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First time buying ski gear - how much to expect?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi folks.

So, I haven't been skiing in a few years (having snowboarded since 2017), but I've just been offered an instructing gig in Austria I plan to take, so guess I'll have to buy my own skis for the first time. I have absolutely no idea where to begin, except that a few friends have advised shelling out more for custom fitted boots. I guess this makes sense, but I live a fair distance from the nearest ski shop, so that's inconvenient.

But basically, I'm looking for boots, skis and poles (and I guess bindings? Don't know if they're normally bought separately from skis), all of which I'll probably be using for 100+ days this winter. I have no idea which brands are good value for money, how much to budget for each piece, or which websites have the best deals and all that kind of thing. Would be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me with any of it.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@cailian, The advice you've been given is sound, but I'd wait until you get to resort to buy your boots. Where are you heading to? You'll probably be able to get a tip here or from the locals when you arrive as to who to go and see for boots. If you arrive slightly before opening day, you'll have first pick of the stock and won't have to queue with the tourists either. I did this for a pair of touring boots last season, and got a 20% early doors discount too Very Happy You can also test them on site and pop back for tweaks if you need to – this should be free if you go back to the same shop. RRP on a pair of alpine boots is probably about 350€ – have a look online for new season prices, but don't pick any until they're on your feet, and you may get a bit knocked off the price anyway.

I can't advise on skis for teaching (someone else will...) but there will be local buy/sell groups when you arrive if you want to grab a used pair, probably offers available in local shops or ex-rentals, or get a discounted pair online from Sport Conrad. Poles can be bought anywhere, and for under 20€ if you look hard enough.
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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?
Yep boots first.....

Off season is a pretty good time to buy, prices tend to be a little more sensible.

Really for boots, you want to ensure that you get the right boot, in the right size, fitted correctly. remember your boots are the bit of equipment that 'steer' and are in constant contact with your body, baring your weight. Do not be tempted to make an internet purchase for boots. It really is worth making the journey to a good 'boot shop'. The Uk has a pretty good number of reputable ski shops, and boot specialists. where are you based?

I'm in the south so my knowledge extend to home counties, others may have a wider knowledge.

Does the company you are working with in Austria have a local deal that you can take advantage of locally, This may enable you to swap skis during the season.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 14-08-20 12:06; edited 1 time in total
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@cailian, spend as much as you reasonably can getting boots fitted somewhere reputable. Solutions for Feet in Bicester and Profeet in Fulham are both good. Be prepared to spend something in the region of £500. The fitter will tell you what to buy. Don't worry about brand.

Poles are a metal stick. They are all basically the same. I have a pair with extended grips for touring and larger baskets for powder but that's overkill for piste skiing.

Buy a decent piste ski in the summer sales with whatever is leftover from buying boots. There will be an instructor along in a minute to help with this one.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Scarlet I'll be based in Kitzbuhel, but I have to take the course in Kitzsteinhorn the month before the season starts, and I assume I'll need skis for that - don't know if they sell them, there was no mention of it on the form alongside other optionals like lift pass and accommodation
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@Scarlet I'll be based in Kitzbuhel, but I have to take the course in Kitzsteinhorn the month before the season starts, and I assume I'll need skis for that - don't know if they sell them, there was no mention of it on the form alongside other optionals like lift pass and accommodation
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi There

Boots - Get custom fitted by a place that gets recommended on here. There may be an argument to do this in resort, where tweaks can be made in situ.

Skis are more difficult....and again, this might be better done in resort, so you can try before you buy.

When deciding on Skis:

- Are you looking for Piste skis or something more versatile eg. All Mountain
- Will you be teaching on them
- How fast do you ski
- Do you like skis that are damp and hard charging; or light and playful
- What percentage do you ski Off Piste
- Will you be putting together a quiver
- What skis have you liked in the past

Your stats

- Height and Weight
- What level (BASI Level?)
- How aggressive

If you thus give an idea of the above - then it's easier to put some choices together, preferably for you to try.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 14-08-20 12:10; edited 1 time in total
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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!
an instructor with no idea Puzzled
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Bob I live in south Down, Northern Ireland, so going to Britain will involve either a flight or a ferry to Liverpool
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@cailian, ok. There's a strong argument for boots in resort. Get a local view of who's good from your future colleagues. Big difference between genuine local fitters and places staffed by kids working the season - or at least that's true in France, may be less of the case in Austria.
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@Old Fartbag ok, here goes


-All mountain
-I will teach on them
-Not really a speed demon
-No real preference
-Never skied off piste, but on a board, probably about 20-30%
-Can't see myself picking up a quiver, no

I'm not doing BASI levels, but I'll be taking the Austrian Anwarter in November

Truth be told, I have a definite preference for boarding. I do enjoy skiing as well, but most of my experience was as a teenager, and I'd guess that my recreational time will be mostly spent on a board. Please don't murder me for this, everyone
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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.
@cailian, I would still wait. I think Kitzbühel area is big enough that there will be at least one decent boot shop up there, and probably somewhere you can get a good deal on skis. Talking to others when you arrive will probably be your best source on info, and if you're stuck for a couple of days just hire something to tide you over.

Piste skis will come fitted with bindings, so just go with whatever you get.
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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
Height, 172 cm
Current weight, 77 KG, but hoping to be about 72 for the start of the season
I suppose I was quite an aggressive skier back when younger, but I think my temperament has changed, particularly if my livelihood involves not being in a hospital
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
cailian wrote:
@Old Fartbag ok, here goes


-All mountain
-I will teach on them
-Not really a speed demon
-No real preference
-Never skied off piste, but on a board, probably about 20-30%
-Can't see myself picking up a quiver, no

I'm not doing BASI levels, but I'll be taking the Austrian Anwarter in November

Truth be told, I have a definite preference for boarding. I do enjoy skiing as well, but most of my experience was as a teenager, and I'd guess that my recreational time will be mostly spent on a board. Please don't murder me for this, everyone

Thx.

I have no idea what level the Anwarter is - BASI 1 or 2?
What level is your skiing now ie. Carving/Bumps/Shortswings etc?

If you spend say 70% of your time teaching and want something to pass levels on - there may be others better able to advise......but my thoughts would be:

Something not too demanding, that is comfortable to teach all day on - but has enough performance to pass exams and enjoy free skiing. IMO. This means you need a reasonably narrow waist and a versatile turn radius.

I think you should be looking at a turn radius of 14 - 16m and a waist of between 80 and 86.

Skis that spring to mind might be:

- Head Titan
- Elan Wingman 86 CTi

If you want to drop the All Mountain criteria, there are lots of great skis to chose from, like:

- Dynastar Speed Zone 12 Ti
- Head Magnum (or other iShapes)
- Nordica Doberman Spitfire Ti
- Rossignol React R8 Ti
- K2 Speedcharger
- Volkl Deacon 74 Black
- Salomon S/Force 11

You might get some info in this thread: https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=153205#4628909
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Old Fartbag, anwarter is level 1 in the Austrian system
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
holidayloverxx wrote:
@Old Fartbag, anwarter is level 1 in the Austrian system

Thx.

You've been through this, so feel free to highlight anywhere my advise has been wrong, in my above post.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
No advice to offer the OP but isn't it a bit strange for somebody who hasn't skied for years, and doesn't yet have the most basic level of teaching qualification, to be offered a job as a ski instructor? Are they really so desperate for instructors in a country where so many people are expert skiers?
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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?
Even now as a child of a certain era I can't help but snigger in a non PC way about the Volkl Deacon. Kids are little shits.
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@pam w without getting into politics, I think it's because the industry is absolutely desperate at the minute for native English speakers with EU passports - as for locals, I assume they just won't accept such low pay. I realise it's not ideal, but I do have years of experience working with kids, the languages, and the snowboarding experience. I also have done my fair share of skiing, and the job of course is conditional on passing a course, and will mostly involve teaching absolute beginners
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Old Fartbag thanks for all that - I can carve and can ski moguls. I think the Anwarter is halfway between BASI 1 and 2, but if all goes well I'll probably try and sit the Landes 1 at the end of this season/start of next which is definitely equivalent to BASI 2, from what I've been told
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pam w wrote:
No advice to offer the OP but isn't it a bit strange for somebody who hasn't skied for years, and doesn't yet have the most basic level of teaching qualification, to be offered a job as a ski instructor? Are they really so desperate for instructors in a country where so many people are expert skiers?

+1. Particularly for a season where demand is highly uncertain, so there may be a number of local instructors who will be unemployed.

For the OP's sake I hope this is not one of those deals where you pay to take the course but have no guarantee of either passing or a job offer at the end of it. But where the marketing material is always hightly optimistic! Very Happy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@ecureuil I've only dealt directly with ski schools and the SBSSV. No money will change hands, except for the ~€800 course fee and accommodation for 2 weeks, neither payable until 2 weeks in advance - as for passing the course, I'd be wary of one that guaranteed I would pass. All seems legit to me. Thanks for the concern though, I know it can be a dodgy industry, but frankly the ski schools I've talked to just want someone that can teach British kids to snowplow, and I'm happy to take them at their word
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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!
cailian wrote:
...I'd be wary of one that guaranteed I would pass.
Fair point! Smile
I hope it all works out well for you.
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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.
cailian wrote:
@Old Fartbag thanks for all that - I can carve and can ski moguls. I think the Anwarter is halfway between BASI 1 and 2, but if all goes well I'll probably try and sit the Landes 1 at the end of this season/start of next which is definitely equivalent to BASI 2, from what I've been told

If you are definitely buying skis and are prepared to take a punt, Glisshop have some good discounts on Dynastar. There are good prices on Speed Zone 12Ti and 10Ti. For teaching beginners, the 9Ca could work well....but don't know how suitable they would be for taking the level.

https://www.glisshop.co.uk/ski/pack-ski-bindings/dynastar/men/?facetFilters%5Bf_488466%5D%5BGLIS_CHAR_SKI_CATEGORY_7131%5D=1&facetFilters%5Bf_488466%5D%5BGLIS_CHAR_SKI_CATEGORY_7133%5D=1
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Old Fartbag wrote:
holidayloverxx wrote:
@Old Fartbag, anwarter is level 1 in the Austrian system

Thx.

You've been through this, so feel free to highlight anywhere my advise has been wrong, in my above post.


I havent...i just know what it is
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
holidayloverxx wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
holidayloverxx wrote:
@Old Fartbag, anwarter is level 1 in the Austrian system

Thx.

You've been through this, so feel free to highlight anywhere my advise has been wrong, in my above post.


I havent...i just know what it is

Apologies.
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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.
Boots boots boots. Get out there early and get your boots from someone with a solid recommendation (named individual) ahead of your course starting. That needn't be in Kitzbuhel - St Johann, Brixen, Ellmau even Soll are within local bus range. If you shortcut on boots you'll have a miserable season as you'll be tromping round in them all day.

Skis - I'd be tempted to snag something utilitarian with demo/rental bindings on eBay before you go. Poles a tenner from Decathlon delivered to your local ASDA.
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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
Having visited kitzbühel this March, and without any experience of "offers" for workers, I find it hard to imagine any ski shop there doing good deals on any equipment whatsoever. Theres some great shops, no doubt , but its a very spendy place.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Privatesportshop have quite a few decent skis (I was looking at some Kastle skis) on their site at the moment if you fancy a punt.
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