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Skis/bindings/boots for a skinny girl.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm looking to get skis/bindings/boots for a female, 5'4" 105lbs. She's an intermediate, skis mostly blue groomers at a slow/medium pace. We're going to be mostly in North Lake Tahoe area, Alpine/Squaw. Looking for some carvers that will not dive too much in deep powder. Also looking to get something that will be okay to ski tougher stuff as she improves. Ski/binding combo would be great.

 

As far as boots, mainly looking toward comfort and something that maybe has built in heaters. Her circulation isn't the best and her cold feet are the main limiting factor as to how long we stay out on the mountain.

 

Thanks in advance for the help.

post #2 of 14

 

I've highlighted the key aspects of this post...and this is what I read...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aezed View Post

..............................skis/bindings/boots.......................female..............5'4" 105lbs................................................................................... medium pace...........................................Lake Tahoe........................................................................................ deep powder.

 

 

This thread is full of win.  biggrin.gif

post #3 of 14

PM Sierra Jim or Phil here, or Google their store, Start Haus. Seriously. They're in Truckee, will set her up right. Straight ahead guys, fair prices, superb advice/service, currently have some deals on 2010 gear. 

post #4 of 14

The boots are most important and don't worry, we can add heaters to anything. FWIW, the biggest cause of cold feet is ill fitting boots that are too large. The over-buckling causes localized pressure that can cut off circulation. IAC.....FIT is the key not a heater but again.....heaters are an option on anything.

 

Skis..............................less complicated but often way over analyzed.

 

There are many great choices but I'd start the discussion with a Dynastar Idyll. This is a new ski in the middle price range that wowed all of my women ski testers that tried it. The Idyll skis better than most skis that are + $100 in price.

 

We are easy to find.

 

 

SJ

post #5 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

FWIW, the biggest cause of cold feet is ill fitting boots that are too large. The over-buckling causes localized pressure that can cut off circulation. IAC.....FIT is the key not a heater

 

Women and cold feet.


Semi-derailment here. If people think too far off-topic, send me to a new post. Two comments about cold feet - a simple obvious one and a more interesting, potentially controversial one. Even by bringing it up I risk accusations of sexism. Not guilty, I maintain.

 

1) Sometimes it's just really cold. Happens a lot in interior northern New England. Below-zero (F) days, plus wind on top of that, are common - not anomalies - at the base of Sugarloaf or Wildcat, for example, never mind the summit. You've got a few days off, scheduled way in advance around many family and work obligations, that's when you go. It's four degrees out, you ski. On those days, it matters not a whit how well your boots fit; you do everything you can to keep your toes warm, including heaters if you've got 'em. (I use those little packets with the iron filings, but whatever works.)

 

2) Think of the women you know who are really good skiers. Not good "for a girl," but really good. I hope you know some. Are they really all that more prone to get cold feet than your male buddies? My observation is "no, they're not." My observation is that some serious skiers are prone to cold feet and some aren't. Some are male and some are female. The ones who are prone generally have tactics that they use to deal. Sometimes it has to be "take a run without me while I take my boots off and stick my feet into the hot dog steamer at the snack bar," or whatever it takes. Whatever.

 

Now think about the skiers you know who are not so good - men and women. (The OPs S.O. or daughter or whatever appears to fit this category: "She's an intermediate, skis mostly blue groomers at a slow/medium pace.") A great many of the women have problems with cold feet; fewer of the men do. Right? I can explain this. Men, even the ones who are not great skiers, tend to "go for it" physically. They exert a lot of vigorous physical effort when they ski. They try to overcome their weaknesses with more horsepower. They tend to feel that part of the thrill of skiing must come from speed, so they try to go fast, and end up dealing with the forces thus generated, for better or worse. They may not be efficient or effective, but they are putting their all into it, physically. Women, on the other hand - and I KNOW I'm making a generalization here, but I stand by it - do NOT, as a rule, do this. When they feel challenged and less than competent, they shrink back. Their movements become shyer, smaller, less strong, less vigorous. They back away and slow down. They stop more frequently. Indeed, sometimes it seems like they're stopping more than they're going. They are physically timid in the face of potential mistakes, falls, overbearing male instruction, etc. Even if they don't feel overwhelmed by the technical challenges of skiing, many of them very simply do not like to go fast, ski challenging terrain, or put a lot of oomph into their turns. I maintain that all these things lead to a very simple observation: women's feet get cold because their heart rates are low. When most men ski, regardless of ability, their hearts are pounding and they're sweating, just like they would at the gym or whatever. Therefore they're warmer, including their feet. When most women of lower ability and experience ski, ESPECIALLY women who were girls before the Title IX revolution, they're not expecting it to be a true athletic activity that requires intense and prolonged muscle participation or elevated heart and respiration rates. Women overall simply are not as likely to be familiar with what it's like to "go all out" athletically, and do not fall into that level of intensity naturally. This is not a criticism at all; just an observation about the way things end up in our culture, with girls socialized the way they are (though less and less so, thankfully). Equally obvioius is that men often could benefit from the slower, more thoughtful approach that women take to learning. But the point of this post is not about how well or fast the different sexes learn to ski (women are quite likely better here); the point of the post is to present a hypothesis about why women get cold feet while skiing. Obviously what I'm saying here is not true of all women. Good skiers of both sexes have obviously figured out how much energy is required, as stated in my first bullet.

post #6 of 14

Could you rephrase that?

 

SJ

post #7 of 14
post #8 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Could you rephrase that?

 

SJ



I think the "women get cold feet more easily" thing is caused by behavior, not physiology. If women put more athletic energy into their skiing the'd be less prone to cold feet. How's that?

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Could you rephrase that?

 

SJ



I think the "women get cold feet more easily" thing is caused by behavior, not physiology. If women put more athletic energy into their skiing the'd be less prone to cold feet. How's that?


That's fine, but largely irrelevant. Telling someone to "be more athletic/aggressive" usually doesn't work a whit if the skier (male or female) is not capable of doing so or just not inclined to do so. However, the functional cause of cold feet can be addressed for anyone and the fix, (better fitting boot and maybe heaters) always contributes to success at many levels.

 

BTW.......if you have room in your boots for heat packets.........guess what..............

 

SJ

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

The boots are most important and don't worry, we can add heaters to anything. FWIW, the biggest cause of cold feet is ill fitting boots that are too large. The over-buckling causes localized pressure that can cut off circulation. IAC.....FIT is the key not a heater but again.....heaters are an option on anything.

 

Skis..............................less complicated but often way over analyzed.

 

There are many great choices but I'd start the discussion with a Dynastar Idyll. This is a new ski in the middle price range that wowed all of my women ski testers that tried it. The Idyll skis better than most skis that are + $100 in price.

 

We are easy to find.

 

 

SJ


Thanks for the tips. We're in Truckee, so we'll just drop in.

post #11 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post


That's fine, but largely irrelevant. Telling someone to "be more athletic/aggressive" usually doesn't work a whit if the skier (male or female) is not capable of doing so or just not inclined to do so. However, the functional cause of cold feet can be addressed for anyone and the fix, (better fitting boot and maybe heaters) always contributes to success at many levels.


I don't disagree at all with anything you are saying here. My comments were a tangent on the larger cold feet discussion, not meant to provide direct help for the OP.

post #12 of 14

Regarding the cold feet discussion. And endurance overall for that matter. Regardless of the reasons - a BMI in the 18 range is clinically underweight for an adult. And is even  arguably marginal for an athletic teen. While BMIs in the high range can be caused by any number of things - this kind of BMI sends a clear message. No matter what this person does, boots and skis are in some ways secondary issues in terms of dealing with cold or skiing endurance.

 

If there are general underlying health issues, they need to be factored in. If this is due specifically to an eating disorder, that needs to be considered in the skiing equation. If this is someone who is truly at the statistical extremes of genetics (by definition very unlikely), that too likely needs to be factored in. Heck - even if this were a kid who just shot up & is in a string bean phase -- that kind of mass (and strength) to surface area ratio can be an issue. Despite the national fixation with obesity, there are a whole lot of women and some men out there who have issues on the other end of the spectrum - seemingly a fair number in the demographic that includes "skiers". It is silly to believe that carrying no body fat and almost no muscle will not impact the skiing experience.

 

Sorry to take this in that direction - but let's get real. An adult with an 18 BMI (and who is not just spouting off about being skinny because they "got the fashion memo" from the media ) enters the skiing equation with certain challenges from the get-go. Properly fit boots will help. Sort of. Lots of insulation will help. Sort of.... Adding 15 or 20 pounds of muscle and body fat will without a doubt help...

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Could you rephrase that?

 

SJ


I think the "women get cold feet more easily" thing is caused by behavior, not physiology. If women put more athletic energy into their skiing the'd be less prone to cold feet. How's that?


Uh, whether it's true or not, it's largely irrelevant to the issue of cold feet. Why? Because at its base, women's issues with cold are about physiology. First, women have less soft tissue in their feet, which serves to insulate, than men. Second, women have less muscle tissue in their bodies, which is metabolically active and richly supplied with blood. It serves to heat the sense organs for cold in the skin above the muscle and keep the core warm. Third, women's smaller foot size means that they have more surface area per unit volume. Physiologically, small animals, or people, or parts of people, will lose heat faster because of this relatively greater surface area. (For mammals this is called "Bergmann's Law," but the basic physics can be shown by calculating the SA and vols for a series of cubes starting with 1 cm sides and going up. The ratio of SA to vol is nonlinear.) 


Ergo, while behavior may or may not be different between the sexes, the cold thing is real biology. 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

Regarding the cold feet discussion. And endurance overall for that matter. Regardless of the reasons - a BMI in the 18 range is clinically underweight for an adult. And is even  arguably marginal for an athletic teen. 


Truth here. I'd honestly advise someone who's very physically active (and thus probably low % body fat) to go see a doc about this. Might also affect cold issues from a lower BMR. However, individual BMI's for teens who are late developers can be pretty weird without being diagnostic of a E.D. My wife was 5'7", was between 104 and 107 lbs in high school, where she competing in various sports, and ate like a horse the whole time, according to friends of hers. Not common, but not off the grid, either.

post #14 of 14

This is starting to feel way too much like one of those conversations with my wife in which I realize that I should quit while I’m behind. wink.gif

 

SJ, I can now see what I did not see at all before, which is that you and Aezed might have thought that I was trying to contradict your advice about boot fitting. I did not intend to do that at all; I just went spinning off heedlessly on a different idea, as often happens both in real and virtual discussion. I now recognize that there is potentially a business element for you here as well, since apparently you and the OP are geographically close, which would explain your sensitivity to any perceived monkey-wrench throwing on my part. Apologies.

 

Beyond, in my desire to distill my longer post for SJ and others, I obviously way over-simplified my position, with the result that I probably sound like more of a dogmatic simpleton than (I hope) I am. What I should have said was, “I think that a factor that often contributes to why women get cold feet more easily is behavior, and that it’s not always all about physiology.” I’m sure your observations about physiology are fundamentally correct. (Although as a smaller, skinnier man, I don’t recall anyone ever telling me that I should expect my feet to be cold because I wear a size 7 shoe, which is essentially an average size woman's foot. I also, very subjectively, seem to have noticed that women’s feet tend to look more pudgy and fleshy - and maybe therefore more well insulated - than men’s, not the other way ‘round. But let’s not go there.) I’m just observing what I perceive to be a reality about the typical low-lever female skier’s – or biker’s, etc. - behavior as it affects heart rate and blood flow, vs. the typical low-level man’s. That’s all. It’s not in any way a value judgment, or a suggestion about how to teach skiing. I also did not intend to make a blanket statement that physiological factors are a lot of hooey, even though I can see how people might have thought that I did, especially if they read only my short post and not my long one. In hindsight I really should have started a separate thread and not conflated my point with the question about boot fitting.


Okay, I’m going to shut up on this one now.

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