Ski Boots
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January 17, 2004
Member since 03/26/2001 🔗
33 posts
My boyfriend and I are seasoned beginners. We took our first ski lessons 3 years ago at Liberty and got off to a great start. We generally ski all the green slopes at Liberty, Whitetail, and Roundtop with minimal difficulties. We have been renting equipment for the past 3 seasons and we definitely feel it's time to buy our own ski boots. I really think I won't be able to stop wedging my turns until I have properly fitting boots. And my boyfriend has monster feet -- he's been wearing the size 33s and the two pair that are usually available for rental are in BAD shape! So we want to take a trip to Ski Center (Brian and Brian) or Pro-Fit (Derek) to get fitted soon. My question is -- do you have to also buy skis when you buy ski boots? We haven't had an opportunity to demo any ski equipment so I don't think we want to blindly pick a pair of skis off the rack. But then again, it seems a waste to still have to rent skis once you own your own boots. Since we are still green-slopers, we're not that picky about the skis. The Elans, Dynastars, and Rossignols that we've rented have been just fine. Any suggestions about how to buy your first set of equipment?
January 17, 2004
Member since 11/20/2001 🔗
218 posts
Just a note of caution - From the point of view of price, right now (the peak of the season) is a very bad time of year to buy, but I certainly understand the need to have a suitable pair of boots.

You mention "the two pair that are usually available". This sounds like you are always going to the same place to rent. Have you called other places (including on-mountain rental operations, Baltimore stores like Princeton Sports, etc.) to see what they have available? If one of these has a better fitting pair, perhaps you can make do with those till the end of this season, then buy in the summer when the prices are lowest and you have plenty of time to shop around, get fitted, etc.

Additionally, if you happen to find a rental pair tht you like, see if they will do a season lease on them, or even sell them outright to you as used boots.


Tom / PM

January 17, 2004
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Just to round out PM's comments, there is no reason to buy skis at the same time you buy ski boots, other than (conceivably) a better package deal from the shop.

Why rent skis when you have boots? Because someone else does the hauling, sharpening, waxing, and binding maintenance.

(BTW, I absolutely love the term seasoned beginner!)

[This message has been edited by comprex (edited 01-17-2004).]

January 18, 2004
Member since 03/26/2001 🔗
33 posts
Thank you, PM and comprex, for your good advice! We didn't initially think it was to our advantage to lease for the season ($$$) when we only get to the slopes about every other weekend. So we've been renting at the resort. However, it would probably be better to pay a bit more for leasing than to buy equipment at the highest time of the year. So we'll take your advice and call around. Thank you!

P.S. The term "seasoned beginner" applies to us in two ways -- we are not so young anymore and we are now beginning our 4th year still on the green slopes! Many of our friends thought we were crazy to try to learn how to ski in our 30s, but we've enjoyed it and haven't broken anything yet!

January 18, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,551 posts

I agree with the advice given and I think you have good insight into what you need. If you are getting to the slopes roughly every other weekend, it definitely makes sense to buy your own pair of boots (not necessarily skis). The cost savings alone would probably justify the boot purchase, but the better fit of your own boots will make a huge difference in your skiing experience. Plus you can spend less time getting fitted each time you go skiing. (If the rental place is competent, matching rental skis to your boots should go very quickly.)

I'm guessing most rental outfits carry only a brand or two of ski boots. Different brands have different foot profiles (narrow vs wide, high arch vs low arch, etc.), and a competent boot fitter will have you try on a variety of different brands to get the best fit. Plus they can do some customization of the fit. If you go to any of the boot fitters you've mentioned, you'll do well. Proper fit is the most important factor in choosing your boots (within a boot category.) Also look into getting after-market ski orthotics at the place you buy your boot.

>> I really think I won't be able to stop wedging my turns until I have properly fitting boots.

I've had several beginner friends whose skiing upgraded immensely when they got properly fittted boots. Their instructors detected the equipment problem based on their skiing.

Have fun with skiing! As to your "seasoning", you two are a lot less "seasoned" than me, and I probably rip up the trails as well as I did growing up. Modern equipment really helps a lot.

January 20, 2004
Member since 11/25/2003 🔗
53 posts
Don't feel bad about learning how to ski in your 30's... I personally know ski instructors at Liberty who learned when they retired! For them - in their 60's is still young.
January 29, 2004
Member since 12/25/2002 🔗
183 posts

I rented many years and endured too many pairs of iron maidens clamping down on my feet. When I finally bought a pair of boots I improved drastically, was able to ski longer and generally had a much better life.

I kept renting skis until reaching a lightly salted intermediate level. That way I got some K2 Axis Xs that ought to suit me as I advance further.

Boots first then skis worked great for me.


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