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Getting back into skiing after 20 years

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I was looking for some input.  My wife and I are getting back into skiing with our kids.  We used to ski alot but life got busy, kids came along and after almost 20 years we have introduced our young children to the sport (9 and 12 years old).  With the changes in technology I was hoping to get some input into what we should be looking at in the way of gear.

 

I (now wait for it) used to ski 210cm Salomon 9E skis with Salomon 977 bindings.  I am 5'-8" and although never a technical skier I will ski down anything.

 

My wife had 175cm Salomon Force 9 with Salomon 447 bindings.  We still have them in near new condition if any collectors are interested (ha).  She has always been a very cautious skier.

 

We have always skied in the east (Quebec Canada).  We are headed west this year to ski British Columbia and I was looking for some new gear. (We rented/borrowed gear last year but are jumping in both feet now that our kids have the ski bug)

 

I know I will get a different response from every person as to brand of ski, but I was hoping to get some technical info and type of ski for what we are looking for.

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 22

Boots first. Next question?

 

BTW, Your Salomons from that era weren't measured in length but "Pr rating" You have either a PR7 or 8 i your 9000's and your wife is probably a PR5 +/-

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

I incorrectly assumed everyone would be too young here to know that...mine are PR7 - 9000's and my wifes are PR5.

 

It is funny,  I have been on several forums for different things, boat forums discussing my boat, volkswagen forums discussing my restored 1969 bug and you there are always people who comment on things that provide absolutely no help. 

 

Philpug...you are obviously very smart when it comes to ski equipment.  It is too bad your "Boots first. Next question?" comment provided absolutely no help.  But thanks for commenting and proving to everyone how smart you are by providing nothing other than a smart ass comment.

 

post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpyguts View Post

I incorrectly assumed everyone would be too young here to know that...mine are PR7 - 9000's and my wifes are PR5.

 

It is funny,  I have been on several forums for different things, boat forums discussing my boat, volkswagen forums discussing my restored 1969 bug and you there are always people who comment on things that provide absolutely no help. 

 

Philpug...you are obviously very smart when it comes to ski equipment.  It is too bad your "Boots first. Next question?" comment provided absolutely no help.  But thanks for commenting and proving to everyone how smart you are by providing nothing other than a smart ass comment.

 


It was not meant to be a smart ass response but it is a question that is posed here 3-4 times a week, someone getting back into the sport and want to talk about what skis to get and the pat response is while the skis are the sexy and fun thing to talk about, the boots are first and foremost to get set up. 

 

post #5 of 22

Since good advice to get properly fitted boots was of no help to you, I will assume that you already have properly fitted boots.

 

Snow in BC is going to require a wider softer ski than you would use in the east.  I would guestimate that the length should be about 180 cm for Western mountains with a turn radius that should be longer than about 16.  The above rec if if you know what to do (and how to do it) with a pair of skis. I have long ago forgotten the Force # that go with Solomon skis, so your PR7 doesn't mean much to me.  Edit: how much do you weigh, and do you arc carved turns or smear turns.

 

I advise you to spend 20 bucks for a subscription to expertskier.com and check out the many suitable models, and make a short list of some that have all the features you desire.  Then go shoping with that short list.

post #6 of 22

Although not everyone in this forum agrees with or approves of the ratings in the Real Skiers ski reviews I think you would find them helpful to look over. http://www.realskiers.com/

 

In fact the site provides all kinds of useful information, in addition to ski reviews.

 

The reviews are quite detailed, and organized by brand (Atomic, Head, Fischer, etc) and type of skiing (all mountain, freeride, etc.). The archive of reviews dates back several years which is helpful if you are looking to save money by buying a older, but never used set of skis online.

 

The one drawback that I can think of is there is a fee to access the site. I think the site is worth the money, though I get the impression some members of this forum think the site is too old school to be worth the bother.

post #7 of 22

I absolutely agree with Philpug. My priority list would be:

 

1.) New boots: No ifs, ands, or buts about this. Good boots that fit you JUUUUUST right can help you ski better and feel better.

 

2.) Lessons. You will have to "re-learn" skiing, as the methods and equipment has drastically changed since you last skied.

 

3.) Skis last. After getting back into it, you can narrow down what you'd like. There's such a crazy huge variety of skis out there, that I always suggest renting different shapes, sizes, brands, etc. There's nothing wrong with renting gear for a while. Some shops have a VERY impressive selection of top-notch skis. What might be MY favorite ski in the world might end being your least favorite.

 

I'm a complete noob on these forums, and even with my limited knowledge, I knew it would be most beneficial to buy boots first. It took 2 years for me to finally pick out a pair of skis to buy. I've had a blast demo'ing tons of skis and experiencing the differences. Good luck!

 

EDIT: Just noticed that you said you skied last year. I still maintain my opinions, though. Good boots with after-market insoles, and custom fitted liners are divine. Also, since you're new to the game (again), and if you must buy skis, maybe just buy some of last year's rental skis. You can get some decent skis for a steal of a price, and you won't be throwing away much money if you're not crazy about them.


Edited by AustinFromSA - 9/22/10 at 7:16pm
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecumseh View Post

Although not everyone in this forum agrees with or approves of the ratings in the Real Skiers ski reviews I think you would find them helpful to look over. http://www.realskiers.com/

 

In fact the site provides all kinds of useful information, in addition to ski reviews.

 

The reviews are quite detailed, and organized by brand (Atomic, Head, Fischer, etc) and type of skiing (all mountain, freeride, etc.). The archive of reviews dates back several years which is helpful if you are looking to save money by buying a older, but never used set of skis online.

 

The one drawback that I can think of is there is a fee to access the site. I think the site is worth the money, though I get the impression some members of this forum think the site is too old school to be worth the bother.

Same site I mentioned.  Clicking on the log in tab at realskiers.com takes me to the subscription site page which is expertskier.com  .  It's Peter Keelty's review site.
 

post #9 of 22

Hi, Ghost. Yup, I'm aware the two sites are the same. I was typing my suggestion as you were posting yours. Another instance of great minds thinking alike, I guess.

 

I have to say I've been surprised at some of the dismissive remarks I've encountered in connection with Keelty's site. I think it is a gold mine of information. I've subscribed for a few years now; and wish I'd known about it earlier.

post #10 of 22

Lumpyguts,

 

There are many, many who post here and who returned to skiing following years off, I'm one who took a 15 year hiatus. Welcome back to skiing and to Epic Ski.  It's a major leap of faith to consider skiing on a 170 cm ski from those which you are familiar. As a general statement, modern skis are most easily differentiated by the width of their waist. As you live in the east where hard snow conditions prevail and you stated that you are a non-technical skier, I'm thinking that a ski with a waist around 78 mm would work very well, and, should do fine in most BC conditions. Nothing longer than 178. An example would be  a Head Peak 78, but, there are a ton of others. Dynastar 4x4 is another you may consider. There are also a ton of Epic threads about newer skiers returning, check them out as much good advise is allready there.

 

Boots? I used my old boots for 2 years (did'nt ski a whole lot) when I first returned, I got by. The reasons were part financial, part uncertainty if I would continue, and part not knowing what boot I wanted. They are someplace in my basement, tried them on a while ago and concluded they are far too loose to ski in today as the liners are decomposed.

 

Buying skis, boots and bindings for 2 people is a major financial deal. Also, while today's skis are much better, expect not to fall in love on your first day or so. There are many DVD's available on ski technique plus U-tube has some decent instruction available. Spend some time learning the basics.

 

While you had a bumpy start with Philpug, he is a great resource and can recommend specific skis for you and your wife. He's not as bad as his bark!

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input.  I still have my old boots which I was considering using, but then I realized how dated they look and how much more comfortable the new boots are.  What should I consider other than comfort when picking boots?

 

We got the kids out several times last year and I took a lesson last year to help with my transition to the new gear. 

 

To answer some of the questions:

I do carve my turns although I play a lot of hockey so that influences the way I ski a bit.  I generally go into my turns a little hard and come out softer.  I wish I was more fluid through my turns but 35yrs of hockey creates habits that are hard to break.  I am 5'-8" and 195lbs and an aggressive skier.  Does this suggest a direction I should be looking at with respect to boots?

 

I skied a pair of Salomon Xwing 162cm last year that I liked, but I understand that with the contoured sides on skies makes them handle differently.  I am pretty sure the skies I was on had a turn radius of 13.  Someone commented I should be looking at longer than 16 for out west.  Is this a regional thing?

 

I will definitely look into the web site that you have suggested, Thanks.

 

post #12 of 22

You'll want to go to a good ski shop. There was a nice video on boot fitting posted yesterday, USSA bootfitting. Basically, the shop should take the liner out of the boot, you should have little or no contact points on the sides and 1-1.5 finger space behind your heel and the boot shell when your toes are touching the front of the boot.

 

As for style of boot, it depends on what you want and your foot shape. Likely you'll want something over 100 flex, too stiff of a boot can be determinental to learning though. Custom footbeds are worth the money, though expensive $$$. You can start with properely sized superfeet footbeds if you have normal arches.

 

Phil was right on, boots boots boots.

 

With ones too big or too soft or too stiff, you won't get the feedback from the skis correctly. Doesn't matter what ski it is, you won't be able to really appreciate the different and drive it the furthest.

 

post #13 of 22

My guess on boots would  be models with stiffer flex (120-130),

if you are hockey aggressive.  There are lots of (boot) fitters on

this forum, they could help with general questions and shops.

If you choose a shop away from the slopes, you would want

one that you can easily return to for "tweaking". 

The ski radius suggestion is more related to bigger hills

and lengthening the turns (generally).

As opposed to many jitterbug (my term) turns on a smaller

eastern hill.

You might seek out an instructor with a race background

who could help you smooth or soften your self described aggressive

style.

post #14 of 22

Lumpyguts,

 

I hear what you're saying.  A few years ago, I got back into skiing and am now skiing about 35 days per year. Based on your 20 yr hiatus and the age of your kids, we're probably the same age too (which causes other problems !) I too, have been playing hockey and the hockey influence combined with 'old school' style skiing from the 'straight ski' days caused me to ski much too aggressively.  I was exerting way to much energy to make turns down the hill.  I decided to take lessons to get my performance level up, but unfortunately, I ended up with an instructor who never really noticed what I was doing wrong (very aggressive into the start of he turn - a very pronounced 'push' of my legs - hockey influence) so this particular  instructor really wasn't much help - find a good instructor if you want to go that route.  One of the thing that helped me the most in eliminating the 'hockey habits' was reading the book "Inner Skiing" - did wonders for my skiing!

 

My first 2 seasons back in skiing, I fought with boots that were too big - so Philpug is right - get properly fitted boots - another huge improvement in my skiing! I don't know Philpug personally, but he does offer good advice on this forum!

 

My personal recommendation is to demo some skis at the beginning of the season to see what 'feels' good to you.  At first, you'll probably find mid-fat skis difficult to get on edge, compared to what you're used to. I started on a waist of 67 mm, and within 2 seasons, went to 78, than 88 and now 94.  I really like the fatter waist skis now, and wished I 'got used to them' quicker - they are ideal for BC skiing.

 

All these things combined have helped my skiing.  I thought I was an aggressive skier, but in reality, the aggressiveness came from incorrect technique, some hockey influence, some gear issues.  My legs were burning after just a few moderate runs.  For me at least, replacing the aggressiveness with a more 'natural balance' technique made skiing a lot easier, faster, increased my ability on more difficult terrain, and enabled me to ski the whole day without burning out my legs.

 

So, to sum up: Boots by a boot fitter, read "Inner Skiing", demo some mid-fat skis, a few lessons by a good instructor, keep playing hockey - but remember to ski on snow and skate on ice, and finally, if you don't like my advice, no need to bite my head off - just ignore it.

 

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoal007 View Post

There was a nice video on boot fitting posted yesterday, USSA bootfitting.

 

Can you please post a link to this video you mentioned? I did a search but did not find it. Thx.
 

post #16 of 22

yup, had to look it up.

 

Heres the thread -> Basic but good information

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/96179/boot-fitting-for-alpine-racers

post #17 of 22

Phil is right on the money with the boot part.

 

ILOJ hit the nail right on the head on all counts except the ski / ice part. Ice is fun just like very firm powder.

With the right equipment & technique - it is exhilerating when done right. Good way to clean up your edges. 

It is as much mental as it is technical.

 

The boot video is great place to start with boots - special attention to the too stiff boot part.

 

 

 

 

 

      

post #18 of 22

Old boots are great if the liners are still good.  The problem isn't so much that any major technology has changed with boots as much as it did with skis.  The problem is that old boots are likely to crack and blow apart on the first cold day under the tress of use after 20 years of sitting in a hot garage or shed or attic, etc..  Then,  you will be out in the elements mid mountain rocking your new skis barefoot.  I'd get some good boots and try out deveral different ski options.  Either demo some or buy some 2-4 year old models used to play with before going ling on a brand new expensive pair (or three pairs LOL)

 

Welcome back

post #19 of 22

Lumpy, New Boots and demo, make yourself a demo list and try at least 4 different ski's then you will know what you want.   You will actually save $ by not buying the wrong ski.  I too skied on 215's years ago and there have been A LOT of changes in skis.   You will love the new skis but try them out before you buy.

post #20 of 22

KingGrump - You're right about skiing on ice ! I was actually referring to not using hockey technique in skiing - but one thing is for sure - a hockey player certainly has a better understanding and appreciation of proper edging on ice ! Hockey skating is all about using your edges properly.  I have found that I can carve on ice a lot better than many skiers that are overall infinitely better skiers than I am - it's just that most of them don't skate and don't have the 'feel' for edging on ice.

post #21 of 22

Boots first...Demo second..next question? 

 

If you plan on going less than 10-12 days this season, just get your boots dialed in and get a HP demo. You will save on travel $$ and should always be able to be on the right type (no so much model but you will learn what you might like) for conditions. To some research before you trips on places to demo and in the long run, even spending a couple of hundred $, you will be way ahead after this season and hit up the sales at the end of the year..or who knows..fall in love with something and buy then. 

post #22 of 22

lumpyguts, just listen to Phil.  He's being remarkably nice to you given your response.  He does this full time, and could very easily make money offering you a good deal on a quick sale.  Instead, he's telling you what many of us learned the hard way:  When getting back into the sport, the best thing you can do is to start with a pair of boots that fit you well before you even think about trying different pairs of skis, because they will perform differently with well fitted boots than they will with poorly fitted ones.

 

I speak as someone who, after skiing 20 days a year consistently as a kid, skied a total of about a week over 15 years, then 10 days over three years, then 12 days in one year.  Then, five years ago, I put my kids on ski team, bought passes for my wife and me, and went for it.  I've skied about 250 days since then. I only got a good pair of boots that actually fit me well a couple of years ago, and I can't even describe what a difference it made.

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