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New gear or lessons?

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Annabuzzy, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Assuming you have gear that was purchased in the last decade, your skis still have edges and a functional base, your boots are still functional and your liners aren’t packed out, and your binding is still indemnified, where does your money better go? Lessons or new gear?

    I ask that as year in year out I gear whore myself with new doovywhatsits and end up not doing many lessons...because cash flow. If I just bought less new “wow it’s shiny” I’d have more money for lessons. Which in my mind is the best way to improve (and mileage).

    So what say you?
     
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  2. Dave6

    Dave6 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Depends what will make you happy. Do you really want to improve as a skier or do you like having new gear every year?
     
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  3. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    This is a question for me too - or related anyway. For me it’s do I invest in lessons or not.
    I’m from Brisbane and can only ski while I’m on holiday so that limits me to about 15 to 20 days a year max. That’s probably not enough for me to actually become a much better (technically) skier.
    Do others agree?
    My thinking is that it is best to just go to the mountain and have fun because the opportunities to do so are limited anyway.
     
  4. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just keep getting new gear and clock up 1000+ days.

    Push yourself. Work on your weaknesses.
     
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  5. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  6. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I guess it depends on where you are at with your skiing and where you want to be.
    Lessons are not on my radar but for me personally I could rephrase the question to gear or guide.
    Fortunately I’m With Gareth on this one.
     
  7. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do you know what will make you improve more than watsits and lessons?

    Days on snow.
     
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  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I mean, honestly, if you want to improve, 15-20 days a year is enough for a week of morning lessons. It WILL make you a better skier.
     
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  9. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL
    IIRC, there was a period when you didn't replace your skis for quite a few years, but I've noticed that you seem to buy new gear every season now....
    If you WANT to do lessons, but your gear whoring is not allowing you to do so because of cash, then I think the answer is obvious!! ;)
     
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  10. Pink

    Pink One of Us

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    Lessons with the right instructor can work wonders. Otherwise, mileage. More days on the snow or just more hours each day. Fitness, strength, sleep (don’t booze on too much the night before:(), the right gear (clothing) to keep you outside in all weather, and the right gear (skis and boots) that’s fun to be on and isn’t kicking your arse too much and sending you in early. Spend money on these things. IMO
     
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  11. parkmonkey

    parkmonkey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is like having a 4k TV and streaming free air broadcast on it, 8k is here now better upgrade still streaming free to air broadcast. The equipment is only as good as the quality of stream being input
     
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  12. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lessons.
     
  13. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    You learn a lot from as little as 10 lessons. The trick is to not walk away from them and forget whats been shown to you. Ask your instructor for drills to practice afterwards. Write them down in detail and take that notepad with you always. Talk yourself ( slowly) through them as you practice them- velocity comes after precision . Dont do that for more than 30% of you ski day or it becomes more a task than fun.
     
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  14. Richard

    Richard Maintenance Dept Administrator

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    $100 player in $200 boots does not make one a $200 player.

    Lessons.
     
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  15. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you have problems with your technique no amount of new gear will fix them.
     
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  16. bluess57

    bluess57 Hard Yards

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    Thought about a ski "camp" , SLAP program?
    Lessons and mileage/days on snow only way to improve.
    There are some YouTube videos on various skiing technique , some worth watching. Trouble is to remember to practice what ya learn out on the snow
     
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  17. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Bro! Get a lesson with Bruce, he’ll give you the good oil and fine tune your technique on those so loved, old school, low tech snowshoes!
    You’ll be walking up Kosi and down Supertrail direct on the homeward leg like a Fred Astaire-Usain Bolt freakmonster.
     
  18. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Whether or not watching videos or reading about technique makes much difference depends on learning style. I'm a visual learner. An hour or two with an experienced instructor who knows how to teach an advanced older skier with some bad habits is worth far more than hours of watching video. Learning to do 2-3 drills properly makes a huge difference in the long run.

    One reason I've gotten hooked on the Taos Ski Week in recent years is that the program is 6 morning lessons in a row with the same instructor. Most of the Ski Week instructors have 20+ years of teaching experience and are PSIA Level 3. Everyone improves by the third day. More importantly, I and my friends have retained new skills learned during a Ski Week. We range from cautious intermediates to advanced/experts who have been skiing for decades.
     
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  19. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Bottom line: spend money on private lessons or ski camps for a couple seasons. Only worth it if you plan on practicing what you learn as well. Not every run, but enough each ski day to remember how to do drills about fundamentals properly. Later on you can make an informed decision what makes more sense for your ski interests and personality.

    Questions that come to mind:
    Are you thinking about skiing for the next decade, or 30+ years? Mostly on groomers or mostly on ungroomed terrain either in-bounds or backcountry? Do you ski in all sorts of snow conditions or do you head in when visibility goes to nil or temperatures mean freeze/thaw conditions?

    Warning . . . more than you may want to read below. I've told these stories on other ski forums before. :)

    The short version of my story is that I didn't start taking lessons until after age 50. I live 4 hours drive from my home hill (tiny, all manmade snow). I was an advanced intermediate who skied a couple seasons as a teen but skied relatively for decades after that. I started taking lessons more regularly after a knee injury (not skiing) at age 56. Spent money on lessons instead of a knee brace. Meaning 4-5 semi-private lessons per season, either at my home hill or during a trip to a destination resort (mostly Alta). At that point I was skiing 20-30 days a season, half at big mountains in the Rockies. By age 60 I was skiing challenging terrain that I never thought would be possible, let alone fun, when looking at steep terrain at Alta 10 years earlier. Family life has shifted so now I average 50 days on snow, with three trips 10 days or more to big mountains. Given that my parents lived into their 90s, the investment of time, money, and energy into improving technique has been more than worth it for me. YMMV

    My primary ski buddy is over 65 at this point. He was an advanced skier at Aspen in high school. Started doing more alpine skiing about 10 years ago. Although he owns several pairs of skis, in recent years he's been using his all-mountain skis (90mm) most of the time. Even in 10+ inches of fresh powder. Skiing a lot with him at MCP/Ikon resorts was one reason I didn't see much need for a quiver of more than two types of skis.

    As for lessons, I talked him into taking a few semi-private lessons with me several years ago. Took me more than five years to work up the nerve to ask. But not only is it cheaper, I find that I learn a lot observing how an experienced instructor works to tweak an advanced skier's technique to make it more efficient. Must have made a difference because he doesn't hesitate to take lessons now. He also skis longer days and more challenging terrain at faster speeds . . . and he has a bad knee (no meniscus).
     
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  20. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lessons.
    No question.


    It’s Uni week just started here in Thredbo and it was startling seeing so many people battling on the Kosi side of the hill in particularly. Especially after a week of racers and POFOs.

    Chatting on the chairlift about it, it was mentioned that as uni students the budget would be tight and lessons leave little money for anything else, it wouldn’t be a priority. I asked the question “can they afford to? But at the same time...can they afford NOT to?”

    If you’ve got the gear, spend on lessons for a while. Red card yourself from online ski purchases for this year, and limit yourself to one in person purchase.
     
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  21. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think Buzzy should have told you how he currently skis...
    He's advanced. He skis piste and off piste. He has narrow (88mm underfoot) and wide (110mm underfoot).
    IIRC, he did some Master racing a few years back, and took lessons then, and in previous years.
    .... over to him!!! ;)
     
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  22. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us

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    If that’s the case gear gear gear!!
     
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  23. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I did wonder...
    But by the same token wondered if it was just a topic starter.
     
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  24. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just trying to show off his gear whoring?? ;)
    :whistle:
     
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  25. Arne

    Arne One of Us

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    With that information.
    Lessons.
    And with an experienced instructor you can build a relationship and layers and layers of information.
    An athletic background will help with breakthroughs.
    It goes beyond technical understanding to become an expert skier. You need tactical applications and intuative movement patterns to master the mountain. It takes years. I've got buddies in their late 50s that are really working on their skiing now and blow me away with what they are capable of. Dynamic and adaptable in varying terrain and conditions whilst still maintaining awesome 'Old Man' form. Some took up skiing 30 years ago, had lessons, then stagnated.
    I look up to them because when I was a young pro I thought your skiing goes backwards after age 40 with loss of strength and flexibility. I've changed my mind.
     
  26. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Need to work a lot on strength and flexibility when you get older, but it's doable if you use a bit of discipline.
     
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  27. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup that’s where I’m at. Incidentally the pilates really helped my golf too.
     
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  28. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    But you're still a young'n!! Well, comparatively ;)
    Hmmm.... pilates. Interesting.
     
  29. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pilates is good because amongst other things it focuses on core strength, and a lot of the movements are designed to be done in separation from a stable core, and IMO that has huge parallels with skiing.

    I’ve mentioned it before but for many people, before you even bring technique into it, physical conditioning and psychological factors are often the biggest barriers to skiing progression. But a good instructor can definitely address the psychological factors.
     
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  30. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'll look at that....
    I do specific exercises to strengthen core, but I hadn't thought about pilates. :)
     
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  31. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    It depends on what you want out of your skiing.

    You say you want to improve. Improve to what point:
    • feel more confident on your skis in all terrain
    • Look better - improved style
    • work on a specific weakness
    • last longer on the boards without tiring
    You need to ask yourself what it is you want with your skiing. Some people are happy pottering around with the family. Some are happy skiing the most rad lines they can find regardless of age. What is it that you want out of your skiing and there will lie your answer.

    Better equipment will help but only if it is suited to your skiing goal. More lessons will help but only if they're designed and mated for your specific goal.
    • Have you improved over the past 5 years?
    • Have you undertaken a more robust fitness regime to facilitate this?
    • Are you getting enough days per season to improve?
    One thing that is a given is the more time you spend on the boards the more progression you will make. If you can't afford that time then lessons will fast track that process. Do your research and make sure you get the right instructor.
     
  32. parkmonkey

    parkmonkey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are you conflicted in this thread? you were a mechanic now a car salesman :)
    [​IMG]
     
  33. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The influence this thread will have on my sales is exactly zero!
     
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  34. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    One benefit for me of *not* having an Epic pass is that the stretch from a 5 day lift pass to a 5 day lift + lesson at Perisher was something like $35. At $7 for a 2 hour group lesson, I am going to take every lesson I can - especially since so many intermediate and above snowboarders decide that they are done with lessons, so more often than not I will end up in a 1:1 -1:3 ratio class. I don't mind having a slightly truncated lesson if the ratio is that good and I get the benefit of focus.
     
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  35. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'll second Pilates as a great skiing conditioning training. Have been doing one or two classes a week for years and it sure helps with a strong and stable core. My Physio was amazed by my glute strength on a recent visit about a niggly knee. I maintain that pilates is the most work you can do while appearing to do very little......
     
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  36. LiveToSki

    LiveToSki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    After reading this thread, I have decided to spen my money on lessons not gear. I was probably going to buy from somewhere else anyway so you are right - Zero effect...
     
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  37. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Yep another one for Pilates. It fixed my back and gave me so much more.

    Make sure you find a good studio with proper reformers. There's a lot of places out there touting Pilates but mostly they're just floor exercises. The movements and techniques on the reformer are a big part, especially from a skiing perspective.
     
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  38. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Maybe all true!!

    (...and there are more skis!!)

    So yes to elaborate on that background I’ve done a 3 week Yes course so long ago I don’t think historical records are still kept. I’ve also done a ski school hiring clinic just for the experience. I’ve done a season of mountain masters at PB, a season of masters racing at PB, and a couple of seasons of mountain masters at Thredbo. However, all these courses were eons ago. I think my last Thredbo mountain masters was 2005. I still have the photo from that year on my season pass now!! Eek!!! So once upon a time I did quite a few lessons but there’s been nothing meaningful for years.

    Inspired by my own question I’ve now booked the first improvement course I’ve done since 2001!!! (Excluding masters programs). I’ll be doing that in August. I do hope to work in some material improvements - you’d want to skiing in lessons all day for 5 days.

    I do feel though one improvement to my skiing was getting custom foam liners this summer. They’re bloody expensive but I now have great constant shin to boot contact.
     
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  39. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Do Aussies do much with the TRX for ski conditioning? That's what I do most for core strength. I like Pilates but am not much for fitness classes.

    1-leg balance is what I started working on pretty much on a daily basis during and after knee rehab.
     
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  40. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh, I knew about the other skis..... I didn't want to emphasise your gear whorefulness.... ;)
     
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  41. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I do yoga, which is my Pilates equivalent. While I have done Pilates I find yoga works better for me as it combines flexibility with core strength, where’s I’ve found Pilates is much more about the core. As a bloke who has hit 50, a lifelong surfer with the almost compulsory tight back, the yoga helps stretch that out, keep me more supple, but also some core strength.

    I don’t like to get too “exercisy” about my exercise. I try to have the things that keep me fit also be the things I enjoy. So lots of surfing and skiing, a little bit of yoga, a few laps in the pool and some walking and running.
     
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  42. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Purists might nitpick but I think Yoga and Pilates are somewhat interchangeable in this context.
     
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  43. Dave6

    Dave6 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    This is the @Annabuzzy annual ski technique and instruction thread. It usually throws up some interesting and useful discussion.
     
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  44. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Buzzy is an excellent topic starter. Should be more of it.
     
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  45. TACKIE

    TACKIE One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Like many things we do we often slip in some lazy/bad habits, which then can become entrenched. Having a professional critique and correct those habits can only be good. It's usually just our pride that gets in the way.
     
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  46. Roymond

    Roymond One of Us

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    Trx is a fantastic rehab and asymmetric strengthening tool. Do it twice weekly with weights and balance training. I’ve had two knee reconstructions post afl and my knees have never been better.
     
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  47. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I say, gear comes with its own tricks, and makes you an instant master. In mtb for example, if you are having trouble, you simply buy a bike with moar travel, and bingo, pin it like a pro! Lessons are just a scam. You cant trust teachers. Retailers are the only ones that care about you, and manufacturers only change the top sheet to improve how the ski can carry a passenger. Graphics can really be that important.
     
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  48. Harry James

    Harry James Hard Yards Ski Pass: Gold

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    Buy your new gear here at drifa.com it's got removable protection. So it's new and shiny. And you don't have to worry about falling as there is added protection So you can go as hard as you want.

    Best of both worlds.
     
  49. Alexander has

    Alexander has First Runs

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    Both!
    You can get some pretty decent rental skis these days.
    Buy your own boots from a good boot fitter then get lessons!
    or if all else fails. get lessons via a ski school and ask for an instructor who you like :)