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Beginner to Intermediate Ski Purchase

james13

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I'm a relatively new skier looking to buy an entry to intermediate level boot/ski/binding package during the end of season sales.

I visited a couple of shops this weekend and was shown the Rossignol Experience 77 ($260), the Head Revolution 78 ($325), and the Elan Explore 6 ($350).

Does anyone have an experience/thoughts on these skis?
 

bdfreetuna

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I don't know the Elan Explore but I don't think I'd recommend the other two. The Rossi is not versatile enough IMO and the Head is a beginners ski you'll outgrow quickly if you intend on taking skiing seriously at all. I never recommend getting beginner skis, just take a few lessons and get up to intermediate quick. For many people it only takes around 10 days out to be surprisingly capable on skis.

What kind of skiing appeals to you? Do you want a ski you can grow into? Do you want something that will be reasonably good at anything on the mountain (groomed trails, hardpack snow, bumps, trees, spring snow, powder, variable)?

If I were you I'd get more of an all-mountain oriented ski. That to me means some tip rocker on the backs, a waist in the mid 80s to 90, and a decent raise on the front shovel but not like a dedicated powder ski.
 

james13

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Not really sure what I'm looking for. I got back into skiing this winter after many years off. I remember most of what I had done in the past and I'd probably say I'm at the level 5/6 range.

I guess I want a versatile ski that can be used on the majority of trails in the Northeast. I don't have any interest at this point in moguls or advanced terrain.

http://elanskis.com/us/product/explore-6-green-qt.html
 

cdskier

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What ski areas do you usually visit (or plan to visit)? What skis have you used so far and what was your opinion of them? It sounds like you plan to stick to groomed terrain.
 

james13

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This season I visited Wachusett, Gunstock, and Sunapee. In prior seasons I've visited Loon, Okemo, Mount Snow, Attitash, and Bretton Woods. Plan to go back to some of places i've been before, but I'd also like to add a trip to Killington or Jay Peak.

I've used the rental skis from the aforementioned mountains. I don't recall at of the manufactuers, but there have been Head, Elan, and K2. Skis have been generally in the 160-165 length.
 

The Sneak

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I have a friend who is a low Intermediate. Last spring, he bought the Rossignol E83s and they made a huge improvement in his confidence and progression.

However, I don't know if he had them tuned poorly or what, but I tried them out for fun and found them ...almost useless. Has to be the tune, right? Why else would they seem like edge-less noodles?

He has since stepped up to Prophet 85s and he's skiing much better on those.

On a LSGR day at Wachusett, those E83s were violently awful and I'm still puzzled as to why. They get very high marks from magazines, websites etc.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

gmcunni

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I've used the rental skis from the aforementioned mountains.

sounds like you rent each time you go. Perhaps next season rather than a purchase consider a seasonal rental from a shop near your home. They tend to have better gear and a variety to choose from. Go early in the fall so you can talk to them about your preferences and skiing ability and they can give probably give you a ski to match.

i've not done seasonal rentals in a few years but $125-150 for boots poles and skis is normal, you can often find cheaper (note cheaper may mean less selection). This lets you avoid the cost and hassle of daily rentals and gives you a consistent ski throughout the season. do this a couple of years and then you will be looking for a different ski anyway.
 

bdfreetuna

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The Sneak's observation about some beginner/intermediate skis being edge-less noodles is part of the problem with starter skis.

I don't really know of a good reason that just because someone is not an expert skier that they should have super bendy skis.

Stiffer skis are more stable and generally hold a better edge. I'm also against the whole going super short thing for intermediate skiers as well. Unless you know yourself and genuinely believe you'll never get better or want to ski at a decent speed. But that doesn't sound like the case for you.

You might not need a ski as tall as your head but don't let them sell you something only up to your tits.
 

Domeskier

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sounds like you rent each time you go. Perhaps next season rather than a purchase consider a seasonal rental from a shop near your home. They tend to have better gear and a variety to choose from. Go early in the fall so you can talk to them about your preferences and skiing ability and they can give probably give you a ski to match.

i've not done seasonal rentals in a few years but $125-150 for boots poles and skis is normal, you can often find cheaper (note cheaper may mean less selection). This lets you avoid the cost and hassle of daily rentals and gives you a consistent ski throughout the season. do this a couple of years and then you will be looking for a different ski anyway.

I second this advice. A lower intermediate can advance pretty quickly over the course of a season and it doesn't make sense to be tied to equipment that might hold back further progression.
 

KustyTheKlown

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I'm also against the whole going super short thing for intermediate skiers as well. Unless you know yourself and genuinely believe you'll never get better or want to ski at a decent speed. But that doesn't sound like the case for you.

You might not need a ski as tall as your head but don't let them sell you something only up to your tits.

yep, my girlfriend was freaked out by the size of her 153s (lol) when she first got them last summer. they had her on <150 for her rentals. i promised her the 153s are not too long (goes to about the bridge of her nose) and that as she gets better and more confident she will appreciate the length. by her 2nd run on the 153s she apologized for giving me any shit. and after the jay powder day two weeks ago she's already asking me about wider skis.
 

cdskier

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Recommending skis is such a challenge because skis and what people like are so vastly different. Personally I've never skied a Rossi or Elan ski that I liked, but that's me and there are certainly other people that do like skis from these manufacturers. I've always preferred Atomic, Volkl, and lately Nordica for some reason.

Outside of demoing skis (which should you in the future move up from Intermediate to Advanced is definitely something I would recommend doing), the best advice is to find a reputable ski shop and talk in detail with them about the type of terrain you ski, what your goals are, etc. As others mentioned, you may very well be better off doing a seasonal rental for a year or two to avoid buying skis that you'll grow out of too quickly.
 

puckoach

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IMHO, you should go get properly fitted for boots. Purchase them, then, demo skis until you arrive at a good choice for you.

As I, my bride, and other friends have had good luck, I suggest seeing Pete at Rogers in Lincoln, NH. (Fri, Sat, Sun only)

I believe they still have a plan, that the rental money of the demo skis gets applied to purchase.
 

bigbog

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Ditto cdskier for brands..plus maybe add K2 and HEAD to the brands, but "beginner" level or rental skis often lack the construction and edgegrip to do what your boots tell them to do...imho($.01). If possible try to demo a bunch of skis and note their specs & type of ski they are...power or touch. Others' info is good..ie bdfreetuna on length, Sneak...etc. The mags can give you a pretty good idea of how popular some skis are...so even thought there's a lot of play between pushing a certain ski and the truth(as mentioned by others on AZ) you might be able to see a beginning list of skis to demo....BUT having said all this..great fitting/performing boots are your stairway to heaven...
 
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james13

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Thanks for all of the responses and insight.

I definitely plan to take some private lessons next season. I hadn’t considered doing a season long rental from a local ski shop. I guess another option would be to buy a nice pair of boots and then rent/demo skis until I figure out what I’m looking for ski-wise.

Lincoln, NH is a bit of a drive (2.5 hours). Any recommend shops in the Boston area?
 

The Sneak

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I think focusing on boots first and demoing skis...is a very wise idea.
There is a good bootfitter in Westwood. I had him do my Lange RX 100s a few seasons ago and it was worth every penny. It's right on the main drag, can't remember the name of the place.
 

gmcunni

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careful on the demo plan. there are demo days at different mountain where you can try lots of skis for free (or nominal fee) vs. demo'ing every weekend from local or mountain resources. every weekend demo'ing is basically an expense rental for performance gear.

perhaps get the seasonal rental and then look for mountain sponsored events and plan some trips. we used to have a running list of demo days here on AZ but it faded away.

for example - Go to Okemo this weekend

http://www.okemo.com/activities/calendar/spring-demo-day/


i did it there a few years ago, got to try 5 or 6 skis in 1 day.
 

hammer

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How about getting a decent pair of used skis at a swap in the fall? Might take some research and good timing but it's another way to go. I picked up a pair of used Fischer Progressors (cheater race/carving skis) a few years ago at a good price. They are still my go-to skis for firmer snow days, which was most of this past season for me...
 
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