pros/cons of owning your own skis

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  • pros/cons of owning your own skis
  • Premier Icon sandwicheater
    Subscriber

    Love my skiing and try and go once a year minimum.

    Have always hired skis (I’ve my own boots) but would love to own my own set.

    What are the draw backs/hidden costs and life expectancy of skis?

    sharkbait
    Member

    Mate of mine is a very good and experienced skier and he won’t buy skis (even though, as a consultant with an extremely rich wife, he could easily afford them).
    Reasons are as follows: no servicing to pay for; he can change skis if the weather changes/if he feels like it; airlines now charge to take skis.

    Biggest advantage is skiing something you are familiar with, just get them serviced and waxed before you come back by one of the local shops or usually one of the chalet guys for 30 euro

    Biggest drawback is paying the thieving scumbag airlines £40 each way to transport them if you ski in Europe.

    Life expectancy depends on usage and type of skiing, piste only then many years, touring then that depends on where and how light they are, park and pipe they might last a day or 2 years, depends how good you are !

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I used to work in a ski shop so got skis at a good price, but I still couldn’t see the sense in buying unless you know the resort does NOT have a good rental selection.

    As above, chop and change them depending on conditions, rather than getting to the resort and not having the best conditions for the skis you dropped several hundred quid on. Many good resorts have test centres for the big brands; that’s a good way to try different skis.

    If you find some that you really love, fair play, spend your pennies

    surfer
    Member

    Just buy boots would be my advice and hire each time.

    globalti
    Member

    Good advice. Boots are far more important.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    sharkbait and surfer +1

    look after your feet first. hire skis are brilliant (mostly) these days.

    deft
    Member

    Last time I went I decided it would be cheaper and more convenient just to rent some (I own 2 pairs). Most shops have a bit of everything including pow skis, so as above you can just keep changing during the week.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I own my own. Pluses are I really like them, know how they handle and get consistent skiing. I get them waxed in the resorts each time I go, costs €15 and takes 20 mins.

    jaffejoffer
    Member

    +1 as above – buy boots, hire skis. I bought a nice pair of skis once. I hated it. I hated fretting about where i left them outside bars & shops etc, hated fretting about what i was skiing on, if it was too rocky or bare; hated having to get them serviced; hated paying extra luggage fees; hated looking like one of them pretentious bells in the airport with a big ski bag on my back; Then, after about 2 seasons, they were pretty obsolete!

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    ^ Skis, obsolete? Really?

    Anyway.

    It’s not worth it these days – when the airlines started charging luggage costs, they knackered that one.

    Before that, on pure monetary terms, it was about three trips before you broke even on hire costs, plus you got skis you knew etc etc.

    legend
    Member

    look after your feet first. hire skis are brilliant (mostly) these days.

    Not so much in Scottish resorts though. So if you want to get head north if conditions are good, having your own kit is a big bonus.

    On the other hand, Mrs L works for a ski company so I get to just take whatever I feel like having from the range – I like this 🙂

    legend
    Member

    Then, after about 2 seasons, they were pretty obsolete!

    You ride a 650b, don’t you?

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    I reckon I get about 12 to 14 weeks out of a pair before they’re shot. So 6 or 7 years use. After that they tend to go a bit bendy. Reckon on £40 a season for servicing in the UK, or about €15 abroad. £35 is about right for carriage on charter flights. Squeezy jet I think were £15 each way.

    Unless you go for expensive hire skis and like to do a daily shuffle trying out the very latest kit, all hire equipment is the fundamentally the same: two steel edges, ptex base, lump of wood, blancmange-mould plastic cap, some stickers to make it look pretty, fed off a roll with different manufacturer’s decals in them and heavy, wobbly hire bindings. They are dead, lifeless tools to get you down a mountain. Just like driving a kia. Top end hire skis are ok, so long as it’s early on in the season. Get them in March or April and they’ll be on their last legs, ready for la poubelle.

    Your own skis should be a thing of joy to own. They develop personalities and you learn their little foibles over time. You will treasure their bases, crying if you see grass or (worse) dendex matting on the approach to a lift. You will swear out loud in front of children in the ski room when you find the slightest gouge in an edge. Wince if you hear the CHCHHCHCHHCHCH of a stone underfoot while messing about off-piste. You’ll not sleep properly when they’re being serviced overnight and that first run on a new edge you’ll constantly be wondering “are they too sharp, have they dulled the tips properly, I’m sure one is running slightly sticky”.

    You’ll berate foreigners, and develop a special xenophobic loathing of French children for their messy chair-lift queueing style as they scratch the tail top caps. Evenings will be whiled away lovingly waxing them much to your o/h’s despair as you melt the best swix on their iron. You will inevitably look like a complete tool as you put them and your boots on in the front room and then waddle around “just trying them out”.

    On returning from holiday you’ll despair at the treatment enacted upon them by the airlines. The little rust patches on the edges will have you reaching for the steel wool before you unpack that case full of stinking socks and base layers.

    But it’s so worth it, for that one moment when you’re cranked over, outer leg extended, pushing tighter into the turn, reaching for the snow on the inside. And you look over and see two beautiful arcs glistening in the snow behind you, with a slight wash swooshing from the tails. Pure joy.

    Then, when they’re flappy, gouged and worn they’ll go in the loft, replaced by the newest shiny goodness. They will now be your Scottish skis.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    I have three snowboards and one set of skis

    In all honesty, unless you are living in the Alps ( and I was) I wouldn’t bother
    My K2 Public Enemy skis have been used twice – and I can’t see me using them in the near future

    weird, vive la difference.

    Me and the missus both have our own skis. Wouldn’t dream of being without. In fact we’re looking to buy skis for the 6 and 8 yo kids just now.

    The main driver for this, strangely enough is skiing in Scotland. I remember driving to Nevis Range on a glorious day to ski, then having to drive back into Fort Bill to hire some skis as NR had none left in my size. I wasted about 2 hours of skiing time, nightmare.
    Also remember getting a half day lift pass at Glen Coe one afternoon. The woman in front of me in the queue was incandescent with rage… she barely managed to get the words out to express her dissatisfaction: ” I bought this ticket at 9am and have been standing in the queue for equipment hire ever since, only to find that they don’t have any left. I want a refund” This was at around 12:30!

    So I realised that if I wanted to enjoy skiing in Scotland and make the most of the fickle conditions then I needed my own kit. The same actually applies to the kids. We spent around 1 hour collecting kids’ hire equipment in Glenshee this year, which was wasted ski time. When we hired at Cairngorm it took ages and cost an absolute fortune. I think it was around £24 per day per child, which is nuts.
    Then if we got to Yad’s Moss then it’s even more essential to have our own kit.
    Then at half term this year we wanted to use the camper van to go wherever the snow/weather was best – but we couldn’t as we needed to book ski hire in advance from one particular resort for the sprogs.

    Note that all the above relates to day trips or weekend trips. if you only go once a year to a proper resort then obviously the time overhead isn’t such a high percentage.

    The £40 each way ski carriage comment above is a bit wide of the mark. We’ve taken our skis on around 80 flights over the years and almost never paid anything for them. But our flights are nearly always with Lufthansa or Swiss who have very civilised ski carriage policies. When we go package then we always put two sets in one bag which makes the price reasonable.

    Then the other thing is that I like my skis and know how they ski. I’d hate to be on a different set of skis on each trip, would take too long to get used to them.

    In terms of life expectancy, I’ve had three sets in around 18 years. Doubt the kids skis will last them that long 🙂

    jaffejoffer
    Member

    you ride a bike 2 or 3 times a week, all year round.

    its a bit different to a pair of skiis you use for 1 or 2 weeks a year. if your using them loads & loads then fair enough. Maybe obsolete is the wrong word but they definitely felt dated after a short while, it was about the time they brought out carvers and i was knocking about on my ex[pensive racers! 🙂

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Ive been skiing for 17yrs now and bought my own ski’s about 5 yrs ago. Its cheaper if you get ski carriage as part of your package deal. Servicing is only about £25 per year and you get familiar with your skiis. I ski in March so towards the end of the season and by then the rental skis are pretty battered and you get a wide varyation in the quality of the servicing.

    For the last 2 yrs i’ve been going on a second ski holiday to Bulgaria as a member of my family has an appartment there so I just get Easyjet flights out there. Easyjet charges a staggering £50 for return ski carrige so I rent when I go there as its cheaper, but for the last 2 yrs i’ve not been impressed with the skis even though I’ve paid extra for the upgraded ski. Though it was handy last year when we had a big snow dump overnight so the next day I exchanged them for some twin tip powder fat boys for a couple of days, which was great.

    But I love my own ski’s. I’m really used to them, they’re a good ski, generally better than anything you’d get from a typical rental place – even through their upgraded packages, and I get them serviced in the UK by a guy who knows what he’s doing rather than being fed through an automatic machine.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    we’re looking to buy skis for the 6 and 8 yo kids just now

    Your kids will never, ever, forget this. I still have a set of Nordlers my dad brought back from Norway for me. I must’ve been 6 or 7. He wrapped them up in carpet and gave them to me for Christmas. An awesome memory.

    it was about the time they brought out carvers and i was knocking about on my ex[pensive racers!

    I bought some 178 Crossmax 10s in about 2001/2 to replace some insanely fast Salomon superforce9s. They were 205 long, straight as a die, ballistic weaponry couldn’t catch me. The difference in style between those and the 10s was like night and day. I thought the 10s were easy to turn, but then along came proper wasted carvers. That’s the only time I felt there’s been a true advance in ski tech in 32 years skiing and what I was riding on was then properly obsolete. The crossmax also had a slight issue in that the monocoque had a tendency to detach itself from the base. Moved from them to Nordica Mach3s in about 2008 and am only just starting to look around for a replacement.

    dashed
    Member

    I bought some 178 Crossmax 10s in about 2001/2 to replace some insanely fast Salomon superforce9s.

    Ahhhh, Superforce 9’s – the last skis I owned. I had the 3s in black and yellow. Unbelievably quick edge to edge, but think they were about 64mm underfoot 😯

    Been boarding for years but back on the skis again this year – just ordered some Rossi Souls – 106mm underfoot!! I’m putting semi-touring bindings on them though, hence why I want to own my own. Plus the cost of hiring decent kit for 2 weeks over christmas was about £120. A couple of trips a year and that quickly mounts up.

    What else can you use to make a killer sledge if you don’t own and then have old skis? One donor pair of Dynastar Course Coupe Du Monde 205’s with a retro wooden deck made mine. No one will use it, it’s so fast!

    I love owning, knowing, servicing and ragging my own skis, rental too hit and miss for me and very few options for the kind of ski I like.

    Also great for long weekends – maximise slope time, straight out of the hire car onto a remote lift nowhere near a hire place and get skiing. No constraints end of the day in terms of returning them. Flaine, for example – 40 mins from Geneva and a few low lifts, east to park up, buy a ticket and get going.

    boblo
    Member

    I’ve wrestled with this for years. I bought skis last year mainly cos I wanted touring kit and wanted to be able to nip off for British winter weekends between ‘proper’ trips. I’ll see how they do on piste (touring boots/tech bindings) then mebbies a second pair (normal bindings) might be on the cards for me.

    Premier Icon Johnny Panic
    Subscriber

    Not only killer sledging – Ski-Bike!

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
    Subscriber

    Before the season just gone I had done 6 days skiing and now I have my own skis.

    Skiing in NZ is very unrepresentative though – I bought all my kit 2nd hand and every weekend we’d be driving somewhere different. Hire would quickly add up so after a season I’ve nearly paid off my initial costs – plus we do a lot more skiing without the faff.

    Next season I’ll be getting touring kit and sell the old stuff on again.

    zeffir
    Member

    If you love your skiing and want to develop it I’d advise buying your own, they won’t go obsolete! You need to get to know how the skis handle in different situations to build confidence at speed, and a different hire set each year won’t help. Servicing your own is not hard and you don’t have to shell out a fortune, some of the best sets I have I bought from ebay, doesn’t matter so much if you hit a rock either,

    batfink
    Member

    I bought my own snowboard, bindings and boots.

    Unless you are driving to the alps (or Eurostar) there’s really nothing in it financially – it costs about the same amount to get them there as it does to hire them.

    The only advantages are quality, familiarity and the fact you don’t have to spend time at the hire shop. The last of which is offset by having to wait for the luggage monkey to offload the “baggage exceptionnelle” at Lyon.

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