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Do our reviews suck? - Page 3

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post



I would agree with you.

 

Here's at least one Katana review:

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89991/the-japanese-sword-of-destiny-volkl-katana-183cm

 

 


Yep, the Katana is sweet and Volkl completely sucks at marketing it.  I told the Volkl rep as much last weekend at the Alta 2012 demo day.  His response was something to the effect of, "If we were all rich we'd all ski on Katanas."

 

Volkl better not get any ideas that the new Shiro replaces it, they're different animals.  

 

post #62 of 83


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post



I would agree with you.

 

Here's at least one Katana review:

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89991/the-japanese-sword-of-destiny-volkl-katana-183cm

 

 




that review reminds I should update it and do a good review after a year of ownership

post #63 of 83

I know it sounds harsh but I think the entire discussion here is pretty academic for the following reasons:

 

- Template or not, a focussd description of a ski in variable terrain and snow conditions is what a proper review should be about IMHO.

 

- Descriptions are mostly subject to the reviewer's own background and experience and always relative. That is not a problem as long as he states his one as objective as possible but many people rather tend to oversell themselves. Which in return makes it harder to get the right picture.

 

- Some reviewers have better description capabilities than others to express specific features. There are folks who spend a thousand words on what others describe even better in two sentences.

 

- Going from there shorter and straight forward is often better on an initial review IMO. I find myself not even start reading overly excessive and elaborated reviews often found here (versus TGR for example - like their approach often better in that respect). I'm always free to follow up with additional questions I have in case I find a review lacking in certain areas.

 

- Skis listed as liked and disliked which you have skied yourself can sometimes give a better indication than the reviewer's own description of how he/she thinks he/she skies.

 

In brief I personally like reviews which focus on the true essentials but keep it short, no matter whether they stringently follow a certain scheme/template or not. The latter alone doesn't necessarily make a survey a good one.

 

post #64 of 83
Thread Starter 

Nice:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

I think we could do that with the right filters on the product's details: 

details.tiff



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Matter View Post

I've noticed the majority of Epic's reviews tend to gravitate toward hard snow carving ability.  The new Blizzard flipcores are great skis, but I think the reason they caught so much attention originally here was because they're the best hard snow carvers out of all the rockered all mountain boards.  Same with the Kastles the prior two years.  Carving performance trumps other attributes here, whereas on TGR or some other site they favor other attributes higher. 

 


Somewhat valid point; we're more interested in <100 skis and carving than TGR. OTOH, we have a lot of good skiers here who can carve h out of a groomer but would rather be dancing through the trees or floating through bottomless pow. In all honesty, I find TGR's stuff really interesting, but it's more limited for me because I seldom encounter pow above my boots, often need a ski that can handle hardpack and crud the same day I find some freshies. But I get the fascination with the perfect ski for that one day a season when the powder gods smile...

 

post #65 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post

- Template or not, a focussd description of a ski in variable terrain and snow conditions is what a proper review should be about IMHO.

 

 

This is an example of why no rule ever applies in all situations, even if it seems sensible enough at first reading. I don't want some dude giving feedback on a GS ski that he's been skiing in twenty inches of powder, or through tight, bumped-up eastern trees. It's a GS ski. I know it's not going to be particularly great in those conditions. That guy's review is just going to skew the curve. I want to know how it's going to do on the kind of surface it's designed for. Now, if in addition to being awesome at speed on ice, it also happens to be very manageable and fun on corduroy at mortal velocity, I am interested in that ... but only because it's roughly within the realm of relevance for someone buying a ski like that. On the other hand, no one who has tree skiing as any kind of a priority is going to be in the market for a GS ski to use in that terrain.

post #66 of 83

On the pro / schmoe thing: I agree with the majority that some of our best reviewers are pros / retailers. I look for those reviews and value them highly. However, we must not make the mistake of thinking that because some of our best reviews come from pros, that therefore pros always or usually write the best reviews. That would be bad logic and also wrong. I say this because I have listened to a lot of employees at a lot of ski shops, and eight times out of ten they aren't particularly knowledgeable about their shop's skis, about where those skis fit vis a vis other brands and models, or about how to match a given skier up with good candidate skis. Sorry, but that's been my experience. The amount of ignorant and/or expedient ("you'll like these - they're what we have left") hogwash that I've heard come out of shop staff mouths is just amazing. Come on, you've all been there, wanting desperately to break in on some absurd exchange between Sales Kid and Ill-fated Customer.  (If you are one of the few really good shop folks in my area, at Ski Depot or Happy Tunes for example, you already know who you are and don't need to get your dander up; I am not talking about you!)

 

Phil, Dawg, SJ, et al. are the exceptions not the rule. The fact that they are pros almost seems an irrelevance. They are thoughtful, articulate, critical, skilled skiers who like to pay attention to skis and their attributes. Those qualities no doubt lead them to their lives as pros (and to make the effort to contribute so consistently to this site), but I suspect these characteristics don't primarily result from being pros, except insofar as being industry insiders gives them access to opportunities to ski lots of different gear that the rest of us don't generally have.

 

All this is simply to say that I feel very strongly that we should NOT - as someone suggested earlier in this thread - recognize pros automatically as having some special status or qualification to write reviews that have special weight. We have lots of folks on this board who (I think) are not pros, whom I would turn to for advice way before I would turn to some pro who had no track record to convince me of the value of his / her opinions.

post #67 of 83

I would not be surprised if ski & skiing magazine got away from objective reviews i.e., tests done to indicate flex balance, torsional stiffness etc was because a lot of the skis were exactly the same but marketed as being differnt. Even skis from differnt companies often matched skis of other companies if the numbers were looked @ closely this was noticeable. ( were the cores being manufactured in the same plant or a few plants then being sent to differnt manufactures for painting & putting on thier vibration control gadgets?)

 

 With subjective tests based on feel new & improved hype can be used for marketing. With objective tests done with numbers not based on on ski feel but the amount the ski bends under X force etc the consumer can not be fooled as easy. Skis can be demoed & a skier can compare how an increase in stiffness by x amount effects thier skiing. Iam not for comformity but so skiers can think & judge rationaly manufactures should set up a standard for rating thier ski equipment i.e., the stiffness of a ski boot & or ski should be rated by numbers that are based on the same standard from one company to another. (if someone is happy with thier boot stiffness they can replace with a boot with the same rating from any company) The torsional stiffness could be taken @ the tip, waist & tail as well as the stiffness for length of ski. I doubt if this will ever be done because I often cant feel any difference in the way a ski from one year to the next. The only difference I can tell is in the paint job but numbers would indicate a difference.

post #68 of 83

Demoing is probably closest to to getting YOU the ski that is best, but in my experience with demos, the quality of tune is very important. So not a done deal.

 

However skis reviewed from epic retailers like SJ, Philpug, Dawg, Whiteroom would have had proper tunes, and would IMO give a more accurate assessment.

This gives us epicski readers a bit of an advantage.

 

 

 

 

post #69 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by nfp158 View Post

Demoing is probably closest to to getting YOU the ski that is best, but in my experience with demos, the quality of tune is very important. So not a done deal.

 

However skis reviewed from epic retailers like SJ, Philpug, Dawg, Whiteroom would have had proper tunes, and would IMO give a more accurate assessment.

This gives us epicski readers a bit of an advantage.

 

 

 

 


There are some skis that I demo'ed this year that had obvious bad tunes that I chose not to write reviews because I kew they couldn't have skied that bad. 

 

post #70 of 83

Well that's pretty much what you used to get for ski tests. But that's straight slalom skis. They used to give you the tip, middle and tail flex. Nice, huh?

Apparently they do it for water skis.

Skis change so much so quickly that perhaps that's unlikely to happen again. Especially now with complex shapes, rocker etc. it would be a little more complicated.

 

See here for flex testing:

 

The Engineering of Sport 7, Volume 2; Volume 7

By Margaret Estivalet

http://books.google.com/books?id=QhoTizAhspEC&pg=PA643&dq=Slalom+ski+test&hl=en&ei=sXWkTc6IGLOD0QHt9sHtCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-thumbnail&resnum=1&ved=0CEIQ6wEwAA#v=onepage&q=Slalom%20ski%20test&f=false

post #71 of 83



 

Quote:

Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

On the pro / schmoe thing: I agree with the majority that some of our best reviewers are pros / retailers. I look for those reviews and value them highly. However, we must not make the mistake of thinking that because some of our best reviews come from pros, that therefore pros always or usually write the best reviews. That would be bad logic and also wrong. I say this because I have listened to a lot of employees at a lot of ski shops, and eight times out of ten they aren't particularly knowledgeable about their shop's skis, about where those skis fit vis a vis other brands and models, or about how to match a given skier up with good candidate skis. Sorry, but that's been my experience. The amount of ignorant and/or expedient ("you'll like these - they're what we have left") hogwash that I've heard come out of shop staff mouths is just amazing. Come on, you've all been there, wanting desperately to break in on some absurd exchange between Sales Kid and Ill-fated Customer. 

 



I agree, that's why I was suggesting the Flex indicator too (same as Powderjet) as it would cut through some of the mis-information that some shops unfortunately seem to dish out and you could narrow down what you would be keen on demoing to save time and disappointment.

An example this year at Whistler, "AC30's aren't that stiff, that's why they are a good all mountain ski" and then the next shop "yep good edge hold, a stiff groomer ski, because all Volkl's ski stiff". We couldn't demo them either at that stage so one of them is going to be wrong and would you buy based on that?! 

I don't think it's over analytical either as you are really buying custom tools to suit something very personal in the way that people ski. People reading this type of forum would agree with that fully I'd imagine, just look at the discussions around ski widths for a start.

So sure, two skis from from two brands with the same sidecuts and flex indicators would probably be very similiar to ski therefore marketing, $$ or graphics might be the only differance then. Good for us, fight it out manufacturers. But with different shops and even countries having different brands and the customer not being able to necessarily get at all brands of skis wouldn't narrowing it down further this way be a good way to target what you want to buy and therefore read a review of? i.e if I can't get a MX78 what's the same or a very close ski from another brand, maybe a Supershape Titan etc etc??.

 


Edited by snala - 4/12/11 at 7:03pm
post #72 of 83

i'd have to say that most reviews i get on here are fairly long-winded.  i appreciate everything people say about what they're revewing, but unless i'm very interested in buying that product, it's sometimes painful to get to the pertinent information.

post #73 of 83

Technical specs like turn radius, weight, construction, and flex, really ought to come with the product documentation from the manufacturer. I agree that the quality of documentation provided with skis is really lacking. However, the purpose of a ski review is not to provide basic specs of a product. Its to explain how the product performs in the real world. $.02.

 

 

 

 


Edited by tromano - 4/12/11 at 7:59pm
post #74 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Technical specs like turn radius, weight, construction, and flex, really ought to come with the product documentation from the manufacturer. I agree that the quality of documentation provided with skis is really lacking. However, the purpose of a ski review is not to provide basic specs of a product. Its to explain how the product performs in the real world. $.02.

 

well put.  i like youtube ski reviews, for some reason.  don't know why, but i do.  more than that, i like to see people actually demo'ing skis at demo days.  people need to ski them before investing big bucks in today's skis.  seems natural?  that said, if we'd tried them before we bought them, there would be less posts...and more folks skiing, etc...

 

 



 

post #75 of 83



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by snala View Post


 

I agree, that's why I was suggesting the Flex indicator too (same as Powderjet) as it would cut through some of the mis-information that some shops unfortunately seem to dish out and you could narrow down what you would be keen on demoing to save time and disappointment.

 

An example this year at Whistler, "AC30's aren't that stiff, that's why they are a good all mountain ski" and then the next shop "yep good edge hold, a stiff groomer ski, because all Volkl's ski stiff". We couldn't demo them either at that stage so one of them is going to be wrong and would you buy based on that?! 

 

I don't think it's over analytical either as you are really buying custom tools to suit something very personal in the way that people ski. People reading this type of forum would agree with that fully I'd imagine, just look at the discussions around ski widths for a start.

 

So sure, two skis from from two brands with the same sidecuts and flex indicators would probably be very similiar to ski therefore marketing, $$ or graphics might be the only differance then. Good for us, fight it out manufacturers. But with different shops and even countries having different brands and the customer not being able to necessarily get at all brands of skis wouldn't narrowing it down further this way be a good way to target what you want to buy and therefore read a review of? i.e if I can't get a MX78 what's the same or a very close ski from another brand, maybe a Supershape Titan etc etc??.

 

The question about the Ac30 is easily answered here without flex numbers. Actually there's lots of info about that ski from user reports.

Shop # 1 is right, Shop #2 is generalizing and saying nothing about the Ac 30. 

 

With 100 + models to test, it's unlikely Ski mags will subject each to flex tests. I still like the idea.

 

See this:

"Ski Testing: Art, Science, or Fantasy Reporting?"

Skiing Heritage Journal, Sept 2008 pg. 25 by John Fry and Doug Pfeiffer

 

Unfortunately, you can't really see the graphs and reprints of the articles it talks about in Ski Magazine. But it gives a decent overview.

Interestingly, they developed tests to predict the performance of skis. This was dropped in 1976 when K2's skis that the Mahres were winning on didn't match the predictions.

 

 

 

 

 

This guy, Mark Waechter, does flex testing for cross country skis. Could probably design an alpine machine.

 

http://www.ultratune.net/flextesting.html

http://www.ultratune.net/ourcompany.html

 

Here's another site, these guys sell a flex tester for #$@% nordic skis.

http://www.skiflextester.com/index.php

 

DS Nordic Ski Flex Tester II

nordic-home.jpg
Conceived by Ernie Day
Built by John L. Stephens, PE
 

nordic1-small.jpg
 

 

So with all that, there's a thread on this topic from '09:

Ski Stiffness Index

And in there was a link to a ski flex test from 07/ '08. It's a Norwegian Site. 

It's pretty slick. Skis appear on the left (click the pagey looking symbol), you check the box and the flex curve appears. It works in Adobe Reader.

You can compare the Volkl Katana/Gotama/Bridge flexes with all sorts of other skis.

http://www.friflyt.no/files/SFI_2008.pdf


Edited by Tog - 4/12/11 at 9:20pm
post #76 of 83

I have honestly abstained from writing any more reviews. From my experience it seems that if the thread is not about a company that is recognizable, or it's not started by a retailer, then there is very little interest in even reading it.

 

Case in point: I wrote a review and posted it here and on TGR. The same review that got over 6000 views, and 108 replies only got looked at 131 times here, and got 2 responses.

post #77 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog 

The question about the Ac30 is easily answered here without flex numbers. Actually there's lots of info about that ski from user reports.

Shop # 1 is right, Shop #2 is generalizing and saying nothing about the Ac 30. 

 

With 100 + models to test, it's unlikely Ski mags will subject each to flex tests. I still like the idea.

 

Agreed but what I really meant was the Flex indicator being standardised in the industry and printed on a ski, like the sidecut is and not being advised independantly by reviewers. This means you can make better decisions based on the specs initailly or even when looking at skis in shops or demoing without any prior knowledge we'd have a bit more of an idea on the performance regardless of what the salesman says. .

Then with a bit of time spent looking, you can target with a bit more accuracy the ski's you would like to ski on and then read it's reviews and/or to demo to check if it's right for you.

Reviews can be helpful for sure but if the guy is 50 pounds heavier than me and skis the next length up with a different sidecut is the review really indicative for me??

P.S I wouldn't have bought the skis I'm on now based on 80% of the reviews I read post purchase and they really do work for me. Over here we get the skis a season before you do so usually there aren't reviews done at that stage anyway. Although I have to concede dawgcatching's review done here on Epic did ease the post purchase ski anxiety a bit though and his comments do mirror my experiances.


Edited by snala - 4/14/11 at 12:44pm
post #78 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

I have honestly abstained from writing any more reviews. From my experience it seems that if the thread is not about a company that is recognizable, or it's not started by a retailer, then there is very little interest in even reading it.


 

That's a shame. The reviews that I find interesting are the ones which do cover those lesser-known products and companies -- like yours about the ON3P skis. Count me as 1 of 131 who read it. Reviews of mainstream product are a dime a dozen.

post #79 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

I have honestly abstained from writing any more reviews. From my experience it seems that if the thread is not about a company that is recognizable, or it's not started by a retailer, then there is very little interest in even reading it.

 

Case in point: I wrote a review and posted it here and on TGR. The same review that got over 6000 views, and 108 replies only got looked at 131 times here, and got 2 responses.


Generally the crowd here is interested in a different kind of ski than the TGR crowd (but there is also a fair degree of overlap). So perhaps the difference in attitude is not surprising. I don't think they care about skis that are less than 100mm wide, here mid-80mms are a very hot group.

P.s. I did read your ON3P review, so count me in.
post #80 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

I have honestly abstained from writing any more reviews. From my experience it seems that if the thread is not about a company that is recognizable, or it's not started by a retailer, then there is very little interest in even reading it.

 

Case in point: I wrote a review and posted it here and on TGR. The same review that got over 6000 views, and 108 replies only got looked at 131 times here, and got 2 responses.



FWIW, ecimmortal, read it here before there, was influenced enough to start researching ON3P's in general, impressed, look to go that way if I can sell off a few of my existing skis in the fall. Agree with Alexzn about the narrower emphasis here, don't think it's hostility to fatties (many of us own 110+), as much as proportion of us who ski places that don't get many dumps, and our culture of not jonging newbies who are more likely to start narrow. 

post #81 of 83

I think there are still some unfair generalizations between here and TGR, you would be surprised how many "closet" members are on both sites. 

 

But back to the OP, I still think there is a lot of work that can be done here with the review template and structure but at this time, there is limits to the platform. 

post #82 of 83

Quote:

Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

I have honestly abstained from writing any more reviews. From my experience it seems that if the thread is not about a company that is recognizable, or it's not started by a retailer, then there is very little interest in even reading it.

 

Case in point: I wrote a review and posted it here and on TGR. The same review that got over 6000 views, and 108 replies only got looked at 131 times here, and got 2 responses.

 

not sure what you're expectin...

 

reviews go up, anyone who has interest will read...

if you;re expectin some return post  "DUDE, I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!", not gonna happen (but it can..., but who cares...)

 

no worries, no points lost for light readership...

your skis won't ski any different cause your review isn't read

 

life goes on - at least in meatspace - the interweb is a different place...

rock on

peace out

 



 

post #83 of 83

 

Quote:
Case in point: I wrote a review and posted it here and on TGR. The same review that got over 6000 views, and 108 replies only got looked at 131 times here, and got 2 responses.

 

Stats like that also usually don't count unique viewers, so the total number of viewers may not be as dramatically different as you think.  If there was actually some substantive discussion on TGR (not just lots of "hey, nice review" posts), that might generate many extra views from the same people coming back to the discussion repeatedly.

 

About all I can add is 'reviewing skis well is hard'.

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