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Returning to the mountain, need new gear, and things have changed.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

So I've been skiing since I was roughly 8 years old and am now 23, however I haven't seriously hit the mountain in about three years. Having been so long I have a hard time classifying what my skill level was, but I was comfortable on most all single blacks and capable of enjoying some double blacks/unlimited depending on the day (Heather Canyon @ Mt. Hood Meadows was a favorite spot.)

 

At the time I was skiing some old gear, IE a set of long all-mountain Elan's from what must have been late 90's early 2000's in roughly 185cm with some shaping and a set of marginally shorter Rossingol powder ski's for when I wanted to test my average off-piste skills (if it's of importance I can measure width.)

 

I skiied mostly with my old man and some friends and so wasn't too aggressive in developing my skills, however now that I'm out of school with some disposable income I'm really looking to attack the sport again. 

 

Long story short, I was probably a high-intermediate to low-expert skiier depending on the run and conditions three years ago. I had some bad habits developed over years of ad-hoc self learning so my priority this season is going to be getting my legs back and trying to re-learn things the right way.

 

My problem is that I knew that the ski's I had were outdated three years ago but I rode them pretty well. Now I want to move into shorter, fatter, more modern gear but I'm pretty clueless as to how to go about selecting it. Initially I want to invest in one good set of all mountain ski's which I can primarily use to focus on getting my game back and setting about improving my skills and doing away with bad habits that I know I must have had. As far as terrain, that probably means mostly on-piste/groomed this season but occasionally venturing into powder. 

 

I'm doing as much reading as possible however the language has changed with respect to the gear. A couple pairs I've come across are Line Prophets and Salomon Lords. The trick is I want something versatile but I don't want to buy something that is such a beginner ski that I'm overpowering it by the end of the season (I ski pretty aggressively - to a fault.)

 

I'm 6' 195lbs in good shape and have plenty of strength in my legs (i'm also into mountain biking and weight training.) Any advice you guys can give me even if it's just where to go to catch up on whats changed in ski tech to what would be a good set of transitional all mountain ski's would be appreciated.

 

For whatever it's worth I'm located in the PNW and will be on Hood/Bachelor this season.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Stuart 

post #2 of 11

Stuart,

 

What boots are you using?

 

-Risen

post #3 of 11

Welcome back to the sport.  The first thing you need to do is go to a good boot fitter and get boots that fit your feet.  Do that first, then worry about skis.  Boots are way more important than skis.  Poorly fitting boots and the world's hottest skis will not be as much fun properly fitting boots and intermediate skis.  Trust me, been there done that.

post #4 of 11

^^^^ What he said. Then go take a set of lessons, try different demo skis. Let purchasing skis go until the spring, when the prices are better and you have a better sense of what you like, what directions you're ready to go (for instance, high speed groomer zooming vs backcountry soft snow). When you're ready, check with Dawgcatching here, he's located in your region, can give you $$ advice and deals. 

post #5 of 11

Stuart, definitely follow their advice.  Already made that mistake once too.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Welcome back to the sport.  The first thing you need to do is go to a good boot fitter and get boots that fit your feet.  Do that first, then worry about skis.  Boots are way more important than skis.  Poorly fitting boots and the world's hottest skis will not be as much fun properly fitting boots and intermediate skis.  Trust me, been there done that.



I was riding a pair of Rossingnol Salto STX. Not top of the line by any means but they fit me pretty well. Do you think it's worth picking up a new pair this season or riding these out?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

^^^^ What he said. Then go take a set of lessons, try different demo skis. Let purchasing skis go until the spring, when the prices are better and you have a better sense of what you like, what directions you're ready to go (for instance, high speed groomer zooming vs backcountry soft snow). When you're ready, check with Dawgcatching here, he's located in your region, can give you $$ advice and deals. 


 

Yeah I like the idea of getting an instructor at least 1/3 or 1/4 of the times I go up this season, I'm really trying to ramp up as I'd love to make a serious trip next winter if not this one. Do you have any suggestions about where I should start demoing? I'd be inclined to demo the most reccomended all mountain ski first but with La Nina we're going to get spectacular powder this season - should I be trying some fat skis as well?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Risen29463 View Post

Stuart, definitely follow their advice.  Already made that mistake once too.



Yeah I'm realizing that jumping into a pair of sticks having been out of the game for three years, and out of the market substantially longer is a bad call. 

 

 

Given the friendly reality check here's what I'm thinking:

 

1) Stick with my old boots at first since I know they work. - Unless you guys think I should really focus on getting modern boots fitted right of the bat?

 

2) Do at least three or four demo sessions on different gear.

 

3) Do at least a 1 hr lesson 3-4/10 times I go up this season (or whatever.)

 

Another question. While the Elan's I'm done with, the Rossy powder ski's are solid performers. Problem is the bindings (good Markers, stored well) are out of indemnity so REI etc. wont touch them. I've never adjusted my own - what are your guys thoughts on setting them up myself? Demo'ing/renting gear every time I go up is going to add up and I know these ski's will do well on the heavier days. I'm not particulary interested in putting new bindings on them either. However, I've had a full length tibia spiral fracture (3month full cast) in my day from a binding that didn't let go so I'm operating on the far side of safe here as far as gear setup.

post #7 of 11

I always thought the boots I had worked until I went to someone who actually knew how to fit boots and found that my foot was a lot narrower than I had believed.  My skiing improved dramatically just by getting a pair of boots that actually fit.  At the very least take the old boots to a bootfitter and make sure they fit.  Most people who go buy boots from someplace where they don't really know how a boot should fit will buy a boot that is at least 1 size too big and often 2 sizes too big and almost always too wide. 

 

I won't address the issue of the outdated bindings because I don't know enough about that to offer any sound advice.  Can the bindings on the Elans be moved to the Rossis?

post #8 of 11

Go see a bootfitter with a really open mind and be ready to potentially get some new boots. I can't say enough about how much a properly fitted boot can do for your skiing.

 

How old are those bindings?

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

They're marker m54's - must be 8 years old or so rolleyes.gif

post #10 of 11

As far as the condition of the bindings, a lot depends upon how they were stored and how much plastic they contain.  I do know that plastic gets brittle over time especially when it is exposed to temperature changes and/or sunlight.  There has been some pretty decent evolutionary advancements in bindings over the last 8 years, especially in side and toe release situations.  If you get new boots, you may have to have your bindings remounted to fit the new boots.  At that point, you may want to look into some newer bindings anyway.  You can definitely find something inexpensive from last year.  This something definitely worth discussing when you are at the bootfitter or at your favorite shop after you visit a bootfitter.

 

-Risen

 

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Risen29463 View Post

This something definitely worth discussing when you are at the bootfitter or at your favorite shop after you visit a bootfitter.

 

-Risen

 


 

Haha alright I get it. To the bootfitter I go. 

 

The bindings were stored with the springs unwound which is something - but I think you're right, at this rate I'll probably end up replacing them or just waiting till I pick up a new set of planks.

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