/ Buying skis
Buying my first pair of skis (normally rent) want to know where is best to buy, in store in UK, In store in Switzerland or online
If you intend to ski in the uk, I'd buy a cheaper pair of ex hire skis and have a better pair for overseas.
Online is ok if you know what you want and can't get to that store. I would ring (not at peak time) discuss your needs and buy over the phone, best of both worlds.
I'd wait until the end of season sales when you can get big discounts either online or with the major retailers such as Snow & Rock.
It will help if you already know (at least roughly) what skis you want to buy though.
Due to the mild winter many are already selling stuff off now in mainland Europe, just to try and catch some extra pre half term sales. I've just been looking on line at stuff that's 60% off. Uk postage might be the challenge though.
I've bought skis from mainland Europe based online stores a couple of times without any problems. Postage costs were pretty low (about £7 in one case and I think free in the other) and they were delivered in 3-4 days.
Me too. Ex hire carvers but cost a bit more. I was thinking about a shop I was looking at yesterday. Just got 60% off a pair of cross country skis, winter equivalent of bikes; n+1.
You're unlikely to get a bargin in Switzerland ;) The likes of Ekosport and Sport Conrad have some good deals but assuming you are after "normal" piste skis (rather than something for off-piste/touring) I would probably go for end of season sales in physical UK stores where you can get a bit more advice and they will set them up for you.
Any recommended websites?
As already mentioned above, Sport Conrad, i have use them twice, good service and prices
> Any recommended websites?
EBay for ex hire I bought from a French company. I bought yesterday from stadium.se but they don't post to UK.
Intersport and xxl will have sales too.. But can't comment on their overseas postage. Independents like roupez or kaisers might be more flexible, but they won't have such extreme discount and you won't get the same fitting service over the phone.
In Scandinavia the best discounts will be from those places further south as they've had very little snow this winter.
A number of things to consider when thinking of buying skis:
What is your skiing level and do you expect to improve in the near future?
How much have you considered the type of ski to match your style, ability, aspirations and terrain preferences in terms of length, width, radius, stiffness etc? Have you tried the skis you intend to buy?
Do you always ski on piste or do you want to ski or aspire to skiing off piste and have the option for maybe touring too?
Are you happy with your ski boots (assuming you own boots), would better boots help you to improve?
Have you compared baggage cost for ski carriage with hiring skis?
Some ex-hire skis are built to a poorer spec than their retail equivalent
Although you can save by buying overseas mail order my own preference would be to buy in the UK ; more control if things go wrong eg bindings not correctly positioned for boot size etc.
Braemar Mountain Sports
Glisshop May have a good range (and prices) but I wouldn’t buy from them again - I had issues with quality of work fitting bindings. They were poorly done and required repairs - I was fortunate to spot the issue before a screw ripped out risking damage to me and/or the ski. I might be tempted for a very good deal to buy skis unmounted from them, and get binding fitted locally in uk.
however freezepro in Edinburgh are excellent and will price match glisshop/ ekosport/ and the likes. Definitely recommend them.
I've bought skis and/or bindings from Glisshop, Bergzeit and Telemark Pyrenees, and all aspects of the service have been good. I've also been recommended Sport Conrad by a British guide who lives in the Alps.
I've always bought the bindings separately from the skis and then had them fitted/mounted by a shop in the UK.
I wouldn't recommend buying ex-hire skis. I did get some once (my first pair of skis), but you can buy brand new skis for a similar cost (or not much more) in the sales. The skis I bought were OK, but there is a risk that they could have been flogged to death for a season and not have much life left in them. Mine also came with hire-bindings on rails, which were really heavy and clunky and not great to ski on. If you were going to buy second hand skis off Ebay, it would probably be better to get some which had been privately owned and only done a few weeks skiing.
Kevin Stephens makes some very good points, which are well worth heeding.
If you are a progressing intermediate piste skier, you could well find that skis you buy now will be effectively redundant for you in a couple of years time and you want an upgrade. Financially, once you've factored in ski carriage and servicing costs (assuming you don't DIY), it makes more sense to hire rather than buy. This will also give you a chance to try out lots of different skis and decide what you like as you progress. On the other hand, if you aren't worried about saving money, it is nice having the familiarity of your own skis.
And having your own skis is a no-brainer if you plan to ski in Scotland.
I'd definitely advise trying out a particular model of ski on a hire basis at a resort before you decide to buy (this is how I've chosen the two pairs of skis I currently use - I liked both so much after a few days skiing on them that I decided 'I've got to have a pair of these').
Hope this helps!
The only reason I suggested ex hire, was for skiing in marginal UK conditions(Scotland, wear or teesdale, lakes), I'd cry if I ran over the stuff I've encountered in the UK whilst on my nicer skis. Rocks, bits of fence, various plant life, metal litter /scrap, gravel.. all sorts of rubbish etc.
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