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Looking to get back on skis after 25 years

Tahoe

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Jan 1, 2020
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Hey everyone. I learned to ski in 1987 and last went in about 1994. I have only used the older straight skis. I am looking to get back into skiing and was looking for some pointers on equipment for the northeast conditions. All of my skiing experience was in the Lake Tahoe area.

I was a lift operator in the mid 90s and had switched to snowboarding at that time. This was when the parabolic skis were becoming popular but I never tried them.

I was just becoming intermediate skill level when I stopped skiing. My biggest issue was catching my edge occasionally when turning in icy conditions. Any pointers would be great on what equipment to buy. I feel like I am stuck in the past having only used straight skis which seem pretty much extinct now. My peers who were advanced were all using 210+ skis back then and tearing it up.
 

jimk

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Sep 1, 2012
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Recommend you rent skis for the first few times back. If you really want to buy then get some used stuff to last you a couple years. Then buy some better skis. You will find the shaped skis to be very easy to adapt to from your skinny ski days. Do you still live near Tahoe or somewhere else now?
 

gmcunni

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Feb 25, 2007
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11,451
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CO Franger
seasonal rent equipment for a year or 2. take a lesson to get the most out of new skis technology.
 

podunk77

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Feb 17, 2012
Messages
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I took about 20 years off myself, and found that when I returned it was like the proverbial "riding a bicycle." Rent stuff or find some cheap equipment on craigslist until you know you'll stick with it. Don't be overly concerned about the "straight ski" thing.... your older technique will work just fine on the new skis, and then with time you'll appreciate what the new skis can do and you'll upgrade your technique. Just get out there and do it... you'll be glad you did.
 

Tahoe

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Jan 1, 2020
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Recommend you rent skis for the first few times back. If you really want to buy then get some used stuff to last you a couple years. Then buy some better skis. You will find the shaped skis to be very easy to adapt to from your skinny ski days. Do you still live near Tahoe or somewhere else now?

I moved to NH in 2004. Mostly snowboarded but haven't been to most resorts so I am looking to ski a few. I was looking into new vail pass but will probably get that next season if the price is right and I am able to go.
 

ghughes20

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Jan 12, 2016
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84
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Location
New Jersey
^^^ All Good Advice

I moved to NH in 2004. Mostly snowboarded but haven't been to most resorts so I am looking to ski a few. I was looking into new vail pass but will probably get that next season if the price is right and I am able to go.

Also, when renting or demoing skis, don't go too wide . For typical NE conditions (ice), you're better off going with something like 88 or more narrow, especially as you get used to the modern shapes. As you get more comfortable on the hard pack, you can explore wider skies. Today, I ski 93s, which work well for me for a wide variety of conditions.

I took a break similar to yours. My last time sking in the old days, I was on 220 length skies. First time back, the rental shop put me on 174s. I almost laughed when I first saw them. (For reference, I'm 6'3"). Things have changed!!!

Good luck and have fun!!!
 

PaulR

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Nov 13, 2018
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I was out of it from 1990 to 2013. Work, life, family.
Agree with "it's like riding a bicycle"
Agree with renting/demo'ing ski's until you find one you like.
Yep, skied on 185's back in the day, they put me on 165's, lol
Welcome back!
 

Dickc

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
288
Points
18
Location
Northeast Mass
I stopped skiing in 1977 after having a bout with back issues. Was told by the doc I HAD to stop. By the late 80's medical advice had changed, but did not go skiing until 93 or 94. By then my boots had rotted to the point the buckles fell off! I rented equipment the first few times out, and I too was shocked at being on shorter skis, 190's I believe as I am 6' 6". My old K2's are 207's (still got them too.). I found it easy to make turns on gentile slopes, and had to work a bit on the intermediates, but by days end was back on black trails. As the techniques of skiing have changed, I've spent the last 25 years learning to ski better.

Take whatever rentals the mountain suggests to start. Go easy when first out and do not be afraid to hit the bunny slope for the first run or two. Take a bit of time to re-learn keeping your weight forward in what is known as the athletic stance. NOW is a good time to practice that as it will pay off in not having to unlearn a bad habit of being too neutral on the skis, as pressure on the tips allows for graceful turns. Its easy to get in the back seat, and bad things happen when you are off balance. After you begin to feel confident again, think about a lesson. Perhaps even an expensive private one so an instructor can work only with you and correct/teach how skiing is done on the modern skis. It would have cut years of working on bad habits from me. Lastly, think about finding a mountain with "demo" days going on. Sure you can still rent by day or year, but this will give you some experience on a broader number of skis, and maybe narrow down the skis that seem to work for you, not against you. At one particular demo day in 2007, I was on a pair of skis (not to name the brand) and could not WAIT to give them back to the rep. They were just awful for me. For someone else, they might have been the bee's knees! That is what demo days are good for, it narrows down the scope of skis you can look for. You can buy used stuff, sometimes as little as a year later and save some cash.

Best of luck, and hope to see you posting here regularly!
 
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