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3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying New Skis

by Seneca Boards November 28, 2016

Let me tell you a quick story that might sound familiar. Awhile back I was in a large chain outdoor equipment store, just browsing and waiting for my wife. Naturally, I gravitated over to the ski section, because that’s what you do when you’re obsessed with skis. A young guy who works there came over to me, looked at the skis I had picked up and told me without hesitation “those skis are perfect for you!” And all I could think was, how could he possibly know which skis are perfect for me without knowing anything about me, or even asking if I skied at all?! 

This is the problem I see most often in big shops – skis forced down people's throats simply because of popularity and very little concern for proper fit.

buying skis

Chances are, if you are shopping for skis, at some point you’ll find yourself in this same scenario. A good way to make sure that you walk out of any ski shop with the best skis for you is to be prepared and educated before you go in. This doesn’t mean that you have to have already researched every ski out there. The vast array of different ski options can, without a doubt, get confusing and overwhelming because manufacturers often have their own unique name for many of the same features. But asking yourself the right questions ahead of time can really help you clearly explain to any salesperson who knows their stuff just what you need.

Three questions you need to ask yourself: 

  1. What am I looking to do with these skis? Am I looking to do something specific or are they going to be an everyday/all-around ski? This is important because there are different features that you need to look for depending on the type of skiing you’re hoping to do. If you’re looking specifically for a Backcountry ski then you can steer clear of the skis built for All-Mountain skiing and vice versa.
  2. What types of conditions do I ski in? And what conditions will I never ski in? Some skis are made to handle deep powder while others will be better in icy conditions, so you want to make sure you get skis that can handle the conditions in which you are most likely to find yourself skiing.
  3. What do I like and dislike about my current equipment? Think about specific instances when you were skiing and try to remember how your skis responded and what you did and didn’t like about it. This last question is important because it will give you a rough idea of what you’re looking for in a ski and what you should avoid in a ski.

 Once you have a nice clear picture of what you will be using your skis for, where you hope to ski, and what you like and dislike about what you currently own, it’s time to brave the shops. Keep in mind that even armed with all of this info about what you’re looking for you will still need to find a knowledgeable salesperson to point you in the right direction.

So, how can you tell if you found a salesperson that knows how to fit you properly for skis?

It's simple: It's not about how they answer your questions, it's all about the questions they ask YOU. If they start out by asking you a few questions, you’re on the right track.

Three questions the salesperson should ask you (and if they don’t you might want to consider heading to the next shop):

  1. What is your ability level: Beginner, Intermediate, Expert (When we ask people this question we usually write the answer down and come back to it later after talking for awhile just to be sure that we got an accurate picture of ability)
  2. What type of conditions do you want the skis for? (You will be totally prepared to rock this question because you have your answers ready to go!)
  3. Do you already have any ideas about what you’re looking for? (Of course you do, because you came prepared with your answers to the three questions above - especially the third question.)

Answer their questions, give them all the info that you have, then let them show you what they recommend. Don’t hesitate to ask them why they are recommending certain skis or any other questions that you might have. And keep in mind that you can always write down their suggestions and do more research of your own. Choosing the right ski is a process, so don’t feel pressured into buying something before you’re ready. Just remember, the ultimate goal is for you to find skis that make your skiing experience as enjoyable as possible!

 skiing conditions

We believe so strongly in fitting people for the right equipment that we offer a free consultation fit. Call, email or schedule a time to stop into the shop and we'll use our unique system to pair you with your perfect ski – regardless of the manufacturer. You can take your custom ski profile into any shop and have a clear idea of the best ski for you, or use it to buy one of ours or build a custom model. It's free, and it's fun!

 Seneca Ski perfect fit

Have more questions about shopping for skis that we didn’t answer? Give us a call! Talking skis and helping you find your ideal ski is what we love to do.




Seneca Boards
Seneca Boards

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