Beginner Skier Help

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  • Beginner Skier Help
  • grantyboy

    I’ve been snowboarding for the past 15 years, and my rad is uber to the max. BUT, I’ve a young daughter I wish to taking up to the Scottish Alps on a regular basis so she can learn to ski. And with me on a board I can’t help her get up the infamous poma’s.

    So I’m looking to learn to ski this season, so I can get her up the easier lifts with assistance from me. I’d also like to be able to go ski touring in Scotland once my skills are up to it.

    I know nothing much about skis/bindings/boots. Ideally I’d like to be able to get a setup that would cover both lift assisted d/h skiing and also still be able to do some touring on them. Can one setup do both these or would I be better with two different setups?
    I’m 5’8”, size 8 feet and 190lbs if that helps in working out what size kit I should be looking at.

    Premier Icon GrahamS

    I’ve a young daughter I wish to taking up to the Scottish Alps on a regular basis so she can learn to ski.




    Avoid the super-light, race-orientated stuff and rando kit is fine on piste. I suggest 170 skis around 78mm under foot with a radius of betwwen 17 and 24m. Low Tech or Diamir bindings (I prefer Low Tech but the Diamir release is probably a bit safer). With Low Tech you need compatible boots, just choose what feels comfortable running around the shop.

    I suggest renting for the first few days skiing as a beginner ski is easier to ski and you can wind the bindings right down. Once you’ve done a few days rando skis will be fine.

    😀 @ Graham!

    RE kit, there’s plenty out there that will do both, but be prepared for a price tag!
    Black Diamond do an awesome looking boot (Factor?) that has a swappable binding interface.

    However, as always with boots, get thee to a proper fitter and find what works best for you.


    so I could get away with a AT setup for everything, that’s good to know


    If you’re going to learn, ski downhill and then get into Scottish backcountry, it’s not too hard to get a good all round setup that will do everything well.
    A lot of Scottish skiers now do all of their riding on touring kit. Several manufacturers produce Alpine touring bindings, similar in function to the classic Fritschi from Diamir, allowing for uphill travel on skins. This sort of binding behaves very much like a downhill (or ‘Alpine’) binding when actually skiing.
    Dynafit gear (bindings and boots with a specific interface, not compatible with ‘standard’ kit) is very light and very expensive indeed. Not recommended for beginners.
    Many skis can be drilled to take touring bindings instead of classic Alpine sets. Ski choice for you is a matter of looking for good deals, avoiding brand snobbery and making sure that you don’t get something either too basic nor too stiff, as you’ll struggle to learn.
    Some would suggest that buying a cheapo set of standard skis/bindings to begin to learn on might be wise, then sell them on to reduce losses.
    Personally, I’d say buy a good boot early on, rent skis for a couple of trips then buy your touring setup.
    Eventually, you will want a touring ski around 175-180cm long and about 90mm underfoot at the narrowest point, maybe 120-130mm up front.
    Boots- take a look at the hybrid touring boots from the like of Salomon, called Quest. Again, others make similar style boots that do both tasks well but the most important thing is to make sure that you get fitted by a good shop, so that you buy the brand of boot that fits you best. There is a lot of variation in the shape of last in ski boots.
    Remember that when you are ready to start touring, you need to budget for skins at £120 ish and if you don’t already have it, backcountry safety gear in a decent backpack.
    There are a lot more folk touring on skis in the Highlands than take their bikes up into the hills here in the summer. Shops like Braemar Mountain Sports will help you loads and will sometimes do deals if you buy a few things together. Craigdon have shops in Perth & Aberdeen, Blues are also in Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow. On-line, Facewest in the UK and Telemark Pyrenees in France are both worth looking up.


    If you’re in Cheshire, Lancashire, W. Yorkshire or Derbyshire, Mountain Feet in Marsden.

    Premier Icon davetrave

    However, as always with boots, get thee to a proper fitter and find what works best for you

    Anybody any experience of 47 Degrees in Fulham – thinking about heading in to town from the shires this weekend to buy a new set of touring boots…

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