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Hire skis - what am I looking for?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Going to Pas in Feb - 3rd week skiing. Comfortable on reds, had a couple of goes at blacks (fun, but v. challenging), done a little off-piste (yes, for the pedantic types I mean "soft-core off-piste", ie pretty close to the groomed pistes rather than dropped out of a helicopter).

Some of my friends have said to me "make sure you get good skis". Question is, what am I looking for? I've had some answers from my mates, but I'm keen to know what the cognescenti of Snowheads think. So far this is (kind of) the advice I've had:

1. Carving skis
2. Sharp edges (not razor sharp, but kind of "ooh, that's a bit sharp" sharp)
3. Waxed base, which I am told means you can see the layer of wax
4. 160 / 165 cms (I'm 5'8, 10st 7, and like to hare about right at the limits of my (limited) ability)
5. Bindings set at about 5/6
6. Generally not looking too tatty
and finally...
7. To ask for all this stuff up front so the guys in the hire shop know that I know my onions.

Whatcha all think?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Go for a pair of Rossignol B2s or Volkl 5 stars.

Don't mention 1,2 or 3 to the shop, but once they produce a pair of skis, then check the edges and the base. Ask about B2s or 5 stars. They may mention the Rossignol Bandit XX - it was the predecessor of the B2, and a fine ski, so you could say something about knowing the Bandit XXs from a couple of years ago, and would like to try the B2, or something similar.
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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?
Usually they will only set your bindings to what they want to set them to. Challenged, they will mutter something about the law and then assume that if U are experienced enough to go against their judgement, U will also know how to reset the bindings yourself.

Don't make the mistake of trying to win their confidence by appearing to know it all. They, after all, are the ones 'in the industry'. A well judged question will gain more respect than an ill-judged fact.
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I'm a great fan of Rossi B2s but they are geared more towards off piste so I would have thought that at the 2/3 week stage you would still be at the stage of mastering piste skiing with just a small amount of off piste. On that basis I would go for Rossignol B1s - the same as B2s only slightly narrower so more suited to piste skiing.

Of course, it depends what the hire shop has got. The main thing is to go for the 'superior grade' not the bog standard.

Everybody skis differently and different skis will suit different people. After just 2 weeks of skiing I don't think any specific recommendation is worthwhile. Chat to the shop, explain your standard & skiing desires and see what they can come up with. A good shop will let you bring your skis back and change them every couple of days, that way you'll start to find out what different skis feel like underfoot.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
All great info - thanks v. much for the recommendations
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Atomic Metron:b5 in 162 or even 152.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Volkl 4 Stars until you get back in the groove. Then if the offpiste is beckoning try the B1 or 2. The 5 star may be a bit of a handful - designed for the skier who carves all their turns at pace, and I suspect that you have the pace but are still mastering the carve?

Ensure that the hire shop are aware that you wish to exchange the skis as necessary and that they do not charge an outrageous excess for doing so.

Some of the hire shops in Pas are less than friendly, with a very Andorran, cash-driven motivation and no passion for the sport. if anyone can recommend a ski shop that may suit then that will help. A Brit, Oz, US ski tech will normally be more helpful than an Andorran!!

Or hire before you go, with the constraint that you can't swap half way through...

snowHead snowHead
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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:

Volkl 4 Stars until you get back in the groove. Then if the offpiste is beckoning try the B1 or 2. The 5 star may be a bit of a handful - designed for the skier who carves all their turns at pace, and I suspect that you have the pace but are still mastering the carve?


You guess right!! Thanks for the advice. I've been to Pas once before and found the hire shop really helpful - unfortunately I can't remember which one!!! Nevermind. I'll use all my new-found knowledge to best effect.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Legal Steve, You may find that the shop has different grades of hire ski (bronze, silver, gold etc).....the more money you pay, the better ski you get ! Don't worry over much about the topsheet - that's for looking at, not skiing with.....
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Just picked up on this thread - exactly my train of thought at the moment. Off to Schladming in a couple of weeks (half-term unfortunately) and I've been looking at ski hire prices. For one day ski hire: allround skis 14 euros, performance skis 22 euros, premium skis 28 euros.

I've been skiing about 7 years, intermediate, OK on reds but don't enjoy working hard! Like fun skiing, well groomed slopes and apres-ski! Is it worth going for the performance skis? Usually when I'm asked what I want I just shrug and look stupid (nothing new there then!). But could I dazzle everyone (myself included) if I go for better skis? My two sisters are coming with me and I'd love to show off...
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I'd second the B2s and I'm around your level, but I'm sure there are loads of other skis that would suit. My mate hired performance skis the other week and was disappointed in some tired XScreams. I persuaded him to try some premium skis, and he swapped to some newish Dynastars and you could watch his skiing improve with each run. I think it was an extra €10 for 4 days - that's a no-brainer.
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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.
Most rental packages are boots+skis+poles.

If you've got your own boots, the price comes down, so hire the best you can afford.

If you haven't got your own boots, buying a well-fitted pair will make much more of a difference to your skiing than any ski attached to a rental boot.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Sue S,

I'd hire premium but nothing less than performance.

The hire shop should have a new stock each year which in times of poor-ish snow he will want to protect.
It is understandable that he does not want these trashed for whatever reason so may be picky about what he gives out.
If you aren't picky about the skis, he will not be picky about what you get. These guys mostly know their stuff so a good question
will probably get a good answer.
And if you get good skis, look after them, don't take them back after two days with big holes in the bases.

So none of this "coming through, hire skis" on the bare 4 o'clock run...!!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
JT, I'm totally clueless about what I want so any suggestions of what a "good question" would be?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sue S,

Well, these guys generally know what they are doing and it is natural they might respond well if asked their opinion.

Tell them that you like to ski...whatever you like to ski... and ask if the ski will be good for that.

But ask for a Rossi B1 for women. B1/w I think. It is red/white and flashy and is a piste bashing ski which will take
the occassional foray in deep snow. Look at the general condition of the ski and run a finger nail along the edges. It should shave some off so use the top of the nail not the tip if sharp enough. Tell them you haven't trioed them before and cross reference it with something you have tried.
Or better still, do what I do. walk in and look at the skis in the rack. You are looking for the newer ones which will be this season's hopefully.
Look at Head IRC type skis, these are good on the piste, Ask them what size they have.
Try Xscreams in short sizes as these do most things well...
Look for the Rossi B1 and if he has your size around 160. ask if you can try it. Try to give the impression you are discerning and know a good ski or have heard good things about it.
There aren't likely to be many bad skis around, only old ones, and then it depends what state they are in.
Tell them what you want. if you see it in the rack.
If you think he is going to give you a load of old tosh. say thanks but no thanks and go elsewhere. It's your money..!!

Ask for a good carver which will handle off-piste, tell him your binding setting and look like you know what you want..!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Good stuff - JT, thanks! It's this kind of stuff that's hard to find out. People say "sound like you know what you're talking about" - HOW?? Or, "check the edges are sharp" - What does that mean? How sharp is sharp?, or "Check the bases are waxed" - what does that look like? Or (worst of all) - "ask intelligent questions" - kind of challenging for me at the best of times, but damn near impossible vis-a-vis skis!

So basically, thanks to all for the advice - and please keep it simple, cos some of us know nothing about nothing!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

use the top of the nail not the tip if sharp enough.


not quite sure I get the hang of that, but maybe the word "top" has me confused? I use what I call the "back" of the nail, although it's actually the front I suppose Puzzled run it at about 45 deg to the edge in the direction away from the base, finger at right angles to the base of the ski in a lateral direction.
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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?
I'd also tailor the ski you take for conditions, I always have this years ski reviews with me when I hire.

for example, hard, icy pistes, get some slalom skis, soft/deep powder or slushy, some wide all mountain skis,
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JT, This is all brilliant, thanks. Just one more tiny question Embarassed how do I find out my binding setting?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sue S, this is something that you should leave to the shop to set. However, if you let me know your height, weight, age and boot sole length (it will be marked on your boots, if you don't have your own then shoe size will do) I could give you a guideline figure as to what it might be, so you could say "well I usually ski on a blah blah setting, but you guys are the experts etc etc" However, since hopefully they are experts, if you give them the right figure they will know what type of skier you are, so all your knowledgable blagging will have been in vain wink

Maybe best not to mention release settings......
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Smile For binding setting there are a few on-line guides. Try http://home.online.no/~stigbye/skiing/equipment/bindings ,but note the warnings about it only being a guide to the correct setting.
To see what's involved in preparing skis well try http://ski.mountainzone.com/2003/tuning/

The usual test is to draw the top of a finger nail across the edge (not along). Super-prepared skis are likely to take off a shaving of nail but I've never found skis like this in a hire shop -- they would probably get sued if someone injured themselves.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Confused Oops, I should have quoted the full URL in the last post. It is

http://home.online.no/~stigbye/skiing/equipment/bindings/binding_adjustment.html
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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!
drachir, just a slight warning - that chart is 5 years out of date, and seems to be returning results on the high side.

Off Topic
I was chatting to Eric DesLauriers (he's one of the EpicSki Academy coaches) over a few drinks recently, and we talked about binding settings. He tells me his are set to 9.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0971774838/202-3680800-7883048?tag=amz07b-21

http://www.atplay.com/x-team/eric.html

So, for any testosterone-fuelled guys out there who like to crank them up to 12+, I'd suggest you get lessons and learn how to ski properly, then turn those releases down to protect yourself, unless you really want an injury...
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Alan Craggs, OK, here's the lowdown: Height 5'6", weight (without ski boots Little Angel ) 9st 2lbs, age (whisper) 48, boot sole length 295 mm. Ability intermediate (all reds only one black once just to say I could do it Very Happy )
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I just used to go for the ones with colours that matched my outfit!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Alan Craggs,

I posted that when rather frazzled so I am glad you tided that up.

Legal Steve,
Sharp is sharp enough to cut yours finger which is why you use a nail. Just shave a bit off around about the bindings area.....I don't like sharp tips and tails but that may be habit...
Waxed skis would have polished look on the bases and there should be no scratches on there at all. This would suggest a newly serviced ski which is what you should get for yout money. This is the reason hire shops like the skis to come back at night so the tech can work until 8-9 at night servicing ready for the morning trade. This is most pertinent over transfer days.

Sue S,
As a guess, your din setting should be about 6. But I would leave it to the shop. You will notice they will ask you how much you weight. Tell them in Kgs...as stones and lbs mean nothing to most of them.

And generally a pre-released ski is as undesirable as a late release. In deep snow you don't want skis coming off prematurely for all sorts of reasons, ie, you don't want to lose it etc. So for gentle cruising you can have the binding setting quite low as there are unlikely to be the forces generated to pre-release. If you go hacking around blacks and really banging in the ski you can jack it up a bit. But take the advice of the shop unless you feel confident to adjust your own.

Another thing I do with all new bindings/ski combinations is to kick my skis off to make sure the settings work. You might need strong legs to do that. It is just that I want to know that they work ok. Peace of mind thing..!! Or get a friend to kick them off. Just devise a method for being confident that the bindings are set ok.

I am no binding technician but have a few ideas of your own to compliment the 'expert' in the shop.
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