Buying used skis and boots is a great way to save a little bit of money. If you are looking to buy used ski equipment then there are a few things you should consider in order to avoid future obstacles or complications.
Are the boot soles still in good condition?
As people walk around in the parking lot, streets, or other hard ground, the base of their ski boot begins to wear off. The front and backs of the boots will wear down the quickest, as this is where the majority of the impact is when walking. Make sure that the boot has not worn down enough to become significantly rounded on the end, as this will be dangerous in the binding. Additionally, sometimes screws and other parts of the boot may be more prominent if the boot sole has begun to wear down.
This ski boot sole is too worn to safely use
This ski boot sole has been worn but is still safe to use.
Will this binding fit my foot?
If you are buying used skis online then it is likely that it will come with a binding already mounted. It is important to look at the size range for the current binding mount as remounting a binding can be a hassle and will raise the investment price of the ski. Typically a binding has the ability to move about a size either way, but it is best to ask the seller about the size range of the binding.
Will this binding din window work for me?
Even if your boot sole length will work with a binding, it doesn’t mean that the binding will automatically work well for you. Each binding has a din window that determines the release setting for the binding. Generally, youth bindings have a din setting of .5-4.5 and adult bindings have a din setting of 4-12. Bindings meant for teenagers or older youth will have a din setting range of about 2-7. An individual’s din level is dependent on height, weight, age, boot sole length, and skiing ability. For safety reasons, it is necessary that you stay within the din range on the binding.
Bindings with a din window from 4-13 are appropriate for adults
Bindings with a din up to 4.5 are popular for children
Are these bindings still supported by the manufacturer?
Ski and binding manufactures come out with a list of bindings every year that they no longer are supporting. Once a binding is no longer supported by the manufacturer, it is called non-indemnified. If a binding is considered non- indemnified then most shops will not be able to adjust the bindings. This is because they would be taking full liability for the binding instead of the manufacturer. Bindings generally become non-indemnified after about 10 years, but it is dependent on both the manufacturer and the individual binding. This is a frequently overlooked aspect of buying used skis, but it is very important.
Is there still a lot of edge left?
If a ski has been tuned a lot then you will notice that the edge on it looks a little thinner. You may also notice that one side of the ski has a thinner edge than the other; this is a sign that one side has been edged more than the other. When buying used skis this can be a sign that the seller has taken good care of their skis, it can also mean that they have used the skis a lot. Depending on the amount of edge left, it may also determine the number of times that you are able to sharpen your edges.
How much base is left?
Sometimes it may be difficult to tell how much base is still left on a ski, but this will be a good determinant of how much the ski has previously been used. If there is not a lot of base left then it means that the ski has likely been stone ground a lot. This can be a sign that the ski has been previously damaged or skied a lot.
Has it been tuned?
A fresh tune on a pair of skis is a good sign that the seller has taken care of their equipment. It also means that the skis are ready to be used and do not need to be worked on prior to skiing. At Utah Ski Gear, we provide a 'Silver' tune on all of our skis before they are sold. Our Silver Tune includes a machine buff wax, sharpening, and belt sand base.
Utah Ski Gear specializes in used equipment so you can reach out to us with any questions you may have about buying used skis and boots.
Need help with this or any other equipment? Feel free to reach out at support!