Sticker shock

I got a bit of sticker shock yesterday. My 2 kids are taking cross country ski lessons. Right now we are using some old Karhu waxless touring skis. They are great for ungroomed trails and backcountry skiing. Since they are waxless, there is very little maintenance involved. Plus, the price was right since we got everything used except poles for my son and me.

The kids are growing fast. The boots my son had the last 2 years now fit my daughter. He is using a spare pare of mine, which are actually almost too small already. They are all the old 3-pin style bindings, which are outdated. My daughter’s bindings are literally falling apart. I’ve had to put them back together a few times recently. Rather than change bindings on our skis to work with the new boot styles, I decided it is time to upgrade skis. So yesterday afternoon we went to a local sporting gear shop.

I am dreadfully uninformed about what to look for in quality skis. Thankfully, the sales clerk wasn’t. He took the time to answer all our questions and then had his partner come over to answer those about junior skis he didn’t know. Overall, we spent over half an hour talking to them. My son really needs and wants skate skis. He can still use the old classic ones for now, but apparently you need a different type of ski for doing skate skiing. That would also include new bindings, poles, and boots. Luckily there is a type of boot called a “combi” that can be used for both classic and skate skis (and even with roller skis) as long as the bindings are the same. Eventually we will get him new classic skis with whatever binding he gets for the skate skis. Since my daughter is still small, she can get a “combi” ski until she gets older. Then she too will need separate classic and skate skis.

Now for the sticker shock. A set of boots, bindings, and skate skis for my son was around $600. That’s about $200 more than I was expecting. Since we are the same height, I would need the same package. The junior “combi” ski package for my daughter was about half that. I’m going to a different sports store today to get another perspective on what we need. Then I’ll try the used sports gear shop to see if they have any of what we need that’s more within my budget. Otherwise, it’s probably going to have to wait until fall.

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