Buying advice needed
October 18, 2006
Greetings all! I'm relatively new to the area, and looking to get back into skiing, which includes purchasing new skis. After an obsene amount of shopping, I've narrowed down what I want based on all the "appropriate criteria" to a pair of Atomic B:7.4's. So here's my question - I found a pair available from an online sport's liquidator from last year - still brand new and with bindings, for a little over $200 less than this year's model. From what I understand, the only differance between this year and last is the graffic on the ski and the binding itself. Is the newer binding really worth $200? Or, is it simply better to purchase something in person where they can do all the binding fitting(?) on the spot? How much does that fitting run if I get my skis elsewhere? Thanks for any help! I'm a little clueless as I've always rented before, and they pretty much always did everything for me...
No, the newer binding isn't worth 200 extra. You'll probably have to take your new skis in to a local shop to mount the binding (unless you plan to DIY) and that will cost about 20 bucks or maybe more. The earlier you bring them in to be mounted the better - shops may charge less before the regular season crush begins. It might not hurt to look at the ski selection in local shops before you pull the trigger.
I suspect a binding mount will run closer to $50 on skis bought elsewhere. Some shops (Freestyle for one) also provide free waxxing and edge sharpening for the first year, or at least they did last year.
$200 isn't chump change, but I'm not sure its worth taking your business anywhere but you local ski shop. For instance, you mentioned extensive shopping. Was this in local shops? Did their professionals give you any guidance?
Don't take me wrong ... I buy quite a bit of gear on the internet, but only when the savings hit 60% or more, and I don't buy gear online that was recommended by local shops.
In addition, you may be able to pick up 'last-year models' at local ski shops at similar savings but with face-to-face support. Depending on where you are from, Willis Ski has excellent buys on prior year closeouts. My wife bought a pair of k2 burnin luvs this year (I bought 5-Stars last year) at hundred's of dollars in savings at their Pgh Labor Day Sale - which is a major annual event here in Pgh. But soon, they will be opening their discount clearance centers (Westmoreland Mall $ Robinson Towne Center) offering similar deals throughout the season. If you are from DC area, Willies opened a location out your way last year -- but I don't know if they have a discount center out your way yet (but if you visit Willies, DC ask for Luke who will be a tremendous help - we miss him here in the N.Hills. Maybe he can arrange to have a pair of 'discount' skis shipped in for you from their Pgh Center??) If you buy their ski's they will mount, wax, the works for about $25.
Good Luck. Enjoy the season!
I've shopped in local stores (Willi's, Ski Chalet, Princeton, etc.) as well as researched product lines online. I've had some great help everywhere I've gone. Prices are pretty consistent among the shops. I'm not exactly rolling in excess cash, so $200 is a lot to me. At the same time, I don't want it to back-fire on me either.
--Our posts kinda crossed---
If you've been to Willies, D.C. ask Luke if he can get you a pair of closeout skis shipped in from their Pgh Discount location---can't hurt to ask!
MY wifes k2 Burning Luvs (advanced) with top of the line bindings (can't remember what off hand) came to about $550. One model down intermediate/advanced skis (maybe 'true' luv or 'something or other' luv) were going for about 350-400 bindings included at the Willies labor day sale (to the best of my recollection). Again, these are last year models.
I have to pile on a little
I bought my RX6's over the internet and saved about $200. It then cost me $69 to get the bindings mounted. Still a savings, but when I step back and think about it, if I had a quality ski shop close, I would much rather pay "extra" so that they stay in business. It's the same reason I always fill up at the Exxon on Rt. 32 in CV - sure I could go to Harman or Petersburg and get it probably 8-10 cents a gallon cheaper, but I WANT that store to be open next time I need something and don't want to have to drive to Davis!
So if anybody wants to open a quality ski shop in central VA, I'm a-waiting!