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Novice skier Mom is looking for advise on skis and boots

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

I am a Mom of three (11,9,6) who has decided that I need to up the skiing so I can spend time with my kids on the slopes before they completely pass me.  I just picked up the skiing two years ago when my oldest started doing blacks (at age 9). I realized if I didn't start soon it was never going to happen.  Now I need to purchase skis (and boots) but don't really know where to begin?? I am only five feet and way 110 lbs.  I don't want a super fast ski but rather one that will keep me in control.  Twenty years ago I had an accident skiing (partially tore my ACL). It was the one time I skied prior to now so you can imagine my overblown fear.  I am pretty athletic and strong.  I do triathlons, tennis and yoga to keep in shape so I am not a complete wimp, but as I said, the biggest fear I have had I have been facing over the past two years - making myself ski. I can do some blues (in the Northeast - New Hampshire and VT areas) and am fine with these.  Any recommendations would be great.  I have tried I think 36's (when renting) which has helped me to keep better control on the slopes but there aren't a lot of skis this size out there.  This Mom would appreciate any advise she can get to keep up with her kids on the slopes vs. just hanging with them in the lodge while having hot chocolate.  Thanks Lisa

post #2 of 9

Welcome to Epicski and the sport.  I believe nearly everyone here will tell you the same thing, boots are the most important piece of ski gear, infinitely more important than skis.  Go to the boot guys forum and look at the list of bootfitters to see if anyone is listed in your area.  If nobody is listed, ask if anyone knows a good fitter in your area.  Chances are someone does.  Don't go to a big box store expecting to find anyone who knows how to fit you, the odds are really against it.  Most people who get boots at those kinds of places walk out with a boot at least one size too big and often 2 or even 3 sizes too big, because they feel comfortable.  On the snow, they can't control their skis because their foot is flopping around inside the boot, so they keep making them tighter to the point of being uncomfortable resulting in cold and painful feet.  Skis don't keep you in control, you keep yourself in control with the help of properly fitting boots.  Get boots first and then demo or rent skis for a while to find some you like.


Edited by mtcyclist - 10/22/10 at 8:58pm
post #3 of 9

Probably worth your investment to spend twenty bucks on a subscription to realskiers.com.  I wouldn't buy a ski that is too "beginner friendly" because it can make things worth by not being able to bail you out if you do go a little too fast for your comfort zone.  Skip the beginner skis and go straight to intermediate skis.   About chin high for first-timers is my general rule for ski length on the groomers.  Get fitted properly for boots.  

post #4 of 9

rather than try to interpret internet product reviews, or pay realskier (use the 20. and buy them a case of beer, that will make them grateful forever), I'd have to recommend finding a good shop and developing a relationship with them. If you've gotten your kids going, you may already be there. they will help you out with skis and make sure you get the correct boots, complete with custom fitting. yeah, find a good shop, ask around. then only deal with someone in the shop who is going to be there a lot, so you can follow up. let them know you're a skiing family and you'll get fair treatment, I'd bet.

post #5 of 9

Lisa- it has been said before, but I will say it again.  Get boots that fit and have a good bootfitter do them.  This is totally, totally critical and totally worth the money and time.  Then demo good models a few times (this site is really good place to look for suggestions, and buy the ski that you like (make sure this is not a beginner ski, as you will outgrow those very quickly).  Then have fun with your kids on the slopes.   Hanging in the lodge sucks.

 

P.S. Good boots are really where it all starts... When I met my wife she was skiing in boots 4! sizes too big (on an advice from a friend, I am not kidding... I almost strangled the guy) and already had a torn ACL.  I moved her into the proper size boots as soon as I could, and I think this is the sigle biggest reason why we are a still skiing family to this day.  We recently moved her to a new 

post #6 of 9

My wife is small and a timid beginner. After two miserable years, Phil (Philpug here) put her in appropriate fitting Nordica Hot Rod 80 boots (her "ski store" ones were a size too big and way too wide) and a pair of Volkl Lunas at 144 (instead of the 130s she was always told to rent where we skied). She was thrilled. She didn't become a good skier but she was much more comfortable in her boots and felt stable on her skis. Really, the skis were incidental. I had sent her for the boots because it makes all the difference. Now this year at her urging we have booked a family trip to Solitude.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by keniski View Post

My wife is small and a timid beginner. After two miserable years, Phil (Philpug here) put her in appropriate fitting Nordica Hot Rod 80 boots (her "ski store" ones were a size too big and way too wide) and a pair of Volkl Lunas at 144 (instead of the 130s she was always told to rent where we skied). She was thrilled. She didn't become a good skier but she was much more comfortable in her boots and felt stable on her skis. Really, the skis were incidental. I had sent her for the boots because it makes all the difference. Now this year at her urging we have booked a family trip to Solitude.



As     Phil works in a ski shop, I'm confused as to your point with respect to "ski stores" and ski shops. Phil's not available to everyone (though getting on a plane to buy boots happens all the time), nor is Jim or Gunnar or Darren, but there are good shops around Stowe and Killington I would imagine, or the East in general.

post #8 of 9


Meaning a place that is a well-known specialty ski store but handles their sales with non-professional fitters. Very nice, very personable, knowledgeable within their limited range of training, no professional boot fitter on site, and happy to sell you the most comfortable boot you try on, which will certainly be a size or two too big, and a pair of skis that are probably one length too short. I use the quotes because it is just the trap that my wife fell into before I started prowling around here, thinking that because it is a specialty ski store that she would be receiving professional advice. I know there are great places to buy equipment everywhere, wasn't implying that there weren't. I got my wife to Phil when he was here at a good ski shop in a nearby town before he moved to Tahoe. Was just advising the OP to seek out professional advice, especially since she seems to be a pretty high level athlete who could progress very quickly with the right gear.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post





As     Phil works in a ski shop, I'm confused as to your point with respect to "ski stores" and ski shops. Phil's not available to everyone (though getting on a plane to buy boots happens all the time), nor is Jim or Gunnar or Darren, but there are good shops around Stowe and Killington I would imagine, or the East in general.

post #9 of 9

Plan a ski trip out west, or to a resort with a bootfitter you want to work with, and buy your boots on day one. They will lend you a rental boot (if they rent) while they work on your boots. It always works to buy stuff where you ski, not where you live (if they are not the same place).

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