Here’s an email I sent sent to a friend of mine that was asking my advice about buying or renting skis. He plans to go quite a bit this year and this is a good question. Enjoy:
…Really, the best place for sure to put money is in your boots. No doubt. Spend money on new boots and have them fit for you (rather than just going into MC Sports and helping yourself to what is in stock that might seem to fit). Buy good boots that are fit for you and maybe some used or cheaper skis. The next year, upgrade your skis. That is definitely the best way to do it.
The place I got my bootwork done was here:
This guy, Will, is great. He’ll fit you for footbeds by sort of molding your foot and then he’ll put you into boots that are good for you. You want a snug and comfortable connection between your foot and your boot. All of your foot should be connecting with the boot. If you have to first move your foot to connect with the boot and move your skis, then that’s not good. Boots CAN be pretty comfortable. I’m in my boots for 8 or more hours all day on Saturdays and although it’s not like wearing slippers, my feet stay pretty comfortable. It’s just SO worth it. As you improve your skiing, you won’t be compensating for equipment that doesn’t fit well and your skiing will be better.
Getting good boots is almost a secret to skiing well – although it shouldn’t be. I’ve learned the hard way that people that show up for a class with bad fitting rental boots don’t do well and they get frustrated. One of the first things I do (besides introduce myself) is check their equipment and make sure they get fit into their boots well. That way, if there is pain, then they can go back and get different boots right away.
Anyway, sorry for the long letter here but I think you’ll see that I think boots are important.
For skis, you’re about my height I think, so you’d probably want 170cm skis. I have some shorter ones, like 160 and 165 and those are almost more fun, so I’d suggest 165 for you. They’ll be easier to manage. If skis are shorter, they’re also slower so if you’re concerned about controlling speed, then start off with shorter skis until you get used to controlling your speed.
I’d love to ski with you and work on my movement analysis skills since that’s something I’m working on this year. This is looking at people’s skiing and helping them correct things.