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Boots from Sail and Ski Chester

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Has anyone had any experience of buying and having boots fitted by Sail and Ski Chester.?

I bought my current boots from S&R in the CFe. They heated moulded the liners and made custom insoles for me, but couldn’t seem to sort the issue of the boots pressing on my ankle bones; so I took them to Sail and Ski, who heated and stretched the shells slightly; which cured the problem. Since then the boots have been extremely comfortable. However, they are now too soft (flex 90) and and I’m looking for a stiffer pair. I’d rather use Sail and Ski if I can, because the staff are extremely helpful and it’s a small local business; but at the same time I want to sure they’ll measure me up properly and select the right boots for my feet.

Before anyone suggests it, I cannot justify travelling all the way down to Bicester to the boot fitters there. I am also aware of Rivington Alpine, but they seem to be a lot more expensive and never seem to have any sales on.
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Awdbugga wrote:
.....Before anyone suggests it, I cannot justify travelling all the way down to Bicester to the boot fitters there. I am also aware of Rivington Alpine, but they seem to be a lot more expensive and never seem to have any sales on.

But if you had have done initially you wouldn't now be buying your second pair of boots in a year wink
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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?
When I bought my current boots I didn’t think for one moment I’d be going on skiing holidays (Bashes). I thought I’d just be going to the CFe with my daughter. The boots in the CFe were crippling and so uncomfortable. I was simply looking for a pair of boots for a beginner that were more comfortable than the CFe ones. Now I have the bug however - - - Toofy Grin
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@Awdbugga, you know the advice that you'll get on here: go to the best bootfitter you can get to. If Rivington Alpine are close enough, go there. The chances are that a bit of money saved now by going elsewhere, will just mean you go there next year to spend the money you should spend now. It really doesn't pay to cut corners with boots. And you should be able to buy a pair now that will last a few years, so the cost difference per trip will be small.
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@mgrolf, I checked Rivington’s web page; they have limited boots in my size and unfortunately those they have in stock are not what I’m looking for.
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@Awdbugga, not what you're looking for in what way? Flex or features? Might be worth a phone call rather than looking on the internet as they could possibly talk you through it a bit more.

Sail & Ski seem like a decent outfit but you've got actual experience of them so you'd have a better idea. Has matey actual made the right alterations or has he left you with a boot that's actually too big, and that's why it feels soft?
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@Awdbugga, you probably shouldn't choose a boot from the sale stock available on a website anyway . A good boot fitter will not just sell you anything, they should only sell you something that is suitable for you and your feet, and turn you away if they don't have it in stock. Why not wait until later in the year when new stock has arrived?
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Maybe I should have just left the question as - "Has anyone had any experience of having boots fitted at Sail and Ski?".
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Awdbugga wrote:
......I checked Rivington’s web page; they have limited boots in my size and unfortunately those they have in stock are not what I’m looking for.

There's a good chance that a good fitter will down size you, especially with certain makes/models etc. And how do you know what you're looking for when you haven't yet had a properly sized/flexed/fitted pair. Basically you don't know what you don't know but a good fitter does. All you have to do is answer their questions honestly and pay when you leave.
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Awdbugga wrote:
Maybe I should have just left the question as - "Has anyone had any experience of having boots fitted at Sail and Ski?".


You'd still have ended up with the same suggestions! Laughing snowHead

Awdbugga has been there to have some alterations, he said they cured a problem and the boots have been good since, so guess they're okay Wink NehNeh

I get the feeling that you're going to go there anyway (unless someone pipes up that they're horrific, but I think that's the case for everywhere), which I'd be inclined to do in your position as well.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, I just thought I'd throw it out there, to see if anyone has used them for boots in the past. Puzzled Yes, the guy heated my shells and stretched them very slightly at the ankle bone; which sorted the problem nicely. But I thought there's a difference between simply doing that and measuring me up from scratch, getting all the info about skiing style (or lack of it, before @al9000 says anything), choosing the correct pair of boots to suit me and then adjusting them, if needed. Confused I will pop in to see them, as they are the nearest to me, but I'm leaving my options open.
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@Awdbugga, if you do go to Sail & Ski, get them to measure you up, and try some boots then see whether they start with a shell check. If they don't, walk away - you'll end up with boots that are too big. If they do, perhaps it'll turn out well Very Happy .
How much are you planning to ski over the summer? Can you manage until August/September when new stock comes in, and the choice is bigger? You may still end up with new old stock (at a discount) but at least you'll have a better chance of finding the right boot.
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@Awdbugga, I think it’s worth going to S&S. All too often Snowheads can be guilty of being a bit of a closed shop and never accepting that someone else might be competent Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@mgrolf, excuse my ignorance, but what exactly do you mean by a "shell check"? FYI - here's a link to their page about boot fitting. https://www.sailandski.co.uk/acatalog/Ski-Boots-buying-guide.html There's also Ellis Brigham just around the corner from Sail and Ski, but when I popped in there a few weeks ago they didn't have a lot of choice.

In answer to your question - I'll be going to the CFe once a month for a four hour session, maybe more frequently from the Autumn onwards. I'll then be going on the PreBB and the BB next Feb; (God willing). I found last year when buying skiing gear that the prices were (as you say) lower from August onwards, but that was mainly because the only sizes left were either the very large or very small. I find this time of year the prices are coming down, but there is still a fair amount of choice regarding sizes.
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@Awdbugga, a shell check is basically standing in the boot without the liner, to make sure it's not too small/big. I'm no boot fitter but I think it's about 10-15mm of space behind the heel when your toes are at the front of the boot. Judging by what I saw of the Sail & Ski site earlier they've got a reasonable set up.

I'd be inclined to say you don't need new boots for the skiing you'll be doing over the summer (both the amount and the fact it's not that easy to properly rip it indoors), so perhaps waiting for the new season might give better choice?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Awdbugga, out of curiosity, what experience have you had that has caused you to decide that your boots are too soft?
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@Awdbugga, difficult to judge a shop by its website. However, the sizing chart to me looks off. I wear size 42 (UK Cool shoes, measure 26.3/26.5 on a brannock measurer...but my ski boots are 25.5 (with about 10 mm room on the shell check). The chart suggests I should be in a 27, and given that 27 & 27.5 are the same size boot, if they follow that they'd have me in a boot 2 sizes too big.
Waiting until late summer isn't about saving money, it's about having the widest range to choose from, as that's when the new season's stock comes in.
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@Awdbugga, why do you think your current boots are too soft? Is this advice from an instructor? Or someone who's seen you ski? They may well be, but wondering how you know.
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just go to Rivy alpine on the way to or back from chill factore, agree to wait till new stock is in, then you have boots that will last you many years,
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@Awdbugga, ciara had her boots fitted at sail and ski, excellent service, all done correctly as far as I could see (I did scrutinise the whole process because I was paying) she always had horrors with rental boots, those days are over now snowHead
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Whilst it's no absolute guarantee of anything, Sail & Ski have been selling ski gear in Chester for 30 + years that I know of. Have never bought boots from them but have had servicing done, albeit a long time ago, and had no complaints. Never heard a bad comment from anyone else either in that time.
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@Awdbugga, like @Scarlet and @sugarmoma666 I'm pretty curious as to why you think your boots are too soft. IIRC you are pretty light for a guy and fairly new to skiing so 90 sounds about right...
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@Awdbugga, , shell check, possibly the first and most valuable thing a boot fitter can do, empty shell toes just tickling the front, depending on skier level and foot volume the results should show the length of the boot.... now, a recreational skier doing 1 week a year is going to want a different fit form an experienced skier doing 4-5 weeks to an instructor or a racer.... this is all about tolerance to compression (fit tension) some feet can tolerate more pressure than others, MOST recreational skier should be in a boot with 15-20mm behind the heel some will not tolerate this, so the basic rule is.... if it is more than 25mm chuck it away as too big (remember there is 10mm between shell sizes) a good performance fit is somewhere 12-15mm, and a few people will want smaller and tighter than this... not oly will the shell check gauge length but can be used to assess width and heel instep perimeter clearance

here's the rub in 35 years of fitting ski boots people always tell us they want no heel movement but they don't want their toes at the front of the boot, they are expert skiers and they NEED a performance fit... 1 in 5 possibly can tolerate that very tight performance fit, the vast majority actually need something a little less aggressive 15-20mm BUT this all comes down to tolerance, ski technique AND our old friend flexibility.... if you are unable to flex your ankle properly due to tight calves or whatever other reason then you are going to need more help than a simple shell check the very fact that there are 10mm between each shell size means the fitter needs various brands t get the closest fit, some run short most run long, so it is not uncommon to drop a size from hat the measurer says.... this is where the resort "seller" looks like a hero when you go in with any pain ... foot measures 26 but boots are 25.5 they are obviously too small! go figure


go wherever you go, but if your fitter doesn't measure you both seated and standing, test flexibility of your ankle joint and perform shell check, i would lock your wallet, make your excuses and leave
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@CEM, going off on a tangent , what is the best time of year to visit you for maximum choice / sizes etc? done skiing this year.

Next season might be away Xmas , Feb half term, early March and 1st week April...
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Gämsbock wrote:
@Awdbugga, like @Scarlet and @sugarmoma666 I'm pretty curious as to why you think your boots are too soft. IIRC you are pretty light for a guy and fairly new to skiing so 90 sounds about right...


I suspect the OP has got Keenbritskieritis, a medical condition that while limiting the amount of time that can actually be spent in the mountains attempts to compensate by purchase of kit. Other symptoms being belief that the next thing is really a must have that will transform skiing and that one's existing kit is now woefully inadequate, where a prescription for more time in the mountains and particularly lessons may be much more effective.

Let's not fool ourselves many of us have flare ups of this awful disease. Only last month while on a trip that due to injury i only skied 1 from 4 days I was buying "new to me" snowboard boots in an attempt to resolve issues I had experienced last time i was boarding and for my putative 4-8 hours of riding/swearing about nerve pain this season.

The only long term cure is to move to the mountains on severely reduced income and learn the local's parsimonious talents of "run wot you've got"
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@Gämsbock, @Dave of the Marmottes, my inclination too. I run a 90 flex boot myself...
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@Dave of the Marmottes, Laughing Laughing Laughing

@Scarlet, yes... me too
.In one of my quiver of boots
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"I'll be going to the CFe once a month for a four hour session"

Wow! I've been a couple of times because other people wanted to go and been bored after 30 mins! I admire your dedication Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Scamper, Were there no drills that you could think of doing?
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
cad99uk wrote:
@Scamper, Were there no drills that you could think of doing?


You are correct - I should make more effort Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I suspect the OP has got Keenbritskieritis, a medical condition that while limiting the amount of time that can actually be spent in the mountains attempts to compensate by purchase of kit.


It's easy to catch it from snowheads too, at least that's where I got it from.

I'm looking forward to using my new bag/lens/top/base layers/poles/gimbal on the EoSB, I reckon I'll be the best skier on the mountain now.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sheffskibod, maximum choice late august/early Sept although we have had next years Atomic, head, 50% of dalbello, and 50% of salomon, and 50% nordica already delivered, more arriving weekly
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
CEM wrote:
@sheffskibod, maximum choice late august/early Sept although we have had next years Atomic, head, 50% of dalbello, and 50% of salomon, and 50% nordica already delivered, more arriving weekly


Ta - will come and see you towards start Sept - gives me chance to save up ...
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@kittya, thank you for the feedback. That's nice to know. Very Happy

@CEM, thanks for the detailed explanation. I shall certainly bear what you've said in mind when I go there and will take your advice if they fail to do what you have described.

@Dave of the Marmottes, a trifle patronising to say the least; but it's par for the course on here. I assume you are eluding to me talking about buying High Pink Oakley goggles and wider skis, in the hope they "might" help in some "small" way in me overcoming my fear of letting go in chopped up/lumpy snow conditions in flat light. Against most of the advice on here; I bought the goggles and the skis. The goggles are fantastic and allow me to see far more detail than I've been able to see in flat light and that includes when previously using yellow lenses. And the skis? Well the skis are brilliant in chopped up lumpy snow. I now have NO fear whatsoever of simply letting go and skiing lumpy conditions in flat light. In fact, when it's not flat light I much prefer the chopped up/ mogguly runs found in the afternoon, than the corduroy of first thing in the morning; and that includes steep reds. I find it great fun bouncing around the humps like a pinball. I simply love it. So in the end, all the naysayers were wrong. Who would have thought it. Cool wink It may actually be that the skis and the goggles together made all the difference; or there may also be an element of me being determined to prove the naysayers wrong. Either way, it worked; happy days. snowHead Toofy Grin
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Awdbugga wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, a trifle patronising to say the least; but it's par for the course on here.


I'd say tongue in cheek, rather than patronising. I think you've taken it personally where it was meant generally, there are many, many snowheads that fit under that umbrella, you only need to spend 5 minutes at the bar during a bash to see that.
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@Awdbugga, Not intended to be patronising. As a self confessed long term sufferer from the disease with a garage full of skis and boards in verious states of repair I well recognise it. Glad your choices delivered. FWIW I vastly prefer soft chopped up to hard morning groomers too and with aging eyes am tending towards lighter filters on goggles.

The naysayers weren't wrong - they were just honestly giving their opinion. There is little point in you posting here for advice and validation if you aren't prepared to take it in the spirit it is given. But continuing to be stroppy and adopting a "i know best so stuff you" attitude when people honestly give their best advice is going to lose you more friends then you gain.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, case well put. I'll take it one board. It wasn't so much your posts about the wider skis last year. There was one other person who shall remain nameless that was almost hostile. Unnecessarily so IMHO. Or maybe I'm getting too sensitive in my old age. rolling eyes
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@Awdbugga, Phil and Dave at sail and ski are very sound guys with many years of experience in selling skis and boots etc , I think if you go there and have a good chat about your needs and aspirations they will offer you a range of boots to try and then just go from there , if you feel confident that they are finding the right fit for you go with that , as it will be a lot easier to go back for any nessacary adjustments in the future . but if they don't have the right product don't be afraid to walk away and wait till next year for the right boot for you .
ive had two pairs of boots from them , the first many years ago when I was pretty ignorant of the technical side of boot fit and performance and they put in a good boot that was fit for the beginner skier I was then , the second pair were a ski tour free ride boot that id selected myself through a process of research and finding the correct shell shape etc , was very happy with the custom fitting and after sales from sail and ski
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@Dabber, that's good to hear. Thank you for the feedback.
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@Awdbugga, digging into your background isn't meant to be patronising, just a way of understanding your thinking and showing that there may be more than one direction to go in.

1. You have suggested a problem: boots too soft
2. and then a solution: buy new boots
3. but in an indirect way: what is this shop like for boot fitting?

It all sounds logical, but then 3 becomes irrelevant if 1 and 2 are wide of the mark. You may well be correct, and then the logic holds, but in order to establish that we ask the question: what experience have you had that has caused you to come to the conclusion that your boots are too soft?
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