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First pair of skis recommendations...need advice!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

A little background... I'm 26 years old, snowboarding since I was 10, transitioning to skiing.  I've only skied a few times, but am learning fast.  I was looking at a couple pairs of used skis, but didn't know which would be a better pair to learn on.  I am 6'2, 185 lbs.  I really don't want to buy 'beginner' skis, simply because the plan is to learn fast (isn't it always)   I found three great deals on used skis,  Salomon 1080 thruster in 181, k2 stryker  all mountain in 181 and the Rossignol Phantom SC80 in 175.   So, I'm clueless here, they are all the same price, looking for the best fit for me.  I live in the east, not doing too much riding in the park.    Any advice is much much appreciated!

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Bump!

post #3 of 8

Welcome to Epicski.  This is probably not what you want to hear but, unless you got your boots from a good boot fitter you need to start with boots that fit.  Most people, not knowing any better, will walk out of the typical ski "shop/store" with a pair of boots that are 1-3 sizes too large and almost always too wide.  Boots need to fit almost like a glove.  If your boots are too big, when you start to initiate a turn, your foot first has to move inside the boot before the boot will react which in turn causes the ski to react.  When your boots fit properly, your skis respond immediately because your foot doesn't have to move inside the boot.  Time and again we see skiers trying as hard as they can to do what we tell them and they can't because their boots are too big.  If they were nice and cushy in the store they are too big.  For years I bought hot skis and never understood why they were never any more responsive than my old skis and my skiing never really improved.  When I finally bought a pair of boots that were the right size, my skiing took a giant leap forward the first time on the snow.  I am now skiing better than I every have just because my boots fit.  I'm getting custom footbeds in a few weeks and having a boot fitter do whatever else he thinks is necessary and I expect my skiing to improve again, although not as much as it improved the last time.  So, don't worry about skis.  You can rent skis and you can demo skis and neither will make a huge difference in your skiing at this point.  Boots will make a difference and pretty much immediately.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Welcome to Epicski.  This is probably not what you want to hear but, unless you got your boots from a good boot fitter you need to start with boots that fit.  Most people, not knowing any better, will walk out of the typical ski "shop/store" with a pair of boots that are 1-3 sizes too large and almost always too wide.  Boots need to fit almost like a glove.  If your boots are too big, when you start to initiate a turn, your foot first has to move inside the boot before the boot will react which in turn causes the ski to react.  When your boots fit properly, your skis respond immediately because your foot doesn't have to move inside the boot.  Time and again we see skiers trying as hard as they can to do what we tell them and they can't because their boots are too big.  If they were nice and cushy in the store they are too big.  For years I bought hot skis and never understood why they were never any more responsive than my old skis and my skiing never really improved.  When I finally bought a pair of boots that were the right size, my skiing took a giant leap forward the first time on the snow.  I am now skiing better than I every have just because my boots fit.  I'm getting custom footbeds in a few weeks and having a boot fitter do whatever else he thinks is necessary and I expect my skiing to improve again, although not as much as it improved the last time.  So, don't worry about skis.  You can rent skis and you can demo skis and neither will make a huge difference in your skiing at this point.  Boots will make a difference and pretty much immediately.



This was my exact mistake and ive paid for it for two years. I either have to crank my boots down so hard I cant stand to leave them buckled on the lift or ski with them loose and ski like crap. I'll be shelling out this year for a pair of professionally fitted boots. This is excelent advice all around. Also if you demo a ski you really love you can always buy it, also dont buy expensive poles, they can still break and 20 dollar aluminums work just fine. I snapped a pair of komperdell carbon poles after just 5 days use last year.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, I know I'll have to spend some time on a good pair of boots, its the biggest reason why I can't stand to rent, the boots are always terrible.  My issue is that I really don't want to spend a bunch of money renting skis if I can buy a pair for 300 or less.  But I guess what I understand from the post is that if I buy a good set of boots, at my level the specifics of the skis probably wont make much difference?  From the reviews I read the k2 apache stryker seems like a good all around intermediate ski, but I like the look of the salomon skis, kind of vain but everybody wants a nice looking pair.. of skis.

post #6 of 8


     Quote:

Originally Posted by TBFrieds View Post

But I guess what I understand from the post is that if I buy a good set of boots, at my level the specifics of the skis probably wont make much difference?  

 

Actually, at any level the skier's performance will suffer greatly with poor fitting boots for exactly the reason mtcyclist explained ... you cannot efficiently transfer the commands of your feet to the skis if your boots don't fit (and that's best case!  Worst case, you experience extreme fatigue and pain after just a couple hours of frustrating and poorly executed skiing, making the whole experience miserable).

 

So focus on boots.  Boots, boots, boots.  Once you have perfect-fitting boots, you will probably be surprised how discernible the various characteristics of different skis become, and it will be much easier for you to find a ski that feels perfect for you, your ability, your skiing style, and the terrain you like to ski.  And I'd wager that this 'perfect' feeling will supplant the vanity on your list of priorities and you will focus more on the feel of the ski rather than its superficial appearance.  I'm guessing a large number of the Bears here will tell you that when you find that first ski that is just sheer unbridled joy to ski on, that ski will become the most beautiful ski you've ever seen.

 

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBFrieds View Post

Thanks for the advice, I know I'll have to spend some time on a good pair of boots, its the biggest reason why I can't stand to rent, the boots are always terrible.  My issue is that I really don't want to spend a bunch of money renting skis if I can buy a pair for 300 or less.  But I guess what I understand from the post is that if I buy a good set of boots, at my level the specifics of the skis probably wont make much difference?  From the reviews I read the k2 apache stryker seems like a good all around intermediate ski, but I like the look of the salomon skis, kind of vain but everybody wants a nice looking pair.. of skis.


No.  The skis do make a difference.  Consider the boots to be the car and suspension., the ski to be the tires.  You can put racing slicks on a 1978 Buick LeSabre with worn out springs and shocks, missing tie-rod ends and bad ball joints.  If you are a very skilled driver you will be able to go around corners faster, but if not you will just kill yourself trying to.  In either case the car will handle like crap.  Worse yet you will be comfy in the buick, but not in poorly fitting boots.  And if you end up with a cheap-adz beginner ski, it will be like driving that buick on slicks in a heavy rain.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBFrieds View Post

everybody wants a nice looking pair.. of skis.


Check out Icelantic then.  They have some killer graphics and the Nomad or Pilgrim are really good all-around skis.  But only after getting boots.


Edited by mtcyclist - 11/14/10 at 12:13pm
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