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Buying first skis

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi guys,

Wondering if you guys could help me out. Planning on buying my first set of skis and needed some advice; wanted to know your thoughts on my current plan, so here goes...

Looking for a 'do it all' ski setup, I really want to get started in ski touring this coming season (fingers massively crossed) but also want to be able to ski well on piste. I'm looking at buying the Black Crows Orb Freebird with Salomon Shift bindings. I currently already have standard alpine boots (Lange RX 100), so when it comes time to get a set of touring boots I plan on buying boots with the same sole length for compatibility.

Your thoughts guys? Feel free to shoot holes in my plan, I'm still relatively new to all this - only 3 seasons so far.

Cheers.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'd check your assumption on buying touring boots with the same BSL as your alpine boots. Touring boots often run shorter, although maybe the beefier "freerando" boots are a bit more in line with alpine boots
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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?
Quote:

I'd check your assumption on buying touring boots with the same BSL as your alpine boots. Touring boots often run shorter, although maybe the beefier "freerando" boots are a bit more in line with alpine boots


Thanks mate, that info certainly changes things. Perhaps back to the drawing board haha.
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A more 'cross-over' type boot will have a similar BSL to an alpine boot for a given mondo, and if you want decent on piste performance that's probably the type of boot you want.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@foreyes, The Shift has 30mm of overall heel length adjustment and when mounted using the factory jig to your bsl it will then adjust 12mm longer or 18mm shorter. So if you mounted it for your RX100's then you'd have plenty of adjustment for a shorter boot - although doing so would move your mount point forward - by a distance of half of the difference between the two sole lengths to be precise. Unless you go for an out'n'out touring boot with shortened toe'n'heel lugs (which won't fit/work in a Shift anyway) then most freeride/touring crossover boots will only be approx 6-8mm shorter, if at all.

However, for a 'do it all' set-up I think the Freebird is too light/skittish on the firm stuff. It's an lightweight tourer and as such putting a Shift on it is a waste as that ski is best suited to a lightweight touring binding. And the Freebird construction doesn't have the best rep for durability. For a 'do it all' set-up, and if you like the Orb, then I'd recommending going for the standard model with a Shift as the stanadard Orb is still quite light at 1800g per ski (in 172cm). Or don't be a sheep and check-out the Whitedot Ronde 96 or Altum 94 - both currently on offer with Shifts wink
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@foreyes, WRT boots, are you certain your current ones are a good fit? Many of us think our first boots are perfect but realise latter that actually they're a size too large when we go see a better boot fitter.
If that turns out to be the case the adjustment on the Shifts might not be enough.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just buy more than one pair of skis. Buck the trend and get something narrow, stiff, and with a 13-16m radius for the piste. Then get some awesome touring stuff. There are reasonable amounts of both second hand from instructor types.
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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!
Quote:

The Shift has 30mm of overall heel length adjustment and when mounted using the factory jig to your bsl it will then adjust 12mm longer or 18mm shorter. So if you mounted it for your RX100's then you'd have plenty of adjustment for a shorter boot - although doing so would move your mount point forward - by a distance of half of the difference between the two sole lengths to be precise. Unless you go for an out'n'out touring boot with shortened toe'n'heel lugs (which won't fit/work in a Shift anyway) then most freeride/touring crossover boots will only be approx 6-8mm shorter, if at all.

However, for a 'do it all' set-up I think the Freebird is too light/skittish on the firm stuff. It's an lightweight tourer and as such putting a Shift on it is a waste as that ski is best suited to a lightweight touring binding. And the Freebird construction doesn't have the best rep for durability. For a 'do it all' set-up, and if you like the Orb, then I'd recommending going for the standard model with a Shift as the stanadard Orb is still quite light at 1800g per ski (in 172cm). Or don't be a sheep and check-out the Whitedot Ronde 96 or Altum 94 - both currently on offer with Shifts


Good to know that I have some wiggle room to adjust the binding for a slightly shorter boot, cheers for the suggestions - will definitely have a look at the Whitedot's.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

WRT boots, are you certain your current ones are a good fit? Many of us think our first boots are perfect but realise latter that actually they're a size too large when we go see a better boot fitter.
If that turns out to be the case the adjustment on the Shifts might not be enough.


I've only had one opportunity to actually use them, which was at an indoor slope and was very pleased with the fit - ended up having to ease off on the buckles as it was on the tight side. Was really going to put them through the paces at Les Deux Alpes but sadly the pandemic got in the way.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Quote:


Just buy more than one pair of skis. Buck the trend and get something narrow, stiff, and with a 13-16m radius for the piste. Then get some awesome touring stuff. There are reasonable amounts of both second hand from instructor types.


Thanks JamesHJ, starting to think you're probably right, might be a bridge too far to have a setup that can really do it all. I'd probably end up with skis that are jack of all trades and master of none. The boot situation is also a bit of a headache in terms of sorting out compatibility.

Thanks for all the help guys, I think this will be a back to drawing board scenario.
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My 'jack of all trades' skis for the past 2 years were BC Navis (normal, not freebird) with Shifts. Perfectly good in 90% of conditions and no complaints touring for 2/3 hours with them.

The Orb freebird is too light a ski for a 1 ski quiver and putting Shifts on is a waste, as spyderjon says. Get something approx. 100mm wide, under 2kg a ski, stick shifts on and you'll be all good. There's tons of skis that fit this category so try a bunch. Bite the bullet, ditch your existing boots and get a freeride boot with tech inserts as well.

I should caveat this with that I now own a pair of slalom skis, 120mm powder skis and a dedicated touring setup along with two pairs of boots to go with my Navis so if you're anything like me you won't have a '1 ski quiver' for long! Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
foreyes wrote:
Quote:


Just buy more than one pair of skis. Buck the trend and get something narrow, stiff, and with a 13-16m radius for the piste. Then get some awesome touring stuff. There are reasonable amounts of both second hand from instructor types.


Thanks JamesHJ, starting to think you're probably right, might be a bridge too far to have a setup that can really do it all. I'd probably end up with skis that are jack of all trades and master of none. The boot situation is also a bit of a headache in terms of sorting out compatibility.

Thanks for all the help guys, I think this will be a back to drawing board scenario.

Not sure if James is pulling your plunger or not. Nothing wrong with a jack of all trades IMO if you are a punter who doesn't live in the mountains but just does 2/3/4 trips a year and has to take what they get.

If you live more local and have a set of quivers that you can call up depending on what you are going to ski on a given day that is another scenario.
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