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Help Needed: gear for the ready-to-become-skiers family


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@jumperlass - I’m going to make a suggestion to go down a different path...of course this will very much depend on what you have available in your area. There are a lot of ski shops that do yearly lease programs for kids. These programs will outfit your kids with skis, boots and poles for the season, if they outgrow them mid-season most programs will let you swap them out for something that fits. This is the only way to guarantee your kid won’t outgrow what you buy, and to make sure you don’t buy something that will fit them for 2 years, but will hinder their progression because it’s too big.

You could always go down a similar route for yourself and find a seasonal rental for gear. This can give you an opportunity to try different things and swap them out if they’re not working for you. Spend the money on getting your boots properly fitted, and then go with a seasonal rental for a year.

EXACTLY what I was going to suggest especially with growing boys! For you and hubby get good fitting comfy boots and do season rental on skis to try different ones. Technology has comeso far skis are amazing but what one person loves another hates.


Diva in Training
You don't need hothouse orchids, just something that fits better than rental boots, and with a good footbed (and "good" doesn't have to mean custom. These things are great: fifty bucks; just get the right length and arch size and trim as needed.)

Read up a bit on what a good shell fit and flex should look like for you, and get your foot measured at a shop, then try on some boots. When you find a pair that fits snugly, particularly in the heel/ankle area and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, go for it. If the shell fit and flex are ok for you, you can make other adjustments as needed.
Thank you so much for the helpful concrete suggestions!


Diva in Training
EXACTLY what I was going to suggest especially with growing boys! For you and hubby get good fitting comfy boots and do season rental on skis to try different ones. Technology has comeso far skis are amazing but what one person loves another hates.
I’m definitely looking for ski leases as an option. So far (other than the ~$275 season pass add-on for junior rentals at Greek Peak, to be used there) I’ve found 3 options. All are 2-3.5 hours from our house (a little longer from our regular ski spot), which makes trying a variety of skis less likely. Maybe that’s what it takes? But four to seven hours of driving each time we need a different boot or ski seems like a day the kid and I would rather have been skiing.

If anyone knows of Syracuse or Binghamton options, a ski lease could work. I need to do more googling and calling around. Failing that, I’m leaning toward the L9 packages for the kids and the boot inserts and well-fitting boots for me. And my husband just wants a lesson that starts with learning to stop and turn rather than taking the lift up the bunny slope. He’s not interested in owning any gear yet!

I really appreciate the wealth of advice so many have offered. Thank you! And feel free to keep it coming.


Diva in Training
I looked around more and decided that, at least for the kids, the Level9 packages were about as good as anything I could do locally. (I included Craigslist and the fall swaps, from what I could gather from other people.)

I can't wait. These are going to be fantastic birthday presents in 2019. That's the great way to look at this. Thanks for all your encouragements, ladies! I really appreciate it.


Diva in Training
I was exactly in your situation 4 years ago. I would absolutely do used CL skis and boots for the kids. At that level they just need to fit ok and aren’t high performance. Going rate for used skis is $100 and $50 for boots here. I would buy their skis at forehead height and I could get 2-3 seasons. When buying used, try and find out the year model (compare with pics on on google) and ensure they are less than 5 years old so the ski store can adjust the binding within warranty. I then sold the kids skis for what I paid. So, free skis for kids...or a rolling investment. Now my son snowboards and both kids are quite advanced so I buy them better equipment but even this season my daughter skied on 3rd season used basic junior skis (atomic vantage). She rocked trees, bumps, and blacks at Big White at Christmas in them so it’s not an issue to buy used.

If you don’t want the hassle, many stores do a half back program where you return the package at the end of the season for a voucher for next season. You’re locked into that though, because you can usually only use the voucher for skis

For myself, at the beginning, I got new boots (I have tricky feet) and some random, used beginner skis. These were great for 1.5 seasons of almost daily skiing (we got the bug, hard). Eventually I noticed I was skiing fast and hard enough to get “chatter” which is the tip flapping against the snow as I over flexed the ski. I then upgraded to new, intermediate skis, knowing it was a reasonable investment with the amount we were using equipment.

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