Newbie question: ski and boot purchase

Newbie question: ski and boot purchase

Post by Philip Delaques » Sun, 07 Jan 2001 06:08:37


I'm actually too much of a newbie to consider purchasing equipment yet.
Ten days ago I was a never-ever. I took the free introductory lesson
included with rental and lift ticket. By the end of the day, I was
happily snowplowing down a blue rectangle (by southern Wisconsin
standards). I have yet to go skiing a second time, but my initial
impression was very favorable. I picked up a copy of Harald Harb's
"Anybody can be an Expert Skier," read it cover-to-cover, and am
extremely eager to get back on that bunny slope and start learning his
Primary Movements system.

I won't actually buy my own gear until I've rented several more times,
taken a few lessons, and made sure that my interest isn't just a flash
in the pan. But I have started researching the various types of skis and
boots and thinking about what might be suitable if and when I take the
plunge.

I expect that 90% of my skiing will be on groomed surfaces. Some moguls
are probably inevitable, and could be a lot of fun. Deep powder is
unlikely. I have no desire to perform fancy tricks. I just want to slide
down the hill as fast as I can under control. Harb suggests that a
"mid-fat" of about 180 to 190 cm is a great general-purpose ski for
conditions like these.

I see that there are "entry-level" skis, "intermediate" skis, and
"performance" skis. They obviously differ in price. I'm not sure yet
what else distinguishes them. I don't want to waste my money on skis
that I will soon outgrow. If I really want them, I can afford very
high-end skis. Is it a bad idea for a beginner to use "performance"
equipment, or is it just that beginners don't usually want to spend that
kind of cash? In other words, is there something about the design of
high-end skis that makes them unsuitable for non-experts?

All of the above applies to boots too. The only thing I know for sure is
that I want a "lateral" boot for positive edging on shaped skis. As far
as I can tell, I am neither bowlegged nor knock-kneed.

That's enough rambling. Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Philip.

--
Repeal Prohibition. Again. For exactly the same reasons.

 
 
 

Newbie question: ski and boot purchase

Post by Polly Hewit » Mon, 08 Jan 2001 12:26:44

Performance skis are stiffer and harder to flex especially at low speeds.
Start with a beginner/intermediate ski and you'll have more fun.  When you
progress in a few years you'll want to upgrade.


Quote:
> I'm actually too much of a newbie to consider purchasing equipment yet.
> Ten days ago I was a never-ever. I took the free introductory lesson
> included with rental and lift ticket. By the end of the day, I was
> happily snowplowing down a blue rectangle (by southern Wisconsin
> standards). I have yet to go skiing a second time, but my initial
> impression was very favorable. I picked up a copy of Harald Harb's
> "Anybody can be an Expert Skier," read it cover-to-cover, and am
> extremely eager to get back on that bunny slope and start learning his
> Primary Movements system.

> I won't actually buy my own gear until I've rented several more times,
> taken a few lessons, and made sure that my interest isn't just a flash
> in the pan. But I have started researching the various types of skis and
> boots and thinking about what might be suitable if and when I take the
> plunge.

> I expect that 90% of my skiing will be on groomed surfaces. Some moguls
> are probably inevitable, and could be a lot of fun. Deep powder is
> unlikely. I have no desire to perform fancy tricks. I just want to slide
> down the hill as fast as I can under control. Harb suggests that a
> "mid-fat" of about 180 to 190 cm is a great general-purpose ski for
> conditions like these.

> I see that there are "entry-level" skis, "intermediate" skis, and
> "performance" skis. They obviously differ in price. I'm not sure yet
> what else distinguishes them. I don't want to waste my money on skis
> that I will soon outgrow. If I really want them, I can afford very
> high-end skis. Is it a bad idea for a beginner to use "performance"
> equipment, or is it just that beginners don't usually want to spend that
> kind of cash? In other words, is there something about the design of
> high-end skis that makes them unsuitable for non-experts?

> All of the above applies to boots too. The only thing I know for sure is
> that I want a "lateral" boot for positive edging on shaped skis. As far
> as I can tell, I am neither bowlegged nor knock-kneed.

> That's enough rambling. Any advice is much appreciated.

> Thanks,
> Philip.

> --
> Repeal Prohibition. Again. For exactly the same reasons.


 
 
 

Newbie question: ski and boot purchase

Post by Jim Hutto » Mon, 08 Jan 2001 20:20:06

Quote:

>I'm actually too much of a newbie to consider purchasing equipment yet.

snip

Quote:
> Is it a bad idea for a beginner to use "performance"
>equipment, or is it just that beginners don't usually want to spend that
>kind of cash? In other words, is there something about the design of
>high-end skis that makes them unsuitable for non-experts?

Yes - in general, performance skis are designed on the (reasonable)
assumption that the user will be going fast.  Skis turn by being bent into a
curved shape by the skiers weight. ie put ski on its edge, push down on
centre of ski, it bends, round you go.  Play with a ruler on a carpet to see
how this works.  The amount of push, and hence the amount of bend is
determined by (a) your weight and (b) your speed (centrifugal force).

For a given speed, a 'soft' beginners ski will bend more than a 'stiff'
racers ski.  So it will be easier to use.  A racers ski will feel like it
doesn't want to turn, because you are not bending it enough.

This is all very simplified - it's a huge subject.

Quote:

>All of the above applies to boots too. The only thing I know for sure is
>that I want a "lateral" boot for positive edging on shaped skis. As far
>as I can tell, I am neither bowlegged nor knock-kneed.

God knows what a 'lateral' boot is.  First get a comfy boot !!  If it hurts,
your skiing will be misery, like having toothache all day.
Racers boots are usually stiffer, to ensure that leg movements are
accurately transmitted to the ski, which can make them less comfortable.
But a good fitting top-end boot can be more comfy than a badly fitting
softer boot.   Two points on fit - don't wear lots of thick socks, it ruins
your accuracy.  One pair of boot socks should be it.  Second point - try
different manufacturers.  Each manuf assumes a slightly different 'standard'
foot shape.  eg my feet are Nordica -every boot in their range is fine,
whereas most other makes are v uncomfy.  My son has Raichle feet.

HTAH

Jim Hutton

 
 
 

Newbie question: ski and boot purchase

Post by b_hi.. » Thu, 11 Jan 2001 14:08:37


Quote:
> Each manuf assumes a slightly different 'standard'
> foot shape.  eg my feet are Nordica -every boot in their range is fine,
> whereas most other makes are v uncomfy.  My son has Raichle feet.

Mostly true!  Some manuf. have varying boot designs for non-standard feet,
as Technica offers their standard last, a Low Volume last for people with
B/C width feet, and a High Volume Last for EE and up.  Also, some manuf.
tend to emphaisize the fit of their shells, others the fit of their liners.
Examples of the former are Lange (which is why they have won so many World
Cup racers over and remain a premier choice of performance skiers)  and
Technica the latter (even their Low Volume models have the adjustment made
to the liner, not a different shell). The "shell oriented" companies tend to
fit narrower feet better...

Also, try on boots with one pair of THIN SKIING socks!  The Smartwool
Ultrathin sock is my fave, but any good wool or polypro THIN sock will do.
Do NOT use silk liners.  The idea here is that skiing is a semi-aerobic
sport, and the heat from your body will circulate from your large muscle
groups to your toes, and keep them warm - IF the *** can actually flow
easily and quicly around your foot.  So keep those arteries and veins clear
of pressure points from excessive socks stuffed into your boots...

-Robert