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Old 12-16-2014, 05:39 PM   #41
rdl
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Many people keep their first pair of skis/bindings around for years to use as "rock" skis: skis to use either very early in the season or very late in the season in poor/thin coverage.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:17 PM   #42
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tanston,
Glad to hear you really enjoyed it!
Schenectady Muni is a great spot to practice and/or keep in shape. It's close to my house too, we used to take the kids there and now it's the grandkids. Plenty of hills to enjoy or avoid...

Have you visited Play It Again Sports? They have a large selection of used X-C and alpine ski equipment, and some very good prices.

Get out as often as you can, and try to ski as many areas and trails as you can NOT at a ski center. Why do I say NOT? The trail conditions for your Avalanche Pass trip, while likely tracked, will not be the same uniform set tracks that you find at a formal area. The greater your skill level, the wider range of conditions and terrain that you'll be able to enjoy. And that's is what it's all about, right?
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:48 PM   #43
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Here in southern NJ we rarely get a good base. It snows and melts in a few days before the next snowfall. A couple of years ago I tore up my last pair of skis so I picked up a pair of those army surplus waxable skis (metal edge) for $25 and a pair of used voile 3 pin bindings for $25 to use as "rock" skis. They are waxable and not a big sidecut but it fits the bill when there isn't much of a base and you want to get out. If I tear them up, no big deal. I picked up a pair of last year's model Eons for under $200 for good snow. If you wait and look around a good deal is bound to come by. The sport can be expensive but it doesn't have to be. Keep your eyes on Ebay and Craigslist.
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:37 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanston View Post
Main reason i'm worried is I see a lot of pictures of people wearing clothes that look a lot like winter cycling pants. So i'm thinking baggy might be bad since people must be going skin tight for a reason.
I had this same observation/concern, but after 2 trips out in baggy snow pants that are too big from a thrift shop, I have not noticed any interference problems. I did step on the heels a bit, but far from getting caught under the heel plate. I plan to hem them eventually.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:19 AM   #45
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Quiver excess

Hey Tanston

If you're looking for used gear and have decided to go the 75mm 3-pin route, send me a PM as I have quite a surplus of gear and also an excess of current child care duties. If your shoe size is 10-11, I could also probably hook you up with a used pair of boots. Happy Skiing.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:29 PM   #46
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Definitely not going to be in the market till after the holidays. I dont have nothing against used gear, if i can save some money while i learn im all for it.

Im not sure about 3 pin bindings. I think NNN was what they had at the ski center. Im not really sure what the functional difference is between those two.

Ill shoot you a pm after the holiday and see what you've got.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:36 PM   #47
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This article from REI has a primer on the different sorts of ski bindings used on cross country and backcountry skis. Scroll past skis and boots

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advi...ring-gear.html


There is also Alpine touring but that is yet another animal
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:44 AM   #48
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So if i wanted something versatile to serve me for both ski center trails and stuff like the Avalanche pass trail would a set like this be a safe bet to cover most scenarios? Not that it's even remotely in my budget right now at about $430.00

Set includesFischer Spider 62 Backcountry Touring Skis, Fischer Off-Track 3 Backcountry Ski Boots, Fischer BCX Auto Bindings.
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:39 AM   #49
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I'll probably be ignored again but you need not buy those Fischers to fit in tracks, although that is a big marketing pitch by them.

Anything less than 70mm will fit in prepared tracks. Although most Fischers are great skis, and I own a couple pairs, Madshus are a bit cheaper. A Voss or Glittertind would do well as a do 'both' sort of ski, although IMO neither will the most ideal BC ski if you ever get into deep snow. Avalanche pass is almost always broken out, so for that it's probably not a big deal.

If you stay stuck on NNN bindings, then you may have a bit more trouble controlling your skis once you get onto some real BC terrain. A lot of serious BC skiers are still clinging onto the 3 pin for rugged touring. A NNN-BC will be an OK binding for a light ski less than 70mm overall (tip width) but everything except striding will be much easier with a pin setup. I find the striding acceptable because on a real trail you won't be moving much more than summer walking pace (it ain't racing). If you invest in a good set of nice fitting 3 pin boots you will be able to use them on different BC skis as well.

That said, boots should really be your main focus. A crummy boot will make you miserable for many reasons. It's well worth it to spend $300 on a nice boot and ski with some used 3 pin bindings and even old skis... your skiing and comfort will be MUCH better.

The Alpina Alaska is a good, modern leather boot. It's warm, supportive, and flexes great for touring. No idea what your size is but there is one for sale on this forum. You won't regret getting a boot like that. If you decide to stick with NNN-BC, it is also available in that configuration. A word to the wise on that boot in the 75mm configuration. It doesn't work as well with a Voile binding. The bill is a bit thin for even the lowest detent. I believe the Rottefella Super Tele works better.

You could go even cheaper and buy an old pair of Merrell or Asolo leathers or the like, but really they don't conform to the foot like a better designed, more modern leather and you may wind up with blisters, cramps, or poor control. Any of which will make your skiing day no fun.

So if you are serious, do this:

Figure out what binding you want to use for sure. And I don't mean just based on what a ski center rents. 3 pins work in tracks too; they have for years before the NNN was ever invented. They do drag a bit more on the side though, so it's a tradeoff. Also if you really do decide NNN is for you, consider the BC manual or SNS design. I'd not waste my time with the autos... we could start an entire thread on what they don't do right.

Find a boot that fits your foot like a glove. If you buy used, be sure of your sizing and if it seems wrong, make sure you can return it.

With whatever money you have left look for skis and bindings. Used pins are fine if they are a Super Tele or Voile, either are very reliable. I'd not use the wire bail type for BC skiing. Ebay is a fine place to find skis. You'll find tons of options for skis less than 70mm at the tip. If you decide you want new you should really wait until end of season or summer to buy, you can buy new skis for as much as 50% of what you'll see them for now. Make sure you don't buy a tele ski though. These will all be waxed base, and I'd assume you are sticking with waxless. They are fine skis but they won't tour as well as something that has a double camber.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:32 PM   #50
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I'm sorry if I missed something you said earlier montcalm I never intended to ignore good advice. I appreciate everyone's advice and I've read through the thread multiple times.

I'm far more interested in control then I am in striding speed. I'll take slow and safer over faster any day. The REI article linked above didn't really get too specific on the differences in control and striding for the binding types. If the consensus is three pin binding is the way to go for more control then I'd think as a beginner that's certainly the direction i want to go in. The NNN-BC binding seemed attractive because my understanding was it's the back country beefier version of the binding i used on the rental skis. I'm not committed to it by any stretch of the imagination.

I guess my three priorities at this point are.

1. Price: my budget is .....not good. If i wait to buy $300.00 boots I will never get into this sport sadly.
2. Versatility: I'd rather accept some compromises in performance for a more jack of all trades ski. This ties back into price a bit because i know I won't be getting multiple skis to meet a variety of conditions anytime soon. I don't see myself getting much more adventurous then maybe the Marcy truck trail or lake road this season. But I'd definitely like to have gear that allows me to tackle a variety of trails.
3. Comfort. I have a horrific time trying to find comfortable hiking boots I guess I have oddly shaped feet. I might look to shop at EMS based solely upon their great return policy.
4. Ease of use. As a beginner I'm looking for simple to use gear that will provide a stable platform for me to grow and learn.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:36 PM   #51
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I guess my three priorities at this point are.

1. Price: my budget is .....not good. If i wait to buy $300.00 boots I will never get into this sport sadly.
You need not pay $300 for $300 boots. I suffer from your foot affliction as well unfortunately skiing is all about the foot, so you'll have to really put in some effort to find a boot that will agree with your foot and your wallet.

I see used leathers all the time for around $50-75 on Craigslist. If you can take the drive and try them on that will help. Unfortunately cramps and blisters can (and will) crop up only later on.

A custom insole can really help too. I'd recommend looking into having one made and then using it in every ski boot you try or rent. Try and rent as much as you can. Make a list of the unoffensive ones and scour the classifieds for what you are after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanston View Post

2. Versatility: I'd rather accept some compromises in performance for a more jack of all trades ski. This ties back into price a bit because i know I won't be getting multiple skis to meet a variety of conditions anytime soon. I don't see myself getting much more adventurous then maybe the Marcy truck trail or lake road this season. But I'd definitely like to have gear that allows me to tackle a variety of trails.
This is what everyone who skis BC XC wants. I will tell you it's not going to happen. Eventually you will want more skis or boots. Fortunately you don't have to spend a fortune to get one pair, or even multiple pairs. There are ski bums that don't work that have more skis than you can imagine... and you bet they never paid retail for a ski. Again it comes down to knowledge of what will work and what you want and then just taking the time to scour ads or garage sales, ski swaps, etc...

From what I am hearing versatility to you is being able to ski at a center or on trails. Keep it under 70mm in the tip and get a relatively soft double camber ski like has been mentioned and you'll be on your way.

As far a bindings the 3 pin will be better for a beginner, but in your situation, anything will work. Find a boot that fits your foot and budget and then get the binding. 3 pin stuff is pretty abundant used, and still pretty cheap, so don't be afraid of it. If you have to buy a set of new bindings, that's not the end of the world. They aren't that much. Getting the boots and skis used will save you much more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanston View Post
3. Comfort. I have a horrific time trying to find comfortable hiking boots I guess I have oddly shaped feet. I might look to shop at EMS based solely upon their great return policy.
This where renting is key. If you find a tolerable pair of rental boots, then look no further. Look for those boots. Most places won't accept returns on used boots.

I can tell you right now that the Alpina 1550/1575 are both horrible boots. They give most people blisters and have terrible support. Try them - EMS does rent them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanston View Post
4. Ease of use. As a beginner I'm looking for simple to use gear that will provide a stable platform for me to grow and learn.
NNN or 3 pin are both easy to use. The manual is more desirable because of icing on the auto. It's sometimes impossible to get back in the auto if you get out in the wild. They also seem to self release easier. That may not be a bad thing for a beginner though as long as you can get back in.

Older 3 pin boots can suffer from 'heel lift' if not perfectly fitting. This causes HORRIBLE blisters. When trying these on make your you flex your foot at the toe and feel for any bit of lift or chafing. Modern boots seem to be forgiving enough in the heel to alleviate this, unless they are plastic. Don't buy a pair of plastic boots for what you are doing.

Skis in the category I am steering you to are pretty easy to use and all pretty similar. Some glide a little better, some flex nicer, some are a bit lighter but they are more of a fine tuning device. You'll do fine on most anything you can find that's in that size range and has a metal edge. You'll be able to ski 90% of the skiable trails in the Adirondacks once you get some technique. Being new, you'll adapt to your skis.

Stick with waxless base for now. You'll be able to find some wicked deals on wax skis but unless you want to put the time into learning the waxing, keep it simple. You'll still need to wax your waxless skis, but it simply the matter of applying some rub on wax, or if you get serious, waxing the flat areas with hot wax once a year.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:15 PM   #52
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I can tell you right now that the Alpina 1550/1575 are both horrible boots. They give most people blisters and have terrible support. Try them - EMS does rent them.


No blisters for me AND the support is good.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:20 PM   #53
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I can tell you right now that the Alpina 1550/1575 are both horrible boots. They give most people blisters and have terrible support. Try them - EMS does rent them.


No blisters for me AND the support is good.
I'm very glad they work for you, and I'm sure not everyone has the same blister issues, that is why I encouraged him to try them.

They gave me blisters on the tops of my toes where the boot flexes and also gave me arch cramps. So just be wary of that.

Tanston, if those boots do work out for you they pop up fairly regularly for decent money.

The support of the Alaska is much better even though it doesn't have the cuff. There is a reason the 1550/1575 retails for like $200 and the Alaska $300. YMMV.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:36 PM   #54
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I specifically wrote down Alpina Touring as the name of the rental boots I was using. It seems that's not specific enough of a model though to narrow in exactly on which ones I was using. I believe they were the t10 model. They were pretty comfy and I got no blisters in the approx 4 hours I was wearing them but the toebox definitely could have been bigger and if my use had been more vigorous with less stopping to catch my breath I could maybe see some blisters forming. The toebox being too small is my constant problem with hiking boots too. The guy at the rental counter said they came in a wide model but I don't see that as an option anywhere they are for sale.

I'm guessing I should definitely steer clear of the prepackaged sets that places like llbean and campmor and rei offer. As convenient as they are not having a boot choice is probably a very bad idea.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:52 PM   #55
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My experience with Alpina is they are narrow.

It's not necessarily a bad thing to have a tight fit in the width. When you need to step turn or snowplow to keep out of the trees it will come in handy. Blisters are not welcome. Some of it has to do with how the material breathes as well. Cheap, plastic-y boots may cause your foot to overheat, sweat and blister.

I'm not familiar the model you used but it may have simply been a NNN, and not a NNN-BC toe bar. Preferably you are going to want a BC version, so just be aware of that - they aren't compatible. SNS is Salomon's version of NNN and is in most regards better. You are limited to their boots though. I'm not aware of any place that rents these bindings so that may be too much a gamble for you unless you can find a screaming deal.

You can and people have skied Adirondack trails with plain old NNN bindings, but the extra beef is welcome in the bush.

Honestly that Fischer package is a pretty good deal. If you knew the boots were going to work for you it would be something to think about. I've actually not skied on the Spider 62 so I can't comment on how nice a ski it is. As far as used you ought to be able to get everything for less than $200 though... so keep that in mind.

A place like Garnet Hill will mount bindings on their skis and let you try them. They don't demo all their boots though. They also don't carry Fischer skis. Mountain Man in Old Forge does and I know they rent, so they may have some of what they sell to try. If there is snow on the ground it's worth taking a drive and blasting a few pairs of their skis around the golf course to get a feel for them.
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:00 PM   #56
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I wonder if the places that sell those packages let you exchange the boot and pay the difference if the boot doesn't fit well. If I do seriously consider something like that fischer package i'll have to call their customer service and see what the policy is there.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:50 PM   #57
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tanston,
Have you stopped by Play It Again Sports yet?
They have dozens of used binding/ski combos and many new. And a wide assortment of used boots, with all binding types available. They're just up the road in Peter Harris Plaza.
It's really worth a look...
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Old 12-25-2014, 07:02 AM   #58
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I haven't been to play it again sports yet. Waiting till after Christmas to do any shopping but I know where it is and definitely intend to check it out. I'm in the market for used snowshoes for my wife too so i'll be hitting it up maybe as early as this weekend. My only concern with shopping for used skis is that since I have no idea what i'm doing I don't really have any idea how to evaluate a piece of gear to know if it's in decent condition.

My in laws have given me $100.00 in EMS gift card so i'll almost certainly be buying something there. Maybe the boots since they have such a great return policy.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:17 PM   #59
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Fortune fell in my lap and through work via a very loose association with an online gear retailer I was able to get an amazing too good to pass up discount on a set with Fischer Spider 62 skis, Rossignol BC X6 boots and Rottefella BC bindings. I figure even if the boots don't work out I got such a good deal it won't be too painful to replace them. Waiting for delivery now hopefully get to try it all out as soon as next weekend if the boots fit. Side note sizing is weird. They have been renting me size 43 at Lapland lake and those fit so that's the size I ordered. But size charts indicate I should be wearing 44 or even 45 at my shoe size so who knows if they will.

I also took a second trip out to Lapland lake and had an even better time then my first trip. I am totally hooked (which is why i pulled the trigger on the purchase). I saw some improvement and was able to snowplow a couple times and in general felt a lot more confident on the skis. Winters for the rest of my life just got awesome!

You guys have all been really helpful thank you for that!. Here is hopefully my last question for awhile. How can I judge when there's enough snow on the ground to go somewhere like the Schenectady golf course without roughing up my new skis. Is there a good rule of thumb for depth or? The jackrabbit trail conditions page is great for what it is....but doesn't tell me much about my backyard.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:48 PM   #60
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I was out the other night at the Colonie golf course (basically across the road from my house) and there was enough cover to glide on in most spots.
Muni should be fine, just pick your spots. With a decent base, currently consisting of that frozen slop from last week, you only need an inch or two for happy gliding on the flat. I think we've had about 4 inches since that slop, more than enough for X-C skiing...
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