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Boot Purchase in Banff

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, Has anyone had a good experience with a ski boot purchase in Banff? Puzzled
I'm looking for new boots (10yr old Rossignol were never comfortable)
I have stumpy toes, so need a decent boot fitter.

Any suggestions or recommendations?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I bought a pair of boots at Ultimate Ski and Ride on Banff Avenue (http://www.ultimatebanff.com/index.htm), 2 years ago. I would recommend them, although they are not for the faint hearted. They know what they're doing, but they're hard men.

I went in with a pair of boots bought in UK (Blacks) about 4 years before, as they seemed bit big. The guy in Ultimate told me that my boots were 4 sizes too big, just like everyone else from the UK's (apart from my wife's, annoyingly). He packed them out with lots of insoles, extra tongues and so on, told me that they were hopeless and (naturally) that I needed a new pair. I skied for a day like that; the improvement was huge, so I bought a new pair of boots on the basis that the improvement would be even bigger, and it was.

Ultimate sold me a pair of the previous season's Lange hard semi racing boots for a good price. Over the remaining 3 or 4 days of the hol, the boots went from excruciatingly uncomfortable to very, very uncomfortable. They were refitted every evening, the last effort being on my last night. Dave the boot guy was only prepared to tweak them slightly each time, as he was anxious (obsessive, actually) that they should be the tightest fit possible. On my first ski of last season, mercifully only for a w/e, they were still uncomfortable, and S&R sorted them; Dave would, I'm sure, regard them as intolerably spacious, but they're much tighter than my previous boots, comfortable enough and an enormous improvement.

If I'd bought the boots at the beginning of my hol instead of the end, I'm sure that I would have ended up with a very tight fitting but tolerable pair of boots, although I doubt that I'd have actually enjoyed the experience.

A friend of mine bought herself a pair at Ultimate a bit earlier in the hol. She went more for a softer boot and after two or three fittings was very happy, and has stayed very happy. Which is nice.

Ultimate haven't really got the hang of the idea that not everyone is skiing 5 times a week, all season (I assume that you're not), and they assume that you're willing to go to trouble and pain to get the best possible fit; they are unwilling to go for a quick fix at the expense of performance. I guess that that's the best approach in the end.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Many thanks for the info.
I'll pop in next weekend and check them out.
Thanks again.
Blogg
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
This is Richmond again, despite the name (I have a different name at work to at home - can I sort that out?). I forgot to say that Mrs R bought a pair of boots from Ultimate last season and was very happy (she hasn't skied in them since, but will do so next w/e).

There are, not surprisingly, loads of ski shops in Banff and I'm sure that others are fine. We were recommended to Ultimate by a friend/instructor (who reckons that he gets a kickback wherever he sends people and whom we know pretty well, so I'm confident it was a gen recommendation). Ski Stop at the Banff Springs hotel (and somewhere else in town) is a good renta shop, but I don't know what it's like to buy from.

Good luck and have a good time. If you haven't been to Banff before (or even if you have) eat in the Bow Valley Grill at The Banff Springs hotel for dinner or Sunday brunch.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hey, Blogg.
I had a bad experience at Ultimate - they pressurized me very hard to ski a pair of boots for a day, with the result that I lost a toe-nail, bruised the bone and spoiled an expensive holiday. The boots they eventually "recommended" for me were the ones I originally wanted, that they would not let me try out at first. They managed however to break the cant adjusters, using the kind of unnecessary brute force that matched their character. I found when I finally removed the heel lifts a year or so later, which in any case they failed to attach properly, that my skiing improved a good deal. They ripped out the Salomon instruction leaflet which came with the boot and chucked it away saying "you don't need that, it is full of lies anyway." I'll leave you to interpret such a remark.
They had very few brands of boot as I recall - Salomon and Lange - not a good sign. They kept up a a constant series of boastful remarks, plus, for the female customers, salacious innuendo. I cannot imagine many women want to be chatted up by dirty old men while they paw their legs. They were not exactly good listeners, and in practice had a "get them in, take their money and get them out policy" despite their repeatedly stated - "we'll make sure you're satisfied" etc.
I think there are better places in Banff.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Hmm...
Something else to think about.

Maybe I'll try to watch them fit someone else before I spend any time & cash with them.

Thanks everyone
Blogg
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I bought a pair at Abominable ski in Banff 2 years ago - or was it 3? Anyway again being a Canadian he crammed me into a pair which made me wince they were so tight... I refused to buy them and would only take the size up - he wasn't happy. Last year being a stronger, more confident skiier I realised that I needed to upgrade and did indeed need a smaller pair. I went to the ski shop on the slopes at Louise and the Aussie girl (Farley) and one of the Canadian guys spent ages with me even closing up late to help me. They even braved my unshaven legs and hot & sweaty feet - full credit to them! The prices slopeside were pretty comparable to Banff and I ended up skiing with Farley when she had a half hour break. Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Nick/Richmond, if you log out at work (or home) and log in as the other identity...then you'll be sorted. If you've forgotten password details, then a quick PM to admin should sort you out!!
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
HUbby bought some boots in Banff, but we can't remember wher from, but it was on Banff Ave, at the junction with Bear(?) Street. SkiStop are great, but only if you're looking for Rossignol. He actually ended up with DAlbello boots, which were the same type as he was replacing, but in a smaller size. They obviuosly suit his feet as he is really happy with the fit.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Max at Ultimate Ski and Ride is the best. Cool

Measured my feet and then refused to sell me any boots.
He told me exactly what boots I needed (Atomic B5 - the widest boots in production)
He phoned around, found where they were in stock in my size and directed me there (Magic Mountain Equipment)

The MME boot fitter tried me in them and called Max to check if they'd be ok (as they were still a bit tight)
After a few more checks I got them. only £150 too.

I took them back to Max and he added a heel lift to aid flexibility and a wedge to get me to stand straight.

Due to my exceptionally wide feet (more like flippers) he had to heat the shells and stretch them for more width.
I used them for a day, then took them back for a bit more width on the right boot.
Tried them for 2 days and took them back for a bit more.
We've now reached the limit for stretching, but wow, they're so good. Very Happy

Ok, I only had 2 days of comfortable skiing, but I can look forward to very happy future trips.

Considering the time and effort Max put in, I'm almost embarrased at the low charge for the work done. Blush

I'd recommend visiting Max if you're in Banff and have any problems or questions about boots.
It's worth a visit just for all the free advice and stories he tells.
The boot fitting shop is located at the Banff Park Lodge hotel on Lynx St.
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