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My first on-piste skis. Help please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am considering going to St Anton next year and i have heard ski rental is expensive. It looks like i will have 2 if not 3 trips planned for next year. So i think it may be time to invest in my own skis and have to come ask for assistance from my fellow snowheads.

So it criteria;
1. I am a intermediate/advanced skier, happy on all piste work when the conditions are good. More tentative in icy conditions.
2. I am 182cm tall, around 84kg.
3. I am not interested in off-piste just yet. I want something for the groomed piste but also agile enough to tackle moguls and when the snow has not been groomed and is choppy.
4. Lots of sales on at the moment so looking under the £400 mark including bindings.
5. Normally go for around the 173cm length ski but i could go up to 177cm. I have tried the Atomic Vantage 85s which where a nice ski.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Are you sure that the cost of acquisition plus costs of transport and costs of maintenance over say 5 years (10-15 trips) is not actually more than rental costs?
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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?
Possibly, possibly not. Going off intersport at Arlberg the premium package ski hire is 156euros for the week, Tignes maybe the option for my 2nd week which i recall was 55 euros in December so possibly more in February? Seems to be stacking up when i can purchase a decent setup for £350 right now.
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@red, looking at Concept Pro in Chamonix - who only rent high end kit - Intermediate skis (e.g. Nordica Spitfire) are currently €113/week.

I think Easyjet are somewhere around €40 each way for skis? - sooo if I'm right, per trip you have €33 left to cover capital outlay and maintenance (say, once per season, say €50).

Run the numbers.

(Oh and hassle factor).


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 3-04-20 11:48; edited 1 time in total
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I agree with @under a new name, if you fly EasyJet you have to factor in either checked ski costs or ski hire costs, and for one pair of skis it’s hard to come out ahead financially.

On the other hand, if you carry two pairs of skis in a single bag (for example if you travel with family or friends) the costs work much more in favour of ownership.

I almost always take the train to the Alps, and since I can carry skis for free this clearly comes out ahead - plus it’s a much more enjoyable trip. But given the cost of the skis themselves, the ski bag, maintenance, etc I wouldn’t say I save a fortune.

If you enjoy owning in general - that is, you enjoy choosing your skis, learning their characteristics, and waxing and edging them yourself, then you should buy skis. If you enjoy the convenience of someone else maintaining the skis so you just turn up and ski off, or you don’t get much pleasure out of thinking about gear, then you should rent.
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This is not the place for a hard nosed economic discussion! You buy skis because because you love them.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
There's a s**tload of skis in the 75-90 underfoot range which would do what you want on paper and no way to know which ones suit you without testing them. This is another argument for renting until you have a clearer idea of what type of skis you prefer. Try stiffer skis, softer skis, skis with double rocker, classic camber, different widths etc etc. This will help you narrow down what is current an enormous field. A recommendation from some internet randomer is no good to you at the minute as they could prefer a completely different ski to you.

Once you know the type of ski you like, you can then ask for recommendations with specific criteria that can help you build a shortlist.
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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!
@red, ski rental is certainly more expensive in some places than others. Also, from what I've read on here it can be a bit hit and miss what you get for your money. And of course there is the hassle factor. That said @under a new name is still correct that you need to justify financially and/or functionally why you want to buy. If you fly to the slopes and have them serviced in a shop then the maintenance costs are going to rack up. And if you buy something without having tried them on the slopes you are either stuck with them or take a hit financially.

That said... if you do want to go for it... I think the best one is on your next trip try to get a recommendation on a good shop. Go in, tell them you want to buy, give them as much info on your physical characteristics and skiing profile. If you have skied something before that you like such as the Vantage then let them know. Then let them pick out two or three ski's for you to try. Try to get out on at least three for at least half a day. If you like something ask if they have something similar, so you can zone in on the best option. Bear in mind you can fall in love with more than one ski. So it's not like finding the Holy Grail here.

Regarding off piste. Any reason you are not interested?
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red,

Remember to factor-in £70 return for a ski bag, with Easyjet. Best to share a double bag with a travelling companion (if possible) to half the cost.

And Ryanair charge more.. Sad

And circa €40 for a ski service abroad. Up to you to decide how often. wink
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We've bought from these and all went smoothly with the purchase

https://www.glisshop.co.uk/

There are some good deals on there.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Bergmeister, My local ski shop in Les Arcs charges €20 for an edge and wax. A bit more if holes are to be filled or other repairs. However, most of us who own their own skis service them ourselves.

@under a new name, You are making an assumption that we will fly with Easyjet or similar when we go skiing. Many of us drive, use the train or other airlines. If you choose an expensive, for ski haulage, airline and compare it against cheep rental you can make the figures go one way or another. My current piste ski are a couple of years old and had perhaps 120 days on them. I paid €50 for servicing in the shop over time and perhaps £50 for ailine transport (to Japan) but they did cost over £500. I agree the figures do need looking at but there are other reason for having/not having your own skis or boots.
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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.
Bergmeister wrote:
We've bought from these and all went smoothly with the purchase

https://www.glisshop.co.uk/

There are some good deals on there.

Oh yeah, forgot to say red check out glisshop and ekosport before making a purchase in resort. It may help you gauge/haggle on price. The shop will probably be more expensive but will probably give you free rental on the try outs. And you are getting the benefit of trying out different skis before buying. If you don't buy you will have to pay the rental and they won't be 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
@red, just another thought. Do you have your own boots yet?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@johnE, since the OP mentioned the cost of hiring it did not seem unreasonable to think that cost is a major factor in his decision to buy. It is easy to overlook the extra cost of transport if you are flying with a budget airline.

I would prioritise having boots before skis.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Second hand market can save you quite a lot, its a bit hard unless you know what to look for and/or are used servicing skis and spot what damage matters.

I know what you mean by not bothering off piste, I was like that until this season and now hooked into off piste too but still love a perfect crispy groomed piste first hour of the day! I don’t want to compromise in carving so I have a piste ski and another wider for off. Got some others too but... I don’t really need them it’s just...
You know, it’s always nice to buy a new pair...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Assume you have your own boots already - if not that's the first thing to sort...
Cost wise, if you're a 1 wekk/year skiier - just hire, If you're doing lots of weeks buy (but see below). If you're doing a few weeks a year the cost of owning vs. the cost of hiring is not going to be massively persuasive either way (lots of variables / risks either way - depending on how you travel, where you hire / service, etc.) - and as an improving intermediate you'll probably want new skis before you wear them out.
I think if you are considering ski purchase for cost reasons you're missing the most important things.
The great thing about having your own skis is consistency - you know how they should feel and you can therefore be more confident in identifying what is you and what is the ski. The bad thing is it can be a bit of a straightjacket, e.g. you buy some slalom skis and then dare not go off the side of the piste into powder for fear of sinking without trace.
So you need a ski that should cope ok with whatever you want to try in the near future, and is going to let you develop as a skiier without trying to kill you - but also that you *love* skiing on *now*. So, have a vague idea the kind of thing you want and then try some in resort, don't get too hung up on exact models (as you don't know what will be available to try), and if you can get along to a ski test do. But the most important thing is that you love skiing them and that gives you the confidence to trust them and develop.
Some suggestions. Not super narrow nor too wide (mid/low 70's for piste to high 80's if you want all mountain), some tip rocker (will help in chopped up conditions), not race stiffness, but go for something with a proper wood core with some metal in if you want to do some higher performance skiing (avoid the cheapo foam filled skis). Go for the right length (for a general purpose piste ski low 170s on piste is probably about right at your height/weight, a bit longer in an all mountain ski), shorter skis can be easier to turn but won't perform at higher speed and won't help you to develop, also a shorter ski has less surface area so will give you less float if you do venture into the pow.

Also, IIRC, @red I skiied off piste with you at the PSB and I remember you had a bit of a 'mare - I think I said to you at the time you were doing better than you thought you were, and I'm pretty sure that you had a faulty or incorrectly adjusted rental ski that was popping off when it shouldn't have. Don't let that put you off, on a different day with more suitable equipment you'll be much happier I think.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tubaski wrote:
Assume you have your own boots already - if not that's the first thing to sort...
Cost wise, if you're a 1 wekk/year skiier - just hire, If you're doing lots of weeks buy (but see below). If you're doing a few weeks a year the cost of owning vs. the cost of hiring is not going to be massively persuasive either way (lots of variables / risks either way - depending on how you travel, where you hire / service, etc.) - and as an improving intermediate you'll probably want new skis before you wear them out.
I think if you are considering ski purchase for cost reasons you're missing the most important things.
The great thing about having your own skis is consistency - you know how they should feel and you can therefore be more confident in identifying what is you and what is the ski. The bad thing is it can be a bit of a straightjacket, e.g. you buy some slalom skis and then dare not go off the side of the piste into powder for fear of sinking without trace.
So you need a ski that should cope ok with whatever you want to try in the near future, and is going to let you develop as a skiier without trying to kill you - but also that you *love* skiing on *now*. So, have a vague idea the kind of thing you want and then try some in resort, don't get too hung up on exact models (as you don't know what will be available to try), and if you can get along to a ski test do. But the most important thing is that you love skiing them and that gives you the confidence to trust them and develop.
Some suggestions. Not super narrow nor too wide (mid/low 70's for piste to high 80's if you want all mountain), some tip rocker (will help in chopped up conditions), not race stiffness, but go for something with a proper wood core with some metal in if you want to do some higher performance skiing (avoid the cheapo foam filled skis). Go for the right length (for a general purpose piste ski low 170s on piste is probably about right at your height/weight, a bit longer in an all mountain ski), shorter skis can be easier to turn but won't perform at higher speed and won't help you to develop, also a shorter ski has less surface area so will give you less float if you do venture into the pow.

Also, IIRC, @red I skiied off piste with you at the PSB and I remember you had a bit of a 'mare - I think I said to you at the time you were doing better than you thought you were, and I'm pretty sure that you had a faulty or incorrectly adjusted rental ski that was popping off when it shouldn't have. Don't let that put you off, on a different day with more suitable equipment you'll be much happier I think.


Cheers @Tubaski, i think my skillset may not be quite there yet with regards to off-piste and the 85mm width did not help matters. So i think i will see you guys at the next oktobertest and make more of a informed decision then. I feel i wouldn't be able to make one as of now. If am still indecisive i will stick to rental.
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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?
@johnE, I am indeed making that assumption, and while there are lots of reasons for lots of things, the OP did say, "i have heard ski rental is expensive", which kind of suggests the motivation is financial...
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Can't help with the skis, but with Easyjet, the cost for a double ski bag stuffed with clothes and skis is not too dissimilar to the cost of a 23kg hold bag. So it isn't necessarily an additional cost.
Same with BA.
With Swiss and Lufthanza, skis go free.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
These

https://www.snowleader.co.uk/en/hero-elite-mt-ca-nx-12-konnect-ROSS00956.html?size=175%20cm&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=CjwKCAjwvZv0BRA8EiwAD9T2VbOynUK42iWCxVNZ6GfTdic-hvuowx9tA_ra63dEpzqGTZvDhA9bOBoCWS8QAvD_BwE

In 175cm
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johnE wrote:
@BergmeisterHowever, most of us who own their own skis service them ourselves


Is that really true?

Of the 15 or so regular skiers I associate with (including Mrs B and me) none of us service our own skis.

I wonder what % of Snowheads do their own servicing? Puzzled
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Quote:

I wonder what % of Snowheads do their own servicing?



This one does, 6 pairs at the moment between us, likely to be 8 pairs before next trip as Mrs endo will get her first skis and my lad wants another pair. Spyderjon did have to work wonders on one pair with severe damage, but otherwise I've self serviced since about 1988!

Re the OP, I got some of these this year, and fund them excellent on the hard icy stuff I skied on our half a day before lockdown! I was 85 kg ( still coming down) and 174 cm and have the 176. I paid nothing like retail for them. https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-tests/years/2020/rossignol-react-r8-ti
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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:

johnE wrote:
@BergmeisterHowever, most of us who own their own skis service them ourselves


Is that really true?

Of the 15 or so regular skiers I associate with (including Mrs B and me) none of us service our own skis.

I wonder what % of Snowheads do their own servicing?

Of the 100+ skiers I know almost everyone services their own skis - or gets family or friends to do it for them. It was a shock one year when some friends rented out apartment for a week and part of the stuff they unloaded was a servicing bench. They had only come for a one week holiday. There was no trace of wax or iron fillings on the apartment carpet I'm glad to say.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Bergmeister wrote:
I wonder what % of Snowheads do their own servicing? Puzzled

But Snowheads isn't the general public and certainly the core posters who post week in week out.

The % on here will be high for sure but in the real world much less so.
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@red, buy yourself some Head Titans. I’m similar size to you and the 177s were perfect for me. If you’re flying with EasyJet get a double bag and you can fit all your stuff in with the skis.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We all love a new pair of skis and we do all types of mathematics do to justify the purchase.
But once you own a pair ... your heart soon wanders off after another pair of shiny boards.

I've got a garage full of skis, all in good nick, I would really like to take them all on holiday with me.
That's something to dream about.

I just rent them now, and I'll probably change them every day.

My favourite skis are ... were:
Head Magnums ... love them great carvers.
Salomon X-Max 12 .... dull looking, but I find them exciting street sleepers.
My current favourite is Rossignol Hero Short Turn, I rented these from Mountain Story in Tignes
Great ski rental shop. I didnt really fancy the Hero's but I'd tried just about everything else.
I wasnt getting on with them at first but after a couple of hours I found that they just lit up and I was in the zone.
I've rented them again in Austria in February, they didn't feel quite as good.
There are a whole raft of versions of this ski with different colour combinations, they could have been different, or perhaps it was not so sunny that week.
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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.
In terms of flying costs... Easyjet is a bit of a no-go because the bag limit is 20kg for skis. But for airlines that allow 23kg in a hold bag, you can totally get a pair of skis with bindings, poles, helmet etc; and a weeks worth of clothing in a double ski roller bag; and then take boots in hang luggage.

In fact with 27kg, I once flew with 2 pairs of skis, bindings, helmet, avalanche kit (inc airbag) and a weeks clothes.

I think owning skis is worth it because (a) you find a pair that you really like, and skis which you really enjoy do make a great day, even better; and (b) it is a bit easier to monitor your personal progress when you are keeping more things constant.

But agree with advice above... TEST TEST TEST. When I first wanted skis I got so close to buying something crap. I went to Snow and Rock and said (at the time) I'm an intermediate skier and I've done 2 weeks on snow and I can ski a bit of all grades... like you really... I want a pretty well rounded piste ski. And the guy in the shop says Ah! What you need is Rossignol Experience 80. This is everything you describe. And super popular. We have them at a good price. etc etc. In his mind it was that simple - this was the all round intermediate ski. At the time I wanted to shop around for price but I had no reason to doubt the recommendation. So when I got invited on a short trip the following week, and they had them in the rental shop, I asked to try them. Now I've thought about all the adjectives I could use to describe them but I'm going to stick with "f*cking-awful". They were flapping about all over, leaning forward just bent them in half, I had no confidence on early morning ice. It was like skiing on wet cardboard. I took them back to the rental shop and the guy was very offended. "These are the top selling ski this year for my shop! Why you don't like? There are many instructors using this ski" etc etc. I said look just give me something similar but not the same, these suck. He digs around and finds some old battered Head Rev80s and thrusts them at me with body language indicating he wanted me to leave the shop. And they were just everything that the Rossignols weren't. They were stiff in the turn but they popped on the way out, throwing me into the next turn. I felt challenged but secure. The edges held on to any surface. It was night and day. They gave me confidence and the confidence gave me better skiing and better fun. I ended up buying some and they were my day to day ski for the next 3 years until I upgraded to a cheater GS ski.

The point is this... you can take a ski which the reviews all say is pukka and you can hate it; and you can take a ski that the shop has found lurking around its basement and you can love it. If I had gone with the sales rep in Snow and Rock I'd have put £4-500 into a pair of skis that I turned out to absolutely loathe. And by the time I realised I hated them it'd have been too late to do anything about it

Testing skis has done two things for me which is a huge help:
1. It has helped me build a quiver of 3 pairs each of which give me immense fun in their own ways. My ski days are actively better because the skis I have are challenging me but also letting me - and helping me - ski how I love to ski. You can't get that guarantee from a hire shop.
2. It has helped me understand different performance characteristics of skis. It has let me learn and understand what characteristics work for me, and which ones really put me off. The result of that is that I could then develop a bit of a test routine, and I can now know comprehensively whether I like a ski or not with an hour's testing.

The Head Titans recommendation above is probably going to transpire to be a good recommendation. But I'd still say use the rental shop for testing. Warm up for 2 days on one pair then spend 3 days on other things to compare. On your last day take out your favourite for the day and if you're still happy, buy some when you get home. You're far less likely to end up with a dud.
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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
Bergmeister wrote:
I wonder what % of Snowheads do their own servicing? Puzzled


I have no idea, but no-one I know (almost all of whom live in the (Northern French) Alps) services their own skis Puzzled

Oh and back on the ski purchasing, if you can test, then why would you not do so?


Last edited by 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 on Sat 4-04-20 13:39; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Almost everyone I know out here in the Austrian Alps services their own skis. We tend to be pretty lax though, sharpen once too blunt to hold on hardpack and edge and wax when they start to get grippy.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Thu 14-05-20 12:06; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Our skis now get serviced at home after David did a course the other year with Jon. He does them too for son-in-saw, who is a tree surgeon, and daughter. And we get supplied with logs.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Scarpa, how funny. Maybe it's just the sort of people I'm friends with. And me.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@under a new name, I've a lot of friends in Cham and I'd say most of them self-service just through not wanting to leave skis with some shop muppet with a big machine to grind all the material off.

Where do you get yours done? Do you know if Concept Pro still do a beer and tuning thing on Tuesday nights? I'm sure you used to be able to buy a service and get a free beer or visa versa or something like that? I think they had taps from MBC.
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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?
@dp, clearly it's just the sorts of people I associate with then. CP still have beer, still MBC, no idea re the Tuesday thing although that's actually good to know as we tend to drop ours off not at weekends, when they're most busy. We get ours done there as b-i-law works there. And I think theirs is still the best machine in town.
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Oh yeah. Maybe that's a top tip for next season. I'm sure there used to be some kind of Tuesday night beer and tuning event every week
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Got to disagree with almost everyone here. You should definitely buy, and it should be based on which ones look the best with your gear (as long as not obvious lemons).

When renting you don't know what colours will be available!
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Hello Snowheads,
I think I will buy! I am going to look at getting a ski that is designed more for the piste. But can cope with moguls and the chopped up crud at the end of the day.
So I am thinking a ski with a decent size Rocker.

My question is what is considered a decent size Rocker?

Obviously I cant text right now but it would be nice to try to narrow ski's down for when the lockdown is finished and I can get to S & R
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Personally I'd not worry about rocker/length/reviews/etc and just get along to Oktobertest at the Manchester snow dome. You get to try loads of skis back to back and will find a few you just hate, a load you think are quite nice, and a few you think are great. That done, buy a pair of one of the ones you thought were great.
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