Lovingly used and abused
Are you ready for another ski season? These skis and poles sure are! And they could be yours for just $5. But first, you should probably know a few things.
First of all, they’ve been mounted three times, so it might be a little tricky to find a spot to mount your bindings. I bought them for $100 from my friend Mitsu in 2009, after he’d skied on them for a few seasons. He’s a couple inches shorter than me, but I figured they’d work. They were my first backcountry skis, mounted with a pair of Fritschi Diamir Freerides or something, which didn’t have brakes, so I bought some steel leashes for them. I skied them off and on until 2014, when my girlfriend wanted to learn to ski, so she bought some used boots from a friend and used them for a couple years. They’re 170cm, which is a little long for her and a little short for me, but I guess we both made do. Maybe you can too, if, like I said, you can find a way to mount bindings on them a fourth time.
I don’t know a hell of a lot about skis except how to stay upright on them about 95 percent of the time, but these were allegedly pretty decent, and not just in my opinion. Off Piste Magazine reviewed them in 2003 and liked them for alpine touring and tele skiing, even if they were a bit heavy (although at 120/90/110 they were pretty fat). In addition, I texted Mitsu earlier this week to ask him about his memories of the skis and he said, “At the time I thought they were great.” I have no idea why a guy who primarily spent his resort days searching for the perfect tele turn while listening to Harvard Business Review podcasts on his earbuds would have bought twin-tip skis, but like I said, I don’t know a hell of a lot about skis anyway. But apparently these will go backwards if you’re into that sort of thing. Also, there are no core shots.
OK, so they’ve been mounted three times, are a little heavy, and I guess as of this season, they’re a little elderly. But they’re basically the exact same age as Jay-Z’s "The Black Album," which has aged quite well since winter 2003, in my opinion. Although Karhu stopped existing as a ski manufacturer after being acquired by K2 in 2004, so I guess you would say Jay-Z is doing a little better than Karhu. Anyway, a few things to think about if purchasing these skis—but let me mention that I’ll throw in these ski poles as well.
The poles: My friend Brian gave these to me in 2008 when he was getting rid of all his stuff before moving to China to teach English. He had acquired them at a thrift shop for $5, and they served me well all the way through the 2016-2017 ski season. I don’t know how much pole technology has advanced in the many years since these poles were designed, but I do know I punched through some crust on Quandary Peak in June 2009, ate shit, and fell super-hard on one of the poles and it bent but didn’t break.
The poles have pretty much all the parts you would find on normal ski poles, and if you’re the kind of skier whose skiing demands poles that are arrow-straight, or, you know, less than a decade old, you probably won’t be interested in these. But if you’re in need of a pair of skis and a pair of poles and you want to spend less on them than you will on your first apres-ski beer this season, this package is as good as any other ski/pole combo you’ll find in the $4-$6 price range this year.
Anyway, I don’t know why I’m telling you all this. You’re probably just going to make the skis into one of those ski chairs. You know what, $5 seems a little steep. Tell you what: I’ll just leave them in the alley behind my apartment, and if you want them, come by and grab them.
Read more from Brendan Leonard at Semi-Rad.com