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Buying ski equipment. Is it worth it?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Buy both, but last year's models and colours, buy them online at stupid prices and then take your boots to a fitter if you have odd shaped feet. For the price of two weeks rental you can have all new gear! Duh... why rent.

Was impressed with Fall Line's account of the argument for and against rental and was surprised just how crap new rental skis really were!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Clearly lots of recommendations to buy boots here, with which I entirely agree. I know I'm going to get shot down for this, but another approach to buying your first boots is to rent in resort and if you like a particular pair, then negotiate a price to buy with the rental shop...they might let them go for a bargain price.
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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?
Ouch, duck and cover.... rolling eyes
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AdrianV, Exactly what I did last year, and I got a very good deal. Just check you know what you could get the boots for if you bought them new - it's easy to get confused with similar names and numbers.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
nixmap wrote:
This is truly gibberish from a nutcase who got lucky.

Shocked Exclamation Puzzled
Try growing up a bit mate. I am not a nutcase, but yes, we did get very lucky.

nixmap wrote:
DO NOT BUY BARGAIN BOOTS.

"Bargain: Something offered or acquired at a price advantageous to the buyer." That says nothing about the quality of the items at all. We managed to get a set of last season's Rossignol boots which were just right, and happened to be a very good price indeed. I would have been a nutcase indeed if I'd said "I can't buy these - they aren't full price!".
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nixmap wrote:

DO NOT BUY BARGAIN BOOTS.



What a silly thing to say.

The important thing is to get the boots tat are right for you.

If those can be got at a bargain price, then why on earth not?

There is no need to have the latest, or (unless you are a really high end skier) the highest spec.

Certainly don't just look for bargain boots, but if you can get them cheap, then do so.

Quote:
Dont do bargain hunting at home, get it in resort, and save yourself buying silly souvenir cowbells and chocolate fondue sets, by spending your money on quality gear like Kjus, Spyder & Movement.


Two things wrong with that approach. First, unless you are doing it in the evening, it eats into your skl time. That may be OK for people who can go every weekend, but it makes a big difference to the majority of us who only get one week per year (as the OP stated in the OP).

Second, with current exchange rates, it will almost certainly be more expensive in resort.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
nixmap wrote:
If you rent all your equipment...You wont be able to match colors or brands, i.e. on piste fruit salad distaster beacon...Rarely will you get matching brands and colours .... start collecting gear you like, if you stick with a theme, and get the important things first (boots) eventually youll have some nice kit...save yourself buying silly souvenir cowbells and chocolate fondue sets, by spending your money on quality gear like Kjus, Spyder & Movement.


So getting technically good gear, adapted to your abilities and how often/where you ski, at the best possible price isn't too high on your priority list then...

Nothing worse that a fashion disaster on piste....
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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!
nixmap wrote:


You wont be able to match colors or brands, i.e. on piste fruit salad distaster beacon.



Ahem, having your own kit is no defence against this. I do tend to stand out in photos though.
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snowforever, Buy boots and rent skis!!!! BTW what sort of shite can you rent for that price. Boots, skis and poles for €75 and at which resort? Puzzled
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snowforever wrote:
I'm sure this topic has been debated at length in hundreds of threads .. snowHead


Yes, you should definitely buy your own helmet. Toofy Grin wink
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
moffatross, don't start that one! Twisted Evil
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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.
Jo225,

I meant when the salesboy starts talking about heat formed insoles before getting the boots out of the box. They might fit, it's worth trying. Evne if they do need adjusting, the manufacturer's fitting kit can achieve a lot at low cost, providing the fitter actually knows what they are doing.

It you find yourself standing on an awkward feeling icky gell cushion before you've stood on a hard surface in the uncorrected boots, there's something wrong and you'd be well advised to walk out, albeit in bare feet.

I found out the hard way when I suffered a lot of pain and some injury, had the footbeds assessed by my previous boot fitter as 'worse than useless' and had a second pair of fancier footbeds fitted that were just as bad and caused pain in a whole new way. Chucking the beastly things out, fitting inner sole plate plugs in the same positions as my old boots and putting in nice flat insoles cured the whole damned lot and improved my skiing.

One of the children offering the fitting looked at the soles of my regualr footwear and said that the wear to the inside edges of the heels indicated that I was a supinator or a pronator or something, I pointed out that it showed that they were motorcycle boots and that I didn't walk in them. He persisted with this nonsense.

Now if a saleschild dares to mention heat formed insoles, I ask what it is they are trying to correct. If they persist with the line that manufacturers are too stupid to make a boot to fit me, I ask why they stock such rubbish. There are shops where heat moulded footbeds ar seldom mentioned, I did ask at one such and was told that he might consider it if someone really couldn't be fitted to a regular boot.

As I say, if you need heat formed insoles then go ahead. If you haven't even put the boot on and have no particular foot trouble in everyday life, consider that you may be paying forty quid and up for nothing.
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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
Calling CEM, calling CEM....
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Just to pick up on carriage costs with BA. Unless you can put everything - skis, poles, boots, helmet and clothes etc in one bag weighing no more than 23 kilos you will need to pay for your skis - £56 return for an extra bag. That's for a European flight - I don't know about trans-Atlantic ones.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Kruisler wrote:

So getting technically good gear, adapted to your abilities and how often/where you ski, at the best possible price isn't too high on your priority list then...

Real quality gear, is always technically good, and rarely if ever discounted, and I dont mean the mass branded salomon, K2, head, descente Sports supermarket fodder..
Point me to the nearest Kjus, Bognor, Dale of Norway, Movment skis discount outlet and I'm there.
Show me technically bad gear from Kjus, Bognor, Dale of Norway, Movement and I stand corrected.

Kruisler wrote:

Nothing worse that a fashion disaster on piste....

exactly my point.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What about poles?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Can I echo the voices for boots.....a good fitting pair of boots that are an appropriate model/flex for your ability will work wonders on your skiing and your experiances!!!

I would advise that you buy in resort, at the beginning of your weeks holiday. A good boot fitter will then make minor alterations to the boot during your week to ensure you have a fantastic fit by the end of the week. you are a very lucky person if you can walk into a shop and try on a boot and it fit perfectly straight away!

If you make the investment in the boots I would also suggest you have custom made footbeds. the key to these being a success is the person who moulds them...ask around for recomendations on boot fitters etc.

If you do want to get boots from the UK try solutions 4 feet, you can't get better than Colin here!!! and if your out in resort ask in the ski schools who they would recomend...I'm sure the instructors (being one myself!) will have good local knowledge and point you in the right direction!

I hope this helps and that you buy and enjoy your new ski boots!!!
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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?
alex_heney wrote:

That may be OK for people who can go every weekend, but it makes a big difference to the majority of us who only get one week per year

Nonsense resorts are full of tourists shopping after the pistes are closed. Resorts depend on it.


alex_heney wrote:

Second, with current exchange rates, it will almost certainly be more expensive in resort.

Err.. Im a bit lost with economics here, unless you are implying that the country you live actually manufactures the equipment or there are taxes.?
That aside, wouldnt you rather spend and a few dollars more on someone trying to make his living in your ski resort and living his dream, than to some faceless Sports supermarket corporation. Supporting the local economy is a good thing, and you get a souvenir for money you would have spent anyway. Two for the price of one what a BARGAIN.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 24-11-09 22:21; edited 2 times in total
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alexchapman wrote:
Can I echo the voices for boots.....a good fitting pair of boots that are an appropriate model/flex for your ability will work wonders on your skiing and your experiances!!!

I would advise that you buy in resort, at the beginning of your weeks holiday. A good boot fitter will then make minor alterations to the boot during your week to ensure you have a fantastic fit by the end of the week. you are a very lucky person if you can walk into a shop and try on a boot and it fit perfectly straight away!

If you make the investment in the boots I would also suggest you have custom made footbeds. the key to these being a success is the person who moulds them...ask around for recomendations on boot fitters etc.


I hope this helps and that you buy and enjoy your new ski boots!!!


The man talks sense, get the most from your retailer, on location.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
nixmap, I have rarely seen anything cheaper in resort than back in the UK. Apart from random items the shops are just trying to get rid of which wouldn't fit with your fashion disaster avoidance scheme.

Sod who is living their dream. 99.9% of us aren't living ours, why should I care who gets my money? I'll go for smaller, quality places if the price difference is negligible or if for once the smaller guy is cheaper, but I don't live in the dream world so this rarely happens. As an example, last year my skis (inc bindings) were about £410 with bindings in S+R. Rougly the same in resort, give or take a couple of quid. I got them from what I consider to be a fairly small retailer ( Sail and Ski in Chester) for £359. Why on earth would I buy those in resort? Bargain hunting in the UK pays off, it also supports OUR economy.
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nixmap wrote:
alex_heney wrote:

First, unless you are doing it in the evening, it eats into your skl time.That may be OK for people who can go every weekend, but it makes a big difference to the majority of us who only get one week per year

Nonsense resorts are full of tourists shopping after the pistes are closed. Resorts depend on it.


In what way does that make what I said "nonsense"?

Quote:

alex_heney wrote:

Second, with current exchange rates, it will almost certainly be more expensive in resort.

Err.. Im a bit lost with economics here, unless you are implying that the country you live actually manufactures the equipment or there are taxes.?



No, I am pointing out currently, for people living in the UK (which is most of the people on this site), the poor exchange rate means that we don't get enough Euros to the pound to be able to buy the equipment at the same cost when paying n Euros.

A few years ago, it was usually cheaper in resort, when it was over €1.50 to £1. Now, it is €1.11 to £1.

Just looking quickly at the Intersport Austria site against the Snow & Rock site, Salomon X-wing Tornado Ti skis - €699 in Austria, £549 in the UK.
or Rossignol Bandit SC80 - €699 in Austria, £499 in the UK.

In boots - Nordica Speedmachine X100 - €349 in Austria, £249 in the UK


Quote:

That aside, wouldnt you rather spend and a few dollars more on someone trying to make his living in your ski resort and living his dream, than to some faceless Sports supermarket corporation. Supporting the local economy is a good thing, and you get a souvenir for money you would have spent anyway. Two for the price of one what a BARGAIN.


Most of the ski shops in resort are part of one of the 2-3 main chains. Just as "faceless" as the UK shops.

Yes, there are some individual shops in resorts, and there are also such in the UK.

And yes, I might be willing to pay a few euros more to use an independent rather than a chain, but only a few.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Wed 25-11-09 8:30; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Surprised nobody's mentioned the internet yet.

Boots are obviously a more sensitive area and not poosible for everyone to order over t'web and then customise if need be. But Skis! I got my last pair from Germany and my next pair will definitely be coming from France. I have found quite a gem of a shop outside Albertville which has an ebay shop as well and posts skis to the UK for €20. They also do lots of peripherals. If anyone would like to know how to find them contact me and I'll give you the gen, unless it's deemed to be of general interest and not spam.
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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!
alex_heney wrote:
Most of the ski shops in resort are part of one of the 2-3 main chains. Just as "faceless" as the UK shops.


I thought they worked on a franchise type basis - i.e. although it might say Intersport or Sport 2000 above the door, it's actually a local business person running the shop taking money for themselves - yes they pay a fee to be part of the group but the stores are not operated by the same company in the way S&R works in the uk.
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bertie bassett, they do. Which means you get some great ones and some crap ones under the same banner. I'm not so sure it's "most" anyway...
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aye, get boots, not second hand ones though mind.


Then ponder getting the skis over the next few years then buy the skis and wish you`d bought them in the first place wink
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bertie bassett, You may be right, but it is still the chain getting a good deal of the money, in the form of the franchise fee.

In the price examples I gave, I just picked one shop more or less at random (In St Johann in Tirol), and I didn't check to see whether the prices (or range stocked) were different in other shops.
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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.
nixmap wrote:
Real quality gear, is always technically good, and rarely if ever discounted, and I dont mean the mass branded salomon, K2, head, descente Sports supermarket fodder..
Point me to the nearest Kjus, Bognor, Dale of Norway, Movment skis discount outlet and I'm there.
Show me technically bad gear from Kjus, Bognor, Dale of Norway, Movement and I stand corrected.


You're a snob... I am not judging, we're all snobs about one thing or the other.

The "supermarket fodder" will be more than good enough and adequate, often even over the top, for the vast vast majority of skiers who spend one, maybe two, weeks a year on the mountain and usually in fair weather.
There is no reason that makes sense for most skiers to spend hundreds for something they don't need. I'd rather not over do it on kit and fund more kit or more days on the snow.. And if it wasn't for said fodder, and only up to brands like the ones you mention, skiing would still be out of reach of many people.

If you do not want to spend your cash in big chains, fair enough. There are still plenty of local shops, cheaper or not than resorts, that are fully deserving of your money, by working just as hard as people in resorts and with a dream just as worthy. Plus you might feel some loyalty to your resort from owning a chalet there, but again most people change resorts every year so have no real affinity with, or sense of duty to, the resort shops..

If you have the cash to not be worried about what you spend that good on you, treat yourself. But for most people the reality is different..
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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
Apologies should this contribuition be somewhat naive - I can see that gear is likely to cost more in mainland European resorts this season given the appalling sterling exchange rate. But is the same true of the States and Canada? Sterling is currently strong against the dollar (1.66 or thereabouts) which would suggest that it might be cheaper to buy there and not here. But I suppose that, in turn, depends on whether skis and boots are generally manufactured only by European firms and in Europe? Is that the case?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
how much would I be looking paying to get my boots fitted?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Simples, Some brands are based in Europe (e.g. Atomic, Salomon), while others are based in North America (e.g. K2).

Quite a few though actually have the manufacturing done in Asia.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Simples, the headline price in the US is often cheaper but you need to take into account shipping and import taxes etc. can still work out cheaper but it's never quite the bargain you hope it will be

nixmap has to be trolling if he is holding up bogner as the summit of technical outerwear. but then again there is that photo of him with the comedy helmet horns so he might just be serial Madeye-Smiley
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Arno wrote:
Simples, the headline price in the US is often cheaper but you need to take into account shipping and import taxes etc. can still work out cheaper but it's never quite the bargain you hope it will be

nixmap has to be trolling if he is holding up bogner as the summit of technical outerwear. but then again there is that photo of him with the comedy helmet horns so he might just be serial Madeye-Smiley


Does he need to pay import taxes if he buys them frmo the us and carries them back here as a checked in luggage?
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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?
snowforever, if the kit is worth more than (I think) £300 yes - check HMRC website

(and flying there will usually cost Wink )
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Arno wrote:
snowforever, if the kit is worth more than (I think) £300 yes - check HMRC website

(and flying there will usually cost Wink )


unless he was flying there anyway to ski!
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Arno wrote:
snowforever, if the kit is worth more than (I think) £300 yes - check HMRC website

(and flying there will usually cost Wink )


I think the general assumption when talking about whether to buy in resort against buying in the UK is that one would only be buying "in resort" if it was where you were already going for a ski trip.
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snowforever, alex_heney, you can ski in America? wow!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
anyone have the answer to my question above?
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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!
aldoyle, I didn't pay any extra on the cost of the boots themselves and new footbeds (£160 + £35), but if you need specialist adjustment work that will certainly cost extra.
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If you're buying boots, don't bother wasting your time or anyone else's by posting on here about which to get. The only person who can tell you which boots to buy is a good fitter, after he/she has looked at your feet. Don't scrimp on boots, get whatever fits you best, has a flex suitable for your needs, and is customised if needed (as in the majority of cases, 'cos all our feet are slightly different). Also expect them to be uncomfortable for the first couple of days use - your feet need to get used to them (they'll be a much snugger fit than any rental boots), and the liners will need to 'pack in' a bit. I reccomend Lockwoods in Leamington Spa for good fitters, and I've heard that the place in Bicester (I forget the name) is also good. Buy in the UK - everything is currently considerably more expensive in Europe atm, I don't know about over the pond though. Forget Ellis Brigham, Slush and Rubble, and the internet for boots.

Aldoyle - if you buy your boots from anywhere decent (which you should), they won't sell you boots without fitting them, and it won't cost any extra. It is the only way to buy ski boots - you do anything else, you're a fool.

Skis not 'economically viable?' Neither is skiing, you do it 'cos you love it. If you buy a good pair of skis, suited to your type of skiing, you will love them too, and they will immeasurable increase your holiday enjoyment. Get the boots first though.
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see, I've been skiing for 20 years now and have never owned a pair of boots or skis.
Every year for the past 10 people have been telling me to get my own boots, but I've always (bar the odd occasion when I've been back to the shop to swap) found that the hire stuff I've had has done the job - being a good skiier you just make the equipment 'work' I guess?!

There is obviously a huge argument for having your own set of boots, but I guess the reason I've never bought them is that I have never struggled and have never 'felt' the difference!
Although, I do have to say that every year, I have been suffering after day 3 - maybe I've had to tighten the boots too tight / in the wrong places perhaps to make it a snug enough fit - being from the old straight ski background and hardcore skiier mentality of 'if it isnt hurting - it isnt tight enough'.

However, for the right price, this year I think I may buy a set of boots.
Can anyone recommend any boot fitters in the North West?
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