|13-10-09, 02:51 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2009
Buying Skis for girlfriend
Hi I would like to buy a set of skis for my girlfriend this month. Problem is I am a snowboarder and a man so I know nothing about women's skis. haha
My girlfriend is about 5'10" 130lbs. I am looking for an all-mountain ski. She is an intermediate skier. By that I mean she has skied for 2 years and she can go down most black diamond trails at groomed north-eastern ski resorts. She doesn't bomb the black diamonds yet, but carefully makes her way down them at a reasonable pace.
So I am really open to suggestions for a good set of skis for her. I was looking at a set of Salomon Origins for her. I can get a pair of those for 250 with bindings, seems like a sick deal to me. I am just a little hesitant that the ski might be too advanced for her. At first it seemed marketed towards intermediate skiers, but then I read a bunch of sites that said it was for experts.
If you have any suggestions on skis, or know anything about Salomon Origins please let me know. I appreciate the help!
|14-10-09, 01:33 PM||#3|
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Skis are very personal things. Even though your thinking and heart are in the right place, the pair that you get her she may not like.
Since your girlfriend is 130 pounds, she may need a women’s specific ski. The big difference is that the flex of the ski dialed down a bit so that her weight can actually make the ski bow to carve through the turns.
Instead, you want to get her some ski gear, I’d get her a custom fitted boot. I have pair that I got from Surefoot (search for them on the web, they have many locations around the USA) a couple of seasons ago and they are hands down the best pair of ski boots that I have had. You’ll want to get the full effect: the injected foam liner and the orthotic footbed.
Actually, the footbed will probably do more to improve her skiing than anything else. Surefoot puts you foot into a foot mapping device, then a numerical control machine lathes out a form fitting insole. When put into a ski boot, it removes all the voids between the foot and the bottom of the ski boot. The result is an amazing improvement in overall control and improved assertiveness of inputs down into the skis. For example, when making a turn, with a normal insole, you lean/push down and a fraction of a second later the skis start moving – you inputs first had to travel through the void spaces and then make contact with the sole of the boot as your foot flexed along the bottom. With the insert, you push/lean you go – like right now!
If you go the boot route, the boots will be around for a long time. As skis change and her skiing abilities get better, she’ll be able to try many skis out until getting to a set of finalists and purchase.
Another point to consider is how much you guys ski in a year. If you are only skiing 10 or so days per year, then buying skis probably isn’t the way to go. The strategy here is to get a good pair of boots and then rent the latest and greatest for your week long or so trips. I am out here in Colorado and we’re skiing around 50 days a year so it makes sense to have your own skis.
Now that you have waded through all of this, I’d recommend a Rossignol Bandit B2w (women’s) ski. It’s a great all around mountain ski and is great in the bumps, powder, ice, clink, crud, and does exceptionally well on groomed stuff. My wife loves her B2ws. I have the regular Bandit B2 model and really like it too The only downside is really deep powder (like 3 feet or so plus) – these skis do really well in this, but a pair of dedicated powder skis would probably work better – like a Rossignol Bandit B3 – these are like SUVs on snow – they just go over anything. But, there are other brands that are equally as good but you just need to try them. If you are wondering, the Bandit B1 is a very stiff ski, more suited to groomed runs and performance (like racing).
One more thing: lessons. Now is the time to go skiing for a week somewhere and take a lesson the second day you are there. You’ll use the first day to get you ski legs underneath you. The second day to get some more instruction, and the remaining days to hone your skills. If you go out a second time in the season for a long trip, do the same thing. Then come to Colorado and ski!
a) It’s a nice gesture, but I think it’s premature to get your girlfriend skis because she’ll have a try a bunch of pairs before settling down on one she likes. May be a good idea to talk to a local ski shop and ask them about skis (any yes, bring your GF with you). Then come down to some boards to try out before making a final decision.
b) A pair of *really good* ski boots I think is a better gift. And I recommend Surefoot to get the boots. Note: Yeah, there is going to be a “break in” period for these boots – not really breaking in the boots, but getting the hot spots dialed out of them. Best thing to do is to find a resort that has a Surefoot at the base area and ski the whole day there and bring them in as you ski and find issues – they’ll dial in the various aspects while you wait. For instance, I needed to have the toe box expanded so my pinky toe wouldn’t go numb and a heel lift (like 3MM – yeah, I know it’s small but it made a big difference) to put in my right boot. Surefoot has a lifetime guarantee on their stuff.
c) If she’s in intermediate land, then it’s OK to stay there this year provided that she gets a lesson. But, you don’t want to be stuck there forever. A big part of skiing is just being outside. Another part is the challenge: steeper, deeper, gnarlier (i.e.. bumps), and doing this stuff well. No challenge and it gets boring. In order to do the challenge well, you need to have the tools and that is where the instruction comes. A Intermediate lesson this year and maybe a bump/mogul specific lesson around mid season will help with dealing with the challenges of the black stuff – instead of getting down it, why not be able to “do” it? And, I don’t mean doing it like a professional – just in a controlled manner that is comfortable.
d) One other thing you might consider is, instead of skis, is taking her on a trip to Colorado or Utah (you see, the boots are a good idea because now you don’t have the schlep your skis through the airport and boots travel as regular baggage.). I don’t know much about Utah but hear that it is a great place to ski. In Colorado, the best time to come skiing is during the last two days of February and the first two weeks of March – and not over the President’s Day holiday (the day after is good). Ski areas that come to mind: Vail: It’s huge – like 5300 acres. Beaver Creek: Nice, nice, nice. (There are ski-in/ski-out Surefoots in both locations). Breckenridge: Four mountains to ski on. Keystone: Great area. Arapahoe Basin: Ever wonder what a ski area would be if every run was a back diamond run (even the greens)? Steamboat Springs: Away from the crowds, lower in altitude (the base area is around 5,000 feet – most other Colorado resorts it’s about 8000 feet) – also in some sort of geographical cul-de-sac where snow just dumps and dumps and dumps there. Winter Park/Mary Jane: A great area where a lot of locals ski – the Mary Jane area is almost all bump runs (No Pain, No Jane or “I Survived Mary Jane’s Backside”).
OK, too much to digest almost – drop me a message if you need more detail.
Colorado Springs, Colorado