/ Needle sports Touring skis
question to you lot, have any of you used them before? And would you recommend them for a beginner ski touring set up? If I buy them, then I'll mostly be using them in Scotland this season and possibly take them with me to the Alps next year for a play.
Just for the record, I've never skied on snow before, but have skied on dry slopes and have been told I'm pretty good (i.e. I have yet to fall over)
I would avoid these. They seem to combine the worst aspects of many set up with no release, short skis and skis which aren't really a basis for progression. They are also expensive compared with a 2nd hand set up. If you want to try before you buy then you can hire skis from various places in Aviemore. If you want to get into touring then best to buy a proper set up, maybe 2nd hand initially.
I'm a relative newcomer to ski touring, but I wouldn't get these. I bought some 2nd hand bindings from ebay, & new skis. Cost was similar to what you're planning to spend on these approach skis.
The boots are pretty pricey as well unfortunately, Lockwoods have some good deals. If your skiing is below par I'd get some 4 buckle boots.
There are some good deals on second hand Fritschi bindings on the internet at the moment.
> Just for the record, I've never skied on snow before, but have skied on dry slopes and have been told I'm pretty good (i.e. I have yet to fall over)
I'm gonna be frank. You need to learn to ski first (snow is nothing like a dry ski slope and off piste skiing is different again from piste skiing) and avoid these - they'll be a pile of shit. Go skiing at the end of the season and buy some ex-rental skis for 30 euros (and some second hand bindings off ebay) if you want a pair that you don't mind trashing.
Seriously though, you need to learn to ski first or you're going to have a miserable few outings and then probably give up altogether.
Beat me to it!
As others have said, if you really want to get into touring, get the proper kit and you won't be dissapointed. If you dont like it, the way anything ski related gets snapped up on this form, you wont have a problem shifting it.
Oh, and dont necessariy base your experiences in scotalnd as what ski touring is and could be. i guess you're familliar wth the scottish conditions lottery tho.
But, as others have said, learn to ski on a vairety of snow types first. That's the difference I think with touring, there are as many snow conditions as days you go skiing and some dys you float like a hero, others will make you think you've not progressed since day 1! If you get to the alps, practice on any of the blacks that don't get groomed and are not moguls yet, the real chopped up gar.
Oh and the ost important thing is get a beacon, shovel and probe and be 100% at using them.
Those skis aren't crap. But they are pretty specialist. Ideal for routes on N Face of the Droites where you might be going up-and-over on an alpine route and want to ski in and ski out. Their size makes them easier to climb with on the pack than normal skis, and give faster movement underfoot than snow shoes.
But they definitely ain't for novice skiers!
In reply to Fickalli:
Speaking from experience are we? Actually, they are neither "crap" nor "a pile of shit" - we wouldn't stock them if they were. They are very well made and are ideal for what they are designed for which is as a lightweight approach ski that you can carry up routes with you and ski out in - a good alternative to snow shoes if you can ski and are happy climbing in your ski touring boots. They would also be good for ski touring in poor conditions in Scotland where you are likely to have to carry them quite a bit and don't want to damage your "proper" skis on rocks. They are fun to ski on but it is a bit easier to fall using them than with full length skis though it is probably a matter of getting used to them. However I wouldn't choose to take them on big ski tours in the alps, partly because their shorter length means you are more likely to go through a snow bridge. And (you are right in this), they are certainly not ideal for beginners.
I'm going to be really controversial here and say that these are not essential for first forays touring in scotland.
> Actually, they are neither "crap" nor "a pile of shit" - we wouldn't stock them if they were.
Oh, I'm sorry Needle Sports are we not allowed to have an opinion contrary to yours? Or do we have to show unqualified respect for everything that your shop stocks? Don't be so precious.
£325 for a pair of skis that are going to be hard to ski on, of limited use and with a set of bindings that are not widely used is, in my opinion, a 'pile of shit'. As I, and others, recommended to the OP, he would be better off buying some ex rental skis / a second hand setup, which he also wouldn't mind trashing on rocks, for a tenth of the price. These would be of much more utility.
Obviously he needs to learn to ski first.
Just definitely NOT for the OP, as clearly stated on the Needlesports website. (And no doubt he would have been told if he'd rocked up with a credit card.)
As a retailer myself (hopefully ethical, though not outdoor related) it's actually quite disheartening to have people say 'this product is cr*p' without either understanding the product (Needlesports never suggested the setup was for novice ski tourers to do it on the cheap, which teh OP was asking about) or considering that maybe the retailer gave some considerable thought as to why they should stock it, i.e. invest their cash in doing so.
> Speaking from experience are we? Yes.
I'm not insulting Needle Sports nor am I saying that they don't have a good reputation for supplying good gear (in my initial post you'll notice that I didn't mention the shop at all - they were the ones who made it personal). I have used them in the past and will probably do so in the future though for climbing equipment - not ski touring gear.
However, they have an opinion, I am equally as entitled to have my own which, in this case, happens to differ from the retailers (who have a vested interest in promoting their product). I was answering the initial post, not entering a debate on whether Needle Sports was a good shop who stocks good products, and I maintain that these 'skis' are not a good product for what the OP was intending (and actually, in my opinion, for anything really). Others will have similar views on other products; be that instructors who don't like cams, people who don't like snowshoes, those who prefer DMM over BD or others who dislike RAB, or ME etc.
The OP can take whatever advice he wants - he can make his own skis out of old kitchen worktops if he wants and try and do the Haute Route having never skied on snow - if he asked, I would also advise against this.
He asked for advice and got a range of views, it's now up to him what he does with those opinions.
I wouldn't disagree that a few outings on plastic is no substitute for a few days on real snow, either. Skiing is just great for making you think you're making progress, whizzing down nicely pisted blacks - and then blow me, you have a go off piste, or try a Cairngorm red in rubbish conditions and it's back to square one again.
In reply thread poster, I call troll!!
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