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Have Our Reviews Gone Viral?

post #1 of 214
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
...While Phil and I both own and love Bonafides, we both readily admit that there are at least 6-8 other skis in this range that we'd be equally happy to own in the anchor position of our respective quivers. 

 


SJ 3/8/11: "Orders are being written and comparisons are being made and the more we ski on these skis and compare them to others, the more we all are starting to appreciate exactly how well Blizzard has hit the mark."

 

Phil 3/8/11: "I have tested numerous 98 waisted skis for next season. I would say w/o reservation, the Bonafide is at the top of the class."

 

SJ 3/9/11: "After these two tests and further exploration the Bonafide has risen from the crowd as the class leader in broad spectrum capabilities. You can find a 98mm ski that's better at something than the Bonafide but you won't find one that's better at everything."

 

As I recall, Jim also called the Bonafide the ski he'd want for his "car ski," not clear if he owns one. I know Phil skis one, unclear if that constitutes ownership to someone who sells skis for a living. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaHunter View Post

The next great thing is here!  Poor Blizzard and the FlipCore line.  It was a nice run while it lasted....


Which is about as long as the demand curve stays well ahead of the supply...ROTF.gif

 

Seriously, folks, this is great fun, and I may well buy the new 'un, and my bank statements indicate I have an abnormal interest in Start Haus, and all respect to these guys who seriously know their skis. But I'm detecting a second year of meticulouslyl-orchestrated marketing campaigns by uh, disinterested reviewers. This time with M.O. helping out. How will the Start Haus crew resolve selling last year's Greatest Ever 98 and this year's Greatest Ever 99 off the same shop floor? And same forum? Will we see a subtle change of adjectives applied to the Bonafide? Will anyone have anything to say about either ski that might turn away a potential buyer? Will Epic decide, like TGR did years ago, that balanced commentary about skis isn't as interesting as bipolar disorder? Stay tuned...wink.gif

 

post #2 of 214

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 


SJ 3/8/11: "Orders are being written and comparisons are being made and the more we ski on these skis and compare them to others, the more we all are starting to appreciate exactly how well Blizzard has hit the mark."

 

Phil 3/8/11: "I have tested numerous 98 waisted skis for next season. I would say w/o reservation, the Bonafide is at the top of the class."

 

SJ 3/9/11: "After these two tests and further exploration the Bonafide has risen from the crowd as the class leader in broad spectrum capabilities. You can find a 98mm ski that's better at something than the Bonafide but you won't find one that's better at everything."

 

As I recall, Jim also called the Bonafide the ski he'd want for his "car ski," not clear if he owns one. I know Phil skis one, unclear if that constitutes ownership to someone who sells skis for a living. 

Which is about as long as the demand curve stays well ahead of the supply...ROTF.gif

 

Seriously, folks, this is great fun, and I may well buy the new 'un, and my bank statements indicate I have an abnormal interest in Start Haus, and all respect to these guys who seriously know their skis. But I'm detecting a second year of meticulouslyl-orchestrated marketing campaigns by uh, disinterested reviewers. This time with M.O. helping out. How will the Start Haus crew resolve selling last year's Greatest Ever 98 and this year's Greatest Ever 99 off the same shop floor? And same forum? Will we see a subtle change of adjectives applied to the Bonafide? Will anyone have anything to say about either ski that might turn away a potential buyer? Will Epic decide, like TGR did years ago, that balanced commentary about skis isn't as interesting as bipolar disorder? Stay tuned...wink.gif

 



Whoa.. I have to respond to this.   I was the supposedly "disinterested reviewer" who wrote up the Bonafide (and the 112RP) thread, so I guess that automatically makes me a Blizzard and DPS stooge, and a feature on the payroll of both companies.  And, while we are at it, that makes it likely that the Squaw Valley marketing machine also contributes to the upkeep of my little skiing habit.  Oh, yeah, and I like one of the Head skis, so Bob Peters sends me gift baskets and free booze.  I guess a man can always dream...   

 

So, are my reviews biased?  You bet they are.  I am definitely biased by what type of skis I like, a good example is the Mantra which I always hated and which is, judging by the sales and by what my several instructor buddies say, is a rather fine ski.  I am biased by the kind of terrain and snow that we get in Tahoe, I have not skied outside that region for so long that I almost forgot what Eastern ice or Utah powder feels like.  I also cannot test as many skis as a typical industry reviewer gets, so I get to test mostly what I can see at Starthaus and what I get on the demo days at Squaw, so I am biased by that selection.  

 

More to the point of this thread:  My thoughts looking at the specs is that this new ski would ski rather differently from the Bonafide (because it has the early taper tip and a lot of overall taper and the Bones do not), so it will likely appeal to a different kind of skier.  Before having a demo opportunity this heavily biased reviewer should shut up.  

 

 

 

post #3 of 214


It is not hard to sell several models in the same class with equal enthusiasm because people will have their own preferences and style differences, and in ski design, there is not just one perfect solution, there are many.

there: do I get the job?

 

 

QC,  comment on the TR based on the dimensions. the paddle shape changes things quite a bit. and the float is coming mainly from that whole paddle area now, not so distributed throughout the ski. as explained to me at a shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 



 


snip......How will the Start Haus crew resolve selling last year's Greatest Ever 98 and this year's Greatest Ever 99 off the same shop floor? And same forum? Will we see a subtle change of adjectives applied to the Bonafide? Will anyone have anything to say about either ski that might turn away a potential buyer? Will Epic decide, like TGR did years ago, that balanced commentary about skis isn't as interesting as bipolar disorder? Stay tuned...wink.gif

 



 


Edited by davluri - 11/11/11 at 6:59pm
post #4 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 


SJ 3/8/11: "Orders are being written and comparisons are being made and the more we ski on these skis and compare them to others, the more we all are starting to appreciate exactly how well Blizzard has hit the mark."

 

Phil 3/8/11: "I have tested numerous 98 waisted skis for next season. I would say w/o reservation, the Bonafide is at the top of the class."

 

SJ 3/9/11: "After these two tests and further exploration the Bonafide has risen from the crowd as the class leader in broad spectrum capabilities. You can find a 98mm ski that's better at something than the Bonafide but you won't find one that's better at everything."

 

As I recall, Jim also called the Bonafide the ski he'd want for his "car ski," not clear if he owns one. I know Phil skis one, unclear if that constitutes ownership to someone who sells skis for a living. 

 


Which is about as long as the demand curve stays well ahead of the supply...ROTF.gif

 

Seriously, folks, this is great fun, and I may well buy the new 'un, and my bank statements indicate I have an abnormal interest in Start Haus, and all respect to these guys who seriously know their skis. But I'm detecting a second year of meticulouslyl-orchestrated marketing campaigns by uh, disinterested reviewers. This time with M.O. helping out. How will the Start Haus crew resolve selling last year's Greatest Ever 98 and this year's Greatest Ever 99 off the same shop floor? And same forum? Will we see a subtle change of adjectives applied to the Bonafide? Will anyone have anything to say about either ski that might turn away a potential buyer? Will Epic decide, like TGR did years ago, that balanced commentary about skis isn't as interesting as bipolar disorder? Stay tuned...wink.gif

 


 


There are probably some things to keep in mind here...........

 

  • One: there are a lot of great skis on the market and we don't profess to know what is best for everyone.....everytime.
  • Two: Both Phil and I own the Bonafide and yes, it is a great ski. We said so, we meant it, and we still feel that way.
  • Three: We fully realize that the same thing does not apply to everyone hence we carry about a dozen skis in this width category and we like most all of them well enough to buy them.
  • Four: We both readily acknowledge that Sentinel, Legend, Mantra, Experience, Watea, etc....etc....offer differing characteristics that may suit some skiers better.
  • Five: We have not yet skied the Wailer 99. We are not yet endorsing it as the leader of the pack. We have no idea how it will ski nor how it will stack up........that remains to be seen.
  • Six: Phil, myself, and our allied team of consumer testers will post our findings in an unbiased fashion as we always do........feel free to hold your breath......or not.

 

 

SJ

post #5 of 214
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

 



Whoa.. I have to respond to this.   I was the supposedly "disinterested reviewer" who wrote up the Bonafide (and the 112RP) thread, so I guess that automatically makes me a Blizzard and DPS stooge...Nope, but it makes you part of the Start Haus marketing group, LLC. wink.gif Actually, my post was about a change in the style of reviews and followups, not about anyone being a stooge, or biased. The Bone, and 112, and now presumably the 99 are all great skis, I'm sure. Hell, I have one on order and may well get another. So i'm not a hater. My comment was about balance, style, professional distance. 

 

More to the point of this thread:  My thoughts looking at the specs is that this new ski would ski rather differently from the Bonafide (because it has the early taper tip and a lot of overall taper and the Bones do not), so it will likely appeal to a different kind of skier. OK, as I said, I await someone who reviews it having something negative to say. Or at least a qualifier, a potential issue. Keep in mind that Phil is also in charge of reviews here, and he put together a format that has a "pro/con" section. In all the long love letters, uh, threads, to the Bonafide or later the 112, haven't seen much evidence of that format. In fact, a lot of the thread is more TGR style "OMG I can't wait to fondle these and mess my pants." (Go read the endless 112 thread at TGR for specifics.) Recall that somehow Dawg and Whiteroom manage to review some of the same products without having to rack their brains for some caveat. It can be done.

 

And don't know about you, but caveats, greys, cons, are what help me choose skis to demo. Or if I can't demo, to buy. Uniform 10's are fairly useless. Been there, done purchases that way, and all it showed was that other folks' 10's aren't necessarily mine. Assume that's true for others here. So what responsibility to their audience do reviewers have for skis that are tough to demo, or will be bought out by Christmas? I'd argue we should try to provide as balanced a review as we can. Be picky. Don't kiss in public.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


It is not hard to sell several models in the same class with equal enthusiasm because people will have their own preferences and style differences, and in ski design, there is not just one perfect solution, there are many. And y'know what? That's the approach I like in a review: List the likes, list the dislikes, list who may like it and who may not. This stuff is different: Pulse pounding anticipation, technological porn, followed by unrestrained adulation. Until the next new Greatest Thing, recycle. Just sayin' it's a change in direction for Epic. Maybe most here like that. Sure works on most other sites.

 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post


 


There are probably some things to keep in mind here...........

 

  • One: there are a lot of great skis on the market and we don't profess to know what is best for everyone.....everytime.
  • Two: Both Phil and I own the Bonafide and yes, it is a great ski. We said so, we meant it, and we still feel that way.
  • Three: We fully realize that the same thing does not apply to everyone hence we carry about a dozen skis in this width category and we like most all of them well enough to buy them.
  • Four: We both readily acknowledge that Sentinel, Legend, Mantra, Experience, Watea, etc....etc....offer differing characteristics that may suit some skiers better.
  • Five: We have not yet skied the Wailer 99. We are not yet endorsing it as the leader of the pack. We have no idea how it will ski nor how it will stack up........that remains to be seen.
  • Six: Phil, myself, and our allied team of consumer testers will post our findings in an unbiased fashion as we always do........feel free to hold your breath......or not.

 

 

SJ


All good. I've always been one of the first to defend the idea that some people could offer up reliable reviews and also sell skis. I also respect that you believe in all the skis you sell; in fact, a standard part of my spiel to newbies about buying from Epic retailers is that it's quite possible to only stock skis you find to be great for someone.  But Jim, this isn't about unbiased reviews per se, it's about a change last year in the style of discourse. A fuzzing-up of the boundaries between reviewing skis and cheerleading skis. It's undeniable that you folks began to personalize it last year. Previously (and I've been around since you were working in Sacto and Phil was back east) you were reticent to talk about what you skied on. I think in part because you realized it's a line to cross. A lot of our newer members are not so sophisticated as to automatically realize that what works for you may not work for them. I also note that you folks used to eschew "best" or "game changer" language. Now you don't. So I think it's a (slippery slope/fine line/cliche of your choice). I don't have an easy answer here, and it's quite likely that like Lake Wobegone, all the skis you review are (waaay) above average. But that's different from these anticipatory falling-in-lust threads. Them, I can get every other line over at TGR. So I look forward to balanced reviews, that's all. th_dunno-1[1].gif


Edited by beyond - 11/12/11 at 8:23pm
post #6 of 214

Beyond:

 

I generally post what I personally ski on if anyone asks. However, I seldom suggest a ski to someone b/c it is what I ski on. In fact, I readily suggest that my own preferences are not a panacea. Rather, I almost always mention that what I ski on is a preference not an absolute. In recent memory, I have mentioned that my "car" ski was......Blizzard Argos, Line P-100, Dynastar Sultan 94, Blizz Atlas, Blizz Bonafide. When I do mention my personal preference, I usually suggest a couple of similar or contrasting alternatives. Last time I checked, it was/is OK to have a personal preference but maybe I missed a memo or something.  If you were to read the last 50-100 posts I have made, you would probably find that I have recommended at least 10-15 different skis according to the specifics of the individual case. I hardly think that qualifies as being a cheerleader for anything.

 

Not quite sure what point you are trying to make but IMO you are wearing it out.

 

Re-read points 1-6 of my previous post. I think that covers it pretty well.

 

WADR...................SJ

post #7 of 214

Beyond-  I get the good intent, I just don't buy the argument.  For me, the excitement this year about the Bones and the 112RPs was pretty genuine.  FWIIW, these are the first two pairs of skis I bought (Bone), or  committed to buying (112) in the beginning of the year in quite a long time.  Read my reviews, I said that these are the first skis that I feel have the rocker geometry done right for their intended use.  I am sure you can make a better ski, but these skis felt like a noticeable step forward, especially the 112RP which, by the way, totally defied my expectations: I took them out expecting them to be total garbage.  Instead I had a great day.   

 

I think the style of reviews here has not changed much, you just need to know who is writing the review.  If I am happy with the ski, I just say that; when I see negatives, I am happy to post them (my reviews should have plenty of examples of the latter).    I never strive for a balanced review, but I try to be objective in describing my personal impressions.  There is a difference between people like me and people SJ, Dawgcatching, and Whiteroom who produce very high quality reviews, in no small part because they test a lot of skis, so they are able to make meaningful comparisons across the board.  I am never going to be on as many models, so I am automatically limited to a more isolated point of view.  The best I can do is to compare against the skis that I either own or liked in the past.  You cannot expect to see a detailed analysis of ten new models in the same class from everyone.    

 

One more thing- anticipatory threads are fine, as long as you know what they are.  Gearheads get excited about the new toys, then the rubber hits the road and things get eventually sorted out.

 

I admit to being pretty intrigued with the 99.  My initial thought that the early taper tip with a big rockered shovel should be a big liability on hard uneven snow.  On the other hand another ski that I really liked last year- the LPR105 also had the early taper and it worked quite well, so th_dunno-1[1].gif.   This is what the demos are for, and if I get the chance to try it, I will post what I find out.  I do have a shiny new pair of Bones in my garage, so hopefully I will get a good baseline for the comparison.    

 

UPDATE: I just looked over my reviews for the 122 and the Bone, both have the negatives sections, so now I totally don't get what you are talking about....

 

 

 


Edited by alexzn - 11/13/11 at 12:32am
post #8 of 214

First, sorry to Marshal for the thread drift here, but it is an interesting topic..."Do people that sell skis and ski on a specific ski be trusted to offer an unbiased review or suggestion"? Is that even too long for a thread title? If you look at many of the mainstays thread replies here when someone is asking for a response for "which ski should I buy", the first response usually has more questions than answers, we want to get more information before we suggest a ski which means the answer isn't just "Bonafide" (what is ironic here he as posted (in a joke earlier) that Blizzards flip core (and specifically the Bonafide) are passé before 98% of the people haven't even skied it yet!!!!)

 

Epicski is NOT Consumer Reports, we are not bench testing a washing machine. Skis ARE subjective, people like certain characteristics in design and and there are members here who try to help them find it, to do that they have to convey their own experiences from testing. Sometimes there are skis that are so exemplary that they become their personal benchmarks that all skis in that category are measured against. Now when that happens it is not bad but it is a reference point. Does that make other skis in that category bad? No, not at all. It helps them try and decide who that could be best for. Are they right all the time? No, there could there be multitude of skis that could also be just as "right" for that person? absolutely.  It is the ability to discern how a ski skis and who it is for that makes the reviewers here so successful, not so much what makes a ski good, but who is that ski good for? Quite frankly If anyone DIDN'T have a preference as far as what works for them, I would be MORE suspect. 

post #9 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

I'm curious about the wide spectrum of tip widths that I see coming across for some of the heavily discussed skis in the 95 - 100mm waist category, with the Wailer 99 representing one extreme on the spectrum. Many of these skis seem to tend toward the 135mm range for tip width. Give or take 5mm, this makes sense to me from a general proportions perspective. (If my 85mm ski has 125mm tips, it's reasonable, very roughly speaking, that my 100 mm ski might have 135mm tips.) The Wailer 99 sits way at the narrow end of the spectrum, with 121mm tips and a 99mm waist. This would appear on its face to be very little sidecut, at least by my turny - not to say squirrelly - east coast narrow trail standards. I'm not sure how we get the advertised "17m radius" out of that. No doubt the widest spot is well back from the tip of the ski, making the tip's contact point, when on edge, much closer to the waist's contact point than the overall length of the ski might otherwise suggest, effectively shortening the radius. I can imagine that, but ... 17m @ 176cm? For comparison, my 167cm groomer ski has a 121mm tip and a 72mm waist (i.e., same tip but almost 30mm narrower waist than the Wailer!), and has a claimed turn radius of 14.4m. Hard to imagine that the near-yardstick and near-hourglass shapes represented by these two sets of dimensions could really have turn radii only a two or three meters different. Interested to hear someone explicate.

 

You just answered that, the answer is early taper tip with a bunch of rocker that keeps a lot of the tip off the snow in hard conditions.   In my non-professional eye, DPS takes those characteristics to the extreme, but somehow they managed to get it to work.   Just think about the early taper ski as having a split personality- on a groomer it only works with 2/3 of its length, hence the small radius, and on softer snow it starts to use the full body of the ski.  "Methinks" that DPS went for a narrower tip to avoid hookiness in softer cruddier snow.  Ok, so far so good, but I also suspect (armchair quarterbacking here, OK) that at some sort of conditions this formula is going to prove a liability (my current guess is the frozen spring crud, but that's only a guess).  In comparison, Blizzard's formula always plants the whole edge on the snow, they just prebend the ski into a turn shape and manipulate the flex pattern to make it easy to initiate the turn.  I am also thinking (again no real data) that the DPS99 will be a superior bump ski to the Blizzard.  
 

 

post #10 of 214
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Beyond:

However, I seldom suggest a ski to someone b/c it is what I ski on. In fact, I readily suggest that my own preferences are not a panacea. Rather, I almost always mention that what I ski on is a preference not an absolute.

 

Not quite sure what point you are trying to make but IMO you are wearing it out.

 

 

Yeah, I wear out points. redface.gif Usually because it appears folks don't want to address them. The thrust of my thread-wander posts are not about parsing preference versus panacea, or car ski this year vs last. Nor is it suggesting you recommend a ski because you ski on it (I actually said that readers would make that connection, not that you did.) It's that we have an increasing style of thread management/shaping that creates pent up demand for a ski under the guise of providing early reviews or tech information. If I'm wearing this out, then prove me wrong by providing an early balanced review of any of the three skis that I've mentioned, Jim. Show me where you or Phil or TC provide some actual reasons why they won't work for some skiers - not Alexzn's "negatives" that actually show how super the ski is. Hell, when I dared to suggest that the One might be better than the Bonafide in some areas (like trees), or for some skiers (light), I got a lecture on how you recommend skis based on overall performance, not a single parameter. It took a while to get Phil to admit that the Bonafide was not the favorite ski of all the folks who demoed it. IMO this is cheerleading - or buzz creation if you want a more current term - not personal preference. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Beyond-  I get the good intent, I just don't buy the argument. All good.

 

I never strive for a balanced review, but I try to be objective in describing my personal impressions.  There is a difference between people like me and people SJ, Dawgcatching, and Whiteroom who produce very high quality reviews, in no small part because they test a lot of skis, so they are able to make meaningful comparisons across the board. OK, there we will have to agree to disagree. IMO a review by definition should strive to be balanced. All modern skis are pretty good to superb. It's the pickiness of the reviewer that separates them. Or separates us from TGR. 

 

One more thing- anticipatory threads are fine, as long as you know what they are.  Gearheads get excited about the new toys, then the rubber hits the road and things get eventually sorted out. Totally agree.

 

UPDATE: I just looked over my reviews for the 122 and the Bone, both have the negatives sections, so now I totally don't get what you are talking about....

 

Alexzn, here's your "negatives" for the 112: "I sometimes felt that 112 width was a tad too narrow, but that is probably nitpicking." And for the Bone: "I am searching for the negatives and I honestly could not find many.  The skis sometime can feel a little "metallic", but they are plenty stable and damp to handle anything.  I have been skiing very secure and damp skis lately, so I am probably biased in that regard.  I am not a hucker, but a few small hops felt a bit harsh on the landing, so if you jump cliffs all day, this is not your ski.  That's about it..."  

 

If those are negatives, I'd settle for them any day...biggrin.gif

 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Sometimes there are skis that are so exemplary that they become their personal benchmarks that all skis in that category are measured against. Now when that happens it is not bad but it is a reference point. Does that make other skis in that category bad? No, not at all... OK, and this season happened to see two exemplary skis, the 112RP and the Bonafide, and perhaps this next season we'll be seeing the Wailer 99 join the list. But I see two problems here. First, you're conflating how you may talk with a customer at your shop, trying to fit their skill set and style to a particular ski, with adding your comments to a thread on Epic. All the "best/game changer" rubric doesn't tell a Epic visitor what you might say to them at the store: that "other" skis out there may be better suited for them. In fact, it plays to all our desires to own the coolest/best/current king of the mountain: Get it while you can, cuz soon you'll have to settle for second best.

 

For a review of the Bonafide that intelligently discusses its strengths and weaknesses, go reread Dawg's review of it. For reviews of the Cochise that intelligently discusses its strengths and weaknesses, reread Dawg or Whiteroom. (And in both cases, they own one of the skis in question.)  I just don't get why it's so hard to separate personal preference from analyzing something critically. Nor do I understand why aspiring to be balanced means we're Consumer Reports, given that every fall when the ski mags come out with their reviews, they get trashed here for being subjective tools of their advertisers. "Go read Epic reviews," we say, "because they're balanced." Apparently only for some skis.  th_dunno-1[1].gif

 


 

 


Edited by beyond - 11/13/11 at 3:29pm
post #11 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

Quote:



 

 Show me where you or Phil or TC provide some actual reasons why they won't work for some skiers -
 

 


To give you an example of this, look at much of my advice.  Many of those suggestions don't include skis from my quiver.

Usually when I give advice, it will lean toward the things that the member says she wants to get out of the ski.  

Usually I'll suggest two or three skis that are good in that class to give a good place to start for a demo list.  

The Black Pearl is my daily driver, but its not a ski that I tend recommend for a timid skier.   

The DPS Yvette is my powder ski and if someone's looking for a Powder specific ski, why would I recommend anything else.  That is such a specialized request. 

 

Because of the way the Yvette shocked me, and thrilled me, I'm eager to try the Nina99.  Why wouldn't I? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #12 of 214

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Beyond, maybe we all should get off the high horse here and stop taking ourselves so seriously...  Why is it so hard for you to believe that I was excited by those two skis is beyond me (no pun intended)? BTW, if it makes you feel happy I was much less excited by the previous year's "car ski"- the Sultan 94, and I tried to write a "balanced" review of that ski.  I certainly know that I have not endeared myself to the Dynastar rep when I met him at Squaw during a demo day and dumped on the S94.  I also did not buy that ski and promptly bought a ProRider instead.  DPS: I happened to test the 112RP on a powder dump day and the ski was superb at everything I tried to throw at it.  Maybe it would have sucked on a manky refrozen snow two weeks later, but two weeks later I was not skiing on it.  I am sure that after owning the Bonafides for a couple of months I will discover its weaknesses (and I will happy to post a follow-up review), but the two days I had on them were really, really fun...   Dawg was a lot less excited about the Bone, but he also skis in a different region with different snow.  Most Tahoe folks who I talked to loved the Flipcore skis.  Arne was a Squaw skier, maybe this has something to do with it, maybe not.   But whatever, I maybe a crappy reviewer and so be it, but I am not biased.  I just post what I think, and I don't intend to replace Skiing magazine buyers guide, and people should take it as one guy's opinion. I don't think we all should feel a sense of higher calling to provide the ultimate truth in skiing for the uneducated masses.  I am just not into that stuff, sorry.   

 

BTW, my wife didn't like the BlackPearl at all, and I know why, it just does not suit her skiing level and style well, so no, flipcore is not for everyone.      

post #13 of 214
63701fc0-9df4-52a3.jpg
What bias? Marker royals bindings?
post #14 of 214

I think given that your job as a ski retailer is disclosed, people can make up their own minds about how seriously to consider that when reading your reviews.

 

Personally, I think the ski lust zeitgeist moves very quickly here. One day a ski is in, the next its out. All I can say is that I think a good ski is a good ski. There seem to be many people here who replace their skis after only a few days / weeks use when they have barely been broken in yet. I wonder about this.

post #15 of 214

 

Beyond Quote:
Show me where you or Phil or TC provide some actual reasons why they won't work for some skiers -

 

Here are some few examples where I suggest the Rossi Experience 98 over the Bonefide:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Funny, I was thinking about this this AM..everyone is talking about the Blizzards (and rightfully so) but these two new "Experience" skis as damn fine skis. The 88 is a real fun all mountain ski that (IIRC) might not be as powerful as the Bushwacker but is just as much fun. The 98 will go up against the Bonafide in the highly contested 98mm catagory. The 98 has more of a frontside GS feel as compared to the backside all mountain feel of the Bonafide. I would have a tough time choosing between the Experience 98 and the Bonafide. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

If it is coming down to price, a clearance Sentinel to a new Bonafide or E98..the Sentinel is the winner. Now taking price out of the equation. Here are my thoughts on these three great skis....

 

Sentinel: Great hard charger and for the bigger stronger skier. 

 

Bonafide: Love the ski, best balance of the bunch, rewards a lighter touch but can still like it rough. 

 

Experience 98: Feels like a wide GS ski, the best frontside one out of the three.

 

You could play rock/paper/scissors and not come up with a bad one in these three. 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

The Experience is not overly stiff but I would say out of the 98's you listed, it is the most frontside oriented, not that that is bad, it is great, IF that is what you are looking for. I love the way the E98 skis...and and trying to rationalize getting a pair even though I have Bonafides already. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Rick,
When you skied the e88 and bushwacker, which did you like better? The bone and e98 are those two skis beefed up. the e98 has a hard snow bias and If you are skiing east primarily the e98 might be your slightly better option. But that is ever so slight. You can't go wrong either way.
---
 

 

Is that what you are looking for? While I might not say that the Bonafide is bad, it is not, but above are a FEW examples of where I recommend another ski over it. I will still stand by my statement that the Bonafide IS one of the BEST 98 waisted skis, for that I will make no excuses, saying it is not would be more of an untruth. 

post #16 of 214
post #17 of 214
I actually take what beyond is saying seriously (although I am offended by being accused of having a hidden agenda). To me the question that he (she? I never met beyond in person) raises comes down to whether a ski review should offer an absolute unbiased assessment or reflect a personal (however biased) opinion of the reviewer. It is akin to a difference between a journalist who has to be objective and a columnist who has a freedom to be opinionated and biased. I clearly fall in the second camp, but, luckily, I am not selling skis for a living, so I don't have an obligation to be all things to all people (and by the way neither do Phil and Jim; EpicSki is not Starthaus). I am also not sure whether a cold analytical unbiased review is necessarily more beneficial than an opinionated review. There is a healthy dose of passion in skiing and the best skis inspire passionate responses.

Of course, I am happy when a review gets that many hits, gets linked from the manufacturers site, and probably helps that company sell a few more skis. But that was never the intent, and I am still surprised at the popularity of that review on Epic (I am not surprised at the popularity of the ski, it deserves it).

And is honest cheerleading a bad thing? Too many good skis never got the exposure they deserved and faded into obscurity. Probably a good portion of the Mythic Rider sales was generated by this board through some "cheerleading" by SJ and a few others; great ski that never got the success it deserved. HugeTrouble owes a lot to Dawg's and SJ's enthusiasm about this ski; again awesome ski that never got appreciated beyond a limited audience. DPS112 probably owes a lot of its sales to the buzz from TGR. And my one-day test drive of that ski told me that it was totally deserved. Is that all a self-serving reality distortion by the retailers and their loyal minions? I don't think so. I think we all have a right to express our passions and opinions here, and you just have to take them at face value, or simply ignore them.
post #18 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

 



snip...  Oh, yeah, and I like one of the Head skis, so Bob Peters sends me gift baskets and free booze.  I guess a man can always dream...   

snip

 


Hey Bob,

I like the Head Supershape Superspeed. PM me for the address to which to send the Lagavulin.

 

Reviewers can be trusted to give a review despite their preferences.  Sure reviewers are biased.  Good reviewers separate out their biases, from the review.  They describe their skiing, their physique, the conditions, what they like in a ski and most importantly they tell you why they like or dislike a particular ski so you can figure out if you would like it too and for what purpose you might like it, or not like it. 

 

There is a bit of trouble in defining where the bar is in some subjective terms, how stable at how high a speed is stable at speed for example.  How easy is easy turn initiation?  How strong a grip does it need before it is judged to have good grip?  Comparison to other skis help in this department.  There could be more of that imho, eg.  stable at speed, more stable than X,  but not as stable as Y.

 

Nothing is perfect. 

 

post #19 of 214

Here's an example of a ski that isn't my particular favorite because I don't favor its flex, but I reviewed it for its properties and recognize that there is a group of skiers out there that it serves well.  I also can be found recommending this ski for certain women who may benefit from the flex.

 

FWIW, the Volkl Website linked to this for some time because they saw it as a glowing review.  

http://www.epicski.com/products/2012-volkl-aura/reviews/2211

 

post #20 of 214

beyond....

 

I think part of what you are not factoring in is the fact that at better ski shops the buyers actually go and ski next years offerings the Spring before. So they order the products that they like and can comfortably recommend to other skiers in the Fall. If they didn't like it, they don't buy it!

 

It's not like your local GM dealership where they have to sell the crap they are given to whomever steps foot on their lot. They carry what THEY like.

I was interested in a ski this season that the SH didn't like and didn't carry. No big deal, I got it elsewhere and we'll see when the snow flies if they were right or not. By contrast I find the "bullshit" series of skis graphics so bad that I could not look down at them and not feel sick. But the Rossi E98 actually fit the purpose better for where I ski and that is what I bought from the good folks in Truckee.

 

You can complain and question all you want. But SJ, Pug and Dawg (among others) give use great insider info that you can use or not. I find it very useful personally......

post #21 of 214

i'm with rossi smash, i find their input useful especially since ski demos and terrain to demo skis in my neck of the woods are limited. 

 

And, yes, i do feel they can be trusted.  They (retailer/reviewers) probably could intentionally mislead me once and only once and they wouldn't get that opportunity again.  Futhermore, i don't think any other burned consumer would give them a second chance either.  it doesn't serve their long-term interests.

 

Besides, they make no attempt to hide their affiliation or how they earn their living so the consumer isn't mislead and should easlily recognize the potential for bias..  In fact, i suspect they partly go to the time and trouble of reviewing skis, and comparing them, keeping notes and reducing their conclusions to a narrative form, for my benefit rather than my detriment.     

 

So, thanks guys, and keep up the good work.

 

dave  

post #22 of 214

this is a fascinating thread and conversation.

 

in my estimation, there is no "silver bullet", magical product that will suit all users, all of the time, in all conditions.  because of this, no review should ever be tilted in the "completely positive" light.  there is no product really that i have seen that is so terrible that it will never work for anyone, ever, anywhere.  from there, it is on the reviewer to figure out what the skis does well, whom those traits might benefit, and where the ski might not perform well, and whom may not care for it.  it is clearly always welcome to the reader when a frame of reference to the review is also presented (ie other skis they like, dislike, and why).  

 

from there, it is up to the READER to determine if the reviewer is framing their review around these above arguments, or if the review is more in the GUSHING category (omg!  they are the best things ever) / HATER category (this things are the worst skis ever), and determine if the review is framed around emotion or around analytics.  beyond, your concerns, to me, read that you feel their feedback on epic here are framed around emotion rather than analytics, and while i understand what you are trying to say, i also think that their reporting has been very analytical.  i don't think you be mad at them for reporting their findings, or sharing their experiences in an emotional way.  

 

the praise for the bonefide was well earned.  that is a great ski, and compared to a stacked field of very nice skis (sentinel, mantra, hell&back/enforcer, mx98, etc), it is a step ahead. it carves clean and round, with a ton of versatility.

 

the new wailer 99 would love to be compared to this class of skis, and only time will tell if it earns the right.  the reason start haus will be about the first in-depth reviewers of the wailer 99 is because i know they have significant experience on all the category leaders, and have diversity in their testing pool, so that any praise earned would be fair and balanced.  i also know that if the ski is NOT up to snuff, and doesn't deserve to be compared with the big boys, i want to know what, exactly, is the reason, so that DPS can address it.  

post #23 of 214

Question: anyone demo a ski in the past 3 years that was truly bad? (not counting poor tunes/setup) Seriously, there really aren't any bad skis. So to say that there are 4-8 other skis in a similar segment that are good is a truthful and honest statement. To say in your opinion that you prefer 1-2 out of that group is also expected. If someone said that there was only 1-2 ski's in a given segment that were any good, I would say that showed bias and untruthfulness. I know that I have called up Phil and asked him about a ski he sells and he has told me it's not the right one for me. I know I have read many responses from whiteroom, SierraJim and Dawg that asked the person posting to provide more information about the skier before recommending a ski.  I think that's actually a pretty common approach by pro's here and gapers like myself. 

 

I guess I just don't see bias here and I see where options of skis that are not favorites are offered to folks based on the skiers, described wants needs abilities. I do see people offering thier opinions and preferences based on thier experiences. From what I know about ski shops is they typically carry lines they like not just which they make the most from so it would just seem to make sense that skis they sell, they like?  I can't imagine they would be very successful selling skis and gear they don't like. It's a business they are in because of their passion for skiing; it ain't cause they are getting rich doing it. 

 

Hey its really just a couple of weeks and we can get out there and enjoy.  Cheers! 

post #24 of 214

I would take strong exception to that idea, based on my personal experience, analytically gained. past that, I second and third the notion that the reviews have a lot of good information and that multiple models of skis in any class are equally good in different ways.   FWIW, prob .02
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

Question: anyone demo a ski in the past 3 years that was truly bad? (not counting poor tunes/setup) Seriously, there really aren't any bad skis. So to say that there are 4-8 other skis in a similar segment that are good is a truthful and honest statement. ....snip

 

Hey its really just a couple of weeks and we can get out there and enjoy.  Cheers! 


 

 

post #25 of 214

just curious, which did you feel were bad skis'?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

I would take strong exception to that idea, based on my personal experience, analytically gained. past that, I second and third the notion that the reviews have a lot of good information and that multiple models of skis in any class are equally good in different ways.   FWIW, prob .02
 


 

 



 

post #26 of 214
Thread Starter 

OK, letsee. First, Phil, you have me as OP on this new moved thread (all good, don't want to hijack M.O.'s thread), but it's your title, and it's a straw man. So please change it to something that's more representative of my point, like: Have Our Reviews Gone Viral?" For the umpteenth time, my concern is NOT about conscious bias. Nor is my concern that you guys are pushing inferior equipment. But it is that you guys are beginning to look like you're pushing, period. Can't say if it's orchestrated or just boyish and girlish enthusiasm. And Alexzn, for the LOG, I'm not saying or implying that you have an agenda. Or are biased. What you are is a classic early adopter. 

 

I'll try to spell it out: A whole lot of products are sold on the internet these days through viral marketing. You start a buzz on a aficionado site, typically by having other people try a product, and they add to the buzz. You (the actual beneficiary) don't need to much participate, you just nudge, guide, dribble out info, make sure that various high profile early adopters try your stuff when it's largely unavailable elsewhere. Meanwhile, the buzz snowballs. It hits other sites. Pretty soon, everyone needs to have one your products. High demand, low supply. You ride it. A marketer's dream, and no one had to pay for an agency. See: PM Bros, DPS, Blizzard, etc. This is not evil, it's late capitalism. You could argue everybody wins - you make $$ and the unwashed masses get a great ski - or you could argue it's manipulative, a move away from what Epic has always been good at, which is balance.

 

Two conclusions, then, to argue about: 1) gear threads here for certain products (See: Kastle, then Blizzard and now DPS) are taking on a different character than threads for other products. This may reflect unstructured enthusiasm for a great product. Or it may reflect viral marketing for a great product. And 2) This is producing a certain asymmetry on Epic, with the S.H. crew (some of whom also do Gear Reviews) introducing all of us to the coolest new stuff, with a particular "style" to the introduction, while everybody else, whether retailer or simple consumer, does the same old boring, heavily comparative multiple reviews for the "other" gear. So is Epic, and yes, I mean all of us including administrators - someone must run this place - comfortable with these asymmetries? Are the changes in style and tone a good thing? Just want to get it out on the table, that's all. If most like the content and style of last season's threads on the Bonafide and Cochise and 112, and perhaps the 99 or other Blizzard threads to come, then we're good to go. 

 

Note: I'm not the only lifer around here who's noticed these changes, judging by my PM's. I'm just the one mule-like enough to put it out there. duck.gif

post #27 of 214

My initial thought is the Beyond is asking an excellent question, face it, a lot of the thinking about skis on Epic comes from a single shop in the Sierra's. The reviews I've always best appreciated are the ones done by SierraJim and Dogcatching where they would ski a bunch of skis in a similar class and discuss the pro's and con's as an independent reviewer and in a single thread. Rather than make final judgements, they let the individual decide which one may be best for the conditions encountered by the individual. I hope in the early part of the year, we are treated to similar reviews of the '12 skis. It takes a lot of work, thinking and clear writing to make those reviews happen, plus answering all the follow-up questions. I salute them.

 

I believe each shop employee ski reviewer on Epic is diligent about getting an individual skier on a good ski, and, not necessarily on a brand they use. I agree that knowledge of an individual who reviews skis is essential.

 

Each year that I've posted here, certain, few skis capture 80% of the buzz. There are influencers within the Epic community and it's beneficial to ski manufacturers to have a glowing reviews. As full disclosure is considered a good thing, I think every reviewer, sponsored or supported by a specific manufacturer, needs to make that relationship clear. For those pro's, I'd also like to see less references to their own gear, unless specifically asked.

 

Finally, I would ask the ski shop reviewers to be very careful with one or two word answers to questions about skis less commonly discussed. What's the value of a review the says "its a nice ski"?

post #28 of 214

I'm new here, but I have to say that I wouldn't trust reviews from a dealer to be unbiased.  Plus this place has lots of ads, so who would trust that that doesn't influence the reviews too.  Seems pretty obvious to me that just like the ski magazines, you couldn't say negative things about products who are paying your bills.  Findog may be right that there aren't any bad skis so what difference does it make, but just like with google, the ones that show up on the search results are going to sell more then the ones that aren't mentioned - and those others may be better.

post #29 of 214

Personally I think the best reviews are when the same person skis multiple similar skis in the same conditions and then tells us the difference between them. It's all subjective after all because we have no idea how the reviewers ski or like to compared to ourselves. But using one person as a benchmark who can write 'well' descriptively is a good place to start IMO.

Also here once someone indicates they have skied a ski you are interested in, most are happy to provide extra info off topic about them via a PM. E.G Bob Peters helped me re my Head Titans etc.

We really are all ski nerds if you participate here, like it or not. wink.gif

post #30 of 214
Beyond, am I reading between the lines & understanding your last post correctly? That your original post, this thread starter is actually a post you made in the wailer thread? And then some one else moved it to start an entirely new thread to discuss your comments, but making it look like you created this thread calling out/calling attention to the band wagon effect?
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