NEED ADVICE - purchase new ski boots

Discussion in 'Ski Boot Discussion by America's Best Bootfitters' started by HLBB, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. HLBB

    HLBB At the base lodge Skier

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    Hi Everyone,

    New to this forum and looking for help on making a purchase decision.

    A bit about myself, I'm a solid trail skiier and have only started doing glades and moguls in the past couple of years. My technique and mostly my physical condition allow me to go pretty much anywhere, but I very much need to improve and learn more.

    FYI, I'm 182cm (6') tall and weigh 68kg (150lbs).

    Ski-wise, I go with these Volkl RTM 81 Skis, 170cm. They look like this: https://photos.app.goo.gl/knHWzxxC7JGzrAYg7

    Boot-wise, I'm sporting Hawx Ultra 110 Ski Boots. They are very comfortable and I think they look amazing lol.
    https://www.skiequipmentuk.co.uk/pr...7-atomic-hawx-ultra-110-mens-alpine-ski-boot/

    The problem I have when going down glades/moguls, aside from my mediocre technique :( is that I feel my equipment is a bit heavy and I fail to be as quick as I need to be. Also, I'm afraid my boots may be half a size too big, and when navigating deep powder my heels will have a tendency to lift off inside my boots.

    As such, I'm considering buying new boots for the start of the season and I'm looking for your advice on a few different levels:

    • I'm not sure to understand what kind of equipment is generally recommended to do glades and moguls. I would love to know which boot(s) you recommend I buy, if any.
      • Similarly, I'm not sure to understand what my equipment is generally good for.

    • I know it's hard to tell via a thread on a forum, but do you think my boots are in fact too big, or is it "normal" to have your heel move up the boot when resistance is applied by powder?
      • So you should know, my feet are fairly slim/narrow.

    • Anything you feel a skier like me should know in order to improve for glades/moguls.


    Thanks so much for your help!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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  2. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    It may be that your boot is too big, however, before buying new boots why not visit a local bootfitter and see if they can help? If you tell us where you are we might be able to direct you toward someone that can help locally.
     
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  3. Thread Starter
    TS
    HLBB

    HLBB At the base lodge Skier

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    Thanks for the prompt reply coskigirl!

    Great idea indeed. I'm located in Montreal (Canada) and I imagine there should be competent bootfitters around, just not sure where.

    When I purchased my equipment, I went to a chain first and did not feel comfortable with the level of knowledge from the staff. I then went to a local shop that had good staff and good prices too, but they have not been quite as helpful from a post-sales standpoint.
     
  4. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Do you ski Tremblant? @Jilly should be able to help with someone near there.
     
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  5. Mike Thomas

    Mike Thomas Whiteroom Pugski Sponsor

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    Your boots need to fit your feet, not the terrain you ski. I know that sounds glib, but really, 'freeride' 'all-mountain' 'race' are all marketing terms (for boots anyway, not so much for skis). Buy the best boot for your anatomy and it'll work great wherever you ski. The RTM 81, on the other hand... not the best tree ski. Weight and quickness are a function of technique, good technique and you don't need to muscle the skis around, gravity does it for you. Bad technique and everything requires "maximum effort". A slightly wider and more rockered ski might help with feeling more nimble in the woods... but really, it's all about technique and mileage. Ski more and practice more and forget weight.
     
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  6. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    @SkiBam has a guy at Mt Habitant. Or are you south shore?

    If you ski Tremblant - Ski Max is the Atomic guy up there. But I'd head over to the mountain and the guys at the Atomic shop are great. It might not be open yet.
     
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  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    HLBB

    HLBB At the base lodge Skier

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I don't doubt that my technique is the thing that need to improve first and foremost. I have made lots of progress by skiing (and falling) a substantial amount, and I'm trying to help all other areas to get there faster haha.

    I do go to Tremblant once or twice during the season, but I'm more of an Eastern Townships guy (Sutton, Jay Peak, Bromont).

    But as you pointed at Jilly, for one I don't think they are open yet, and I would love to know where things stand before the season starts.

    Especially since if I end up buying new boots, it seems that early in the season is typically better in terms of choice and prices.

    I'll definitely keep in mind Ski Max, but if there is anything you guys can recommend that's closer to the city, that'd be fantastic.

    (similarly, if you have any tips about what I should watch or practise to improve my technique, I'm keen on learning)

    Thanks again so much!!
     
  8. Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

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    As @Mike Thomas pointed out, most important is that the boots fit you feet properly. A good bootfitter should be able to help you out in that department. And by the sound of things, your boots don't fit properly (since your heel can move).
    About skis: it's true that better technique will help you ski better - in any terrain. But I do think it's also true that some skis support specific skiing styles or terrain better than others (even when skied by experts).

    I would spend my money in this order:
    1. Get well-fitted boots (you're going to. Check)
    2. Get more lessons (you're going to. Check)
    3. Get other skis. Maybe a bit more lively and with a more forgiving tip profile than your current skis. K2 iKonic 80 TI or 84 TI perhaps? Völkl Kanjo or Kendo? Blizzard Brahma CA (2018) / Bushwacker (2019)? I'm not sure if wider skis - great for soft stuff - is the way to go for hardpack skiing over there.
     
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  9. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Your first priority is to find a good boot fitter. I've seen some shops in Montreal recommended, but you need to find a person not a store, so I'm not looking those recommendations up for repetition.
     
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  10. coops

    coops Booting up Skier

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    Find a good bootfitter and see first if your current boots are too big or not.

    It's a basic shell fit where you put your foot in the boot without liner, toes just up against the end and the fitter will check how much gap there is behnd your heel. Roughly a finger width is about right... but obviously the boot should also be a good match to your instep volume, foot width etc...

    Hopefully the shell is a good size for you, as that's a good boot if it fits you.

    I've got the older Hawx 120 (non ultra) and while exellent also found a bit of heel lift... shell was sized correctly, so changed liners to zipfits. In fact the Low volume Gara Zipfit model, and these are fantastic... get those fitted and then the shell re-heat moulded and you'll be amazed ( and the zipfit will outlast the boot shell and not pack out, so the up front cost may be high but they are excellent value for money).

    So... find a good bootfitter that also stocks/fits zipfit liners (if they've got zipfits they'll almost certainly also have Intuition and foam liners also if they're a better option for your feet).

    ps that heavy feeling you mention is due to the heel lift, loose liner etc... the zipfits will actually be abit heavier than the standard liners, but when you lift your foot , turn your foot etc the boot will follow and not have all that slop and looseness - seems unlikely but they'll feel much, much snugger without any slack yet be much more comfortable at the same time with far less buckle tension/pressure on your foot.
     
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  11. Ron

    Ron Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester

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    Are you skiing more hardpack conditions or soft snow? As Mike pointed out, that rtm, although a fantastic ski is not going to be the best tool for what you are skiing. A softer , more workable ski is going to compliment a properly fitted boot (1st priority). I am not clear if the heel lifting is due to a poor fit or poor technique. Even a tight fitting boot won’t prevent some movement of your heel. If you have a lot of upward movement. In your bump skiing, this can cause heels to move upward on the boot.

    Get to a fitter to evaluate the fit, get some lessons and get a ski that will allow you to ski within your bandwidth of skills and improve.
     
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  12. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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  13. Thread Starter
    TS
    HLBB

    HLBB At the base lodge Skier

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    Hi Ron,
    I guess I'm generally looking for soft snow, but I ski in Quebec and Vermont, so I guess we often get what is considered hard pack. On icy runs, I have found my RTM to be the best skis I have had (to be fair I always rented before that), allowing to cut in the ice and stay stable like never before. But I can't say that lightness and quickness are words I would use to describe them.


    @Jilly, have you heard about the Austrian Ski Shop in Monkland (Montreal)? I understand it's important to find a good bootfitter rather than a good store, but I have found a few positive reviews about them specifically on bootfitting. However, I have no idea if they propose things as advanced as changing liners to zipfits like @coops was describing.

    I could always return to La Poubelle du Ski, where I bought my equipment in the first place, but I'm not sure anyone there qualifies as a good bootfitter.

    Thanks too @Cheizz for throwing in a couple of possible ski upgrades. I read up on skiessentials, and the Volkl Kanjo (and Enforcer 93) seem like great options.
     
  14. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    I have no doubt that they will have a good boot fitter working at the Austrian Ski shop. You just need to find out who he is, so you don't end up as practice for his apprentice (if he has one).

    The Volkl RTM 81 is a fine compromise ski. If you want better you will need a quiver: one near 70 mm and another 90+. The skis only seem heavy because your are trying to move them instead of directing them and letting them do the work. You won't feel any weight when you are standing on the skis instead of lifting them.
     
  15. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    OMG - don't go near Sport Expert. Heard good things from SkiBam about Austrian. Maybe jzmtl, who lives in Montreal, might have some names. Haven't seen him on the forum, so I'll try to text him.
     
  16. coops

    coops Booting up Skier

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    You could take a gander at this
    http://www.zipfit.com/zipfit-dealers/

    Seems to be dealers in Vermont as well as Canada - and if they use and fit zipfits they're not likely to be amateurs... but as always a good recommendation by name is safest.
     
  17. jzmtl

    jzmtl Intermidiot Skier

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    We are close in height but I'm 50 lbs heavier, so my equipment probably won't work for you. :D

    Avoid Poubelle du ski, it's staffed by high school kids and no better than Sports expert. A friend had his ski base ground there and the edge wasn't even straight.

    Austrian ski shop is good, it's pretty much a one man shop so you'll see the owner most of the time, he seems to know what he's talking about. Not good for ski tuning though, I think he does it either by hand or send out elsewhere.

    Another decent shop is Ski town in Brossard, I had my boots punched by Arnold (tall,young guy) there and he seemed to ski a ton himself and quite knowledgeable, but they have high school kids on staff too so try avoid those. The owner (bald guy in his 50s) is some sort of ex-racer but can be a bit arrogant ("you are not a racer, you don't need this" type), but he isn't there often. They do very good ski tuning too, I always ask for 0.5/3 and they come out super sharp and spot on.

    Dafran sport (another one man shop) is almost next door to Austrian ski shop, and I've heard he is good but never been there.

    I still check forum every few days, don't always post though. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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