look ok, but have a nasty habit of cracking along the seams as soon as they get stressed. If they don't burst right away as soon as you buckle them or they get cold, then you're just taking your chances that they won't burst in the middle of a turn. Modern boots are not a whole lot more comfortable than 28 year old boots. They are insulated a bit better (no more two pairs of socks!). One things that does make boots more comfortable is custom foot beds. You're going to want these. It will probably make sense to rent boots and skis as a package for your first few times back on snow, but boots are probably going to the priority purchase over skis.

My recommendations:
Get out on snow at least 5 days before thinking about buying gear.
Take a lesson or three to help speed up the learning process for how to ski on shaped skis.
Surf Epic's gear forum for an impromtu gear education
Next summer, find a local ski shop with a guy over 30 years old working in it. Tell him up front that you're returning to the sport, just looking to get educated and to be ready for when gear goes on sale. Even though his advice is free, trade him a 6 pack for an in person tutorial on different types of skis and boots and boot fitting. Compare what you hear vs Epic. Rent some gear from the shop. When you find a shop you can trust, pay the few extra bucks it's going to cost you to get gear from them (but do get a "sale" price). You can always get gear cheaper online or from discount shops, but until you're a fully educated expert the service you'll get from a real ski shop is still worth the extra bucks. Shop in the summer when the stores are not busy.
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