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Advice needed XC gear reccomendation for not you avg skiers

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by spaceyoo, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. spaceyoo

    spaceyoo First Runs

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    Hi All
    looking to buy our fist set of xc skis (total beginners) and we're a bit confused - it's cerainly a whole world out there. Also our starting point is a bit "unusual"
    Hubby is 183cm and I'm 170, both sit around 100kg - not atheltic (a.k.a fat), especially me!
    BUT - this has so far not stopped us from hiking and kayaking and last year for the first time we tried to XC Ski (at Dinner Plain) and LOOOVED it.
    We would like to start doing this on a regular basis and since XC gear is not as expensive just get our own kit to suit us.

    We intend to ski around the trails at Mt.Stirling or Dinner Plain, and need ski's that will give us confidence, allow us to figure out what we like, and just enjoy an active (yet not particularly adrenaline packed) time in the snow - maybe even some off-trail down the track?
    Hubby will be travelling to the US soon, so we're looking for advice on potential models to snap up a bargain - or a guideline to length, profile and style (I understand we're better off with slightly wider, metal edged skis) .
    Also - bindings! I will be buying shoes in Melbourne (don't want to buy without fitting) and so might be hubby so something simple like what we had on the rental gear (snaps in and out, worked fine). Are those the NNN ones?
    Sorry about being clueless :)
    Cheers
     
  2. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cross country skiing is a quiver sport, if you get into it you'll end up owning a lot of different pairs of skis and boots. Since you're starting on the groomed trails buy equipment which works well there, then progress into different gear.

    Start off with some classical skis, boots, bindings and poles.

    1. Buy boots that fit, I'd go a combi boot rather than a classic boot if you aren't very athletic (nominally a combi boot is for both classic and skate, but you'll get more control going downhill with a combi boot and is worth the compromise of slightly reduced effeciency).
    2. There are two competing systems of bindings, they are nearly identical and perform about the same (SNS and NNN), so buy the one which your boot fits into. If you're less athletic get an auto binding (has a button rather than a leaver, you don't have to bend down that way).
    3. If you're staying on the groomed trails the category you want is a cruising ski. They don't have metal edges, since they slow you down a lot (extra friction and weight) and don't add a lot of control to those sorts of skis. Cruiser skis are shorter and a bit wider than race skis. Also for skiing in australia buy a pattern base ski. What length to buy is very dependant on the ski, if instore have fun doing the stand on the ski game, otherwise just use the sizing table for that particular ski.
    4. Poles, whatever works, but the stiffer and lighter they are the easier they are to use.
     
  3. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    @teckel sells and hires XC gear. Her shop is just over the Black Spur if you feel like a pleasant drive. She is very helpful and friendly.

    Otherwise EMC or AJAYs in the Eastern suburbs. Bogong in the CBD didn't used to be very beginner friendly but it may have improved. Not sure about Wilderness Shop in Box Hill.
     
  4. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    TP knows his stuff and Currawong's advice is on the ball. EMC at Deepdene will have a range to suit you or Ajays (its partner shop in Heathmont) might be more convenient. Get the gear and get into it.
     
  5. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    3rding the EMC selection. Go see Doug and he will get you sorted. He recently took care of @Mister Tee on XC Skis
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  6. spaceyoo

    spaceyoo First Runs

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    Hi All! thanks heaps for the advice!!!
    @Telemark Phat - by cruiser skis you mean touring skis?
    @currawong - I wouldn't mind a drive to Black Spur at all :) (we go there often and don't live too far)

    I was wondering though - and it does concern $$$ - if it might be cheaper to get skis in the US and then the shoes here, but then I will have to make sure the bindings fit. (or maybe even rent skis? I do prefer to own the boots)
    Some sale stores in the US (like the house) have pretty cheap options and a huge selection!
    Cheers!
     
  7. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    While it is nice to save the money this is one place where I really feel it is worth shopping at and supporting local businesses, simply because of the after sales service. Bogong, Ajays and MEC all offer excellent service and are very clued up as is Snow Sports in Wodonga where I shop, boot fitting is important no matter what the style. Last seasons rentals are a good place to buy sometimes but also sometimes close to worn out; last seasons cosmetic model is usually what I can afford tho
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  8. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    No, I mean cruiser skis. Cruiser skis are a category of classic skis. Touring skis are a very different beast.
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  9. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hi @spaceyoo . Come on up here in the non-winter months any day other than Tuesdays or Wednesdays (my days off). I should be able to offer your plenty of advice and show you different types of skis & bindings. I could probably sell you some ex-rental (excellent condition) skis suitable for groomed trail skiing. I sometimes have new ones for sale, but not many.
    I'm in Narbethong - on the left side of the road coming from Melbourne. The signs outside at this time of year are for camping and fishing stuff.
     
  10. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I can recommend BOGONG EQUIPMENT, EMC and Teckel's shop in Narbethong. Bruce's shop in Jindabyne , NSW is good too. It is best to own your own boots ,skis and poles. Beware, once you own your own skis one pair will never be enough ;-P. I have two pairs of skis already and I am merely a blue run level classic XC/BC XC skier with limited experience.
     
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  11. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I started XC skiing properly , in earnest last season,
    (white season 2018). I did dabble with it in white season 2016 and 2017 but at the end of 2017 , having rented Madhus Epoch back country pattern base skis with metal edges coupled with NNN BC manual magnum bindings from Bruce at his shop in Jindabyne and having enjoyed some skiing near Charlotte Pass in NSW, I went off and purchased the same set up coupled with Fischer NNN BC boots.
    The whole caboodle was not that cheap but being the Green season/ off season, Doug at EMC in Deepdene here in Melbourne gave me a discount for buying the whole package on a lay by arrangement.
    In 2018, I went so many times to so many different places to classic XC ski and Back Country XC ski that I actually ended my season skiing the whole Heathy Spur loop near Falls Creek in 5.5 hours including lunch , photo stops and no falls and hardly any snow plough turns ( they slow you down as you turn).
    So I have become a born again XC skier, ( praise de lawd! ) and half way through the 2018 ski season I got a pair of skinny pattern base Classic XC skis with matching bindings that match my NNN BC boots, 2nd hand for a song from forum member @mr.
    .They made skiing at Lake Mtn. and elsewhere a joy.
    I am now eyeing off these skis
    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/foo...-cross-country-skis-199-cm-salomon/1191667327
    on GUMTREE.
    They would need to have NNN BC Manual ( the Lever) Magnum bindings attached so that they suit my boots.
    I have found I am a better intermediate skier on my skinny skis and can get around quite well on them. If the conditions are icy or fresh/ ungroomed then generally I will use my wider metal edged pattern base skis.Having both kinds of skis has worked really well for me.
    Now some people will poo poo me ( you know who you are !) and my own journey from snow shoes/snow camping and green season bushwalking to becoming a skier who can ski cross country back country routes of up to 16-18 kms in a day as the ramblings of a newbie .
    However I can relate to the OP whose journey into XC skiing is just beginning.
    I can recommend taking up a regular fitness regime so that you can avoid injuries while skiing or recover from them more readily if and when they do occur. That means distance swimming in the Olympic pool, cycling , surfing and long hikes in the Oz Alps.
    Being fit and in good shape means you can XC ski all day even if you do end up walking like Tony Abbott at sundown.
    ;-P
    With the right techniques via good lessons from good teachers and excellent fitness you can cover a lot of ground at places such as : Mt. St. Gwinear; Mt. Buffalo;Lake Mtn.; Dinner Plain to Wire Plain shelter at Mt. Hotham and back in a day; Falls Creek/ Bogong High Plains ; NSW-Spencer's Creek to Charlotte's Pass; Mt. Stirling's Green and Blue Runs ( well some of Mt. Stirling's Blue runs are tricky when they are icy or too steep ) and so on.
    The Circuit Road at Mt. Stirling heading for Howqua Gap is great easy XC skiing esp. when it has excellent cover and often you will have it all to yourself even on a busy August weekend.
    I hope I see you out there at any of the listed places in white season 2019.I am the dude with a bicycle helmet moving on skis :) .

     
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  12. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I like the lever on manual NNN BC bindings. The automatic NNN bindings get clogged up with ice and snow and swearing at them doesn't work when your hands are too cold to get the bloody things to behave!. The Manual Bindings NNNBC with the lever have a tad more contact with your boot too, which offers a modicum of more control on simple descents and turns.
     
  13. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you're happy bending over the manual bindings work better, but they don't offer any more control, you've got to step up to the comp bindings for that.
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  14. spaceyoo

    spaceyoo First Runs

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    Thanks so much for the post! Loved it! :)
    My aspirations are much lower o_O - If i can do 4-5k, looking around at the snowy backdrop at Stirling i'll be pretty happy!
    I am now trying this whole "workout regime" thing (I am ok with "workouts", not so much the "regime")
    I swim a bit, and as for hiking - well, that will have to wait until the kiddo grows up a bit (have you ever tried hiking with a 3yr old? I had a 40-min uphill hike turn into a 1.5 hr "no! no! no!" fest) - so given that in the next 2-3 years I really dont expect to be doing that much, but hey after that if you see a fat lady with a kid that doesn't shut up in tow.. :)
    Manual binding - certainly an option!

    One thing - when we rented the skis at dinner plain - after 20-30 min of trying to propel myself on the "classic" groomed path and getting absolutely nowhere - i left the pre-made groves and started "skating". It felt AWESOME. I only had one fall (i used to ice-skate as a small kid) and it was fast a more engaging and overall yay - but i understand skating need completely different ski types, and it's considered more "Advanced".

    So I guess what I need to do it go get something "decent" and see how I go from there.
     
  15. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds like you should rent some skating skis one day and see how you go. It is a different technique but if you have had experience on ice skates and have reasonable balance then skaters can be a great way to travel on a groomed trail. Teckel has them, too.
     
  16. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Get some lessons for Classic XC skiing and if you think skate skiing might be your thing then have some lessons for that technique
    . I am merely an intermediate pattern based classic XC ski/Pattern base BC XC plodder but I like to go out for a whole day and tour around some distances esp. on the Bogong High Plains.
    However Chris Cross, Telemark Phat and others on the forum know much about skiing and equipment than I do . I am merely an enthusiast.
     
  17. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    some fit and enthusiastic people go straight to skating. it's a big step, but you said you found it easier than classic so maybe consider hiring skate skis and having a few lessons before committing. Combi boots (as suggested by @Telemark Phat ) could be another future proofing step. I'm no expert but some expert friends have opined that combi gear is not much good for either.
     
  18. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I can skate wearing my T-2 but it is very hard work, skating while wearing the T-1 is a bit harder again but it can be done. A lot of learning to skate for me is getting strength in the correct muscle groups but this in on the Madshus Annums
     
  19. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    To skate effeciently you need to maintain momentum. To do that you need good skate technique, good balance and good fitness, otherwise you'll be in a world of pain. If you don't have all the of those things and if you want, or don't mind a world of pain go for it.

    Classic is easier to balance and if you run out of steam you can always just walk, sharing doesn't give you that choice. The balance is the same for the two which is why any instructor will recommend you learn classic first.
     
  20. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Combi skis are a massive compromise, combi boots not so much.
     
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  21. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Getting the rhythm and the proper technique for diagonal stride for classic XC skiing is what has helped me progress. Plus learning to herringbone, short hop and side step up hills as well as snow plough turn and step turn down hills.
    If you can do all of these things then you can easily ski from Dinner Plain to Wire Plain hut ( Mt. Hotham ) and back in a day with your lunch and water in a back pack(snow conditions and fitness allowing).
    The Nordic Bowl at Falls Creek is also an excellent place to practise these things and a good place to get lessons(Windy Corner XC ski centre).So too is Lake Mountain.
     
  22. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    How'd You Spaceyoo.

    Exciting times starting out.

    Since you mentioned Stirling, I'm tempted to suggest 75 mm boots/bindings with a metal edge for security when it ices up.

    I'm old school & grew up in 75 mm stuff and still think for heavier touring (harder terrain) this set up with a metal edge ski is the way to hold.

    Consider fitting (hiring) some Garmont/Scott Excursions (yes 75mm system) - I have a pair & they're great. Good security in fairly tricky terrain and strong enough to use as a light lift 'tele' boot - although not they're best use.

    For a ski - perhaps look at a Rosignol XC ski or similar -maybe the '70' (tip width mm) for more trail base or the 90 mm for more off trail ability - off course more wait on your feet too!

    Fwiw: I don't think light weight boots and bindings will be as good for 'us' more solid types - I'm 190 mm but ~115 kg!! Antd so don't I judge! Others here may disagree.

    I'll get back to you on bindings. (Madam Secretary is starting - love that show! )
     
  23. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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  24. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Those skis look really good. I saw a similar pair at RAY'S ski shop in Myrtleford. The model I saw had the metal edges and the aperture for attaching skins for climbing up steeper slopes .We are in Feb. now so only 4 months to go until the 2019 season commences !
     
  25. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm a very poor xc skiier but getting away from 75mm light touring setup was the best thing I did. The boots were just too flexible and I had very little control for turning. It's a long time ago so things may have changed. I would certainly only consider 75mm if the boots had no twist in them. If you intend skiing on groomed trails, heavy 75mm is not very suitable.

    metal edges (or half metal edges if they still make such things) are certainly much more secure for those of use without great technique.
     
  26. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    I agree as to the old floppy leather boots.

    But leather & modern plastic are ‘chalk n cheese’

    Garmont/Scott Excursions (2 buckle & power strap), provide decent edge control & power for turning, while being flexible enough to enjoy trail work in most circumstances.

    Theyre pehaps a tad overkill for Lake Mtn but anything slightly undulating or icy or in fresh or irregular snowpacks, the Exies’ are great,

    Even better if you spend the extra $120 and get heat moldable footbeds. Most decent ski shops can sell these, and shape to your foot in an hour or so. They’ll do running reheats or mods to either footbed or boot if there’s issues.

    The other brand if placcy boot is Scarpa - theyre better known for their heavy boots these days. They still make a lightishT3 but I reckon Excursions have the edge -as ever!!
     
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  27. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, they're still available. I have 3/4 metal edge skis in my rental quiver - the Madshus Voss, to be superseded this year with the Madshus BC50
     
  28. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    How much are the Madshus BC50's retailing for sans bindings?
     
  29. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    RRP is $399. I don't think I'll have any for sale. (In fact, I can't even remember what I ordered back in October - LOL) Ask me in June.
     
  30. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Do they come with a NNN BC binding for rental? I am always happy to try out skis esp. from your shop. I like trying out guitars too.
     
  31. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    No, I don't hire BC boots, so I don't hire BC bindings. I was going to say I could swap the bindings over, but the Voss doesn't have the slide-on thingy for the bindings. But you could hire normal NNN boots with them to give them a tryout.
     
  32. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It sounds like too much bother. I have my ski rig and two pairs of skis that match my one pair of boots. I will take a look at those skis though. I might come up next Friday and do a few other things in the area.
     
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  33. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The OP should keep an eye on GUMTREE for some bargains in XC ski gear.If unsure as to the merits of various items going cheaply second hand then just furnish the panel here with the web link and they should be able to advise about the goods in question.
     
  34. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Get down to EMC. Doug will do you a ripper skis and bindings XC ski deal if you ask nicely.
     
  35. Ziggy

    Ziggy Renormed Ski Pass: Gold

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    Dunno whether it's still the case but grooming at Stirling used to be episodic. After a fall you could expect to be skiing feral snow.
    And even if the trails are groomed, when you get to the Summit you are absolutely going to want to ski some of the spurs and bowls laid out in front of you.
    So choose your ski style accordingly.
     
  36. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Total Beginners should not try to ski the summit areas at Mt. Stirling. The area above the tree line can become very icy indeed and It has some lines that are too steep for learners who cannot snow plough turn and snow plough stop confidently . Metal edged skis up there are not optional IMHO. Some of the Blue runs (Intermediate graded terrain) at Mt. Stirling are not suitable for total learners/newbies at all i.e . The Race Loop :-0 . The Green runs at Mt. Stirling such as the Circuit road are better for learner XC skiers. Lake Mountain , overall , is a better place for people to learn to XC ski.
     
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  37. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Hard Yards

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    Good on you Mr T. Spot on. The thing with XC is perhaps how much groomer/ track work you plan to do. Some people are content to lap, others want to get out on the plains. I have never used a non-metal edged ski and your comments make me feel I am missing out on easy days. Cheers
     
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  38. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I just got a 3rd pair of XC skis. These are FISCHER CROWN EXPLORE skis.They are light and springy like my Classic Fischer Crown skinny skis but 184 cms long with full metal edges.
    The Bindings are ROTEFELLA MANUAL NNN BC .
    Bring on the snow for 2019.You can ski on and off groomed tracks with these skis, in icy conditions the metal edges are a winner . They are slim enough to ski in the chook footer grooves. If this G.A.S. continues I will have to start a Nordic ski shop in a few years selling 2nd hand skis.
     
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  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Skiing the groomed XC runs on skinny skis sans metal edges is easy and the XC PB skis without the metal edges are much lighter and just follow your thoughts so you can make magical turns.
     
  40. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ray's ski hire in Myrtleford have some XC skis and bindings on sale for a nice price.
     
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  41. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Hard Yards

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    I started off on super skinny skis (borrow and hire), and then went up to the Eon with solid leather boots and then Excursions, and I must say that looking at the Voss in the past, it did look like a nice ski and wish I'd had that to start out on. With nice fluffy snow at LM as a beginner you don't need metal edges, but skiing in Baw Baw in August/Sept, I really like the metal edge as it can get really icy, and can turn really fast later in the day. With Stirling it will depend where you go. No doubt OP you have your gear now, but it does depend on how confident and careful you are. If you've ice skated you should be fine. I came in at XC in my early 40's and with the need to be careful with falls, so it all depends. I second some of the posters here, that getting lessons is a really, really sensible thing (I wish I'd done that). LM is pretty cheap for group lessons if it is close to you and I reckon a good place to start as the snow is softer as it gets groomed. Hope you have a great time in the upcoming season!
     
  42. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    If in doubt, lessons.
     
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  43. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oct 24, 2003
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    and to take kids on hikes / xc skiing / skiing generally - get other kids to come, if no siblings, steal one of their kindy or school friends. id rather look after 5 kids than 1 anyday! and make it an adventure - 'we are going here', 'then here' 'check out this hut' 'look at that bird' 'have another hot chocolate and a biccy'
     
    Mister Tee on XC Skis likes this.
  44. zac150

    zac150 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sweet, so you will look after your bro’s and my kids whilst we go off adventuring?