How to Choose A Complete Alpine Ski Package: Lead Image

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How to Choose a Complete Alpine Ski Package

Here at SkiEssentials.com, we spend a lot of time breaking down the nitty gritty details of the latest and greatest equipment.  We know skiers like that stuff, but we also know that there are a lot of skiers out there who aren’t tremendously concerned with the technical details of their equipment and also don’t necessarily want to break the bank acquiring ski gear.  In other words, a lot of skiers want to simplify the process and get some trustworthy gear that they can take onto the slopes and have a good time.  We love skiing, and all the different types of skiers, which is why we spend a significant amount of time and energy putting together affordable complete ski packages.

In this article, we’re going to briefly talk about some of the differences among out different complete ski packages to help you navigate the options and determine what would be best for you.  All of our ski packages come with skis, boots, bindings, and poles.  The biggest variety you’ll see is in the ski and boot options.  In general, the least expensive packages will have the softest flexing boots and skis that are very easy to handle.  As we move up in price, we’ll see stiffer flexing boots, more technology in the skis, and more performance for intermediate and advanced level skiers.

Let’s start with the least expensive.  We have a number of complete packages that you can pick up for under $500.  That’s a really, really good, and is about equivalent to a week’s worth of ski rentals.  So, in other words, if you’re planning a ski trip, and you often rent, it might be more cost effective to buy your own gear.  There are huge benefits to owning your own gear.  Not just the added convenience, but also performance benefits.  You’ll get to know your gear and be more comfortable on it, which will lead to more confidence on the slopes.  The skis in these packages use lightweight cores either made from synthetic materials, wood, or a blend of the two.  The boots all have relatively soft flex pattern, which you can see numerically in the number after the boot.  These 50-70 flex boots are perfect for beginner skiers who are still relatively new to skiing.  Even someone who has never skied before can use one of these packages, in fact, they’re pretty perfect for that application.  If you’re trying to save money, want great equipment for a beginner, or both, these are great options.  We have other packages in this range as well, so keep an eye out for a price around $500 or less and a relatively soft flexing boot.  


Least Expensive



As we move up in price, we’re also moving up in overall performance and the flex pattern of the boots.  Some of these packages have more advanced ski construction, some have stiffer boots, and some have a combination of both.  These packages would still be a reasonably good choice for someone brand new to skiing, but are best for someone who has a little bit of experience and just wants to get away from the rental shops.  The increase in overall performance will also help you take your skiing to the next level.  Take the Atomic Vantage 75 package as an example.  Although it still comes with the Cruise 70 boot found in the less expensive Dynastar package above, the Vantage 75 itself has more advanced construction and a more progressive, versatile shape.  Atomic’s Energy Backbone and Carbon Tank Mesh is used in some of their most expensive, highest performing skis, and it trickles all the way down to these.  More engineering means more performance, so as you start to improve your technique and ski faster, skis like this will help promote that progression.  


MEN'S BEGINNER



In general, if you’re moving away from ski rentals, you’ll still want to stick with a relatively soft flexing boot, which is why we’re still seeing a relatively low range of 60-75 flex ratings in this group of packages.  You are, however, getting a little bit more performance out of all of these packages and others that fall into this price range than the three packages we talked about to begin the article.  Prices for these packages are $500 and up, rather than $500 or less.  


WOMEN'S BEGINNER



This third group of complete packages is best for someone who has a little more experience.  There’s a good chance you’ve been renting still, but maybe you’ve been renting the higher performance models.  Maybe you’ve taken some lessons, or are planning on it.  Either way, when we get up to these packages, we’re getting significantly more performance in most all scenarios, as well as more versatility.  In other words, you’re ready to take your skiing to the next level and are ready to invest a little more to make it happen.  Still, these packages are highly affordable, ranging from $560 to $700.  

Let’s talk about the differences you’re going to find in these packages.  For starters, we’re going to see a stiffer flex range for the boots.  These men’s packages range from a 70 to 90 flex boot with the women’s options ranging from 70 to 85.  Those 85 and 90 flex boots are getting into more of an advanced/intermediate category, but are still focused on comfort and won’t be too demanding for a recreational skier.  The benefit is they will allow you to ski a little faster, more aggressively, and continue to improve as a skier.


MEN'S INTERMEDIATE



We also see more technology in these ski options.  The Salomon S/Force 7 is a perfect example.  These skis will feel stronger and more stable than the packages we’ve looked at thus far, which is reflected in the price.  The women’s package in particular is noteworthy as it also comes with a Mach Sport 85 flex boot.  That combination could satisfy even a relatively advanced, aggressive skier, while still being a tremendous value at $699.  The Dynastar Legend 84 is another ski worth pointing out.  It’s the widest ski in this article and hands-down the most versatile.  That package would be a great choice for a skier who’s starting to explore new terrain and softer snow conditions.  The construction is still lightweight, so the ski isn’t too demanding, but the increased with and the rockered, tapered shape is far more capable in soft snow and un-groomed terrain.  When you’re navigating these options pay attention to boot flex, price, and the width of the skis.  


WOMEN'S INTERMEDIATE



You’ll also find some packages on SkiEssentials.com that don’t really fall into the 3 categories we just split these skis into.  Sometimes, we have the opportunity to put together a more advanced package that’s still impressively affordable.  This 2019 Elan Amphibio 84 Ti is a perfect example.  At full price, this would be a $1500+ package, but right now it’s just $749.95.  In this package, you’re getting a 90 flex boot, a ski with more advanced construction and more overall performance, a drill mounted Tyrolia Attack 13, and of course you get poles too.  That’s a lot of high-end gear for a fraction of the original price.  Keep in mind, however, this wouldn’t necessarily be a good choice for a beginner or less aggressive intermediate as the skis are more demanding than anything else we’ve talked about thus far.

Then there’s the Armada ARV 84.  That ski is unique because it’s the only twin tip in this article, and one of the only twin tip packages on our site.  That makes it an excellent choice for a young skier who wants to start exploring the terrain park and feeling more freedom on the slopes.  The 65 flex boot, as you know from reading this article, is still perfectly appropriate for a beginner skier too.  This is a great option for tweens and young teens.  


OTHER OPTIONS



As always, if you’re read through this article and still need guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Customer Service team or leave a comment right here on this article.  We’d love to help guide you to your new ski package, and we hope this article at least helps put you on the right track.  

6 thoughts on “How to Choose a Complete Alpine Ski Package

  1. Hey!
    Enjoying the info. Perhaps the more I watch the more confused as to what direction to go.
    I am 62 yrs young, athletic, adv intermediate skier. About to retire and plan to ski more now between Michigan and Colorado. Try east as well.
    I ski groomers and similar light snow. Mostly blues. Like to carve and looking for an easy ski to have fun with.
    5’9” 170lbs.
    What do you suggest please?? Thx for great content!

    1. Hi Peter!
      Ha! Get what you mean for sure! I've been doing this for years and it's still hard for me to choose! Sounds to me like you're describing an Elan Ripstick 88. We've had good luck with these over the years, and there's no reason to start now! I'd look to the low to mid-170's for length. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Was looking at package 2022 VOLKL FLAIR 72 WOMEN'S SKIS W/ NORDICA CRUISE 75W BOOTS AND POLES and based on sizing charts ski length should be 149-154cm. It also says for heavier people I’m 5’4” 180 go with longer range. Package shows 151 would that be to short? Ski green and blues only. Also I’ve determine my boot size what happens if I order what I think and size is wrong?

    1. HI Melody!
      I don't think you'll be losing out on much performance with the 151--it sounds like a good size to me, and it's all about having fun out there, especially if you're cruising greens and blues. We can exchange boots prior to them being skied in, so be sure that they fit snugly out of the box, as they do pack in over the course of a few days. If you need an exchange, give us a call at 877/812/6710. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Hi,
    Thank you for the wealth of information here and on your YouTube channel. I was wondering if you could help me with a recommendation though. I'm a 5'11"(M) and 195lbs, good shape besides the few extra pounds and I'd describe myself as intermediate. I did rentals until now but I want to get a pair of skis of my own. I do mostly groomed snow and love to carve. Looking for something to help me develop but also to just have fun out there.
    I was thinking the Ripsticks 96's, Enforcer 94's or Rustler 9's, but I'm not married with either so any recommendation is very welcomed. Also, what length do you think for my build?
    Thank you in advance.

    Cheers,
    Radu

    1. Hi Radu!
      For your first pair, I think the Ripsticks make a lot of sense. The Enforcer and Rustler may be on the aggressive side, while the Ripstick has a wide range of abilities that it's able to cater to. I'd look to the 180 in that ski. Have fun!
      SE

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