Old skis - ditch or keep?
13 posts
8 users
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Gigantor
February 28, 2003
Member since 02/24/2003
10 posts
I have Rossignol Quantums with Salomon 547 bindings that I bought in (perhaps) 1988-89. From then until 1996, I did not ski them too hard (perhaps a couple of weeks a year of intermediate use). Then from 1996 to the present I did not ski on them at all. When I went to Ski Chalet to get them checked, they threw up their hands and refused to touch such ancient equipment. My question is this - should I get new skis or not? They are old, but they weren't used all that hard. Are the bindings really all that unsafe? Just from casual observation they don't look bad at all.
Scott - DCSki Editor
February 28, 2003
Member since 10/10/1999
1,095 posts
I would definitely recommend to ditch them. Ski and binding safety/construction has improved dramatically just in the past few years, and I would be nervous about skiing on a ski from the late 80's. If you can't get local shops to do a safety check, that's doubly bad.

Since then, there's also been a revolution in ski design and performance, so I would try out some demo shaped skis and then see about getting a new pair.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
March 1, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Over time, the spring tension on a binding loosens and needs to be tightened. Therefore, one should always have one's bindings checked every season. Unfortunately, because we are a litigious society, most ski stores will not work on bindings over a certain number of years old. In short, you may be forced to chuck the skis unless you are confident in tightening the spring yourself. Bear in mind that setting the spring tensions and adjusting your DIN settings are two different beasts. You can increase the DIN and still come out of your binding prematurely if the spring tension is too loose.
Rich
March 3, 2003
Member since 11/30/2000
194 posts
Don't ditch them...donate them to an antique ski museum.

For all the reasons you've read, you need new equipment. Not the least of which is the fact that, as a ski instructor, we are required to inspect equipment used by students, and direct term to the rental shop when the equipment they bring is determined to be unsafe or inadequate.

Gigantor
March 3, 2003
Member since 02/24/2003
10 posts
What is the nature of the "revolution" in ski design and performance?

Oh yeah, one other thing. My wife is just learning to ski, and she is thinking about buying some ex-rental equipment from Ski Chalet (just to use for maybe a year or two while she's learning). Would you strongly oppose buying former rentals, or is that OK as an interim measure?

Scott - DCSki Editor
March 3, 2003
Member since 10/10/1999
1,095 posts
Not many years ago, parabolic or shaped skis started coming out -- they were slightly wider at the top and bottom than the center. At first, people thought it was a fad -- an attempt by ski manufacturers to get people to buy new skis. But then people started skiing on them. The shaped skis make it much, much easier to turn, and with shaped skis you can get shorter ones than you would have needed with "traditional" skis. Today, you cannot find traditional skis -- I believe all new skis on the market are now of the parabolic type.

Many skis also have dampening electronics in them. (The technology goes by various names.) As the skis vibrate, the vibrations are turned into electrical energy. This is then turned back into mechanical energy by a computer in order to "cancel out" the vibrations. In effect, this makes the skis chatter less, especially at higher speeds. K2 was the first with this technology, but I believe several manufacturers have it now, usually on their higher end skis.

Finally, just in terms of material engineering, skis are lighter and stronger than in the past. A lot of engineering goes into the design and construction of skis, and they use high-tech materials. Skis really have come a long way in just a few years.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 5, 2003
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
Nothing wrong with rental or used skis, esp more recent gear. Sometimes I still buy even the old skinny stuff for my kids, but I'm comfortable doing my own binding settings and release checks. See this link to the story I wrote for DCSki on buying used gear at Fall ski swaps.

http://www.dcski.com/news/2002/10_13_2002/swaps.php3

Assuming the rental gear you are considering purchasing for your wife is the newer parabolic/shaped stuff, it should be very adequate for her (and you). In fact, if you're just casual skiers it could suffice for a half dozen years or more. I got a used set of newer parabolic skis with bindings last fall for $100 at a swap for my personal use (retiring a nine year old pair of old style skis). If the rental stuff you are looking at is close to that price range go for it. If it's 2 or 3 times more and you need something right away, consider buying new. Otherwise, maybe wait until next Fall for the best ski swap deals.
To be honest, your late '80s gear is probably still safe, but as others have said there is some risk as gear ages, esp if the user were any sort of envelope pusher. And yes, the new shaped skis are better for quick turning.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 5, 2003
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
Additional thought: previous advice is coming from a penny pincher with a big family and a single income. Plus, I'm avid enough to ski on barrel staves. If you've got the disposable income and you're committed to more skiing in the future...spring for all new stuff for you and the wife. You'll enjoy it and it will motivate you to ski even more.
Rich
March 5, 2003
Member since 11/30/2000
194 posts
One word: Ski Chalete Swap Meet (ok, more then 1) next Oct.(?).

My K2 Merlin IV's w/Marker Select bindings were $75 and they didn't sell. You can get some good stuff CHEAP and there are Ski Patrol members there to help and advise too!

P.S. - I left about $3,000 worth of stuff and made about 100 bucks on it #*#%*%#@*@#%

Roy
March 12, 2003
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
Don't forget the Ski Show in August. I went this past year for the first time and saw many great deals on new equipment. Sure they were 1 and 2 year old models but still great skis and very cheap.
Jim
March 12, 2003
Member since 11/22/1999
317 posts
Don't forget the big swap at Ski Center in October. Ski Center puts out stuff as well. All the bindings coming into the swap are checked and will be stamped "obsolete" if no longer serviceable.

BTW - the advice and help from ski patrollers should be taken with a grain of salt. Most patrollers in this area are volunteers who have jobs outside the ski industry. Other than having gone through more equipment than most, they don't necessarily have any more knowledge or insight into gear or what's best for a particular skier. For example, I know of a patroller who ardently believes that shaped skis are awful and the worst thing to happen to the ski industry. He tells everyone to avoid them and go with traditional skis. Yet you will hear the exact opposite from ski industry experts. Best bet is to talk to the shop guys who do this stuff for a living. Patrollers can help, but its just another skier's opinion.

Gigantor
March 24, 2003
Member since 02/24/2003
10 posts
I see a lot of articles out there about how the new "shaped" skis have dramatically increased the number of knee injuries.

For example,

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/09/07/1031115956605.html

(Anonymous)
March 25, 2003
In article linked below, they reference a shin bone fracture at the knee joint. It's called a Tibal Plateau Fracture. I had one two seasons ago, while at snowshoe. I was skiing skis with a serious side cut (110, 65, 95, I think) I was hauling butt and I started sideslipping to do a hockey stop. I was doing fine at first, skis sideslipping as I wanted, but all the sudden my left ski decided to grab the ice/snow, and then snapo, Tibal Plateau fracture. I'm now skiing a ski w/ a less severe sidecut.
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