East Coast Skier - First time gear buyer

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by MikeW Philly, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. MikeW Philly

    MikeW Philly Booting up Skier

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    So after a few years away from skiing a trip locally to the poconos and more importantly a trip out to to Heavenly a few weeks back as reignited my love of skiing - especially with the wife trying at Heavenly and loving it and her classes over two days.

    To that end I want to pick up a set of skis, boots and season pass locally (plus a few planned trips) to really get back into it in 2019/2020.

    My info/ski preferences:
    Male, 5'9, 202
    Intermediate/Advanced Skier - Out West in Heavenly/Beaver Creek primarily a blue / single diamond skier. Locally in the east (Poconos) primarily a single/double diamond skier.
    85% of my skiing is preferred speed/groomers - I'll do the occasional black diamond through trees but it's not a preference or my core skiing. I absolutely avoid moguls as I despise the knee/hip pain later (probably a skill issue I'm sure).

    That being said there are a few items I'm hoping to take care of as the season ends: - Fitted boots - I'm in the King of Prussia (north of Philadelphia area) about 40 minutes out from the Poconos. I want fitted boots but where is the place to go? I'm guessing not buckmans ski shop....

    - Skis - I'd like to get a good set of skis that primarily works for the east/my prefernece for skiing but can be all around. As I get back into the sport I'm open to additional skis but I'd like an all mountain ski initially. Based off the research I've done I assume I'm looking for a slightly stiffer ski at about 175 range, and on the thinner side - perhaps something like the Atomic Vantage X83 CTI?

    I've got a fairly flexible budget and as much as I hate the Poconos that will be the bulk of my skiing (easy with my job to get a season pass and go up every Friday + weekends as we choose). I'll likely shoot for 2-3 trips out west or perhaps a drive up north to Vermont.
    Am I wrong in my approach and can somebody point me towards a decent boot fitter in the philadelphia area?
     
  2. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    My advice is to pick up a pair of skis that are ideal for what you ski mostly: Head Supershape i. Magnum; Fischer RC4 the Curve, Fischer RC4 SC or RC: Stockli Laser SX; Kastle RX12, or similar. And if you find you want more versatility complement them with something more suited to the off-piste: Blizzard Bonafide; Volkl 100-eight; Elan Ripstick 106.

    Boots: Find the best fitter, and make sure he fits your boots, not someone who works at the same shop but isn't him.
     
  3. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Welcome. I know your area well, I spent 25 years or so in Newtown Square and West Chester and know the KoP Buckmans from my time there. There are some shops in the Poconos that are good, @Wendy works up by Frost/Boulder, maybe she can chime in. If you are coming to Tahoe I can give you some direction or even help you out here. Your initial thought of the Vantage X 83 CTi is actually a good ski to start with. Another option for a Philly bootfiter is Billy Kaplan who is over in the Northeast, he does a lot of specialty work but it is worth mentioning his name. My guess is you will visit with him, he will analyze your needs, suggest a few biits, you will buy them, bring them to him and he will fit them they you will return the boots that weren't ideal. Of course there will cost for this service. Ask him what to expect that to be.
     
  4. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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  5. Wendy

    Wendy Trying not to face plant Skier

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    I work part-part time at Alpina ski shop in White Haven....it’s an easy drive up the NE extension of the turnpike and just a mile or so from the Pocono exit. Dieter is the owner and main bootfitter.....he is very good.
     
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  6. Thread Starter
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    MikeW Philly

    MikeW Philly Booting up Skier

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    Thank all for the replies. It's funny been away from skiing for 2 years - getting married, building a house, and hell both of decided to get new jobs all at same time 2 years ago. Now one trip and I'm hooked again and been in a rush to grab some end of season stuff since I think I'll buy an early season pass to blue mountain (maybe jack frost but not sure if I want to do that and then NY/New Hampshire with peak pass or just do some west trips next year) and maybe get 2-3 days this month in.

    On the boot side, I've never had them fitted - is that a same day event or whats sort of the process? The Ski shop you referenced is an hour quick trip, so I'll take a ride ou this week some time (have to have lunch with a coworker from that area anyway). Just wondering if I can plan to do it in a day or how that works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  7. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Process usually takes an hour or two, then a return trip for final adjustments after skiing for a few days. If the ski boot fitter is not good, it can involve many more return trips.
     
  8. Thread Starter
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    MikeW Philly

    MikeW Philly Booting up Skier

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    SO on the other end of things when doing this ski trip this past week, my wife also came along and took lessons which by the end of the trip had her really enjoying skiing and the greens and slightly easier blues out west - from a comparison I think she could handle the blues here at jack frost and/or blue mnt.

    So the one challenge is that my wife has incredibly small feet - walking shoes are really a 4.5 (she puts up with 5 because it's about all she can find unless it' sneakers). So it brings an interesting dilemma to skiing. Overall very petite at 4'11, 103lbs. She originally didn't want to purchase skiis but the more research I do the more and more I'm convinced we should because she only really fit juniors skis at the resorts. And from what I can tell she'd be better off buying a quality junior ski and boot.

    I might build an account to ask at SkyDiva since they seem to have this problem a lot (trying to respect the women only request) but thought maybe some of the folks here might have some suggestions? I plan to bring her to get fitted for boots but from what I can tell she really has no choice but to go juniors for boots something like a 21.5 (https://www.evo.com/alpine-ski-boot...4-0-ski-boots-girls-2019-tranparent-white.jpg). And if that's the case am I wrong to think she'd be better off with a ski like this here: https://www.evo.com/skis/atomic-vantage-girl-girls ? The younth skis she had seemed a bit worse for wear/quality compared to my own demos.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  9. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    There are a good selection on 21.5's out there...from many brands, some are true 21.5's (will have a boot sole length in the low 260mm range and some are 22.5 shells with either a short liner or a toe block in the front of the boot. Which way you end up going depends on the foot, but the former tends to be better than the latter, especially for a low volume (small-narrow) foot. As far as junir boots, the only ones that I would suggest considering is a junior race boot (70 flex and up), they tend to share shells with adult counter parts. @Wendy might have an idea if Alpina stocks any 21.5's and what. We are late in the season which could work for or against you with selection, shops do not tend to order many 21.5's...so either they are out..or you might be able to find an older model collection dust...either way, go with the fit and be less concerned about "the deal".
     
  10. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    You won't be able to start an account on SkiDiva because you're not a woman, but have no fear, many of the women who have tiny feet also post on Pugski.
    @SkiNurse @MaryG @tinymoose to name just a few.
    Besides that, talking to others who have tiny feet isn't necessarily the solution as much as going to a really good fitter to have it addressed.
    There are some really good options in size 21.5 and 22.5 boots that weren't available a few years ago, including some really good women's boots, or maybe jr boots if that's necessary. Just make sure the boot has an adult lug.
    As Lange says....Trust me, I'm a bootfitter.

    With a little searching, you can find a ton of resources here for this kind of fit concern.

     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  11. Thread Starter
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    MikeW Philly

    MikeW Philly Booting up Skier

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    Thank you both. From what we saw, at least in rentals 22.5 just doesn't fit her - her toes were way to short on it and also too wide. Which is how she ended up un junior skis.

    I had planned to take her with me to the bootfitter when I head out this week but thought I'd get some initial insights. She really enjoyed this past week quite a bit and I have a feeling that a true quality boot - even more so than for me, although I admit I'm looking forward to my own fitting- will make a very big difference for her in her enjoyment and overall experience.

    Might call the shop today to see if they even have something in there they can test her against.
     
  12. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Not surprised with the 22.5 rentals...First, there are not really any true 22.5 rental boots..most are 23.5's with a short liner...if you look closely at their shells you will see that the BSL is more like a 275-280mm but will "say" 22.5. Second, rental boots are inherently designed to fit a multitude of feet equally poorly ;).
     
  13. Thread Starter
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    MikeW Philly

    MikeW Philly Booting up Skier

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    Good to know. Kind of shocked, I know 5 is a fairly common foot in shorter women, so a bit surprised. Boot fitter is even more critical than I thought from the sounds of things.
     
  14. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I just came to say what Phil already said.
    The best option is to go to a good fitter, someone who knows the difference between a true 21.5 and a modified 22.5 or 23.5.
    There are true 21.5 boots for women that have the potential to be the right fit for her.
     
  15. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    This cannot be over stated.
     
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  16. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Yes, far more common than you might think, which is why boot manufacturers are addressing it.
    As Phil said, don't be afraid of a Jr race boot.

    Example: I know its not quite the same, but I'm in a Lange RS 110 SC(short cuff) in 23.5, which is considered a jr race boot but its all the boot I want and need. There are a lot of women in this boot.
    *I'm not saying this is the boot for her, just stating an example.
     
  17. Uncle-A

    Uncle-A In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al" Skier

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    Your selection of skis should be for the location where you ski the most. You said that your are thinking of a season pass for Blue Mt or another PA mountain, I ski Blue as my main mountain and you should look for a front side carver. The range of 70's under foot, my favorite is my Head Rally or Titan that I have also skied. I will not comment on boots now because the pro's have already posted above. For your wife she probably should get high performance junior equipment. When I worked in the ski business I sold many petite woman junior equipment with great customer satisfaction. It is also less expensive than adult equipment.
     
  18. Thread Starter
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    MikeW Philly

    MikeW Philly Booting up Skier

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    Thanks Uncle-A. For me I'm definitely looking at something designed for East Coast Ice we get on blue or other pa. I've been reading a lot of about the Blizzard Brahma also which looks to be a solid ski for us here on the east. I'll look into the Head Rally or Titan also. And still haven't ruled out the Vantage as a possible ski also.

    For the wife I'm totally not opposed to junior performance gear as it's amazing how much cheaper it could be (which would really satisfy the wife's concern more than mine) but either direction I'm fine as long as it fits her well. She enjoyed the weekend in Tahoe so much and I know she did that on sub-par equipment and I say that knowing rentals are always worse but for her it was magnitude more.

    But yeah I was originally looking at blue mountain but now part of me is thinking a Peak Pass might be good for Jack Frost - hunter for day trips and something like Mount Snow or Wildcat for weekend trips. Wish killington or stowe was included so now I'm just weighing if it makes sense to get a regular season for blue and pay for the weekend trips at say Stowe/killington or just go with peak pass. All good problems though.
     
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  19. Uncle-A

    Uncle-A In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al" Skier

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    The new Brahma 82 would be a good choice as well. There are a lot of good front side carving skis on the market and with end of season deals available now you should be able to find something. You also may be able to leverage a better deal because you are after two complete outfits. The peak pass has some advantages, I picked up a deal back in October that was 4 lift tickets to all peak resorts for $199.00 and I plan to go to Hunter this Thursday.
     
  20. Thread Starter
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    MikeW Philly

    MikeW Philly Booting up Skier

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    Definitely looking to do boots/skis all at once. Honestly I'm less concerned with cost and more concerned with timing. The wife and I are hoping to get 2 days in the last 2 weeks of March 1st of April if hunter is open; maybe 3 or 4 even if we can pull it off weather wise.

    So shooting for boot fitting Friday - calling shop today.
     
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