Now that I'm on the hunt for skis for A (and N, for that matter), I have my eyes wide open wherever I go, looking for that bargain pair that is in good shape and more importantly, looks cool. We're talking teens and pre-teens here. Either way, I realize that to get her a decent pair of skis, I may have to spend a little more money than I intended, which is reasonable. Skis are so expensive these days, but we don't need high tech/high performance gear. It really just has to work properly and look cool, and not in that order.
For now I've got time, so I've been visiting the Listen Center pretty regularly and am struck by the quantity of skis they get. Ski equipment is a crazy thing because it's expensive but people seem to unload their skis for next to nothing, or even donate them. I would say about 90% of the skis at Listen are complete junk and not even worth your time, with about 9% being of decent quality and useable. Every now and then, you can find a gem hidden in the pile. I've found decent snowboards this way.
I was over there the other day and found a nice pair of skis that might have passed the A test for coolness for $10. They had clean edges (no rust) and no divots on the bottom, and looked in good shape. Plus, unlike a lot of their skis, they looked like they'd been made in the 21st century, maybe even around 2010. Of course I bought them. You don't have time to ponder purchasing decisions at the Listen Center, because at those prices, anything half-way decent will be gone within the hour, so I had to act impulsively.
Well, I got them home only to realize that they were a bit too big for her. This was a definite bummer, but then I decided that I could use them. I like my current pair of skis but they are old junkers. They are old but not ancient, meaning that they are shaped and not straight-edged. I see people out there with straight edge skis, which is totally old school, so at least I'm a bit more evolved than that. I bought a pair of newer skis at a yard sale for, you guessed it, $10 and was excited to have fancier/newer skis, but somehow I didn't like the feel of them. I'm not well-versed in how different types of skis perform and I realize there is a lot of thought and technology that goes into them, but it's all Greek to me. For whatever it's worth, I did feel a difference riding these newer skis, and decided that I didn't like them.
Now I've got a new pair and I'm sort of excited to try them out. If I end up not liking these, I think my days of buying skis are over, at least for myself. I may have to turn to ski swaps and end season sales to get A's skis.
Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Inka for the pic.