If you are confused on what type of skis to buy, a ski buyers guide can give you a start to finding the right type. When purchasing ski equipment, there are several factors to consider.
Basic Ski Buyers Guide
Purchasing equipment for skiing can be confusing and frustrating. There are so many different options that it can be difficult to determine what to purchase. If you refer to a basic ski buyers guide, making the purchase can be less stressful. Some tips to keep in mind when purchasing ski equipment include:
- Set a budget.
- Know your ski ability. Beginners require different equipment than advance skiers.
- Use your height and weight as a guide to finding the right ski length.
- There are more things to purchase than just skis. The sport requires boots, bindings and proper clothing.
- Each year new advances to equipment surface. Knowing what to look for and what is on the market will help you make a decision. Get familiar with the latest equipment so you are educated before you start shopping.
Shop around to find the best deals. Purchasing ski equipment during the off-season will be the most cost-effective option. You can also find good deals on new equipment from the previous season. Many times there are not a lot of changes other than the colors.
Buying Used Equipment
If you are looking into purchasing a pair of used skis, keep the following points in mind:
- Make sure that the skis are in good condition, meaning the tips are not bent or damaged.
- There should not be cracks in the sidewall of the ski.
- Check for warping, uneven flexing and obvious gouges in the base.
If the skis have visible flaws that cannot be repaired, walk away. The last thing you will want is another person’s problem.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are confused about a pair of skis or want to know what makes one pair different than another, ask a salesperson. Some common questions to ask when shopping for skis are:
- Is there a fee to fit the boots to the binding?
- Is there a way to try a demo pair of skis out first before I purchase them? Some shops rent demos for this purpose.
- Are there any sales or specials going on?
- What is your return policy?
Remember that no question is a stupid question. If there is something that you are uncertain about that can help you make a final decision, ask it upfront.
Finding a Buyers Guide
Many ski magazines such as Powder and Ski Magazine put out annual buyers guides. The guides contain information on the best skis, boots and bindings as well as the latest in gear and accessories.
Most products listed in the guides are based on personal recommendations. These recommendations can assist you in your purchase decision. If you are interested in purchasing used equipment, check guides from several years back to see how the item you are interested in was rated.
Many professionals in the sport give their picks for the top rated skis and equipment for the season. It is common to find guides rating the following categories:
- Ski reviews
- Best type of boots for women or men
- Top ski pants
- Best goggles
- Warmest gloves
- Best new products of the season
Some online sites to check out with buyers guides include:
- Out on the Snow
- Freeskier Magazine
Buying ski equipment is a big decision. You do not want to replace your skis each season, so being informed on the various types available as well what makes one brand better than another is important when making a purchase. Educate yourself before you go shopping so you will know what to look for and how to get the best deal for your money.