When it comes to buying skis and snowboards the one piece of advice we have is this: BUY LOCAL or buy from the Lange girl!
Skis are expensive and the general life of a ski is 80-120 days of actual skiing. That’s 6 years if you ski 20 days a year so make sure to get it right.
When purchasing skis there are three very important things to keep in mind:
DEMOS: What people like in a ski can be very personal and is difficult to tell with just a conversation. When you buy skis at a local ski shop you have the opportunity to demo the skis on the slopes, this way you can know if these are the skis for you. The price of any demo days is usually applied to any ski you purchase.
KNOWLEDGE: The staff at our local shops love to ski and are passionate about the sport and the equipment. They sleep, eat, and breathe this stuff. Most supplier reps come to the stores that sell their brands and do seminars about their equipment and a lot of times they take the whole staff on mountain to actually try all the new gear out. Last time I was in a big box store with some time to kill the “salesman” actually was reading from the pamphlet dangling from a ski.
PRICE: As you compare prices think about the price of actually mounting a binding to the ski. If you walk into a shop and ask them to mount a binding to a ski you will pay a ton for it. As I surf the web or kill time waiting for my wife at the mall I look at ski prices and they’re not any cheaper than what we have up here. Generally what they will have is a cheap “fleet ski” (see KNOWLEDGE above).
We here at Winter Park Lodging Company recommend several stores for new ski purchases:
Mr. Ed Raegnor contributed to this Winter Park/Mary Jane blog.