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Getting the right hire skis

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Maybe a bit of an odd question (especially from someone who's been hiring skis as long as I have), but how do you know if the hire shop has really given you the 'level' of skis you've asked for?

Usually there is a choice of 4 levels when I pre-book and I pick the 2nd from top level, which are described as for 'advanced' skiers (with the other levels being beginner, intermediate and expert). My 2 most recent hires have been Volkl RTMs (Austria) and Rossignol Famous 4 (Italy). I looked them up on various sites online, and the Volkls were described as being for advanced skiers and the Rossignols for beginner to intermediates.

Given the variables of terrain, conditions, my own technique... I can't tell by feel whether I've got the right skis for me, when I ski 9/10 days a year, with usually a 10 - 11 month gap in between (I ski a different place pretty much every time too so don't get to know a particular shop).

So just wondering what others do and what I could be learning to help me in hire shops (without acquiring an encyclopedic knowledge of makes and models).

I don't want to buy skis as it's inconvenient for me to transport and store them and not economical given the use they get.

Thanks for any tips!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
FWIW. My view is that generally the more you pay, the better skis you get. When I hire (not that often), I usually get one level down from their top, current year, demo skis.

It is also worth "knowing your skis", which means getting yourself familiar with the various reviews online (and threads on here)...especially for the type of ski you like to hire eg. Piste/All Mountain.

If you have hired every year, it is worth taking note what you get...then make a couple of notes on whether you liked them (or not). You can then build up a picture of what brands you like and what general ski profile suits eg.. Turn Radius/Sidecut/Length/Rocker/Width.
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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 guess you’ve had enough ski experience to feel the difference or that something isn’t quite right when you try a new pair out. I notice it immediately with soft skis for example.

I wouldn’t read too much into whether one model is an intermediate or advanced ski.. as long as it’s working for you. The upside to renting if they don’t feel right you can get a swap out!
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
My experience is that the type of skis you get depend on what time of day you go. Often the tech fitting the skis isn't the one using the till where they see what you've booked. They'll size you up when you walk through the door and try to give you a ski which fits both your size, their best guess of your ability (probably by asking you a bit as well) and the current conditions on the mountain. If you go early / midday on transfer day they'll have the biggest range to choose from. If you call in just before close, you'll get the closest fitting thing from the limited selection leftover.

Whilst I was hiring, I had no confidence that I was getting skis from the category I was paying for. So I resorted to just choosing a good hire shop rather than a high-end package.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Almost invariably the levels attributed to the skis are somewhat “flattering” other than “beginner”...

I’ve not run into many shops offering true “expert” skis, mind you, few experts would describe themselves as that anyway.

Noteworthy exceptions of course include Concept Pro and Jim’s shop in Chamonix, and the one in Champoluc who carried Stöckli FIS race skis... Shocked (really rather nice).
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