How to buy used skis ?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

Mostly a blue run skiier. Had skis but for some reason I gave them away in my late 30s as I didn't think I would ski again. Those skis I bought from our local ski resort end of year clearance sale. Think I paid $70 for straight ELAN skis and boots. I liked the straight skis. I have tried parabolic/shaped skis but for some reason didn't like them..

Now I am mid 40s and want to try skiing again. I see lots of 170 skis on ebay for around $50-150 including shipping. My boot size is 26.5 . How do I know if the ski will fit my boot size? I don't want to deal with remounting the bindings. I am ok with adjusting the bindings myself.
onourway
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by onourway »

I would not buy used skis old enough that they have no shape. Virtually all skis have been parabolic in some form for over two decades. Skis are laminated with adhesives that degrade over time, and bindings are not intended to last forever. Old equipment is a safety risk.

There is a reason that basically 100% of new skis have been parabolic for decades - they are far easier, and much more fun, to ski on. However nobody gets along on all ski designs. I'd look for a local demo day at a mountain near you, and take the time to ski a bunch of different new models. Then - look for the ski you like used or at end of year clearance if you want to save some money.
Last edited by onourway on Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 15381
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by JoeRetire »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:08 pm Mostly a blue run skiier. Had skis but for some reason I gave them away in my late 30s as I didn't think I would ski again. Those skis I bought from our local ski resort end of year clearance sale. Think I paid $70 for straight ELAN skis and boots. I liked the straight skis. I have tried parabolic/shaped skis but for some reason didn't like them..

Now I am mid 40s and want to try skiing again. I see lots of 170 skis on ebay for around $50-150 including shipping. My boot size is 26.5 . How do I know if the ski will fit my boot size? I don't want to deal with remounting the bindings. I am ok with adjusting the bindings myself.
Is there some reason you wouldn't go to your local ski resort's end of year clearance sale again?
This isn't just my wallet. It's an organizer, a memory and an old friend.
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

JoeRetire wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:36 pm Is there some reason you wouldn't go to your local ski resort's end of year clearance sale again?
I want to ski now and clearance sales won't be for another couple months...
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

onourway wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:36 pm I would not buy used skis old enough that they have no shape.
My previous skis were straight ( circa 1990s probably ). I had no issues with them. Used them dozens of times over 10+ years and saved myself $$$$ in ski rentals fees.. Hence why I am ok with buying the same style again. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
User avatar
mrmass
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:35 pm
Location: MA

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by mrmass »

Maybe where you’re able to rent skis they sell them too.
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

mrmass wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:39 pm Maybe where you’re able to rent skis they sell them too.
Good idea, let me ask around. Though I am doubtful they sell stuff before the end of the season..
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 15381
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by JoeRetire »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:37 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:36 pm Is there some reason you wouldn't go to your local ski resort's end of year clearance sale again?
I want to ski now and clearance sales won't be for another couple months...
That's a good reason. I didn't see that in your original question.

You might still want to check with your local ski resort. They may have good prices on used equipment even without waiting for a clearance sale. A few in my locale do. I heard that they had none the past few years, but now have a glut.
This isn't just my wallet. It's an organizer, a memory and an old friend.
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 16120
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I would not worry about having to remount bindings. It would only be the heel that would move and any ski shop can do it. I worked at a ski shop during and after high school both mounting bindings and ski tune ups and working the rental shop. When I bought my skiis was in June when the shop ran a sale on new leftover stuff before the new season stuff came in. You could also ask the rental shop people or ski shop employees what they would recommend. It could open the door to their personal skiis they want to replace. I used to go through 2 or 3 sets of skiis a season because I'd have the June bought set and could also get employee discounted stuff cheap. They'll actually be marked for employees. Back then, Look bindings were called Equipe and were a somewhat off color from retail stuff. Come to think of it, I got my dad a set of Salomon bindings and they were a bit off color. You could get a deal on a very little used set for a great discount.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:54 pm I would not worry about having to remount bindings. It would only be the heel that would move and any ski shop can do it.
I am a US 8.5 and use 170 cm skis. What if the used ski was adjusted for someone with boot size 10 or 11. Is there enough play in the binding to adjust down?
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 16120
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 4:02 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:54 pm I would not worry about having to remount bindings. It would only be the heel that would move and any ski shop can do it.
I am a US 8.5 and use 170 cm skis. What if the used ski was adjusted for someone with boot size 10 or 11. Is there enough play in the binding to adjust down?
Maybe, but if not, you remove the rear bindings, drill holes for the correct location to match your boots, tap the holes, shoot in some glue and screw the bindings on. Then use the boots to adjust for perfect fit and adjust the binding tension front and rear to your weight and ability, then out the door they go.

Even if they're the perfect fit for your boots, you want them adjusted for you. Too tight and you're looking at potential injury and too loose and you come out for no reason.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
Kiter
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:21 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by Kiter »

I would assume most straight skis you find with bindings would be old enough that ski shops won't do any service on the bindings. Nothing wrong with straight skis if that's what you want. I still keep a pair of K2's from the 90's for snowkiting ,but I have to keep the bindings serviced myself .
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 4:09 pm Maybe, but if not, you remove the rear bindings, drill holes for the correct location to match your boots, tap the holes, shoot in some glue and screw the bindings on. Then use the boots to adjust for perfect fit and adjust the binding tension front and rear to your weight and ability, then out the door they go.
I see. I would much rather avoid having to remount the bindings. Is there any measurement that will tell me what boot size the bindings are adjusted for? And any rule of thumb for how much in size up or down the bindings can be adjusted for?
curmudgeon
Posts: 2450
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by curmudgeon »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 4:02 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:54 pm I would not worry about having to remount bindings. It would only be the heel that would move and any ski shop can do it.
I am a US 8.5 and use 170 cm skis. What if the used ski was adjusted for someone with boot size 10 or 11. Is there enough play in the binding to adjust down?
Lots of skis floating around have "rental" bindings on them. These are binding designed for rental shops in which the rear binding can be adjusted on a track to fit various sizes of boots. Generally pretty trivial to change the size (30 seconds), but it's important to make sure the position is correct so they release properly in a fall.
mountaingoatcos
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:11 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by mountaingoatcos »

As above, poster mentioned, rental bindings or demo bindings are what you want. They're the same thing. Those bindings adjust to a wide variety of skiers. I have bought used skis in the past at used sporting goods stores and had good luck. When you look at the bindings, there should be a twist type of dial in the center that adjusts the toe and the heel. You can often find previous season rental year. Quite inexpensive. If you are looking for a narrow type of ski, I see those available quite a bit.
User avatar
quantAndHold
Posts: 8112
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm
Location: West Coast

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by quantAndHold »

Just go to a shop. Plenty of ski shops will sell used skis year round, and if you can’t find what you want, you could do a seasonal rental, and then buy something in the spring. Sure, you *can* DIY everything, but you’re in your forties, haven’t skied much in recent years, and have never worked with modern skis or bindings. You have to ask yourself, how important are my knees to me today?

Edit to add…if I were looking to get serious about skiing again, I would spend this season taking lessons and renting different packages, with the idea of finding out what I really want to buy for next year.
LivinGood
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:14 pm
Location: NW, CO

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by LivinGood »

Used skis can be a great idea. Used bindings not so much. After a certain time frame, bindings will become indemnified. That means the manufacturers will no longer take responsibility for anything. Repairs, warranty, breakage, etc. Demo skis if possible. Find what you like and buy those used after a good search. Most shops will sell you the demo skis you like for a major discount off of new. Demo skis usually only have a low number of “soft” days on them. Skiing/ and boarding doesn’t have to be expensive for gear. Save your money for the pass and the beers after you have a great time.
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

mountaingoatcos wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 5:25 pm When you look at the bindings, there should be a twist type of dial in the center that adjusts the toe and the heel.
Are these demo/rental bindings:

Image
Image
DoubleComma
Posts: 1203
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by DoubleComma »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 5:13 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 4:09 pm Maybe, but if not, you remove the rear bindings, drill holes for the correct location to match your boots, tap the holes, shoot in some glue and screw the bindings on. Then use the boots to adjust for perfect fit and adjust the binding tension front and rear to your weight and ability, then out the door they go.
I see. I would much rather avoid having to remount the bindings. Is there any measurement that will tell me what boot size the bindings are adjusted for? And any rule of thumb for how much in size up or down the bindings can be adjusted for?
It isn't that easy, but not impossible. You mention 26.5 (mondo sizing) which depending on the boot translates to 290 - 300mm boot sole length. Its the boot sole length that binding are mounted with respect to. Typically there is about 10 mm of adjustment once mounted, but it isn't ideal to have the biding all the way one direction or another as it starts to impact release tensions.

You can google Mondo to Boot Sole Length and find lists to help. If you already own the boots, your BSL is printed on the heel.

Getting a binding a remounted is NOT a big deal for a qualified shop. They just need to be sure to plug the previous mounting points and the new ones need a couple MM of separation from the old one.

Now, the real thing to think about is the ski you want. Skis have progressed so much in the past 20 years. It would not be in your best interest to simply buy some $150 used skis without really knowing the skis. Its much better for you to rent demo equipment, these are current year commercial skis not typical rental gear, the next couple times out, preferably from the hill where you may even swap them 1/2 days and try several sets of skis to see what you like.

Most resorts start selling their demo fleet right after Presidents weekend. This a good opportunity to get current year, used, but well taken care of equipment at a steep discount...maybe not $150, but probably 60% off retail.
Last edited by DoubleComma on Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
DoubleComma
Posts: 1203
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by DoubleComma »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:19 pm
mountaingoatcos wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 5:25 pm When you look at the bindings, there should be a twist type of dial in the center that adjusts the toe and the heel.
Are these demo/rental bindings:

Image
Image
Those are not "demo binding". Demo binding will be on plates that are mounted to the ski and you can slid the tow/heel up and down the plate to adjust boot sole length.

The screw you see on the toe is the adjust the DIN, there will be another on on the heel to adjust the heel DIN.
motorider
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:56 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by motorider »

When it comes to boots, a lot of manufacturers use a common shell for a few boot sizes and use different liner thicknesses for different "shoe" sizes. All this means is that a size 10 boot *may* have the same shell size (and therefore same sole length) as a size 9 or 11 and therefore you wouldn't need to remount bindings if the sole length is similar. Sole length is commonly molded into the boot shell and should be around 290-325mm depending on foot size.

I don't suggest demo bindings. Yes they can accommodate a variety of boot sizes but they're heavier than a properly mounted binding.

In addition to the DIN setting, you need to be careful to properly set the forward pressure. This is manufacture specific and lots of YouTube videos are available for common bindings.

+100 to the comments about renting demo skis and buying what you like. 3 years ago I demo'd 3 sets at Steamboat Springs and absolutely fell in love with a particular ski. The rental shop didn't have the size I needed to sell me a set (I was ready to buy a complete set on the spot) so I went home and found the skis and bindings online. I mounted the skis myself using the proper size template and then had the whole kit tested at a local ski shop for $15. I probably paid 60% of what I would have paid had I bought them mid-season (I bought in late March).

When it comes to boots, don't dismiss the idea of custom molded liners. They're not that expensive (~$200) and can transform an old pair of bothersome boots. Just make sure the shell size is correct for your foot size.
onourway
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by onourway »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:39 pm
onourway wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:36 pm I would not buy used skis old enough that they have no shape.
My previous skis were straight ( circa 1990s probably ). I had no issues with them. Used them dozens of times over 10+ years and saved myself $$$$ in ski rentals fees.. Hence why I am ok with buying the same style again. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
As a self described blue skier who hasn’t skied at all in a decade, it is really, truly in your best interest to listen to those with more experience on this topic. Forget listening to me - spend the money on some lessons and some rental gear and ask your instructor what they think. Skiing is WAY more fun on newer skis, and you are far safer on modern equipment than stuff that is decades old. You’d be really missing out to dismiss the impact equipment has on the enjoyment of this sport.
User avatar
riverant
Posts: 873
Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 6:51 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by riverant »

Demo bindings are also called track bindings. I have them on my skis after a bad tech messed up my original mountings. Worked for the best as I had to replace my boots anyways.

I can’t imagine not skiing on parabolic skis. Straight skis offer no advantage I can think of.
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

motorider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:28 pm When it comes to boots, a lot of manufacturers use a common shell for a few boot sizes and use different liner thicknesses for different "shoe" sizes. All this means is that a size 10 boot *may* have the same shell size (and therefore same sole length) as a size 9 or 11 and therefore you wouldn't need to remount bindings if the sole length is similar.
So in the bindings I showed above, is there any adjustment to accommodate different boot size? Or is my only option to remount the binding if the boot does not fit perfectly?
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

TJat wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 9:57 pm I can’t imagine not skiing on parabolic skis. Straight skis offer no advantage I can think of.
There are two advantages. First being used straight skis are very cheap ~$50. Second advantage is I am used to them. As I approach 50 I don't think this is the time to be learning to use new equipment. For the blue runs I mostly do the straight skis have served me well. The only time they were a bit underwhelming was in fresh powder. They seemed too slow. But maybe that's just the nature of powder skiing.
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

DoubleComma wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:21 pm You mention 26.5 (mondo sizing) which depending on the boot translates to 290 - 300mm boot sole length. Its the boot sole length that binding are mounted with respect to.
Thanks. How can I measure the "boot sole length" of the bindings? Sounds like once I have that measurement then all I need to do is buy boots with that exact same boot sole length..
motorider
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:56 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by motorider »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:10 pm
motorider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:28 pm When it comes to boots, a lot of manufacturers use a common shell for a few boot sizes and use different liner thicknesses for different "shoe" sizes. All this means is that a size 10 boot *may* have the same shell size (and therefore same sole length) as a size 9 or 11 and therefore you wouldn't need to remount bindings if the sole length is similar.
So in the bindings I showed above, is there any adjustment to accommodate different boot size? Or is my only option to remount the binding if the boot does not fit perfectly?
Knightrider, a few things to consider:

1) Doublecomma said it best: the bindings in your photos likely have about 10mm of adjustment that can be used for different boot sizes. Unfortunately you wouldn't know if you could set the correct forward pressure unless you had the boots as well.
2) If you cannot get the correct forward pressure with the bindings in their current location, the only solution is to remount the bindings.
3) As mentioned in another response, bindings get old and the springs inside can start to sag (lose push force). That's my understanding why there's a ski binding indemnification list. If a binding is not on the list, some shops will not service the skis and it's part of the reason why I've learned how to service my own ski gear so I can keep it for 10+ years.
Nver2Late
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:30 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by Nver2Late »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:12 pm
TJat wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 9:57 pm I can’t imagine not skiing on parabolic skis. Straight skis offer no advantage I can think of.
There are two advantages. First being used straight skis are very cheap ~$50. Second advantage is I am used to them. As I approach 50 I don't think this is the time to be learning to use new equipment. For the blue runs I mostly do the straight skis have served me well. The only time they were a bit underwhelming was in fresh powder. They seemed too slow. But maybe that's just the nature of powder skiing.
If I were looking for a new pair of skis, I would be transitioning to parabolic. I ski my '89 Dynastars annually, all-mountain, all terrain, and I know that when I follow D1 into the more difficult, off-trail terrain, especially deep powder, I am in for a workout. Your comments suggest you realize this. I passed on the signature run this year because the snow wasn't right for my narrow skis and I wasn't comfortable that I had enough energy left in my legs. D1 had good but challenging run on their proper skis. On the groomers however, those long straight skis can really run.
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

motorider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:28 pm 3) As mentioned in another response, bindings get old and the springs inside can start to sag (lose push force). That's my understanding why there's a ski binding indemnification list. If a binding is not on the list, some shops will not service the skis and it's part of the reason why I've learned how to service my own ski gear so I can keep it for 10+ years.
The used skis I am looking at seem to be in good condition. For sure I am avoiding anything scratched up or beat up. So for lightly used skis is there still risk of saggy springs?
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

Nver2Late wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:29 pm If I were looking for a new pair of skis, I would be transitioning to parabolic. I ski my '89 Dynastars annually, all-mountain, all terrain, and I know that when I follow D1 into the more difficult, off-trail terrain, especially deep powder, I am in for a workout. Your comments suggest you realize this. I passed on the signature run this year because the snow wasn't right for my narrow skis and I wasn't comfortable that I had enough energy left in my legs. D1 had good but challenging run on their proper skis. On the groomers however, those long straight skis can really run.
Interesting to know, thanks. I have no intention of skiing anything advanced.. Are you saying straight skis are faster on groomed trails?
motorider
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:56 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by motorider »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:34 pm
motorider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:28 pm 3) As mentioned in another response, bindings get old and the springs inside can start to sag (lose push force). That's my understanding why there's a ski binding indemnification list. If a binding is not on the list, some shops will not service the skis and it's part of the reason why I've learned how to service my own ski gear so I can keep it for 10+ years.
The used skis I am looking at seem to be in good condition. For sure I am avoiding anything scratched up or beat up. So for lightly used skis is there still risk of saggy springs?
Short answer: yes

Long answer: yes but you can easily have the bindings tested at a local ski shop. Call a shop (or 2) and ask if they'll do a "binding release test" on an older pair of skis and maybe even be specific and give them the make/model of binding. Cost should be $15-$20 and the test would verify that the bindings function as intended. You'll need your boots so the shop can make adjustments if the test fails on the first try. If the shop can't get the bindings to pass the test, the bindings are not safe to use.
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

motorider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:43 pm Long answer: yes but you can easily have the bindings tested at a local ski shop. Call a shop (or 2) and ask if they'll do a "binding release test" on an older pair of skis and maybe even be specific and give them the make/model of binding. Cost should be $15-$20 and the test would verify that the bindings function as intended. You'll need your boots so the shop can make adjustments if the test fails on the first try. If the shop can't get the bindings to pass the test, the bindings are not safe to use.
Ok good idea. But I was under the impression shops won't touch vintage skis? Can I do this test myself?
motorider
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:56 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by motorider »

Ok good idea. But I was under the impression shops won't touch vintage skis? Can I do this test myself?
No. Google "binding release test" to see why. Some shops *may* work on vintage skis/bindings. That's why I'd call around first.

If you can't have the test done you can still use the skis but you're taking a chance that the bindings won't perform their intended safety function (release) the way you're expecting them to do at the moment you need them to. Not worth it in my opinion as you may suffer an injury.

All that said, you can certainly mount a new set of bindings onto an old set of skis. You could ask a ski shop if they have last year's bindings that they'd mount (and test) for you if you love old-school parallel skis.
User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 15998
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by White Coat Investor »

Most ski towns have a used ski store or two. There must be 5 in Salt Lake, plus the local classifieds are full of them. As long as your boot size is close, the bindings can be adjusted without having to drill new holes in the ski (you don't want to do that.) Take your boots with you when you go to buy the skis. If they're not really close and you're buying from a private seller, you can ask the seller to meet you at a local ski shop so the tech there can tell you if they'll fit your boots before you buy them.

If you buy old rental skis, they usually have REALLY adjustable bindings and you'll be fine. But the skis will definitely have seen more use and abuse. Not necessarily a big deal. I've bought old rental skis multiple times.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
DoubleComma
Posts: 1203
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by DoubleComma »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:22 pm
DoubleComma wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:21 pm You mention 26.5 (mondo sizing) which depending on the boot translates to 290 - 300mm boot sole length. Its the boot sole length that binding are mounted with respect to.
Thanks. How can I measure the "boot sole length" of the bindings? Sounds like once I have that measurement then all I need to do is buy boots with that exact same boot sole length..
Ask the seller what they were mounted for, but it seems very silly. Just get a remount and DON’t buy straight skis. You are buying someone’s junk at this point. Straight skis, unless you are the original owner and have cared for them for decades are good for cabin address bars, chairs & bench’s or a shot ski. They are no longer good for skiing. You’re fooling yourself.
Last edited by DoubleComma on Wed Jan 18, 2023 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
DoubleComma
Posts: 1203
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by DoubleComma »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:34 pm
motorider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:28 pm 3) As mentioned in another response, bindings get old and the springs inside can start to sag (lose push force). That's my understanding why there's a ski binding indemnification list. If a binding is not on the list, some shops will not service the skis and it's part of the reason why I've learned how to service my own ski gear so I can keep it for 10+ years.
The used skis I am looking at seem to be in good condition. For sure I am avoiding anything scratched up or beat up. So for lightly used skis is there still risk of saggy springs?
I’m a former ski racer, PSIA 2 certification holder and parent of 2 ski racers. We ski 30+ days a year in the west and I rotate a few sets of skis. I know more about alpine skiing and back country skiing than any other subject I think I’m up to speed on. I say this because I hope you can recognize what I’m saying isn’t just a random opinion from someone who skis one holiday weekend a year.

Proper care of a snow skis off season is to back off the DIN and remove all the spring tension possible and cover in storage wax. This preserves the spring and bases. Only the most serious skiers actually do this, and those same skiers will not have 20 year old straight skis laying around. The skis you’re looking at have been stored under full tension with no wax … essentially they are useless at this point and I would not touch them. Sure you might be able to ski then a few times, but it’s simply not worth it. This isn’t like finding new old stock laying around, this is someone who lost these in skis in their garage or attic and are trying to sell you their headache.

Three posts now where I’m saying do don’t, I think my position is clear, I hope you change your mind.
wilked
Posts: 2160
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:50 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by wilked »

DoubleComma wrote: Wed Jan 18, 2023 1:24 am
knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:22 pm
DoubleComma wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:21 pm You mention 26.5 (mondo sizing) which depending on the boot translates to 290 - 300mm boot sole length. Its the boot sole length that binding are mounted with respect to.
Thanks. How can I measure the "boot sole length" of the bindings? Sounds like once I have that measurement then all I need to do is buy boots with that exact same boot sole length..
Ask the seller what they were mounted for, but it seems very silly. Just get a remount and DON’t buy straight skis. You are buying someone’s junk at this point. Straight skis, unless you are the original owner and have cared for them for decades are good for cabin address bars, chairs & bench’s or a shot ski. They are no longer good for skiing. You’re fooling yourself.
This

Get modern skis. Remounting the binding is no problem - done all the time.
Circe
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2022 7:16 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by Circe »

My knees hurt just reading this thread.

Using good equipment is critical in this sport. I agree with the others who have said not to buy old style skis -- the risk of failure is too great and the newer skis are easier and bindings are better. Good luck!
User avatar
praxis
Posts: 624
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:51 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by praxis »

mrmass wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:39 pm Maybe where you’re able to rent skis they sell them too.
Great idea. Tell them you want to rent with the intention of buying if you like to ski on them. There are always independent ski shops in resort areas that do this. I have always bought used skis for 50 years. If you are a blue run skier, you don't stress your skis much and that's what most skiers are. You can tell just by cosmetics the amount of wear that a ski has usually. My wife tried 3 used pair from the on-the-mountain rental shop before falling in love with a ski and has used them happily ever since. They of course adjusted them to her own boots and threw in a tune-up/edge sharpening. Give the parabolic skis a chance. I've skied my whole life and watched skis change design often over time. The waisted parabolic skis were a game changer for me. I loved a used pair that a local shop offered to me to try. After my first run, I was convinced. YMMV. I'm 73.
User avatar
quantAndHold
Posts: 8112
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm
Location: West Coast

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by quantAndHold »

Please, please, please go to a shop, get modern skis, and have a professional set them up. Take a lesson if you need to to learn how to ski on them. The fact that you don’t know enough to know that powder is slow, but want to buy and maintain your own antique skis just scares the pants off of me.

Knee surgery is much more expensive than a good pair of skis, and the knee replacement you’ll need when you’re in your 70’s is even more expensive than that.
Sgnoweht
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:02 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by Sgnoweht »

I'm not an alpine skier, I only nordic ski. Even nordic skis are shaped these days. I'd spring for modern gear, especially since you haven't been on skiis in a while. New boots will probably be better too.
As far as finding used gear goes try Craigslist. I feel alpine skiing is largely a fashion show. Lots of people want the latest and greatest. Tons of like new used gear on Craigslist. We also have a ski swap every fall.
kiwi123
Posts: 287
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:37 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by kiwi123 »

knightrider wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:19 pm
mountaingoatcos wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 5:25 pm When you look at the bindings, there should be a twist type of dial in the center that adjusts the toe and the heel.
Are these demo/rental bindings:

Image
Image
These bindings are likely too old for a shop to work on. I would not use these bindings due to their age and the risk of something breaking and/or not releasing.
pianisto
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:10 pm

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by pianisto »

I can emphasize with the OP's idea that straight skis from the 90s are great if you already know how to ski with them. There may be even a feeling of "get off my lawn..err ski slope" with a set of neon K2 seven-footers from 1991 as you whiz by the new generation helmetless (yikes).

But, the idea that you have to relearn how to ski on parabolic skis is misguided. It's a one-way valve. If you can ski on parabolics, yes it may be hard to learn on older/longer and straighter skis, but not the other way around.

Once I got around my own stubbornness and skied on modern parabolic skis, I couldn't wait to sell my old straight skis to the next sucker (and failed, they went dumpster). It's so much more fun on moderns skis. And I agree it's probably safer. You have more control, and at an older age, it's nice to have. I also wear a helmet now. I suggest renting parabolic skis at least once before you pull trigger on your idea to get long straight skis.

More actionable, I went to Play it Again Sports and, strangely enough, found new skis/bindings that were affordable but did buy used boots. $450 for everything (new skis/bindings/used boots + fitting). Play it again had a certified guy that tested (and fit) bindings for safety. The owner of this store said he goes to ski shows and often gets deals on last year's model skis so can get new equipment there too. Need to have bindings tested at least once/year.
Topic Author
knightrider
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by knightrider »

Based on the replies I've abandoned the idea of vintage/straight skis. I called the nearest ski store and they said they don't sell used skis or used demo skis. I guess I will try my luck at some end of season "tent" sale.

I have found some newer skis on local craigslist/facebook but sellers seem only interested in my money. As soon as I ask about the age of the skis they go silent. One person was so deceptive that they said they got them six years ago and only used them a few times. But when I questioned more they said they got them "used" 6 years ago. Argh, why can't people be honest about the history of their items? Too many greedy people out there!
SmallSaver
Posts: 507
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:34 am

Re: How to buy used skis ?

Post by SmallSaver »

OP you've gotten some good advice, but as an ex-ski tech I can't help but offer mine.

Shopping for used skies is tough if you aren't pretty knowledgeable about the gear, because you just won't know what fits you, what's a good deal, etc...That said, if you're really trying to keep cost down it's hard to get ripped off on a $50 pair of skis, which is about what I'd expect for straight skis.

Regarding straight skis, everyone is right and there's a reason they haven't been made in 30 years. "Shaped" or "Parabolic" skis (just "skis" now) have varying degrees of shape, so they don't necessarily need to be squirrely. I do expect the turn technique is different (I'm in my middle age and still never skied straight skis). All that said, if you know what you like more power to you, and they'll certainly be cheap.

For bindings, a couple of things. Don't worry too much about them fitting your boot size. Any ski shop can remount them for ~$50. Unless your boot size is pretty close you'll want to do that anyway to get the boot centered on the ski. However, any binding that comes on a straight ski is going to be too old to use. They do wear out, the designs have improved, the manufactures no longer guarantee them, and as a result no shop will work on them. At 50, don't risk your ACL to janky bindings.

I used to work for a shop in Portland OR (Next Adventure) that would buy new but out of date models and managed to package together skis, boots, and bindings for ~$500 (in 2005). Some sort of deal like that would be ideal for you.
Post Reply