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Recommend me some skis...?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Howdy.

Noobie here, first )(long, sorry) post (although I think there's at least 1 member on here I know already...)

So having spent the last 20 odd years resisting the lure of winter sports, I now find myself thoroughly addicted to skiing (didn't take long) and am slowly putting together the relevant kit. I started in 2016. '17 I bought a helmet and salopettes, '18 got me some boots in the sales, this year I'm toying with some skis.

...but I've no idea what...

I won't be buying new - until the mortgage is paid off, I'm limited to 1 week a year (although I did score an extra couple of days in St Moritz through work last week Laughing ) and I have a bunch of other expensive hobbies, so I'm after recommendations of the kind of thing to keep an eye out for on ebay/classifieds here etc - maybe something that was a classic of its time. Say a max budget of £200 for skis and bindings in good nick and a couple of years old.

I'm mid 40s, 1.75m tall, a wiry 65kg (pre-Raclette!). I ride bikes (mostly mountain bikes) a hell of a lot and am generally in decent shape. I'm told I've picked up skiing pretty quick - happy on anything pisted, like bump runs and "natur" pistes and spent the last few days of my trip to Les Arcs this year trying "side piste" stuff - in a kind of "I want to go to that lift over there, let's head straight for it and see what happens" kind a way, or looking at tracks beneath the lifts and working out what I reckon I'm happy with. Some mixed results, but an ace learning experience. Style/technique is admittedly workmanlike. The mountainbiker in me loves the idea of tree runs, but I proved quite comprehensively I don't quite have the fine control if its at all tight (although I was getting better!).

The skiing I really enjoy is the stuff away from the resort/lift infrastructure - runs that give a proper "out there" mountain feel (Think Sache in VDI, Malgovert in LA). I find just blatting down manicured pistes can get a bit "meh". Ultimately I'd like to tour, but I'm probably a bit away from that yet to avoid being a liability. My boots are semi touring friendly (Salomon QSTs), so I'm kind of thinking something all-mountainy on the ski front - I doubt if use will ever extend to more than 50% off piste use, so it still needs to carve nicely. I seem to be happy with something around +/- 170 length, but otherwise open to suggestions...?

Thanks!

CJ
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm also around 65kg and really like Scott The Ski, as an all mountain ski.

They are available at Glisshop at decent value.
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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?
Salomon QST 92 could offer you a good base, available in 169 and 177cm length and should be reasonable regarding your demands and skills balance.

Some decent prices on them new, bit above your stated price with bindings but at least you'd know what you're getting regarding condition.

Should get you a fair way along skills progression so won't have to change for a while, makes them decent cost effective buy.

As @Old Fartbag, offers, Scott skis are also a decent option, good quality ski too.
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If you're only skiing on holiday I wouldn't bother tbh. Rental shops have some great skis these days, not just knackered old bangers. I'd keep renting until you know exactly what you want (or you move to the alps). I spent 200 on 2nd hand skis whilst I was still a holiday skier and regretted it as I wanted something different pretty quickly.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@CoticJon, snowheads organise a ski test - Oktobertest in October at a couple of snow dimes - Hemel and Chill factor (if memory serves). Why not hold of until then and book to come along where you can try a number of different ones.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

I ride bikes (mostly mountain bikes)

Assume the username is a clue to the brand?
I have 2 of them

I'd get along to one of the ski tests as mentioned above. Lets you play around on a few different models. Although I've only ever tested them on a real mountain.
And then find a way to justify more weeks on snow to justify the purchase Wink

Have also had some ace piste specific skis in pristine / brand new condition direct from at least 3 rental shops, so I wouldn't write that option off. And when I handed one pair back with a massive gouge in the bottom, then that was their problem, not mine.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@CoticJon, +1 for testing some skis, either via a SHs oktobertest, or just by demoing when you next go on holiday. Testing a few different pairs of skis can add a lot of interest to a day when you're stuck on the same manicured pistes. There's also a hefty element of personal preference. I'm almost exactly the same stats as you, and by the sounds of it not dissimilar level, and I tried the Scott The Ski that (most) people rave about - didn't like it, didn't give me any degree of confidence. Same for the Blizzard Brahma (I'm probably a bit light and not aggressive enough/strong enough to make it work) yet I loved the Volkl Kendo which is supposed to be similar to the Brahma. The latter two were tested back to back on the same runs so it wasn't snow conditions or me being tired.
There are so many good skis in the ~85-95 mm underfoot range that it's hard to get a real dog but you can definitely find skis you like and those that are ok but not great for you. So spend a day or two testing, to see what works. As @Meltus, says, for one week a year it's probably not worth buying, especially when you are still learning what you like.
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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!
Meltus wrote:
If you're only skiing on holiday I wouldn't bother tbh. Rental shops have some great skis these days, not just knackered old bangers. I'd keep renting until you know exactly what you want (or you move to the alps). I spent 200 on 2nd hand skis whilst I was still a holiday skier and regretted it as I wanted something different pretty quickly.


+ 1 for this , I bought a pair of skis last season and love them (Nordica Navigators 85 mm) - but the faff of transporting (gets more expensive every year on planes) , servicing (£ 20 per trip) etc is a pain - and I am stuck with them for the week regardless of conditions...

On the BB - I would have been better with fatter skis on the first few days when there was lots of fresh snow and then slalom skis on the bluebird days on piste.

Better to rent and have the option to be able to change skis as and when conditions change ... I don't think I will replace them once they are worn out.

If I were closer to the south coast and could drive to the alps - that might change matters.. I could buy more skis and take them all... Laughing
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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.
It's a fair point on the "continue renting" front, and its the attitude my missus takes. Me, I enjoy owning and looking after my own stuff, plus I see renting anything as money down the drain. I'll also admit to being a bit suspicious (possibly unjustified) about the whole "premium rental" market. I went for the middle priced option last year, and I've no idea if the pair of skis and boots I got handed were in any way better suited to me or the skiing I was doing than the bog basic range.

This year, a mate lent me his (10 year old?) K2 Apache Recons, and we travelled by Eurostar, so free ski carriage. He's now turned into a Telemarker and I think the K2s could be mine for very little if I so desired - problem being that they need a really good service, and the bindings need remounting as they don't quite fit my boots right - can't get the forward pressure high enough, which caused some embarrassment. That'll cost me £80 or so to get sorted and leave me with a 10 year old set of (admittedly decent) planks.

As far as ski carriage on planes go, I'm under the impression they just charge for the bag? So if you fit all the rest of your kit in it and don't take any other hold luggage, it works out evens?

At that point my mentality goes "if I spend £200 on skis, save £100 a year on rental, but pay a bit more for carriage - after, say, 3 years I'm into savings". Or am I missing something?

@andy - yup. I have a few - current gen Soul, 26" Rocket, old Soda converted into a gravel bike, random proto road frame that fell out the back of the warehouse. They're all good mates and I've been chasing Cy & Paul around the Peaks since well before Cotic existed.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@CoticJon, ski carriage is a mine field and seems to change from week to week and airline to airline.

BA are good as they let you take a ski bag (upto 190cm) as your hols bag.

Swiss let you take ski bags in addition to your hold luggage for free
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@CoticJon, nice. Mine's the other way around. 26" pre-CEN Soul and a 27.5" Rocket. Interestingly there's a bit of a following here in Germany for such British cycle engineering Smile

Both Swiss and Lufthansa do free ski baggage (they are the same company), but you do have to phone up to book them on (at least on LH). Oh and "1 ski baggage" is actually 1 ski bag + 1 boot bag + 1 helmet bag, then you get your normal 23kg.
edit: but for LH at least, that's only true if you book a ticket with baggage included! don't book the economy light and then purchase baggage allowance as an extra! (someone on here found out the hard way after trying to be clever)
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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.
@CoticJon I get the idea of wanting your own stuff, but if you're still improving as a skier then I'd say that you'll definitely be looking to swap anything you can get for 200 quid now in a year or two. I (now) live in the alps and own a few pairs of skis but I still rent once or twice a season to check out different skis and for a bit of a change. If you do your homework on rental shops you can have top of the range stuff and tell the shop exactly which ones you want (ie not just take whatever they give you). I tested a bunch until I fell in love with my current daily driver.

It's your money man, I just know that I splurged 200 quid on a pair of "all mountain" skis when I was still an improving holiday skier and wish I'd waited.

Also, I'm massively precious about my skis now and have a tantrum whenever there's rocks about Very Happy
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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
@CoticJon, if you are handy with tools, a binding remount is simple, as long as you can move both heel and toe pieces at least a centimetre. Plenty of info on here and other skiing forums about what it entails.
Cost wise, if you can carry skis for free (driving, train, some airlines) then there's not much in it. Servicing yourself will save money but involves some outlay at the start and there are some things it's very hard to do yourself. On the other hand, if you have to pay for carriage (easy jet etc) then renting is definitely cheaper. If you are simply concerned about the cost, rent. If you want to swap skis, rent. If you like owning kit, enjoy tinkering, want consistency, then buy (but be warned, the n+1 rule applies as I'm sure you're well aware with your bikes Laughing ).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
One of the reasons that I recommend the Scotts for an improving, 1 week per year skier, is that they are very forgiving, yet have considerable headroom.

Being on the playful side, they work well for the lighter skier.

There are other very good skis of a similar character, like Atomic Vantage and Head Kore....but they are generally not available as cheaply.

Saying that, nothing is better than trying for yourself.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The point about buying is owning upgraded gear, suited to your skiing practice and technical skills. Buying second hand skis make little sense to me since choice is very limited and skis can be worn out.

For such a low budget, I wouldn't mind about keeping on renting w/o the transportation issue.

Ideally, for a higher budget, I would wait for a good deal. There are usually discount up to 60% at the end of the season. You can check out Gearscore.co.uk that publishes both professional reviews and best shops discounts.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Keep on renting - I own but it is cheaper rent than to fly them out. We got great skis through Alpinresorts for £40 in Altenmarkt. There were 12 of us and the gear was brilliant.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Carriage varies drastically. If, like me, you mostly fly with EasyJet then it’s about £70 every time, so renting isn’t really any more expensive once you take into account the cost of servicing your own skis.

I have my own because they’re something that aren’t that easy to pick up as rentals.
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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?
@CoticJon, Our local decathlon seem to have the ski stuff on sale. As well as their own stuff they stock other brands. May be worth a look at see if you can score a bargain.
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