Considering getting my own equipment.
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Vulcan
January 31, 2005
Member since 01/31/2005
7 posts
I've been sking since last year, but this year I've really gotten into it and I feel I have really improved my skills. I was wondering what differences I would see with my own equipment over the rental equipment. I've only ever been to Liberty, but I'm going to try to hit white tail sometime. I'm not sure what my skill level is... I've have the blue slopes down at liberty and I did blue streak (very cautiously) which is a single diamond. Lately I've tried some small jumps and drops, but nothing crazy. Based on the conditions I'd see localy what kind of ski should I get? I'm looking to do a bit of carving, but I'm not an all out carver. I'm more out to have fun and I'd also like to be able to head to the terain park at some point and have some fun. What should I look for in boots/bindings/skis? It would be great to get some recomendations on equipment bassed on my skill level, what I want to do, and the conditions I'll be in. Lastly... what is a good amount of money to spend?
comprex
January 31, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Hello Vulcan!

The first thing I would do is go to a shop and ask for a budget boot, perhaps overstock from previous years if the budget is much constrained. They should be able to put you into something significantly better than a rental boot for less than $300.

Once you have those, skis are much easier.

I don't know how convenient it is for you, but we were just discussing the Ski Chalet storewide sale; Ski Center in DC and Pro-Fit in Leesburg get consistently good reviews also.

Good to see another Night Clubber on the board.
Vulcan
January 31, 2005
Member since 01/31/2005
7 posts
ouch. 300.00 for a boot? I was hopping to not spend more than 200 on a boot. how much whould I expect to pay for ski/bindings? I stopped i nthe shop at libberty for a few minutes and the they reccomended serveral ski packages including ski/binding/poles ranging from about 280-350. I don't remember what skis those were though.
KevR
January 31, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
Ok I'll suggest a different approach. This yr buy a GOOD boot that fits really well and continue to rent skis till nxt yr. A well fitting boot is by far more important to skiing well and you can try some different skis for the rest of the season before buying something at the beginning of next.
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comprex
January 31, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Quote:

ouch. 300.00 for a boot? I was hopping to not spend more than 200 on a boot. how much whould I expect to pay for ski/bindings?




That was meant as a top limit to a range, within the range there should be a variety of fit and quality options. It doesn't pay to stint on fit for a return of $50-100. I hope you luck out on fit and pay less, but within that range I wouldn't make the cost a priority.

Skis? I think that by the end of the season, with proper boots of your own, you'll want more than is supplied as any package deal.
tromano
February 1, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
Vulcan,

Boot fitting is the one area where it is worth it to pay a little more for good service. To focus on a pair of boots with a good boot fitter can take up to an hour. When you go through that process you are paying for his time as well. In addition most local shops will include further service when you purchase boots from them.

You can get quality boots of last years vintage on ebay for ~200 new, however you will not be able to try them on to even know how they fit before hand. The fit and comfort of the boot is the #1 priority. Essentially, if your boot is cheap and crappy or if it doesn't fit right then the skis don't matter. Once you find a good pair of boots then you can take time hunting for the best deal on skis. There are tons of good deals arround for older model skis.

As for what you want, Essentially there are no bad skis out there, however there are skis that aren't good for you. You have to balance your height and weight with the lenght and stiffness fo the ski. You mentioned the park and recreational sking arround here. I suppose a mid-fat or twin maybe a good ski for you given what you said you wanted. However recrational carving skis are what are typically sold in large numbers for sking arround here.
Vulcan
February 1, 2005
Member since 01/31/2005
7 posts
what whould I look for in a boot other than fit? Any particular brands that tend to do well?
comprex
February 1, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Quote:

what whould I look for in a boot other than fit?




Fit's pretty much it, and a tricky thing it can sometimes be, too.

Quote:

Any particular brands that tend to do well?




Hehe, yes, the ones your local ski shop stocks and will correct fit issues and warranty trouble with. Walk into a random shop with Alpina/Munari/Fischer problems and watch them collapse writhing in giggles . ..

Seriously, that's a question to ask after you've a choice between two specific boots both of which fit equally well. A better question is: what is my foot shape and which brands and models are likely to fit? Better yet: What do I look for in proper fit?
KevR
February 1, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
Do you think its wrong to suggest to a new-ish skier that they should head to a boot fitter, I mean a good one and shell out $$$ for a good boot with perhaps inserts for those horribly flat feet, and maybe even have their alignment briefly checked just to make sure they don't have knock-knees or some other percularity? I mean those things can keep you from skiing really... On the other hand, why scare someone off? What do u think?
comprex
February 1, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
KevR, what other option is there?

- Ebay/online/posters' basements is out: neither he nor we know what'll fit.
- Ski swaps are over and we might get a lot fewer of them next year.

So.

Want to tell him what a proper fit feels like so that he can judge for himself in a box shop or give a fitter useful responses? Will the "My first boots were too big" syndrome strike yet again?
Vulcan
February 1, 2005
Member since 01/31/2005
7 posts
well. How should a boot fit? The rental boots I used at liberty feel fine, and I haven't had any issues with pain or fatigue.
comprex
February 2, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts

Vulcan, those are 2 criteria. More wisdom and theories on the matter:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=20028&highlight=boot+fit
KevR
February 2, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
First, I agree - let's go with a good boot fit and maybe even an alignment check! 2nd, Vulcan, think about your feet, ankles and knees and hips. Are you symmetrical? Are your feet flat, do your legs bow or are you knock-kneed? These are the things a good boot fitter will consider in conjunction with fit around the foot. NOW -- as for what to look for -- highly subjective but I'll tell you what I think are important.

- overall fit: a 'firm' fit even unbuckled, bordering on discomfort but all day ski-able.

- heal: the heal should slide back and be held firmly in a well defined heal cup

- toes: the toes should not touch the end of the boot to avoid black toenails

- ball of foot: the ball of foot should not be squished together by the toe box in the boot but should still be firmly held in place (no lateral movement of foot in boot)

- instep: if you have flat feet, get inserts. Consider adding a slight wedge (lift) to the heal to help with stance. I'm not sure inserts are useful for high arches however (?)

- latches: 4 latches. Personally I'd pay for covenience in latch adjustment but simple latches with screw adjust works fine

- strap: an upper velcro strap is pretty standard these days, get one

- cant: some boots have cant adjustment for slight discrepencies in lower leg shape. However this can also be done with wedges under the bindings. if your legs are pretty straight, not to worry, you'll probably never touch it so only consider if your legs are bent.

- plastic: it has been suggested to me by others that "pro" level boots are vastly stiffer than entry level boots. You are not a pro.

break-in: expect 1 season of break in, remember that inserts, padding and so on can all be adjusted to improve fit. If you have specific issues, even the boot can be melted in areas to adjust size slightly


Overall: I'd say entry level to mid-range boots with 4-latches and a velcro strap at the top that fits your foot shape well - i'd go with the two Brian at Washington Ski Center or Pro-fit (recommended to me by someone but never been myself) for a tight fitting boot you can wear all day is what you want. I didn't say it would be super comfortable but on the hand it shouldn't prevent you from skiing either. So, I'd go to them, tell them your price range, your level and goals, and see what they can do for you. If you have funny feet and legs, then it will cost a bit more to get things adjusted for that.
I hope this is good advice.
MadMonk
February 2, 2005
Member since 12/27/2004
235 posts
Seriously, spend a few extra $$ and go get fitted for boots. You don't need the custom footbeds (though the $20 smart feet inserts are a good idea). I'm a cheap guy by nature, but boots are the single most important piece of equipment you will buy.

A good boot fit will feel, very, very snug at first. This is because even the best liners give a little bit after a day or so of skiing. You'll also want to tell the fitter what type of skiing you currently do and what type of skiing you'd like to do (since you're improving). This will help him select the proper flex for you.

As for me I love Nordicas. They fit my large calfs well and the power strap assist really allows me to crank that thing down.

As to skis I'd recommend renting demos a few days. I'm looking to buys some skis this spring/fall and rented demos at the shoe last week (salomon hots, volkl 5 star) and will be renting them all next week in Utah just to make sure I like how they drive before I buy.
tromano
February 2, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
Quote:

well. How should a boot fit? The rental boots I used at liberty feel fine, and I haven't had any issues with pain or fatigue.




Vulcan,

Boot fitting is a process and can take over an hour some times. The most straight forward way of fitting a boot is: Shell fitting. Start off by looking approximatly 1/2 size smaller than your typical shoes. Narrow, Wide, High volume, low volume etc... different shaped feet are usually best served by certain brands or product lines. A good boot fitter will know where to start after measuring you.

One typical method of judging a boot's fit is shell fitting. This involves putting your foot inside the empty shell of the boot. There should be approximatly 2 fingers of space in the back of the boot behind your heel. This will provide a firm fit that won't get too loose over time.

The next step is to put the liners back in and check the comfort level by wearing them for about 20 minutes and walking arround jumping etc... see if everythign feels good. If there are problems, hot spots, pressure or pain, you should let your fitter know. Other things that are usually done are after market insoles like superfeet. There are couple of different insole options depending on how high / low your arch is.

In general you will want to go back after skiing 3-5 days skiing to have the boots adjusted yet again if you find any additional problems. By this time the boots will be well broken in after skiing in them a bit. HTH. --Tim
KevR
February 2, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
custom foot beds are only necessary if you have foot issues -- let's take me as an example. I have extremely flat feet that causes my entire foot to roll inwards and makes my knees also roll slightly in. Without good arch support, standing on flat ground with skis results in both canting inwards on the inside edge, visibly so. Eventually it was suggested to have the foot beds made ( i got them at the ski center) and the comment made during the process was i could be a "poster child" for these things. This fixed the issues and improved my skiing dramatically.

So if you could be a poster child too, then I say go for it. But if your feet are normal, I say skip it or just go with the off-the-shelf solution as has been suggested.

ANother example, i have friend with extremely bowed lower chins. In ski boots the results is the opposite, his skis go to the outside eddge. He had the upper part of his boots adjust to take into acount his bends, and now he is square also.

So the moral is: it's cool to be square!

Ok, that was corny, sorry 'bout that.



Jim
February 2, 2005
Member since 11/22/1999
317 posts
Lots of good posts here and all agree that boots are the first and most important piece of equipment. Otto Matheke wrote a very good article on the importance of boots and boot fit in an article on DCSki.com. If you go the columnists section and look him up, you can click on the article.
Glenn_C
February 2, 2005
Member since 11/14/2004
67 posts
I agree with the boot priority but if you're on a limited budget, check out Ski Center's demo, rental and return boots. They run about $130 or so and you can find some great gear end of season. Same with the skis. My teen ager's first rig was a ski center setup. We walked out with some nice Fisher XTR's, decent Rossi boots, bindings, poles and a fresh wax and edging for ~ $300. Great shop!!
That said, if you can afford new....I agree with previous posts--don't skimp on the boots. Spend the extra $$ for a good fit. It'll pay you back tenfold on the hill where it counts....
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